The Experiment in International Living's Multi-Language Program*


  • Alvino E. Fantini

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      Alvino E. Fantini (A.M., University of Texas) is Director of Foreign Language Programs at the School for International Training of The Experiment in International Living in Brattleboro, Vermont. Previously, he taught Italian and English at the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, was Language Coordinator for Peace Corps Training, and Director of the Audio-Lingual Teacher Institute (sponsored by The Experiment and the State Department of Education, Vermont). He is the co-author of The Experiment in International Living's Audio-Lingual Language texts (in eighteen languages). Professor Fantini has led Experiment groups to Italy, Greece, and Spain, and a study group to Bogotá, Colombia (sponsored by The Experiment in International Living and Syracuse University). He has also been an Advance Project Director for Brazil Peace Corps Training in Brazil.

  • *

    The Experiment in International Living is an independent, nonprofit, educational organization founded in 1932 for the purpose of teaching people of different origins to learn to live together by living together. Accordingly, whether Experimenters work, study, or travel, the heart of their program is always the experience of living with a family while abroad. The United States' headquarters are situated at Putney, Vermont, with six regional offices throughout the country. International operations are conducted through national Experiment offices or representatives in some sixty countries on six continents.


ABSTRACT: The Experiment in International Living, an educational exchange organization, initiated intensive language courses in 1964 as part of its programs in an attempt to increase communication between American participants and their hosts overseas. Since oral communication is the primary goal, the audiolingual approach was adopted to train the ear and tongue and teach basic language patterns so that the student can control a minimal vocabulary to express a variety of needs. Because of the paucity of materials, The Experiment is developing audiolingual texts with correlated tapes in various languages. Native speakers teach and supervise language laboratories at The Experiment's School for International Training. Well-trained teachers, motivated participants, intensive courses, good methods and materials, and the urgency to learn create optimum learning conditions. Language progress is measured at the end of the program. Recognizing that language training adds a new dimension to the overseas experience, The Experiment adds new languages to its programs each year. The ability to communicate allows the participant to develop closer relationships, a more rapid adjustment to and greater appreciation of the host culture.