The MATSL program is designed for and beneficial to working K–12
French or Spanish teachers who have had some classroom experience and
are committed to working intensively on their language, teaching, and
In 2012, the Summer Term residency dates are July 8–29. The
Non-Residency Term (which is the online component of the MATSL) runs
from September 1, 2012–June 1, 2013.
preferred deadline is April 1. Students who apply before April 1 have
the best chance of getting into the program. However, we will continue
to accept applications after that date.
Over the course of the 9-month Non-Residency Term (September–June), students can expect to spend 12–14 hours a week on the distance learning courses. About half of that time is spent on language development and the other half on an action research project that is integrated into your classroom practice.
MATSL students take 7 credits of distance learning courses each Non-Residency Term (September–June). One of those courses is an action research course in which students are assigned a mentor who will support them through the research process. The other is a language and culture course, offered in both French and Spanish. This course allows students to explore cultural issues in the target language through online publications or through off-line literary or historical texts.
No. The MATSL degree program requires the summer residency periods. However, it is possible to take the language and culture course and action research course as a non-matriculating student.
No, but an Oral Proficiency Interview is required.
The OPI is administered by Language Testing International (LTI), the language testing office of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The OPI can be taken via a telephone appointment with a live tester (OPI) or on-demand via computer (OPIc). There are OPI appointment and proctor forms in the application package. The test administrator/proctor mentioned on the forms is a person at your location (school principal or office manager, for example) who can vouch for your identity before you take the test. Visit www.languagetesting.com for more details.
As a rule, we do not accept transfer credits because we are functioning under a very different paradigm from traditional master’s programs. Our approach to teaching and learning is immersion-oriented: that is, we’re dissolving the boundaries between the courses we teach in the summer to enable our students to speak the target language continuously and to experience first-hand the kind of progressive teaching we advocate here at Bennington. It is difficult to carve out a course equivalency from an immersion experience. However, we will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. Please send us the syllabus(i) from the course(s) you would like us to consider.
Yes, we accept non-matriculating students in some MATSL classes. Enrollment is contingent upon availability and language level of the applicant. Room and board are available should you decide to live on campus. The online language and culture course and action research course are also available from September through June of each year. A non-matriculating student who later applies to the MATSL may request to transfer in a maximum of six Bennington College credits. Non-matriculating course information can be obtained from the MATSL Office.
No. MATSL students must be in residence during the whole three-week summer residency period, as weekends will involve action research seminars and other activities.
No. Families may not stay on campus with MATSL students due to the intensity of the residency period. Students are expected to devote themselves fully to the program. Pets are not allowed in any of the campus residences.
The total cost to complete the MATSL program, including tuition, room, and board is about $28,000 (tuition rates are set annually and may increase year to year).
Financial aid, in the form of federal student loans and grants, is available to eligible applicants. The financial aid instructions are enclosed with the MATSL application. The MATSL program awards grants to a limited number of students, which are based on both financial need and merit. If you wish to be considered for a grant, you must complete the process of applying for financial aid. Deadline for grant consideration is April 1. We also recommend that you check with your state and regional foreign language associations, some of which offer scholarship funds to teacher members. Finally, some school districts subsidize advanced degrees and/or courses. Check with your district office.