Critical Language Instruction at UVA



he Summer Language Institute (SLI) at the University of Virginia is a summer language school offering intensive eight-week courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Tibetan. Students attend classes five days a week, seven and a half hours a day. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are developed in a student-centered environment. In addition to SLI’s intensive language acquisition programs, traditional college courses in other languages, including Swahili, Hebrew, Persian, Japanese and Korean, are offered by the Summer Session Program at the University of Virginia. A single semester of course work is covered in a four-week session, with classes meeting five days a week.

Rapid Language Acquisition for the Intelligence Community


The SLI offers an intensive and accelerated language acquisition program in Russian. In just 8 weeks, participants cover the equivalent of 2 years of language study. Students enter the SLI with no prior knowledge of the language and exit with intermediate-level proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Chinese and Arabic Languages

The SLI also offers intensive language acquisition programs in Chinese and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The Chinese and Arabic SLI programs cover the equivalent of 1 year of college-level instruction in 8 weeks at two separate levels of instruction. Level 1 targets absolute beginners while Level 2 is for students with some proficiency. Starting in Summer 2014 Colloquial Levantine Arabic was added as an option to the MSA Level 2 course of study.


When can I take classes? 

  • SLI Programs run from mid-June until mid-August. Classes meet five days a week for seven and a half hours a day.
  • Summer session classes run every four weeks starting mid-May and ending mid-August. Classes meet five days a week for 135 minutes.


How do I apply?

  • SLI Programs require an application which can be found at the SLI website.
  • Summer Session does not require an application, only registration as a Visiting Student. Visit the Summer Session website for the registration link.


What is the cost?

  • Information on Tuition and Fees is available here


Can I audit an SLI program?

  • No, SLI programs require total commitment for 8 weeks.