This sounds like an excellent idea:

Middlebury College has been known for years for immersion-based language instruction and liberal arts education. So when the college announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with a for-profit company to build an online language program aimed at middle- and high-school students, it raised some eyebrows.

The program, to be called Middlebury Interactive Languages, will open this summer with initial courses in Spanish and French. Middlebury professors and faculty at the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy — the college’s highly touted summer program — will develop the online courses. They will be taught online by Middlebury professors , instructors affiliated with the Monterey Institute, and graduates of the language academy, according to Michael E. Geisler, vice president for language schools at Middlebury and director of the new program.


Also covered by the NYT. Thanks to Kevin, who provided this comment:

A follow up to an interesting April 2009 EphBlog post on Middlebury (during the darker days of the financial crisis… — the post was:

http://www.ephblog.com/2009/04/21/middlebury-update/

The final sentence of the post, referring to what was a recent article in Fortune Magazine: “The article ends with a cockamamie plan for Middlebury to make a bunch of money taking on Rosetta Stone. Good luck with that!”

Well, a year later, that venture the post was referring to is here. The New York Times and others reported on it, and it is not without some controversy (what else is new in the academy — this it outside the comfort zone).

See:

http://www.middlebury.edu/mil/release

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/education/14middlebury.html

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/15/languages

http://educationnext.org/hurrah-for-middleburys-venture-into-virtual-language-instruction/

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