The Self-Instructional Language Program (SILP) offers an opportunity to study languages that are not being offered through traditional classroom instruction in the language departments. The program follows the recommended format of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP), an association which promotes the study of less commonly taught languages. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced spoken American Sign Language, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Irish/Gaelic, Portuguese, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, and Yiddish are offered on this basis when there is an indication of sufficient student interest well in advance of fall registration.

SILP classes are flipped classroom courses. This means students in SILP are responsible for their own learning and therefore must be highly motivated and disciplined. Your resources for the course are the text, the tutor, and audio/video files. The courses require that you spend at least one hour daily with self-study of the language. Audio/video files and additional study materials are provided on Moodle for each course.

Tutorial Sessions

You meet twice a week in small groups with a tutor who is a native speaker of the target language. The tutor is not a “teacher” and is not expected to be an expert but will correct grammar and pronunciation. The tutorial sessions are mandatory and attendance will be a factor in your grade.

The emphasis in the courses is on oral presentation and it is important that you come to the tutorial sessions prepared to practice what you have learned. These are courses in the language, not about the language, so participation is crucial.


Schedules are set up at the beginning of each semester. You must be prepared to find a common time to meet with the tutor and the other students if you want to take the course. The courses are year-long (except advanced level) and begin in the fall semester only.


At the mid-term and the end of the semester, an outside expert in the target language will visit campus to examine all students and assign the grades. At the end of the fall semester, you will get a provisional grade. You must take both semesters to receive credit for the course.


To get permission to take a course in SILP, you must have an interview with the Coordinator who also must sign your registration form. You can do this during the regular spring registration period or during the fall add/drop period. Office hours will be posted outside the SILP office in Chicago Hall. At the beginning of the fall semester, there will be a mandatory orientation meeting at which the schedule is set with the tutor. When possible, students will also meet with their examiner at this meeting.

Before you sign up for a SILP course, be aware that the exams are often held on weekends and because the examiners travel far to come to campus, there is no way to reschedule a missed exam. Please contact the Coordinator if you have any questions.

SILP Coordinator: Silke von der Emde, Box 269.
Office: Chicago Hall, room 131, ext. 5618