W.I.L.D. Weekend Immersed in Language Development December 1-3, 2017
Sponsored by the Alabama World Languages Education Foundation (AWLEF) Co­sponsored by The Alabama Humanities Foundation
a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities

YMCA Hargis Retreat
Birmingham, Alabama 35043 
Learn more about the YMCA Hargis Retreat here.

Project Directors  
Dr. Krista Chambless
AWLEF, Executive Director

Dr. Nick Gossett
AWLEF, President

Dr. Sandrine Hope
AWLEF, Co-Director W.I.L.D.


Linda Paragone

National Spanish Exam Coordinator

The Alabama World Languages Association, Executive Board

Mirella Hodges

Alabama Federation of Spanish Clubs, President

Alabama Federation of Spanish Clubs, Vice President

The Alabama World Languages Education Foundation (AWLEF) established by Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers seeks to enhance the opportunities for foreign language teachers and students to improve their spoken language skills and fully realizes that travel abroad is not accessible to most teachers and students on a regular basis. Therefore, AWLEF is continuing the work of AWLA to provide opportunities to its teachers and students to practice and improve their skills in residential, immersion experiences led by fluent scholars.

The 13tannual Weekend Immersed in Language Development (W.I.L.D.)student experience will be offered December 1-3, 2017, for students of Spanish, French, Chinese and German who have completed at least one full course of the target language and who are at least in the 10tgrade in the fall of 2017. This 2 1⁄2 day residential program will take place at the YMCA Hargis Retreat just outside Birmingham. The activities planned will include daily living experiences as well as cultural and academic learning experiences. The purpose of the project is to put the students in a setting where they will use the language they are acquiring in a non¬≠threatening, relaxed atmosphere whose goal is communication. Therefore, activities will include physical activities, film discussion, games, music, art, history and grammar. Throughout the weekend, second language acquisition will take place either directly from lectures and reading/writing experiences or indirectly through daily living experiences and games.

For some of the activities, the students will be grouped according to their level of study, but for the majority of the time the students of varying levels will be mixed so they may learn from each other as well as from their instructors. The planning committee consists of university and high school scholars. The program begins on Friday evening, Dec. 1, 2017 and ends in the early afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. It is open to 110 students of French, Spanish, Chinese and German. The students will be chaperoned and instructed by 18 teachers/scholars. The students are selected based on their level of study, grades in their language courses, their teacher and personal letters of recommendation and an essay explaining what they hope to gain from the experience and how learning a second language can help them in their career choices.

The cost to students is only $75* for the entire weekend and includes meals, lodging and all supplies. A need-based scholarship is available to students who qualify. The application and further information will be posted on the AWLA website at www.theawla.org. In addition, information will be emailed to all foreign language teachers and will be sent through our email list to all AWLA members. For further information, contact the program directors (alabamaimmersion@gmail.com).

New Registration Process for W.I.L.D 2017

All registration documents are to be completed online for the W.I.L.D. 2017 program. The following steps/documents are required in order to successfully register for W.I.L.D. 2017:

1) The online application form can be accessed here. Before completing the form, be sure to download all necessary documents from the Google Drive folder.

2) Follow this link for all required documents. There should be Medical Release form, Photo Release form, and Code of Conduct form. Print each document or complete online, have your parent or guardian sign each document, scan each document, and email electronic copies of the signed documents to alabamaimmersion@gmail.com with the student's name in the subject line of the email.

3) Be sure to complete the online registration form from item1 above. There will be four pages and you will be required to write a short essay on the last question.

4) The final step is to pay the $75 registration fee*. Go to: https://www.paypal.me/AWLEF and type $75 in the spot where the $0.00 is located. You can pay with a debit card, credit card, or a PayPal account through that link. If you have any issues with PayPal or do not feel comfortable paying through PayPal, please send an email to alabamaimmersion@gmail.com with the student’s name in the subject line and one of the directors will contact you.

5) Be sure to bring all paper copies of the signed documents with you when you arrive for W.I.L.D. 2017!

If you have any questions at any point during the process, please email alabamaimmersion@gmail.com and one of the directors will respond.

*Students may receive a refund up to 10 days before the start of W.I.L.D. If it is less than 10 days before the start of W.I.L.D., the registration fee is non-refundable no matter the circumstance due to contractual obligations.

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