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Languages at UW-Madison

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Outreach for K-12 Teachers & Students

UW-Madison offers instruction in a variety of languages spanning all continents except Australia and Antarctica. In the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea, UW-Madison offers educational opportunities that connect this expertise in world languages, literatures, and cultures with K-12 students and teachers throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Field Trips, Summer Programs, and Professional Development Opportunities on the UW-Madison Campus

Experience Languages Program
Wisconsin high school teachers are invited to bring school groups to the UW-Madison campus to visit language classes and learn about residential, internship, and study abroad opportunities that expand on language learning. Sponsored by the Language Institute. Contact

High School Tutoring Program in Less Commonly Taught Languages
Connects high schools offering less commonly taught languages (languages other than English, French, German, and Spanish) with UW language students who provide tutoring and conversation practice via videoconferencing technology. Sponsored by the Language Institute. Contact

STARTALK Korean Language & Culture Academy
The 4-week summer UW-Madison STARTALK Korean Language & Culture Academy is a non-residential program for high school students interested in exploring Korean language and culture. Through engaging, interactive learning activities, students will learn to communicate in Korean while exploring Korean cultural practices and traditions. No prior knowledge or experience with Korean is required or expected! Thanks to funding from STARTALK, the program will be offered at no cost to participants.

World Languages Day
A UW-Madison tradition since 2002, World Languages Day brings high school groups to campus for a day focused on languages, literatures, cultures and traditions from around the world.  Sponsored by the Language Institute. Contact

Wisconsin Global Youth Summit
Gathers high school students and teachers from around the state for discussion around global education, including language study. The summit promotes and supports participation in the Wisconsin Global Education Achievement Certificate, which requires the study of world languages. Sponsored by the UW-Madison International Division and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

German Day
500+ students and their teachers from Wisconsin middle and high school German programs participate in this annual competition, typically held in April on the UW-Madison campus. Sponsored by the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic. 

Classics High School Visit Day
Each spring the Department of Classics welcomes Wisconsin high school students of Latin to campus, where they take part in classes across the full range of our discipline: not just Latin and Greek, but also Classical culture, history, literature, art, archaeology and philosophy. Over the course of a day on campus students get a sense not only of the undergraduate experience in general, but also of what it's like to be pursue a major in Classics or the Classical languages. In January the Department of Classics also welcomes the Wisconsin Junior Classical League (WJCL) to campus, for a long weekend packed with art, costumes, competitions and lots of fun. This latter event is organized by the WJCL themselves, and draws in high-schoolers from across Wisconsin. Contact William Brockliss, Department of Classics,

Institute for Regional and International Studies Outreach Programs
Provides resources and expertise on world areas to K-12 teachers, postsecondary educators, and the community at large. WIOC strives to put The Wisconsin Idea in action through programming for K-12 students, professional development workshops for teachers, and events in the community. Contact

Pushkin Summer Institute
The UW-Madison Pushkin Summer Institute is an intensive, six-week residential pre-college program that introduces outstanding high school students to Russian language and culture through the life and works of Russian national poet Alexander Pushkin. Contact

Madison French Camp for Youth
French camp is a creative and fun way to improve French language skills and make new friends. Held at the French House on the UW-Madison campus, French camp provides French language immersion, using French only and avoiding translating into English, designed for beginning and continuing French students aged 4-12 years.

Wisconsin International Scholars (WISc) Program
WISc is an undergraduate honors enrichment program for students interested in global affairs, cultures, and languages. The goal of the WISc program is to build global competence and citizenship for undergraduates from a variety of disciplines and majors. We expect WIScholars to become leaders in their chosen fields and believe that a global perspective is an essential element of this leadership. Students making satisfactory progress in the program are eligible for two study abroad grants (a total of $3,000) to be applied toward one short-term and one long-term UW study abroad program.

National Programs that Support Study of Less Commonly Taught Languages

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
Provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program (YES)
Offers merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in countries with significant Muslim populations to increase understanding between people in the US abroad.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX)
Offers merit-based scholarships for an academic year in Germany.

A component program of the National Security Language Initiative which seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the US.

Teachers of Critical Languages Program
Enables primary and secondary schools to strengthen their teaching of Mandarin and Arabic by bringing Chinese and Egyptian teachers to the U.S. to teach their native languages and culture for an academic year.

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