Dartmouth College’s Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures operates under the Office of the Provost. Its overall goal is to promote cultural understanding and to strengthen communication among people around the world. More specifically, this translates into a mission of training teachers in various aspects of the Rassias Method® as well as offering world language instruction to diverse groups of students. These students include Dartmouth College graduate students, Upper Valley community members (children and adults), and visitors to Hanover from around the world, including executives, government employees, medical residents, educators, and travelers.
John Rassias (1925-2015), William R. Kenan Professor of French and Italian, developed this method for teaching language while training Peace Corps volunteers in the early 1960’s. He adapted it to teaching Dartmouth undergraduates in 1967. Since then, thousands of students have learned languages via the Rassias Method at Dartmouth and at many other schools, colleges and universities around the world. In 1978-79, Professor Rassias served on President Carter’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, which sought to develop national policy guidelines for improving foreign language study in the United States. He received grants to further language instruction via the Rassias Method from such major corporations and foundations as the Dana Foundation, Exxon, The New York Times, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The mission of all Rassias offerings is to enrich lives by improving communication among people.
Rassias Method instruction strives to make language learning a “whole science” in which students engage themselves fully in another culture and its language. According to John Rassias, the essence of the human experience is to recognize our connections with others and to strengthen these connections through real communication. As Prof. Rassias often said, “We talk about learning a ‘foreign language,’ but as soon as we begin to speak the language, it is no longer foreign.” The excitement and the power of being able to communicate, even at a basic level, is the heart of the Rassias Method.
The Rassias Center works both on and off-campus to achieve its mission. Our programs reach people of diverse backgrounds and careers all around the world. Find out more about by visiting our Language Programs page.
Last Updated: 9/28/16