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Rassias Method® Workshops for Teachers

Rassias Method Teacher Workshops

"All the techniques demonstrated in the course are things I can use immediately in my classroom. It is rare to find a teacher training course so full of wonderful ideas." 

"This experience has been phenomenal! It will completely transform my teaching, my attitudes toward the students, and the learning process."

Teacher Workshop

The next Teacher Workshop will be held on the Dartmouth campus, July 18 - 22, 2016.  Details and registration information coming soon!

What Are the Rassias Method Workshops?

The Rassias Method (RM) includes some fifty dramatic techniques that work to banish the inhibitions that can retard the acquisition of foreign languages. RM techniques hold students' attention and foster spontaneous use of the language. Teachers' workshops in the RM offer instructors an array of dynamic classroom activities that use movement, sound, rhythm and motion to help students learn. Workshop participants will enjoy a supportive, intensive, small group session environment as they practice applying the RM techniques to their current classroom materials. Originally developed during the advent of the Peace Corps, the techniques have been adopted by teachers worldwide.

The Rassias Method training attempts to channel your energy, enthusiasm, and activities so that they will be more productive to you and your students in the classroom and for communication skills in general. Through the techniques we present, you should be better able to create the “illusion of spontaneity” for every class with which you interact. We believe that the most effective and dramatic kind of spontaneity in the classroom is rehearsed.

Learning to communicate more effectively in face-to-face encounters, an important part of which is language learning, should not be tedious. It should be stimulating, entertaining, and to put it quite simply, fun. There must be mutual respect and cooperation between teachers and students in the learning encounter. We believe that the more we can offer through effective materials and teaching methodologies, the more the students will be stimulated to acquire other languages. The Rassias Method’s holistic approach views language and culture as one, whole, and indissoluble.

Since 1975, we have held workshops for teachers and administrators from all over the United States and throughout the world. Participants use the various techniques over the course of three days in “hands-on” small group sessions. The workshops also provide a forum to discuss how to integrate these techniques into various curricula.

We do not presume to tell any individual how to do their job. We truly believe that by your dedication, shared commitment, and long experience in the classroom, that you are indeed a Master Teacher. Our aim, rather, is to outline an effective approach that will stimulate and energize your classes.


There is no typical workshop participant. We welcome people interested in education from all over the country and the world. The Method that we present is applicable in public, private, and charter schools as well as in universities. Teachers can apply the Method with any level of students from introductory to advanced. Age group is equally inclusive. The method has been applied to pre-kindergarten classrooms and community classes for senior citizens alike. We discuss how to adjust the method for various class sizes as well. A diverse mixture of teaching backgrounds allows for interesting workshop discussions.

What Should I Expect?

You should expect an intense, power-packed workshop, full of techniques, discussions, practice sections, and group participation. Participants will have the opportunity to present, animate, and dramatize sample dialogue and drill material. There will be ample opportunity for practice, self-critiques, and peer critiques of individual performances.

It is fair to say that the protocol for the Rassias Method training has been well established through the collective experiences of thousands of teachers over the past twenty-five years. However, there is always opportunity for individual variation in both content and style among workshop leaders.

What Is the Rassias Method?

John A. Rassias, department chair and William R. Kenan Professor of French and Italian, developed a dynamic method for teaching language while training Peace Corps volunteers in the early sixties and adapted it to Dartmouth undergraduate instruction in 1967.

Professor Rassias served in 1978-79 on President Carter’s Commission on Foreign Language Study to develop national policy guidelines for reviving foreign language study. He is President of the Rassias Foundation at Dartmouth College, where he supports efforts in Hanover and beyond to revitalize foreign language teaching while using the resources of the vast network that he has developed.

The aim of the method is to provide a non-competitive atmosphere where the second or third language student is highly motivated and feels comfortable with the language in as short a time as possible. This goal is achieved through a series of specific teaching procedures, techniques, and tools that

  • Create and maintain a dynamic classroom pace and atmosphere, thus capturing and holding student attention.
  • Foster spontaneity and creative expression, eliciting an extremely high rate of student response from the earliest to the advanced stages of language training.
  • Eliminate the learner's natural self-consciousness and fear of mistakes.
  • Emphasize the relevance of the language to the student's own life experience.
  • Engage the student on an emotional level.

Last Updated: 11/13/15