April 23, 2020
Kenyon has temporarily adjusted its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
The Kenyon Intensive Language Model (KILM) is, as one of the program's founders calls it, "the cornerstone" of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department.
French Prof. Bob Goodhand visited a French class at Denison University in 1979 that was using an innovative teaching model. This model, used at Dartmouth College, relied on undergraduate students (known as Apprentice Teachers or ATs) trained in the Rassias Method to drill their peers in extra hours of foreign language practice sessions outside of their regularly scheduled foreign language classes. The Rassias Method, developed by Dartmouth French Professor John Rassias, is a method of foreign language instruction based on the audio-lingual method. Rassias classrooms were high-energy. Typical activities in this style included drama, simple substitution, backward buildup, choral repetitions, and snap, point, look. Considering how students' levels of foreign language would dramatically improve by having the help of trained peers, Prof. Goodhand invited Prof. Rassias to Kenyon to speak to the Modern Languages and Literatures Department. In 1980, the first KILM workshop was held!
Since 1980, the MLL Department has expanded and so has the KILM Program! To meet the growing and changing needs of students and faculty over the years, the program has updated some of its ways of training ATs for work in the foreign language classroom. Today, the KILM program hires on average between 38-45 ATs per semester who work diligently with first and second year foreign language students to reach high levels of foreign language proficiency.
The history of the KILM Program is deeply embedded in the story of Kenyon's Modern Languages and Literatures Department. Thanks to one of the original founders of the program, Carlos (Charles) Piano, we have a documented written and oral history of his experience in the Modern Languages and Literatures Dept. before and after the addition of the KILM Program. Read about Prof. Piano's experience.
There are many other stories, though, too that make up the history of KILM! MLL is fortunate to have faculty like Prof. Linda Metzler who participated in the first KILM workshop, or others such as Prof. Jane Cowles who had stored the original videos from the Rassias workshops. ATs, Staff, and Faculty who are newer to the department all have unique stories that have shaped the history of our program.
To view the original Rassias films, an interview with Prof. Carlos (Charles) Piano [2014 with Concetta Blechschmidt], or filmed past KILM training workshops and other archives, please contact the MLL Dept. Administrative Assistant, Pam Sheasby: firstname.lastname@example.org