Supervised Independent Language Program

By following a nationally recognized format for independent study, students are able to learn languages not offered on most college campuses.

The Five College Supervised Independent Language Program (SILP) was founded in 1991 to make it possible for Five College students to study less-commonly taught languages (LCTLs) not offered in a classroom format at any of the member campuses. This innovative format allows us to sustain programs in languages where student interest is mighty but small. Our program follows the standards endorsed by the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs.

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SILP courses feature:

  • Flipped classroom format
  • Daily independent study
  • Weekly small group conversation sessions
  • Weekly self-assessment reports
  • Final oral evaluation
  • Emphasis on speaking and listening skills
  • Offerings for beginning, intermediate, advanced, and heritage learners

Learn more in the Program FAQ.

Recent SILP Language Offerings

Afrikaans | Albanian | Amharic | Arabic dialects (see more about Arabic dialects below) | Armenian | Bengali (Bangla) | Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian | Bulgarian | Burmese | Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers | Czech | Danish | Dari | Dutch | Filipino (Tagalog) | Finnish | Georgian | Modern Greek | Haitian Creole | Hungarian | Igbo | Indonesian | Modern Irish | Kazakh | Lao | Macedonian | Malay | Mongolian | Nepali | Norwegian | Pashto | Romanian | Sinhala | Slovak | Swedish | Thai | Modern Tibetan | Twi | Ukrainian | Vietnamese | Wolof | Yoruba | and more!

Spoken Arabic Dialects

As part of the Supervised Independent Language Program and in partnership with the Five College Arabic Language Initiative, the Center for World Languages offers spoken Arabic dialect courses that complement the study of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA/fusha) or knowledge of Arabic developed through personal, work, or study abroad experiences. Our spoken Arabic dialect offerings include Egyptian, Levantine (spoken in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria), and Moroccan. View recent spoken Arabic syllabi.

Arabic placement and eligibility:

General placement/course eligibility information is below. All students will have the opportunity to discuss course choices and placement during the intake interview.

  • Currently in first semester of MSA: Not yet eligible for Center courses
  • Currently in second semester of MSA: Eligible for Levantine I or Egyptian I 
  • Already completed 2+ semesters of MSA: Eligible for Levantine II, Egyptian II, or Moroccan I
  • Already completed 2 semesters of Written Arabic courses with no/minimal spoken Arabic practice: Eligible for Levantine I or Egyptian I 
  • Some knowledge of spoken Arabic dialect from previous substantive personal, work, or study abroad experience: Contact the Center for placement
  • Some speaking ability but can't read or write in Arabic: Not eligible for Center courses
  • No previous experience with MSA or spoken Arabic dialect: Not eligible for Center courses


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Center for World Languages Staff