Application: Self-Instructional Language Program

Course information is available on our SILP student expectation page.

Please answer the following questions and paste your answers in an e-mail addressed to Put the name of the language and the word “Application” in the subject line (such as “Swahili Application”).

For questions about courses or the application process, please e-mail or call the office at 909-621-8018. Interview and advising appointments are available at the Oldenborg Center for Modern Language and International Relations’ office at 350 N. College Way on the Pomona College campus. E-mail to schedule a time.

NOTE: Applications are accepted from undergraduates from The Claremont Colleges. Other applications will be ignored.

Application Questions

E-Mail Address:
Language for which you are applying:
Name and department of academic advisor:
Expected graduation year:
Grade point average:

  1. What language(s) do you speak at home? Do you read and write in the language(s)? In what language(s) and countries did you receive your formal education? At what ages or grade levels did you attend school in each language? Have you participated in a study abroad or student exchange program?

  2. What language courses have you taken at college/university)? Give the name and course number or level, school, instructor’s name for college or university courses, and the grade you received. If your college has a language requirement (Pomona, Scripps, CMC students) how have you meet that requirement?

  3. What experience have you had with the language you want to study and/or experience with residence in a country/community where the language is spoken? What courses have you taken related to areas in which the language is spoken?

  4. Why do you want to learn this language? Discuss how you decided upon this particular language and what level of proficiency you are seeking. How does proficiency in this language fit in with your academic and other goals?

  5. SILP requires significant self-sufficiency on the part of students. There is no regular teacher to provide clarification, daily structure, or regular graded feedback on progress. Language fellows are peers who happen to be native speakers and who are there to help you practice using the language. They do not provide grammatical lessons, structure your study, or grade assignments. Please discuss how you see yourself functioning in this type of student-centered learning situation. Can you give examples of other situations where you have successfully structured or guided your own learning? What do you consider your strengths and limitations for this mode of learning?

  6. Do you have time to study this language in the upcoming semester? As with all language courses, SILP courses require a significant time commitment during the semester. Progress in language learning comes only from consistent practice and it takes many hours to develop proficiency. Language study needs to be approached with the same regularity and time commitment as required in athletic training, mastery of a musical instrument, or performance rehearsals for dance and theater. Students should expect to study at least one hour per day or 7-8 hours per week.

    Please discuss how you will integrate your language study with the rest of your schedule for the semester. How many other courses will you be taking? What extra-curricular and work obligations will you have? What will be your strategy for fitting regular language study into the rest of your life? Where does language study fall in your priorities for the semester? (Be realistic in your expectations for yourself. For example, if you are a pre-med major and have a major science lab, the science lab will likely demand priority. You also cannot work 24 hours a day. Take into account that you need sleep and relaxation time in order to function well in all your courses. Our concern is that you are planning a well-balanced semester for yourself.)

  7. What questions or concerns do you have about how the program will work for you?

REMINDER: The application process for SILP courses also requires that you have an in person interview. Contact or call 909-621-8018 to schedule an interview time.