Position Description for Oldenborg Language Residents

Apply to Be a Language Resident

Updated January 2024 

Oldenborg is currently accepting applications for the Spanish (Spain) Language Resident position for the 2024-2025 academic year! Application review will begin in February 2024 and continue until the position is filled.

The next opening for all other Language Resident positions (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish (Latin America)) will be for the 2025-2026 academic year. The application process for that cycle will open in late 2024. If you would like to be notified please email us at oldenborg@pomona.edu.  

About the Oldenborg Center

The Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations is the hub for global learning at Pomona College, a liberal arts college of approximately 1750 undergraduate students located 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Oldenborg houses international student and scholar services as well as a range of curricular and co-curricular programs that foster language, cultural, and global learning. Oldenborg is at once a) a language residence hall, b) a dining hall, c) an administrative unit and international exchange venue. Oldenborg houses approximately 129 undergraduate students each academic year; the selection process is competitive and successful applicants must demonstrate both knowledge of, and engagement in, modern languages. Oldenborg is divided into six separate language sections (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish), each of which is directed by a Language Resident who is a native speaker of that section’s language.

Position Description

The Language Resident program is meant to provide students at Pomona with quality language and cultural learning experiences through meaningful and engaging interactions with native speakers of Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The program offers language residents themselves the opportunity to develop their professional skills and gain first-hand knowledge of the U.S. higher education environment.

As part of their experience at Pomona, Language Residents enroll in three academic credits . In the fall semester, one of those is a foreign language pedagogy class, where residents learn about second language acquisition, pedagogical theory, and study strategies to enliven and vary conversation classes. An additional academic credit each semester consists of a practicum class, which provides informal support and guidance, in the form of periodic meetings and check-ins.

Language Residents are Pomona College staff employees; i.e., they are teaching assistants, not teaching faculty or research scholars. Moreover, since part of Oldenborg’s mission is to provide structured, but still informal, learning opportunities outside the classroom, the majority of work duties performed by Language Residents also takes place outside the classroom and is designed to supplement and enrich the regular academic programming already offered by the College.

Language Residents report to the Oldenborg Center Staff Director and, under the Staff Director and Faculty Director’s guidance, collaborate with language faculty in structuring and implementing programming that supports engagement with languages and cultures at the College.


Language Resident duties and responsibilities include:

  • To prepare and teach intermediate and advanced language conversation classes.
  • To attend and facilitate daily language lunch tables (Monday through Friday) and provide leadership that stimulates conversation in the target language.
  • To organize and provide leadership for Center cultural activities and events that further engage students with the target language and culture(s) outside the classroom. Examples include film screenings, guest presentations, trivia nights, cooking typical dishes, etc.
  • To promote use of the target language and interest in the culture(s) relevant to the language section; to do so in a manner consistent with the Center’s spirit of providing a language immersion environment for students.
  • To be prepared to collaborate with or support individual language faculty for a maximum of 5 hours per week as agreed upon by the Oldenborg Center Directors and the Section Coordinator of the respective language program (monitor drill sections, teach individual class sessions, or facilitate specific activities or group work, etc.).
  • Additional duties as required.

Visa Requirements

Language Residents are Exchange Visitors as classified by the U.S. Department of State visa regulations. Language Residents hold J-1 non-degree student visas. In order to maintain good standing as defined by visa regulations, they must enroll in and successfully complete a full academic course load each term (three academic credits). In addition, visa regulations limit Language Residents to work no more than 20 hours per week. Oldenborg does not sponsor J-2 dependents for Language Residents.


Oldenborg Language Residents receive $14,624 in biweekly installments for the academic year (mid-August until mid-May). They also receive housing and food (standard meal plan per semester), and College employee benefits (partially subsidized health care plan). Language Residents must complete three academic credits each semester to comply with visa regulations mandating enrollment in a prescribed course of study. The College waives Language Resident tuition for course loads of up to three credits. Language Residents must pay their own travel expenses. They are also responsible for their own meals during winter break. All positions are for one academic year. Occasionally, and upon the College’s review, positions may be renewed for a single additional year.


Language Residents must be native speakers of one of the six main languages taught at Pomona: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish. Language Residents must be at least 21 years of age; they should hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), preferably in languages, linguistics, or a related field.

Applicants must submit evidence of English proficiency. The preferred method is to provide results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. The College requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (iBT and iBT Special Home Edition), 627 (TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solutions); 7 on the IELTS; or 120 on the Duolingo English test. There are no minimum requirements for sub-scores.

Application Materials

Applicants for the position of Oldenborg Language Resident should submit the following materials:

  • Language Resident Application Form
  • Cover letter in English indicating:
    • What interests you about this position
    • Relevant experience you have that would help you in being successful in the position
    • Your extracurricular interests
    • How this experience relates to your eventual career plans
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Score on TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English test, or equivalent
  • Official transcript of academic work (with English translation)
  • 2 letters of recommendation. Letters should be sent directly to oldenborg@pomona.edu from the recommender's e-mail address.

Finalists for the position will be contacted for a virtual video interview.

Application materials should be submitted electronically via the Language Resident Application Form. If you have any questions about the application please contact us at oldenborg@pomona.edu.