Application Deadlines: November 1st and March 15th

What DILS is

Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) gives you the opportunity to study a language not currently taught in a Yale classroom. DILS is open to all registered Yale students (undergraduate, graduate and professional), who may enroll for up to four semesters of study.

How DILS works

DILS is an independent language study program. While it is not eligible for Yale credit, it provides funding, mentoring and materials to support you in your language study through the following components:

  • Language Partner – DILS students work with a Language Partner, a native speaker of the target language, in one-hour sessions, twice a week. The sessions aim to develop linguistic and cultural competence through active conversation, with limited instruction and correction.
  • Coaching – A language coach is assigned to each DILS student. The Coach provides  guidance and advice on learning strategies and techniques, study abroad opportunities and additional language resources.
  • Instructional Materials – The DILS program and the Center for Language Study maintain an expanding library of instructional materials which students and Language Partners may borrow. The Center for Language Study also provides online and media based materials for students to use on-site.
  • Assessment – Students are tested directly before and after their DILS program, to determine language placement and progress. Whenever possible, tests are administered and evaluated according to national and standardized ACTFL testing scales.
  • ePortfolio – DILS students are eligible to develop and maintain an ePortfolio of language learning, administered through the Center for Language Study.

The DILS Experience

Participation in the DILS program requires time and dedication. As a DILS student you must self-motivated and willing to assume full responsibility for your learning. You will be expected to:

  • commit to a regular schedule of independent study created with your coach and Language Partner
  • attend two weekly language sessions with your Language Partner
  • participate in oral and/or written proficiency assessments (informal and formal)

Participation in the program helps you:

  • shape your academic and career goals
  • find and enroll in study abroad, internships and other field experiences
  • encourage rewarding intercultural and international relationships at Yale and around the world

To see the list of languages that have been studied by DILS students in the past, go to Languages Studied.

How to Apply

DILS is open to all students of Yale University. To apply you must be in good academic standing; undergraduates must have the approval of your Residential College Dean. Applications are accepted for any language level, from beginner to advanced. To learn more about the application process and eligibility criteria, read DILS Eligibility and Application Procedures.

More Information

If you have additional questions about the DILS program, please contact dils@yale.edu.