Professor John Rassias

Chair, Dartmouth College Department of French and Italian

Watch John Rassias’ Talk

John Rassias is a revolutionary thinker in the field of education, who has devoted his life to improving the methodology of foreign language teaching; he is the inventor of the renown Rassias method and an extraordinarily engaging speaker.

A native of Manchester, NH, Prof. Rassias graduated summa cum laude from the University of Bridgeport, and, as a Fulbright scholar, studied at the Université de Dijon in France, where he received his doctorate. He also did research at the Sorbonne, studied French drama, and acted in Paris.

In 1964, he began a long relationship with the Peace Corps language programs, serving as Director of Language Programs at Dartmouth College, consultant and trouble-shooter for Peace Corps programs throughout the world, and Director of the first pilot program of languages for the Peace Corps in Africa.

He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1965, and adapted the Rassias Method to a new academic community in 1967. Since his approach has been utilized by all language departments (including Chinese, French, German, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), the number of foreign language majors has steadily increased. This statistic stands out as a startling reversal of the national trend in recent years of declining enrollments in foreign language courses. Teachers in other colleges introducing the Rassias Method report similar renewals of interest.

Prof. Rassias is the author of numerous articles; the publisher of The Ram’s Horn (a journal for teachers of language and culture) and “The Rassias Connection” (a newsletter of the Rassias Foundation), as well as the author of three text books in French and Greek. He is completing “The Unzipped Mind,” a book covering different modes of communication, a philosophy of teaching, and comparisons with historical and mythological exemplars. Prof. Rassias lectures throughout the world to various companies and organizations. Topic titles range from “Communication in a Perilous World,” “One Nation Divided by One Language,” “Love in Eighteenth Century France,” to “Greek Mythology: Our Past, Present, and Future.”

Watch John Rassias on language and learning.