By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
Provo-- The 35-acre campus is an island of young people, where teens and 20-somethings outnumber grown-ups by 10-to-1.
Sure, the place is awash in fresh-faced students, but even the workers — from the cafeteria to the copy center, the mailroom to the bookstore — and most of the teachers are under 30.
It’s no "Animal House," though, with raucous frats, food fights and binge drinking. This is Mormonism’s premier Missionary Training Center, where the men wear white shirts and ties, the women don modest skirts and dresses and everyone is expected to heed the rules.
It ranks second among the nation’s largest on-site language schools, behind only the U.S. Defense Department’s Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.
Mormons have "perfected their language training through years and years of experience and feedback," says Col. Derek Tolman, commander of Utah National Guard’s linguistic unit, who is familiar with both systems. "The Missionary Training Center is excellent at teaching the fundamentals in a short time. The students are highly motivated and the learning curve is amazing."
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