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Language Schools: Learn a Foreign Language with Language Programs, Online Foreign Language Courses, Foreign Language Study

Attending a formal language school to acquire key foreign language skills and speak a new language fluently can help supplement your career and educational goals, and open you up to new experiences. Language schools offer a variety of language programs and even online foreign language courses to pursue a variety of foreign language study programs and curriculum. Foreign language schools allow you to learn about a new culture, speak fluently, and educate yourself about an entirely new country and way o f life.

Professional development courses that focus on building foreign language skills can also enhance your resume and allow you to pursue additional responsibilities on the job. Becoming bilingual or multilingual promises a number of rewards in a variety of careers. Still, many people choose to pursue foreign language study for their own personal education and enrichment.

What is a Language School?

A language school offers an opportunity to learn comprehensive skills and knowledge about a specific country, offering a variety of course programs, exams, lessons, seminars, and workshops. Many language schools include a travel component to the country of interest, where students have a chance to speak with native speakers and immerse themselves in the foreign culture and lifestyle. Learning abroad offers a much more comprehensive opportunity to pick up key skills, cultural norms and mores. Before you consider attending a language school, it's a good idea to determine the reasons why you wish to pursue formal foreign language study. Common reasons may include:

  • To increase the chances of a better job
  • To enjoy a visit abroad
  • To communicate better and learn a wide variety of skills
  • To learn about a different culture and way of life
  • To increase personal satisfaction and broaden your scope of knowledge
  • To communicate with new people and share your own experiences from your native country with others

Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language offers a number of opportunities to enhance your education and increase knowledge. People who learn a foreign language can also earn a higher income because of their increased skill set, and the potential to grow your professional career is just one benefit. Still, there are additional benefits of learning a foreign language including:

  • Increasing your intelligence

  • Increased social opportunities and ability to build your social and business circle

  • Opportunity to travel and immerse yourself in another culture with ease

  • Ability to translate literature, media or historical records

  • Ability to translate for others

  • Opportunity to grow foreign language study skills in the fields of research or translation services

Types of Language Schools Available

There are two main types of language schools available, in addition to distance learning and online foreign language course programs. You can choose from a degree-based program that leads to a professional degree and specialization with a foreign language, or a non-degree based learning program that is ideal for enrichment and personal development. In some cases, a non-degree learning program may also offer certification that qualifies you for successfully completing the foreign language program or courses of study.

Diploma/Degreed Language Schools versus Non-Diploma Language Schools

Diploma and degreed language schools offer a comprehensive and often more formal type of study for your chosen foreign language. Diploma programs are generally used for professional purposes and those interested in teaching foreign language. Some colleges and universities also offer degrees in specific foreign languages that can be pursued further in the form of a masters degree or research-based program.

Non-diploma language schools are ideal for those interested in simply learning new skills, meeting new people, and earning non-transferable credits as part of a lifetime enrichment program. Non-diploma language schools may still offer foreign language courses in a formal setting, but any coursework completed will not lead to a degree. In some cases, non-diploma language schools offer certificates of completion as proof of study.

How to Choose a Language School

Choosing the right language school that suits your needs depends on a variety of factors including:

  • How much time can you commit to pursuing foreign language courses?
  • How many language courses can you realistically take at one time?
  • Are you willing to learn skills necessary for online foreign language courses and programs?
  • How much time can you invest each week to attend a foreign language school?
  • What types of foreign language courses are you most interested in?

After you have narrowed down your selection of foreign language courses, programs, or schedule of classes, you will need to decide how you prefer to learn. Some students enjoy a class setting with formal instruction and assignments, while others prefer an online learning format where they can work at their own pace. In addition to online foreign language courses and programs, distance education courses are also available. These allow students to learn using video and audio tools, and possibly some computer software as an enhancement. The pace and rate of learning that works best for you will help determine which type of language course is best for you. Other considerations when choosing a language school include:

  • Access to resources such as libraries, technology, and professors

  • Class size

  • Location of courses

  • Class level and any prerequisites needed

  • Commitment of class hours each week

  • Qualifications and educational background of your teacher

Online Foreign Language Courses and Programs

Online foreign language courses and programs can speed up the learning rate and completion of any degree or non-degree based curriculum. With the increasing innovations in technology and communication, it has become much easier for prospective students to learn foreign languages completely online. Internet-based delivery includes programs, software, and a collaborative class format where students can download lesson plans, tutorials, or engage in online presentations. Online learning is quickly becoming a fast and efficient method of study, and earning both college credits or completing a certificate in a foreign language is simple with web-based education.

Most Common Language Courses and Programs

Some of the most common language courses and foreign language programs include:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Russian
  • Scandinavian languages
  • Arabic

Many students of foreign language schools also have interest in pursuing English as a second language (ESL) teaching certification.


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