Monday, June 8, 2009

Topic Overview: Brushing Up on Language Skills

On my recent jaunt through Egypt, I survived with an Arabic phrase book and a two-word vocabulary (the words for "no" and "thank you"). But to really experience a place and interact with the people, it's nice to be able to carry on a basic conversation in the native language.

If you need to brush up on your own language skills--to prepare for a trip or just for fun--you have a few options.

One of the most convenient options is the IUPUI Community Learning Network. Its broad range of classes includes Spanish (at several levels), French, Italian, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

Another option is the Indy Foreign Language Academy, which offers all of the above, plus American Sign Language and Portuguese. You can opt for group classes, private instruction or immersion programs. And, if you want to learn a more obscure language (like Finnish or Ukranian), they'll arrange a tutor for you.

If you want to brush up on your Spanish, you have a few extra options. The J. Everett Light Career Center has several levels of Spanish classes for adults, as does Lawrence Township Community Education.

But, if you can't find time to take a class, here's the back-up plan: Download a language tutorial to your iPod, and pick up a few basics during your flight. I like the Living Language In Flight series, available for download on iTunes.

One option I haven't tried--primarily because of its hefty price tag--is the Rosetta Stone series. If you've tried one of these programs, let us know whether you think it was worth the price.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for linking my school to your site and letting other adult learners know we're out here! I hope you had a great time in Egypt.

Jenna Porter
Indy Foreign Language Academy