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Arts & Culture

Best Language Classes In Charlotte

January 13, 2014 8:00 AM

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File photo of classroom. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

File photo of classroom. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Charlotte is home to a growing cosmopolitan community with new residents coming from around the world and local businesses reaching out to new international markets. Becoming bilingual is increasingly a must in today’s economy. To meet the need, many schools in Charlotte offer classes in a variety of languages. In addition to the schools listed below, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers degree-seeking students classes in French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Ancient Greek, Latin, Modern Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Farsi, Swahili and other languages, as well as business certificate programs in French, German and Spanish. While many people choose to study online or with recorded courses, our list concentrates on local schools specializing in developing a speaking knowledge through classroom experience.
Borealis Language Academy
6801 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 281-1656
www.borealislanguagenc.com

Specializing in Spanish classes for those who wish to become proficient in conversation, Borealis offers a varied schedule of small group classes on days, evenings and weekends, as well as one-on-one private tutoring and business courses designed for corporate clients. Group classes, taught by native Spanish speakers, typically have five to 10 participants and concentrate on developing natural conversational, reading and writing skills, with an emphasis on fluency as opposed to grammatical knowledge. Specialized programs for adults, teenagers and children are available at four levels of proficiency – beginner, intermediate, high intermediate and advanced – with free evaluation to place you in the right level. Borealis also offers English classes for Spanish speakers.
Central Piedmont Community College
(704) 330-2722
www.cpcc.edu

CPCC’s non-degree classes in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Greek, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese are offered at its six Mecklenburg County campuses as well as at area libraries and public schools. Classes are generally at the introductory level and are grammar-based with classroom, language lab and online components. Participants learn to use the language in real-world situations, and the classes are good preparation for tourists headed abroad. CPCC also offers classes in English pronunciation and grammar for non-native-speaking adults and preparation for the U.S. Citizenship Test.

Related: Best ACT And SAT Prep In Charlotte

Holy Trinity Greek School
600 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 334-4771
www.htgo.org

Charlotte’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral—recently featured in an episode of Showtime’s “Homeland”—began its Greek Afternoon School in 1936, instructing generations of young Charlotteans in Greek language and culture. In 1997, it added a continuing education division for adults seeking to learn Greek for personal, professional or scholarly reasons. Adult classes are offered three evenings a week, from October to May. Holy Trinity also offers classes for people preparing to take the examination for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Greek, a program approved and authorized by the government of Greece.
International House
1817 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 333-8099
www.ihclt.org

Recently moved to its new location in Plaza-Midwood, the International House is a wonderful resource for anyone seeking to learn a second language. Among its many programs are lots of opportunities to interact with people from around the world, including foreign-language conversation hours, cultural events, films, an international book club and an international women’s group. Other services include citizen diplomacy programs, free citizenship workshops and legal assistance for immigrants. In addition, many groups offer classes in a variety of languages at the center. If the language you are interested in isn’t on the calendar, the folks at International House can direct you to a class or tutor that fits your needs.

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The Language Academy of the Carolinas, Inc.
2110 Ben Craig Drive, Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28262
(704) 548-0048
www.carolinalanguage.com

Selected in a local poll as the best place to learn a foreign language, the Language Academy offers classes in three locations throughout the Charlotte region: the original location in the University area, in Plaza-Midwood at the International Center and in South Charlotte at the Levine Jewish Community Center on Providence Road. The well-designed courses of study available in Spanish, English, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Portuguese are divided into nine levels of instruction taught in classes of no more than eight students. There are no exams or grades, and classes are taught almost entirely in the language to create a total immersion experience. Free online placement tests are available in Spanish, English, French and German to determine the right class for you. The Language Academy also offers private classes and express translation services in a variety of languages, custom business programs and seminars in the business practices and cultural differences encountered in other countries, plus children’s classes and summer immersion camps in Spanish and Chinese.

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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