Connect with a foreign language this month

December is the American Library Association's Learn a Foreign Language Month, and Penn State offers some great opportunities to brush up on your speaking skills.

From taking a course to getting involved in a student organization, there are many options to choose from.

Penn State students can learn a language and learn about other cultures through one of many student organizations and programs on campus.

Organizations include the French Club, German Club, Graduates in International Languages and Literatures, Brazilian Student Organization, Indian Culture and Language Club, Korea International Club, Spanish Club, Sign Language Club and The FEW: Future Educators of World Languages — just to name a few.

This summer, the Language Institute at Penn State will introduce an intensive sequence in Korean and plans to offer introductory Portuguese courses. Returning courses from last year include Arabic, Chinese, French, German Italian, Japanese. Latin, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.

Students also can get involved in international activities through programs such as Conversation Partners and Cross Cultural Connections in the College of the Liberal Arts and Transition Partners in the Office of Global Programs.

While most students’ class schedules probably are set for the spring, it’s never too soon to start thinking ahead to the summer.

The Language Institute at Penn State offers a chance for students to immerse themselves in studying a language for a short period of time. Most summer classes start in mid-June and are offered in an intensive format, lasting about 4-1/2 hours each day.

Returning courses from last year include Arabic, Chinese, French, German Italian, Japanese. Latin, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. This summer, the institute will introduce an intensive sequence in Korean and plans to offer introductory Portuguese courses.

“We are particularly excited about introducing Korean in the coming summer,” said Rebekka Egger, academic director at the Language Institute at Penn State. “A Korean minor will be available at Penn State in the next academic year, and completing Korean 001 and 002 over the summer would allow rising juniors or new change of location and transfer students to get on board with the minor.”

Egger added that institute’s courses can be a great way to work toward a language minor because students have the ability to complete the equivalent of one academic year of language courses by taking eight to 12 credits in eight weeks during the summer.

Another new addition to the institute this summer will be the introduction of capstone education abroad programs to Turkey and Morocco. The weeklong embedded programs will be open to students studying the respective languages with the institute.

“We anticipate that partial scholarships will be available for these programs and invite students to check our website for updates throughout March and April,” Egger said.

Although Penn State doesn’t have Turkish courses during the school year, Egger said the institute again will offer an intensive sequence of Turkish courses and anticipates having federally funded scholarships available to students. She added that other language scholarship opportunities may become available later in the spring semester.

Last Updated December 18, 2013