If you need extra motivation to act and add something different to your life, think of 2014 as an opportunity to take a foreign language class. Consider your bucket list of countries to visit. Then picture conversing with its people or understanding its shop signs and TV programs. The following five language centers are examples of excellent foreign language options available in Chicago and suburbs. Even though some classes may have already started, ask if they allow late registration and prorate the classes.
Chicago Mandarin Chinese Center
17 N. State St., Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60602
The Chicago Mandarin Chinese Center offers enough different levels and categories to satisfy a variety of personal or work needs. Classes range from beginning to advanced and from business to conversational Mandarin. In addition, the Center is easily accessible in downtown Chicago.
Say It In Hebrew!
Florence Heller JCC
524 W. Melrose St.
Chicago, IL 60657
The “Say it in Hebrew!” program started in October and continues through April but accepts students throughout its term. Because it is conversational Hebrew, JCC site directors say that people will be comfortable coming in at any time and at a prorated fee. The program also has different language familiarity levels from beginning to advanced. Its availability at three sites makes it convenient to city and north suburban students. Check online for a participating JCC near your neighborhood.
ItalCultura At The Italian Cultural Institute
500 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1405
Chicago, IL 60611
ItalCultura is the language arm of the Italian Cultural Institute. Courses cover a range of options from beginning and conversational Italian to advanced classes and Italian literature and opera discussions. Situated on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile just north of the Chicago River, the Italian Cultural Institute and ItalCultura are easily accessible. If you go to Italy, you may also want to learn how to get the best photos from your camera. So also check out some photography classes.
Related: Best Photography Classes In Chicago
Spanish Language Centers
17 N. State St., Suite 1440
Chicago, IL 60602
The full program runs 16 weeks but registration is divided into four four-week periods of 1.5 hours of instruction per week. The first 2014 session is January through March. Students pay for one month at a time and can stop after one or two months. Spanish Language Centers are located in two Chicago sites and a northwest suburb. Check online for a participating Spanish Language Center in your neighborhood.
Alliance Francaise De Chicago
810 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610
The instruction is excellent but finding the right course takes patience. After clicking on classes and categories, you need to hit “submit” to get details. Click here for an example of special classes. For more guidance, call the Alliance number because its staff is very helpful. The site requires typical computer usage knowledge. But once you find a class that works for you, the French words will be spilling out in no time.
Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.