The F.K. Bemis International Center is the hub of all international activity on campus, and is home to Language Services & Community Outreach.

Adult Non-Credit Language Course Descriptions

American Sign Language
You will learn basic conversation strategies, the history of the of sign language, and the study of the Deaf culture and community. This class is for anyone who has a desire to better understand a deaf friend, relative, or just wishes to have a basic knowledge of this amazing language.  Join us for hands on and interactive activities that will get you started on your way to understanding the Deaf world around us!


Chinese  |  Return to Top

Chinese 1

Chinese I is to introduce the basic concepts of the Chinese language through characters, phonetics, sentence patterns and grammatical structures. The instructor will teach Chinese pronunciation through phonetic symbols called “pinyin.” Students will learn to distinguish the differences between the four tones in Chinese and pronounce them correctly. Simple conversations and communication will be practiced throughout the class sessions. Chinese culture and history will be introduced where appropriate.

Chinese 2
Chinese 2 is an intermediate class that continues teaching the basic concepts of the Chinese language through characters, phonetics, sentence patterns and grammatical structures. The instructor will teach Chinese pronunciation through phonetic symbols called “pinyin.” Students will learn to distinguish the differences between the four tones in Chinese, and pronounce them correctly. Students will practice verbal dialogue and written communication throughout the class sessions. Students will also learn Chinese writing techniques and write short stories. Chinese culture and history will be introduced where appropriate. Must have taken Chinese 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

Chinese for Families
Chinese I for Families is to introduce the basic concepts of the Chinese language through characters, phonetics, sentence patterns and grammatical structures. The instructor will teach Chinese pronunciation through phonetic symbols called “pinyin.” Students will learn to distinguish the differences between the four tones in Chinese and pronounce them correctly. Simple conversations and communication will be practiced throughout the class sessions. Chinese culture and history will be introduced where appropriate. Learning games and fun activities will be engaged to encourage children’s participation.  

Czech  |  Return to Top

Czech 1
Students are introduced to the basic Czech language skills and systems, including reading and pronunciation. Some emphasis is put on listening skills in order for students to hear and discern rhythmic groups and patterns in Czech spoken language. Students practice basic communicative phrases and vocabulary in authentic situations, and are introduced to the basic grammar concepts. Various cultural and historical aspects of the Czech cultural heritage complement this introductory course.

Czech 2
Czech 2 builds on the knowledge students gained in Czech I and it continues with the "Communicative Czech," a textbook of elementary Czech by Ivana Rešková and Magdalena Pintarová, which guides the students through the basic concepts in Czech grammar, vocabulary, situational language, pronunciation, reading, writing, listening, as well as speaking.  The purpose of Czech 2 is to allow students to further delve into the Czech language, to learn more complex concepts in grammar, gain more experience and practice using the language by speaking, listening, writing and reading in different situations. More cultural topics, including Czech music and films, are presented to the students. The class is open to all who have already had some exposure to the Czech language; the class is open to current as well as new students. Must have taken Czech 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

Czech 3
Czech 3 continues with the current textbook "Communicative Czech" and, apart from the intense practice of given grammar and vocabulary, we engage in reading internet articles in Czech about recent events, watching Czech movies and leading other culture-specific discussions. Focus is on more fluent, everyday communication in Czech in a variety of formal and informal situations. Small class size allows for a more individualized approach and faster growth of the individual students. New students are always welcome; however, some knowledge of Czech language is necessary. Učte se s námi česky! Must have taken Czech 2 or have instructor's consent to register.

Czech 4
Czech 4 deepens students’ understanding and use of authentic language. Emphasis is placed on listening to authentic conversations, children’s stories and songs, both in audio and audiovisual format. At the same time, students practice speech production through weekly dialogues and discussions, while implementing the new grammar and vocabulary studied from the textbook. Cultural information is also an integral part of the class. New students are always welcome; however, pre-intermediate knowledge of Czech language is necessary. Must have taken Czech 3 or have instructor's consent to register.

Czech 5
Czech 5 takes discussions and dialogues further by having students give 5-10 minute presentations. Students prepare a visual and glossary to accompany their presentation. Continuous focus is placed on using and understanding authentic language through all four language skills: writing, reading, listening and reading. Role plays and games complement the class in order to practice new grammar and vocabulary studied in the textbook, but also to foster understanding of cultural phenomena. Must have taken Czech 4 or have instructor's consent to register.

Czech 6
Czech 6 continues with in-class projects by having students prepare a 5-10 minute presentation about a Czech movie they’ve seen. A visual and a written summary of the presentation should accompany their speech. Students also practice their language skills by leading discussions about authentic newspaper articles they find for others to read. Practice of new grammar and vocabulary is done through songs and unabridged reading, which ensures further acquisition of the language. New students are welcome; however, intermediate knowledge of Czech language is necessary. Must have taken Czech 5 or have instructor's consent to register.

Czech 7
Czech 7 is for students of intermediate level of Czech language proficiency. Students read Czech children’s stories as well as newspaper articles. In this class, students also work with Czech music and other audio/visual materials, while continually building on Czech grammar and vocabulary. The focus of the class is on building fluency (through role-plays and discussions) as well as language accuracy (through written exercises and tests). The class is open to students with sufficient background in the Czech language. Must have taken Czech 6 or have instructor's consent to register.

French  |  Return to Top

French 1
French 1 is a beginning level language course. In this class, students will start to develop basic listening comprehension, oral expression, reading and writing skills, and cultural understanding through a variety of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, reading exercises and class discussions.

French 2
French 2 is designed as a continuation of the French 1 course. Students will continue to develop listening comprehension, oral expression, reading and writing skills, and cultural understanding through a variety of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, reading exercises and class discussions. Must have taken French 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

French 3
French 3 is designed as an intermediate language course. Students will continue to develop comprehension and oral expression skills through a variety of cross-cultural readings and discussions. Students will deepen their knowledge of many grammar topics. Must have taken French 2 or have instructor's consent to register.

German  |  Return to Top

German 1

No prior German language knowledge is required. German I covers the vocabulary of traveling, reservations, food, shopping, money and asking questions. The course includes extensive conversational practice. Students will participate in role-playing and class activities involving comparison of the lexical and grammatical aspects of the German and English languages.  They will also do translations with the use of a dictionary on different topics.

German 2
This course begins with a review of German I and continues a conversational approach to learning further travel information, asking more questions, public transportation, numbers, time, contractions and possessive adjectives. The students will participate in role playing and class activities involving comparison of the lexical and grammatical aspects of the German and English languages. They will continue to do translations on different topics with the use of a dictionary. Must have taken German 1 or have instructor's consent to register.


Hmong  |  Return to Top

Hmong
This course provides a thorough overview of the Hmong history, culture, traditions and their migration to the United States. The course will also incorporate the Hmong language, basic greeting phrases, religion (Shamanism), folktales, myths, gender roles, generational difference, story cloths (paj ntaub), textile arts, birth, marriage, funeral ceremonies, food, music, holidays and entertainment.

Italian  |  Return to Top

Italian 1

Italian 1 is designed to give students a basic understanding of the Italian language. This will be achieved through reading, pronunciation of words, exercises and speaking the language. The course will also include some discussions about Italian culture and society. Other topics that may be presented are the alphabet and its pronunciation, explanation of feminine and masculine nouns, transformation of nouns from singular into plural, conjugation of verbs, the family and its members, numbers, dates, how to tell time, the week, and calendar.

Italian 2
Italian 2 is a continuation of Italian 1. It achieves its goal through reading exercises, comprehension and practice of the language. The course will consist of grammar sessions and practice of the Italian language using standard sentences adopted in real situations. This approach is aimed to fix concepts already studied, by means of face-to-face exercises and practicing the language in small groups. The grammar sessions will be focused on most frequently used verbal forms, sentence structure and articulated prepositions. Situations like the following will be presented: at restaurants, at the station, at the clothes shop, good and bad manners, etc. Must have taken Italian 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

Italian 3

Italian 3 will be devoted to standard idiomatic sentences, used as hints for deepening grammar rules. Recent world news will be discussed in the classroom, stimulating interactivity between students. A focus on the pronunciation of more difficult words will be carried out during the lessons. Toward the end of the course, a few pages of the Italian classic literature will be read and commented. Real situations, like at the museum, opera or at a party, will be simulated in class. Must have taken Italian 2 or have instructor's consent to register.

Oneida  |  Return to Top

Oneida
This course is designed to introduce students to basic Oneida functional conversation and expand their knowledge of Oneida’s history and culture. Topics include: pronunciations of alphabet, sound practice, word and sentence structure analysis, common phrases, the Oneida font, access to the Oneida language website, contemporary Oneida history, and traditional teachings. Other topics of participant interest can also be introduced.

Polish  |  Return to Top 

Polish 1
This course is addressed to adult learners attempting to learn how to conduct basic, small-talk conversations in Polish, as well as those who plan to learn about or expand their knowledge of Poland’s history and culture. You will learn the basic grammar aspects of the Polish language and gain rudimentary knowledge of Poland’s everyday life, history, politics, economy and culture. The course is prepared in the spirit of the communicative approach; therefore, from the very beginning of the course, you will be expected to communicate in Polish. The course presents students with chosen aspects of the Polish grammar, pronunciation and survival phrase-book type vocabulary. The instructor reserves the right to change the course content, based upon student need, interest and progress.

Polish 2
Polish 2 is continuing proficiency-based course that develops communicative abilities in speaking, listening, reading and writing in culturally authentic contexts. The course provides many exercises for pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. Activities are conducted mostly in Polish, sometimes in English if needed. Learning a new language can be a lot of fun and students should approach the course in this spirit. The goal of the class is to work toward active language usage through systematic conversational practice, listening exercises, and reading and writing. An introduction to the everyday culture and traditions of Poland is incorporated into the classroom through culture presentations, film and music. Must have taken Polish 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

Polish 3
Polish 3 class description coming soon. Must have taken Polish 2 or have instructor's consent to register.

Polish 4
Polish 4 class description coming soon. Must have taken Polish 3 or have instructor's consent to register.

Polish 5
Polish 5 class description coming soon. Must have taken Polish 4 or have instructor's consent to register.


Portuguese  |  Return to Top 

Portuguese - Brazilian
This Brazilian Portuguese course provides step-by-step instruction in vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Learn how to understand Portuguese grammar, improve pronunciation, ask questions and have basic conversations when traveling, dining out, conducting business, shopping, etc. The course uses a helpful book that includes an audio CD with pronunciation guides, extensive vocabulary lists and interactive exercises. There will be dialogue examples, self tests, videos and extra activities so students will be speaking and understanding Brazilian Portuguese in no time.

Portuguese 2 - Brazilian
The focus of Brazilian Portuguese 2 is on learning to speak, comprehend, read and write in Portuguese. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of grammatical structures and vocabulary. They will have enough vocabulary to ‘survive’ and deal with information in simple everyday situations, while learning cultural elements of the Afro-Luso-Brazilian world.

Russian  |  Return to Top 

Russian 1
Russian 1 is the first part in a three-part series designed to introduce students to the Russian language. In this 10-week, non-credit course, students will develop the fundamentals of speaking, listening, writing and reading through a variety of communicative and content-based activities. Emphasis is on short dialogues designed to focus on functional language, allowing to function in many authentic situations by the end of the series.

Russian 2
Russian 2 is the second course in a three-part series designed to introduce students to the Russian language. This 10 week, non-credit course will build on the fundamentals of speaking, listening, writing and reading introduced in Russian 1 through continued us of communicative and content-based activities. Emphasis is on short dialogues designed to introduce fundamental Russian grammar concepts that will form the foundation for continued study. Students will be introduced to basic authentic materials. Must have taken Russian 1 or have instructor's consent to register.

Russian 3
Russian 3 is the culmination of the three-part Russian series intended to introduce students to the Russian language. Students will continue with authentic audio and texts as well as conversational dialogues of increasing complexity. Must have taken Russian 2 or have instructor's consent to register.


Spanish  |  Return to Top 

Spanish 1
No prior Spanish language knowledge is necessary. Topics covered include introductions, greetings & farewells, alphabet, vowel & consonant sounds, articles, adjectives, personal pronouns, family, classroom objects, regular present tense, numbers, time, professions, ser and estar, calendar, and simple dialogues. The textbook this course will use is Amsco's "Spanish is Fun – Book 1" (also used in Spanish 2) ISBN 978-1-56765-464-6. Wondering if Spanish 1 is the level for you? Check out our Spanish placement guide.

Spanish 2
Spanish 2 is an introductory course that is a continuation of the development of basic second language skills studied in Spanish 1. Students are engaged actively with each other as they work to improve the four important language acquisition skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Vocabulary topics include weather, places, transportation, foods, body parts and health. Grammar topics covered include regular and irregular present tense; talking about likes with the verb gustar; using ser, estar and tener to describe how someone is or how they are feeling; and a continuation of skills learned in Spanish I. This course uses Amsco's "Spanish is Fun – Book 1" (also used in Spanish 1) ISBN 978-1-56765-464-6. Wondering if Spanish 2 is the level for you? Check out our Spanish placement guide.

Spanish 3
The course briefly reviews the topics of Spanish I and Spanish 2 and covers weather, speaking about the immediate future and recent past, hobbies, restaurants, daily routine, sports, applying for a job, present tense form of irregular verbs,stem-changing and reflexive verbs, adjective placement, present progressive and "saber." Wondering if Spanish 3 is the level for you? Check out our Spanish placement guide.

Advanced Spanish 
The main focus of this course will be the development and strengthening of conversational skills, while continuing to progress in the language by understanding more advanced grammatical structures. As communication skills are strengthened through weekly conversations and grammar drills, new vocabulary topics will be introduced as well. Each week students will have the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues while learning a variety of essential vocabulary to enhance speaking and listening skills. This will be done through a variety of activities and conversational prompts. 

Online Spanish for Teachers
Our interactive online Spanish course has been designed to teach words and phrases specific to the classroom and school environment. From Parent-teacher conferences, classroom iterations and discipline issues to after-school activities, you can begin bridging the communication gap with your students and their parents.

Conversational Courses  |  Return to Top

Conversational Spanish classes
A beginning to intermediate conversational Spanish class. Prior knowledge of Spanish vocabulary is necessary for this course. The idea behind this course is to give those already well acquainted with the language to converse in it while adding more specific jargon to their vocabulary. For instance, lessons may include conversation for business and travel.  It is recommended to take Spanish 1 first.

Conversational German classes
A beginning to intermediate conversational German class. For people who have little to no experience with the language but would like the opportunity to focus on basic pronunciation skills and useful vocabulary that can be used in daily conversation. It is recommended to take German 1 first.

Conversational Russian classes

A beginning to intermediate conversational Russian class. For people who have little to no experience with the language but would like the opportunity to focus on basic pronunciation skills and useful vocabulary that can be used in daily conversation. It is recommended to take Russian 1 first.