Living in New York City means interacting with people of all different cultures. We’ve narrowed down the best places to learn a new language. From using dance and theater to teach kids how to speak Spanish to eating pastries as a way to conquer French vocabulary, there are fun and immersive ways to become fluent in the language of your choice. By Carly Petrone.
Are you itching to try a new foreign language but don’t want to pay for classes? The Tenri Cultural Institute offers free one-hour sample lessons for beginners. Just check their website for upcoming classes and email them to secure your spot. They also have a variety of weekly classes to choose from including Japanese Classes For Children ($200) and Japanese Business Manner Classes ($220). If you’re just starting out, don’t worry, you can sign up for their 7-week Beginners Japanese 101 workshop ($220). Immerse yourself in this fascinating and complex language for one hour each week. The hiragana syllabary will be introduced as the foundation of Japanese pronunciation and grammar. Plus, you will walk away knowing how to say basic greetings and basic conversation. Those looking to learn basic English or Chinese can also sign up for their second language for adults classes. See website for more details.
Whether you are new to French or practically fluent, there are plenty of adult classes available at the French Institute Alliance Francoise. From private lessons and online learning to corporate classes and French 101 for beginners, there’s something for everyone. Experienced native French speaking teachers and multimedia content make learning French easier while cultural experiences like free film screenings, wine receptions, and theater performances make it all the more fun. Foodies can even learn this beautiful language at Le Pain Quotidien. Sign up for Taste of French ($260), a 5-week introductory class that meets once a week from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., where you’ll discover this new language while savoring your favorite breakfast treats. Does it get any better than that? Check website for more classes at Le Pain Quotidien as well as workshops for teens, kids, and even toddlers (ages 1-4).
If you’re still searching for which language you want to learn, try turning to CourseHorse, the online service that centralizes and curates learning opportunities all in one place. From sign language to Turkish, the site makes it easy to match you with the experience that’s right for you. Classes take place at various institutions across the city like ABC Languages, Learn Spanish New York, and Brooklyn School of Languages. Also, for every class you sign up for, you’ll receive points toward a discount on your next purchase. Learn more here.
The 92nd Street Y offers classes in French, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish, as well as English as a second language. Learn grammar, vocabulary, and conversational skills in weekly or one-day intensive workshops. Need a crash course for an upcoming trip to Spain or another Spanish-speaking country? Sign up for the One-Day Spanish Intensive workshop happening on May 3rd. This class will help you master some essential phrases through immersion, repetition, and role play. There is also a French One-Day Intensive course being offered on April 12th. Both one-day intensive classes go from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and cost $125. Check website for upcoming schedule and class prices.
Enroll your child in Bilingual Birdies and have some fun with language and music. This fun and interactive program uses live music, movement, dance, puppetry, and theatre-based games to teach youngsters Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hebrew, and ESL. They’ll learn ten to fifteen vocabulary words and short phrases in each class! Help your child develop a deeper sense of curiosity and help plant the seeds of cross-cultural awareness. Group classes are 45 minutes long. Check website for upcoming classes, location, and prices.