The Foreign Language Institute at Missouri State University often gets phone calls and emails about language learning. Students and community members alike are interested in learning a new language, but are concerned about what that entails.
“I could go on for days about the benefits of learning a language,” said Kelly Schlinder, coordinator of the Foreign Language Institute. “Perhaps one of the most important for students are the cognitive benefits language learners receive.”
An event for the community
On April 21 from 6-7 p.m., the Foreign Language Institute and the department of modern and classical languages will host a Community Language Open House at the Jim D. Morris Center. During the open house, language instructors will provide 20-minute lessons on various languages.
These short lesson “bursts” will give attendees an opportunity to understand what learning a language is like and what to expect during a typical class.
“We’ll have 16 language instructors present as well as representation from every language offered at Missouri State,” said Schlinder.
“We’ll also have representatives from the student language clubs on campus. It’s important that students practice language outside of the classroom. Clubs are great resources to learn from and with peers. Many of these clubs are also joined by native language speakers, which is a huge plus for language learners.”
Lessening the pressure
Though the institute has never held an event like this before, it is hopeful the open house will benefit all prospective learners.
“Maybe potential learners have a personal connection to a language but don’t know what learning a language looks like in a classroom setting,” said Schlinder.
“Maybe they aren’t sure which of two languages might benefit them most, or maybe they’re not sure if they have the aptitude to learn a language. It’s a scary prospect to attempt to learn something so big, so we want to lessen the pressure and give them an idea of what they can expect in a language class at Missouri State.”
Many of the classes are held after 4 p.m., making them ideal for community members, high schoolers and other potential students.
For more information, contact Schlinder at 417-836-5497.