Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Baltimore

September 21, 2012 6:00 AM

Higher test scores, advanced reading skills, greater confidence, cultural connections and college preparation are just a few key benefits for children who study a second language. As a diverse and multicultural city, Baltimore hosts a number of robust language programs that will satisfy your child’s growing curiosity about the world. The best part: Many of these schools offer classes for parents too.

Baltimore Chinese School

Morgan State University
Schaefer Engineering Building
5200 Perring Parkway
Baltimore, Md. 21239
(443) 885-3333

Price: $90 to $140 per semester

The Baltimore Chinese School curriculum is designed to engage students with any level of experience to actively learn Chinese language and culture, which can be applied to everyday life. Language classes are available for kids from kindergarten to 10th grade with the highest level of instruction being AP Chinese. Students may also choose from electives such as painting or performing arts. Activities are structured to develop and advance communicative abilities in listening, speaking, writing and reading while simultaneously learning about China’s history, geography and cultural stories and songs.

Deutsche Sprachschule

German Language School
Zion Church of the City of Baltimore
400 E. Lexington Street
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 727-3939

Click here for classes/contact for pricing.

Founded in 1929, the German Language School offers classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students from September through April, plus the opportunity to further studies with summer programs in “Conversational” and “Travel German.” Courses for children are available by age with the youngest class tailored for 3 and 4-year-olds. Language is taught through songs, games, drawing and coloring, writing and memorization of short rhymes and poems. By Dritte Stufe (the highest level of instruction for children at least 13 years of age), the classes are conducted entirely in German and stress correct sentence structure and grammar while refining writing and reading skills. Private lessons are available upon request. Also, students seeking volunteer hours may assist at local festivals by sharing German culture and heritage with fellow Baltimoreans.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities For Kids In Baltimore

italian flag italy generic Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Baltimore

(Photo credit: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Center for Italian Studies

The Bryn Mawr School
109 W. Melrose Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21210
(410) 235-0006

Click here for courses and pricing

As a private school of Italian language, literature and culture, The Center for Italian Studies has found educational success through small classes combined with unique teaching methodologies, highly qualified faculty members and motivated, passionate students. Course topics range from Italian opera and art to the history of Italian cities, films and cuisine. Every class is designed to equip students with better communication skills while laying the foundation for Italian cultural awareness. Kids may enhance their spoken and written language skill sets by studying grammar structure and continually increasing vocabulary use.

classroom Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Baltimore

Language Fundamentals

4823 Fairmont Ave., Suite A
Bethesda, Md. 20814
(301) 312-8847

Price: $229 for 10 weeks

Enjoy learning Spanish, French or both in a relaxed and fun-filled environment on-site, or request a private class at your home or daycare. Language Fundamentals classes may be arranged by age group and are specially tailored to meet learning styles and curriculum. The use of Spanish or French is promoted through activities, games and songs, all of which include visual, audio and kinesthetic elements. Grammar is also taught and reinforced in a variety of ways to help students build vocabulary while simultaneously encouraging participation and enthusiasm. Further, Language Fundamentals hosts a Spanish Conversation Club for anyone 16 years old or older with a basic knowledge of Spanish to help keep language skills active and current.

sign language Best Bilingual Extracurricular Activities For Kids In Baltimore

(Photo credit: SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images)

American Sign Language

The Hearing and Speech Agency
5900 Metro Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21215
(410) 318-6780

Price: $85 children’s ASL course/$45 parent accompanying a registered child

Utilizing one of the most successful and reputable teaching methods since 1988, The Hearing and Speech Agency courses in American Sign Language empower students to begin thinking and interacting in signs from day one. ASL teachers avoid using speech in the classroom to emphasize the importance of interpersonal communication. This means students not only learn grammar and vocabulary, but gain a valuable cross-cultural awareness of the deaf community through this non-verbal approach. Children’s courses for ages 5 to 12 will teach signs for everyday activities while making craft projects and also includes a final class performance that is a culmination and reinforcement of skills learned to date. Customized, private classes may be scheduled any time at a location of your choosing.

Related: Best After-School Activities For Kids In Baltimore

Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her on Twitter at @KtBlue16 and online at

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