Baltimore has become a microcosm of the world with its very diverse populations. Known for its communities which span the gamut of cultures, Charm City has become the place to visit as well as live. Because of the diverse cultures living in the area, there is a desire and/or need to learn the languages native to the various residents. Here is a sampling of language classes available for people interested in becoming bi-lingual or just studying another tongue.

Photo: Vickie Lawson


American Sign Language
Hearing And Speech Agency

5900 Metro Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 318-6780
hasa@hasa.org

The Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA), located in Northwest Baltimore’s Seton Park, offers various classes in American Sign Language. The classes are usually two-hour sessions and geared toward the learner, no matter the skill level. There  are specialized classes for children up to age 12 and seniors 55 and older. HASA has been in existence since 1988 and offers a non-verbal approach to learning to sign. Classes are centered around everyday life situations in order to increase awareness of the deaf culture and community. In addition, interpreters for the deaf are available upon request.

Spanish
Community College of Baltimore County
800 S. Rolling Road
Catonsville, MD 21229
(443) 840-2222
www.ccbcmd.edu

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), located in Southwestern Baltimore County, offers 23 different courses in Spanish involving face to face instruction. The clientele served usually consists of high school graduates and adults. Classes offered include basic, introductory, intermediate and advance instruction. Emphasis is on the four aspects of language: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Some classes are non-credit. Classes are available during the day and in the evening.

Photo: Vickie Lawson


German
German Language School at 
Zion Lutheran Church
400 E. Lexington St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 727-3939
www.zionbaltimore.org/school

Zion Lutheran Church offers classes in the German Language that address from beginner to advanced levels. There are also immersion programs available at various times of the year. Emphasis is on German culture, foods and customs.

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Italian
The Center for Italian Studies
109 W. Melrose Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21210
(410) 235-0006
www.centerforitalianstudies.it

The Center teaches Italian language and culture. A private school since 2004, The Center for Italian Studies is located in the Roland Park area of Baltimore City on the campus of the Bryn Mawr School. The skilled instructors provide instruction for adults no matter the skill level, basic or advanced. There is an emphasis on language, literature, art, opera, and history films. Classes also include study trips for immersion in the Italian language and culture. The two-hour classes are held in the evening from Monday – Thursday.

French
Baltimore French School
300 Hopkins Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
(410) 377-9077
www.baltimorefrenchschool.com

The Baltimore French School, founded in 1990, provides private and group lessons. No matter the skill level, there is a class offered to meet your needs or suit your goals. Classes focus on French history, language and culture. Christiane Rothbaum, founder and teacher, was working with children and organized a yearly camp, which evolved into the Baltimore French School. As private schools began to offer languages, she contracted with Goucher, Hopkins and Peabody colleges, which usually only offer one level of the language. Ms. Rothbaum’s classes include three or four levels of conversational French. Her diverse clientele is comprised of returning students as well as adults. Group sessions are ninety minute while private classes are one hour. The Baltimore French School also provides services to home-schooled students and tutorials for school-aged students as young as six years old.

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Vickie Lawson is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.
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