You know your little one’s early years are the best time to teach him or her a language, but if you’re not fluent, it gets pretty difficult. If dual-language private schools just aren’t an option, don’t stress. There are plenty of ways to encourage your child to learn a language, and these extracurricular activities in the D.C. area are a great place to start.
4719 Wisconsin Ave.
Washington, DC 20016
Price: $85 per month
At CommuniKids, children between the ages of 1.5 and 8 years old learn a new language through a guided, play-based curriculum. The after-school and weekend enrichment programs help them develop their linguistic, interpersonal and intellectual skills as well as foster their creativity and imagination. Choose from a variety of languages including Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French and Spanish. CommuniKids also offers a preschool Spanish and French immersion program as well as summer camps.
1819 L St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
Price: $255 for non-members/$185 for Japan-American Society of Washington D.C. members
Take the kids to learn Japanese and participate in a full range of activities such as the Japan Bowl or the Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street Festival, which is known as the largest one-day Japanese festival in the country. The Japan-American Society offers 15 after-school classes at four levels as well as summer and fall prep courses for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Each class is taught by a native Japanese instructor. The society also offers calligraphy classes, cultural and performing arts programs, and social and networking gatherings.
812 7th St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20001
Price: $320 to $425, depending on the course
Enroll your teen in one of nine after-school German language courses offered at the Goethe Institute. Courses range from beginner to advance German language skills as well as politics, culture, literature and film. The Goethe Institute also offers distance study courses that provide you the flexibility to study whenever and wherever you want without negatively affecting the quality or pace of the course. Choose from general learning courses or work on improving your German writing and grammar skills. The Goethe Institute offers examination preparation courses, as well.
Baby Signs by Dana
Ida Lee Recreation Center
60 Ida Lee Drive Northwest
Leesburg, VA 20176
Price: $132 for a six-week course
Teach your child communication skills before he or she even learns how to speak. Teaching your little one sign language not only reduces the risk of temper tantrums (from both parent and child) but also improves your child’s language development skills later in life. Dana Carmichael, a Baby Signs certified instructor, offers workshops and programs throughout locations in Loudoun County, including the Ida Lee Recreation Center. Private classes may also be arranged. Baby Signs programs are appropriate for children from birth to 2 years old.
4823 Fairmont Ave. Suite A
Bethesda, MD 20814
Price: $229 for a 10-week course
Sign the kids up to learn French or Spanish through activities, games, songs, art, music and movies. Language Fundamentals offers morning, afternoon and evening language classes for children as young as 6 months old. Sign up for Spanish Mommy and Me classes with your little one, or enroll your 3 year old in a French class. Children may practice their Spanish-speaking skills at the Spanish Conversation Group or sign up for language immersion summer camp. The language arts school also provides French, English and Spanish courses for adults in the evening.