Best Language Classes In The DC Area

June 11, 2012 6:00 AM

D.C. is known as a melting pot of different ethnicities, cultures and languages. Whether you wish to further develop your native tongue or you’re just curious to learn a new language (perhaps some Armenian?), check out one of these best language schools in the District.
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International Center for Foreign Language Studies
1133 15th St NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 639-8800

Learn one of more than 85 different languages, including ESL, at the International Center for Foreign Language Studies. The organization offers language classes to individuals as well as government, non-profit and for-profit companies. Start with a language skills evaluation and test to determine which language training program is right for you. Then, choose from day, evening and/or high-intensity training classes with the option of private, semi-private or customized group classes for companies and organizations. The organization has provided language classes for more than 40 years and continues to be one of the most well respected in the area.

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Language ETC.
2200 California St NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 387-2222

Language, Education and Technology Center (ETC) has provided English and literacy training and education to low-income adult immigrants for nearly 20 years. In addition to ESL classes, the organization provides Spanish literacy classes, computer classes, job counseling and a Conversation Club. Language ETC also offers great volunteer opportunities for those who seek to help non-English speaking adults. Volunteer opportunities include tutors, computer lab aides and outreach and fundraising assistance.

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Language Stars
6224-C Old Dominion Dr
McLean, VA 22101

According to an article in USA Today, children learn a foreign language much easier than adults. In addition, learning a foreign language boosts a child’s ability to solve problems, helps them score higher points on standardized tests and puts them in a better position once they enter the corporate world as adults. Language Stars teaches children, as young as one year old, multiple foreign languages through games, songs, puppet shows, treasure hunts, arts and crafts and more. The organization also provides summer camps and parents and tots programs. Languages offered at the Arlington facility include Spanish, French, Mandarin and German.

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Chinatown Community Cultural Center
616 H St NW, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-1688

The Chinatown Community Cultural Center offers free English classes to Asian immigrants who wish to improve their English language listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities. The non-profit organization offers Chinese language classes for children and adults, as well as computer training and arts and crafts like Chinese calligraphy, brush painting, paper folding, beading and Chinese knotting. The Chinatown Community Cultural Center is a place to celebrate the rich history, language and heritage of the Chinese. Private classes also available upon request.

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Tenley-Friendship Library
4450 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 727-1488

All ages are welcome to learn American Sign Language (ASL) at the Tenley-Friendship Library. The class teaches beginner, intermediate and conversational ASL. Many D.C. public libraries also provide free adult English literacy classes. Or, enroll in Powerspeak Languages, an online language-learning program that provides Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and English language lessons. Simply log on using your D.C. public library card number and immerse yourself in engaging activities, learning exercises and stories that help make learning a new language easier and fun.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She covers Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at