Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

6 Types of Languages You Can Learn Right Now

PCC Community Ed | Start the discussion

rear view of woman taking online language class with four others

Research shows that learning a new language can do so much for the brain and for our social experience. Not only does learning a language help you expand your mind, but it also opens up new communities where you can connect with potential new acquaintances and friends. It makes work, travel, and your social life more enriching, while also keeping our minds active at the same time. 

However, many people are daunted by the often lifelong process of language learning when there are manageable steps you can take at any time. Whether you grew up speaking a language and are out of practice, are brand new to a language community, or need to be able to speak to new friends in Portland but don’t have the English language proficiency yet, the programs at PCC Community Ed will help you connect with the language community and get a jumpstart on the goals that you have.

Types of Language Courses Available

You’ll be able to reach a variety of goals in learning a new language using coursework from PCC, from prepping for a short jaunt to another country to communicating with your new coworkers to really pushing yourself to full proficiency or even fluency over time. Use different courses for different goals so that you don’t end up working intensely on elements of the language that you don’t intend to put into practice. These courses are also great ways to build on and supplement prior knowledge of languages, from learning as a child and forgetting some, to taking classes in high school years ago. 

Conversation Classes

While some learners are focused on the ability to read or write in a new language, many of us are focused on the benefits that come with increased conversational fluency. Conversation/introductory classes are available in a wide variety of languages, including Latin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. These courses help you move beyond studying in a book to be able to talk with fellow speakers of the language and use these skills in your personal or professional life, whether you travel or interact with international populations here in the Portland, Oregon area.

American Sign Language

We offer a variety of levels of American Sign Language, a language used in both deaf and hearing communities, and as a bridge between different forms of linguistic expression. You can start from scratch or build on past knowledge of both ASL and deaf culture in order to better communicate with those around you.

Travel Courses

Many of our language groups include a course for travelers or those who would like to travel in the future. These courses focus your efforts on learning the elements of language that will be most useful when visiting a new country, from interacting with restaurant staff, hotel staff, and shopkeepers to asking for directions or other forms of help as you navigate a new place. These courses can be a fun way to daydream and build anticipation for a future trip, but be warned: you might be bitten by the language bug and want to keep learning the language further!

Accelerated Spanish Classes

Spanish is one of our more popular course offerings, and for those who want to become better at Spanish quickly or who have some background but need a quick-pace refresher, we offer classes that designate as ‘fast-paced’ or ‘intensive.’ Choose these courses to get better quickly and feel the immersive benefit of a high-energy learning experience. 

Workplace and Medical Language Courses

We offer focused courses in both English and Spanish that help with professional skills you may need, either with a course specifically on the language needed in the workplace or with the language needed in medical fields. People who learn medical terminology in another language can begin the process of becoming a medical translator, a lucrative and much-needed career path. With almost 10% of the population in Oregon speaking Spanish, it’s key that medical and workplace services be accessible in each person’s needed language, and these courses can help you get started!

1-on-1 Instruction

As mentioned above, Spanish is a key need in the Portland, Oregon area and beyond. We’ve set up the ability to take 1-on-1 Spanish classes, which tailor to your needs and help you push your understanding and skill in a highly individualized format. Whether you want to use one of these lesson packages to push yourself through a particularly challenging element of the Spanish language or are interested in pushing past proficiency toward fluency after taking all our other Spanish coursework, this kind of instruction is very helpful for digging deep and making your Spanish as strong as possible. 

No matter the language you’ve set about learning, PCC offers coursework that helps you advance your knowledge in the direction you seek. Learn more and check out all the levels and styles available for learning a new language!

 

Start the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.