Posted By P & L Blog

If you're a list maker, you're probably thinking about what you'd like to accomplish in 2009.  For many of us, learning or improving our knowledge of a foreign language makes the list every year.  So, what stops us from making any progress?


The time and expense involved in taking classes seem to be the top reasons.  A lot of people travel or work in the evenings when most adult education classes are offered so they are not an option.  The cost involved is a barrier for others, particularly when no one knows where the economy is going.  Seriously, do you want to spend $400 for beginning Spanish when your 401k has gotten smaller and smaller in the past year?


There are other options.  We can't vouch for the effectiveness of any of these suggestions (the success of any method depends on how disciplined you are), but here are some sources for you. offers online courses in many languages.  You can take a free sample lesson with a teacher and if you don't like it, you can try again with someone else.  Classes take place whenever you want them. And, they offer an free library with links to audiobooks, radio stations, videos, podcasts, newspapers, etc.


At, you can learn verb conjugation, ask questions in the forum, learn a new word a day  and how to pronounce it,  and receive their weekly newsletter.  If you know any Spanish, the offerings here may be too basic for you, but they also provide interesting cultural information. provides links to language courses from Abenaki to Xhosa.  They do mention that the quality of the courses varies from one language to another.  You can also link to dictionaries, chat sites, and language learning on YouTube.


Many public libraries have audio language courses that you can use for free.  The Pimsleur series is popular and is available in Chinese, Spanish, French, and Japanese, to name a few.


Whatever method you choose, we wish you "mucha suerte" and a Happy New Year!


5 Comment(s):
Amanda said...
There are also many Meet Up groups in Nashville for those wanting to learn another language and learn about cultural topics as well. They are free to join and attend! Spanish, Italian... Take a look:
February 25, 2009 01:27:31
Amanda said...
This is a freeonline Spanish learning site that has gotten rave reviews this week:
February 18, 2009 09:36:20
Janine said...
Thanks, Susan and Kevin, for this information. If you live in Nashville, check out Kevin's suggestions; otherwise, click on the link in Susan's comments. Janine
January 17, 2009 12:23:07
Kevin said...
In today's Tennessean newspaper (Nashville, TN) there is a great article written by Ms. Cheap, a popular columnist. In the article she mentions local places where people can learn a foreign language very affordably (and receive high quality instruction). Here's what she picks as the "best in adult education" for foreign language learning: LEARN A LANGUAGE A huge percent of the adult world knows more than one language. To be a well-rounded adult, maybe you should, too. Start with Spanish. There are a huge number of Spanish classes for everyone from beginners to more advanced Spanish speakers, as well as classes on Italian, Chinese and German. • The Metro Nashville Public Schools Community Education spring lineup has almost a dozen Spanish classes, everything from Fun Conversational Spanish to Spanish for 55 and up to beginning, intermediate and advanced classes. Classes range from $35 to $80 for most of the multiple-class courses. See www.mnps. org and click on parents and community, then community education. • University School of Nashville has a Spanish for Fun class, an interactive class that is supposed to jump start your understanding of a new language. $35, 321-8019 or You may find the whole article here:
January 17, 2009 10:56:45
Susan said...
Here is another one that your readers may like. This online language learning is FREE!
January 14, 2009 01:56:35
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