I speak English, why should I learn a foreign language?

In truth, not everyone speaks English! According to recent demographics, only 5% of the world's total population speaks English as a primary language and only 10% when you count people who speak English as a second or third language. The US is the only industrialized country that routinely graduates high school students without a second language, whereas over 50% of Europeans are fluent in both their native tongue and at least one other language. By conservative estimates, well over four-fifths of the world's population does NOT speak English. As globalization, mobility and communications technologies are bringing world citizens closer together, there is growing urgency for Americans to become multi-lingual.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
‒Nelson Mandela

Why do I want to learn a language?

If you plan to use a language only when you go on vacation, you'll primarily need spoken language. If you plan to do business with speakers of other languages, you’ll require strong reading/writing skills and a focused vocabulary. WHY you want to learn a new language will help you set the stage for WHAT you’ll want to learn.

Regardless of your objective, if you're interested in a fully enriching language experience and in truly learning about the life and culture of other peoples, PGCC can give you a course into which you can dip your toe or jump in full-force.

Our language courses are geared to the beginner, with little or no previous knowledge of the language. Classes are often taught by native speakers with emphasis speaking, vocabulary acquisition, and cultural understanding. Reading, writing and grammar are used as a vehicle for verbal skills.

Knowing a foreign language gives you a direct access to great thoughts, experiences, and cultures that would otherwise be out of reach. Getting someone to translate for you, reading translations, or watching a foreign film dubbed into English or with English subtitles is like shadowboxing. There is no way to get the full benefit of diversity other than meeting people in their own language.

American Sign Language

Spanish Language

Other Languages

LGE-519  Discover Italian.  Learning Italian is fun and surprisingly easy! You will learn how to ask for directions, order a meal and interact with native Italians in real life situations. While you listen to and practice audio lessons, phonetic spellings makes mastering pronunciation a breeze. Short, interactive exercises help to reinforce your learning and gain fluency. Cultural notes help you better understand the Italian people and their way of life. You’re ready for your next adventure in Italia. Delivered online from Ed2Go. 12 sessions, 24 hours, $150.

LGE-307  Discover French.  Skip the grammar for now! This is an introduction to conversational French in which you'll learn practical, common phrases in every day life. First, you’ll learn the essentials, like please, thank you, and telling time. Then, you’ll learn to understand and respond to both sides of simple conversations, creating realistic dialogs. Both audio and phonetic examples make pronunciation is easy so conversations in many French-speaking regions is more enjoyable for everyone!Delivered online from Ed2Go. 12 sessions, 24 hours, $150.

LGE-517  Discover Japanese.  Whether for travel or just fun, this introduction to Japanese focuses on conversation and vocabulary to learn language fundamentals, bypassing the complex written letter system. Guided by a native Japanese instructor, you'll also discover the heart of Japan by role-playing the story of two Americans traveling abroad. By the end of this course, you'll have the basic conversational skills to interact in a simple way when the other talks slowly and is prepared to help.Delivered online from Ed2Go. 12 sessions, 24 hours, $150.

How to Register

  • View the latest Continuing Education Schedule of Classes
  • See the Index for the course(s) you are interested in
  • Note the class schedule, dates, times and cost
  • Follow the registration directions on the inside front cover of the schedule

Other options:

  • The Language Studies Department (301-546-0946) offers additional language courses for credit.
  • The SAGE Program (301-546-0923) offers language classes for adults age 60 or better.

Contact Information

Workforce Development and Continuing Education Customer Service
Phone: (301) 546-0159
Email: wdce@pgcc.edu

Continuing Education Certificate

A Continuing Education Certificate in Conversational Foreign Languages is offered upon successful completion of 60 hours of coursework in this area. Sign language courses may also count toward the award.