Course Levels

Overview

Our classes are designed to provide a context for foreign language learning, and thus cover content that is of interest and value to our learners. GLN’s interactive approach (click on “approach” tab) and thematic-based curriculum are focused on building communicative competence, or the ability to communicate effectively and in culturally appropriate ways. We focus on improving our learners’ proficiency in two of the four language skills: speaking and listening. While we cover reading and writing, those language skills take a secondary role in our approach.

Language Levels-02

Course Descriptions

All courses are theme-based and most consist of 12 two-hour classes, or 24 hours per semester. Five different course levels are offered: three beginner level courses and two advanced courses, providing a strong foundation in a language and offering .  This provides two tracks for our language learners. (For more information on each level, click on the tabs above.)

Beginner Levels

The beginner level is intended for students who have limited or no experience with the language.  You are new to the language, or perhaps you studied in high school or college, but you haven’t used that language much at the time or in recent years.  This is the focus of our program – novice language speakers, who typically take our Foreigner, Tourist, and Explorer (Beginner I-III) courses in sequence – and is designed to provide you, whether you have been exposed to the language or not, with the fundamentals necessary to communicate in your newly acquired language and express basic ideas and information about yourself.

Advanced Levels

This level is intended for students who have significant experience with the language outside of GLN.  You probably majored in the language in college, studied or lived abroad for at least a few months if not years, using the target language daily. These courses are not sequential – Frequent Flyer is not a prerequisite for Nearly Native – rather each class targets a different level of speaker.  The advanced courses will help you maintain your level, refine your skills, and build relationships and interact with other learners with a significant background and interest in the language.

Check your level with our online placement form.

Foreigner (Beginner I)

You might be confused, but definitely intrigued … You don’t have prior exposure to the  language. You might feel a little wary, but as soon as you enter the GLN gateway, you will  find your comfort zone and quickly learn the basics. This course focuses on Making Connections:  Individuals, Relationships, and Community.

Topics:

  • Meeting People
  • Describing Yourself and Others
  • Expressing Emotions, Personal Needs & Preferences
  • Hobbies, Wants and Desires
  • Everyday Activities and Daily Routines
  • Calendar and Scheduling
  • Family Members and Relationships

Student Profile:

  • Very little or no experience with the language
  • Interested in learning about a new language and culture
  • Have a trip planned to a country where the language is spoken or have a new job or friends where the language is popping up
  • Willing to make mistakes since you know in the beginning you aren’t learning unless you’re making mistakes!

Tourist (Beginner II)

Your first encounters have been marked by great excitement and now you want more! As a tourist, you will learn skills to help you discover and experience this new language-speaking community. This course focuses on Discovering Foreign Language-Speaking Communities:  New Places, Different Lifestyles, New Experiences.

Speakers at this level are able to handle a number of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations. They can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance and need (e.g., basic personal and family information, preferences, shopping, local geography, and ordering food), and conversation is restricted to the predictable topics necessary for survival in the target language and culture.

Topics:

  • Getting There
  • Lodging
  • Getting Around Town (Directions Around Town and Sightseeing)
  • Preparing for the Weather
  • Shopping
  • Eating out

Student Profile:

  • Has completed GLN Foreigner in the past year or one semester of language study in college or with another organization for a total of 24 – 38 hours of study
  • Has a trip planned to a country where the language is spoken or have a new job or friends where the language is popping up
  • Knows the basics like greetings, likes and dislikes, and ordering food
  • Wants to delve deeper into the language

Check your level with our online placement form.

Explorer (Beginner III)

You again? We’ve seen you before … and are glad you’ve returned. You feel more comfortable with the language and want to get more involved. You know the basics about  the culture, but you wish to continue your exploration. So, grab your passport and let GLN  teleport you into the target language and culture of your choice. This course focuses on  Participating in Foreign Language-Speaking Communities:  Work, Health, and Play.

Speakers at this level can deal with most  situations likely to arise whilst traveling in an area where the language is spoken. These  speakers are able to successfully produce simple connected text on topics which are  familiar, or of personal interest, and describe experiences and events, hopes, and ambitions briefly.

Topics:

  • Education and Studying Abroad
  • Work and Working Abroad
  • Body, Health and Medicine
  • Health and Medicine (Going to the Doctor and the Pharmacy)
  • Holidays and Celebrations
  • National Pastimes (Sports)
  • National Pastimes (Music, Movies and more)
  • Friendship, Dating and Marriage
  • Social Networking

Student Profile:

  • Has completed GLN Foreigner and Tourist in the past year or no more than two semesters of college study or with another organization for a total of 48-80 hours of study
  • Business or personal opportunities are providing the drive to continue learning
  • Knowledgeable about the language and culture and invested in learning more

Check your level with our online placement form.

Frequent Flyer (High Intermediate)

You are an advanced, but perhaps rusty or hesitant, speaker of the language. You minored in the language in college and have participated in travel, online or professional opportunities to improve your skills.  You have traveled frequently to these foreign-speaking language communities, whether actually or virtually, and are now a regular. You feel confident with the language, but that is not enough … You want to learn more, increase your exposure to and gain access to the target language and culture, and build upon your current knowledge and skills. This course focuses on Understanding Other People Through Language and Culture:  Values, Beliefs, and Attitudes.

Speakers at this level can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics. They are able to interact with sufficient fluency and spontaneity that makes interaction with native speakers possible without strain for either side.

Our Frequent Flyer course is designed to be flexible, and may be taken multiple times due to the breadth and depth of the topics. Learners are expected to be active participants in the learning process, working in and out of the classroom to suggest, select, and/or contribute topics and resources.

Topics:

  • Social Class, Race and Minorities
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • History
  • Politics and Government

Student Profile:

  • Deeply knowledgeable about the language and culture through advanced study or significant in-country experience
  • Spent time in-country using the target language daily
  • Minored in college in the language or studied an equivalent amount independently
  • Interested in maintaining your language skills and want to meet others who share your passion for the language and culture

Check your level with our online placement form.

Nearly-Native (Advanced)

You have gone native. You encounter random people in the street and you talk about the language and culture as if it were your own. People will either think you are crazy or that you are from that country/culture. You are not, but you keep trying to perfect your skills, and take pride in being mistaken for a native. You are a proficient speaker. You have traveled often to countries that speak the target language and have also studied/lived there. You miss it … so you come to us to transport yourself back via the “GLN experience” and to maintain and practice your skills. This course focuses on Transcending Barriers: From Communication to Acculturation.

Our Nearly Native course is designed to be flexible, and may be taken multiple times due to the breadth and depth of the topics. Learners are expected to be active participants in the learning process, working in and out of the classroom to suggest, select, and/or contribute topics and resources.

Topics:

  • Art
  • Entertainment
  • Humor
  • Environment
  • News and Current Events

Student Profile:

  • Deeply knowledgeable about the language and culture through advanced study or significant in-country experience
  • Interested in maintaining your language skills and want to meet others who share you passion for the language and culture
  • You are a heritage speaker or have a significant other with whom you communicate regularly in the target language
  • Majored in the language in college, kept it up and worked in the country or travel extensively and use on a regular basis

Check your level with our online placement form.