6 Unique Features of Language Courses

If you are interested in taking a language course at university but aren’t sure what it entails, read on!

Language courses differ from your regular classes in a number of ways that make them unique and fun.

1. More interaction with the class and the professor

Because the classes are so small (max 30 to 35 students) and often 6 hours a week instead of 3 hours, you spend significantly more time with your classmates and professor. As the semester passes, class becomes more interesting when you get to know people better through their answers for practise exercises.

2. Lots of in-class practise

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Many courses are only focused on teaching the material with no time to practise applying the learned theories.

With 6 hours a week, the time spent between teaching and practising are basically 50-50 to ensure plenty of practise.

3. Easier to make friends

Most people are in that class because they are just like you; they like learning languages or are interested in that specific language. I find making friends in these settings easier because of similar interests.

4. Fun activities

If there isn’t an event for the language you’re learning, you can always suggest setting something up to your classmates and professor!

My favourite part of language courses coming up with fun skit presentations. Instead of reading or answering questions from the textbook, this provides a different way of learning.

You also get the opportunities to participate in video or speech contests in the language that you’re learning!

5. Practise other skills

There is always some public speaking during class, which gives you a chance to become more comfortable talking in front of others (even when I was worried about making mistakes).

6. Spread-out grade evaluations

Many courses have similar grading with two or three midterms weighted 15-35% each, some sort of weekly assignments or online quizzes, and project or paper.

In language courses, there are a lot more ways to be graded including participation, smaller assignments and quizzes, and compositions or presentations.

Taking language courses really diversified the classroom learning experience outside of my core classes. I hope this post gives you an idea of what to expect when you take a language course!

(Note: These features are from my personal experiences from taking Japanese. Other language courses may differ to some extent.)

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