Feb 202003
Authors: Amy Bergstrom

Even if students never see Poland in person, they can experience a slice of Polish language and culture here at CSU.

Polish is one of more than 20 Language and Cultural Awareness classes offered this semester by the Office of International Programs. These classes range from the more familiar French and Spanish to the less-commonly taught languages such as Arabic and Hindi.

“It’s neat to see the diversity of the classes,” said Kevin Spears, student coordinator of the program. “A lot of people are interested now in learning Arabic because of the situation in the Middle East.”

The most popular class this semester, according to registration numbers, is Italian, likely because many students are going to Italy soon, Spears said. Many people also take Spanish to supplement their normal CSU Spanish class, without the stress, homework or grades.

The emphasis in the classes is the language, but students may also learn other things about the countries where the language is spoken.

“The teachers are encouraged to teach about the culture and use real world examples,” Spears said.

This aspect influenced Chuck Beattie, a freshman majoring in math and German education, to learn Swedish and Italian last semester through the program.

“The teachers would focus on what the class wanted to do – grammar, culture, everyday phrases, whatever,” Beattie said.

The teachers of the classes are native speakers who are either CSU students or members of the Fort Collins community.

“It’s always interesting to teach people and tell them about my country and my language,” said Klaus Hartinger, a second year master’s student in electrical engineering who will be teaching German this semester.

The classes are small, usually twelve people or less, and hands-on, with more chances to speak than in a large class, Spears said.

These non-credit classes will run from Feb. 24 through April 4 and will cost $30 for people affiliated with CSU and $40 for others. Registration is in the Office of International Programs in Laurel Hall through Friday, although registration may be accepted Monday and Tuesday.

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