Language Courses

Arabic For Global Exchange Course

Basic Chinese Course – Introduction to Social and Leisure Activities

Basic Chinese Course – Restaurants and Hotels

Basic Chinese Course – Talking About Your Family

Basic Chinese Course – Talking About Yourself

Basic Chinese Course – Using Transportation: Travelling by Bus, Taxi and Train

Basic Chinese Language Studies Course

Basic French Language Skills For Everyday Life

Basic German Language Skills Course

Basic German Language Studies Course

Basic Spanish Course – Restaurants and Dining Out

Basic Spanish 1 Course: Getting Started

Basic Spanish 2 Course: One Step Further

Beginner Chinese Course

Beginner French Course: In the City

Beginner French Course: Food and Drink

Beginner German Course: Food and Drink

Beginner Italian Course: Food and Drink

Beginner Spanish Course: Food and Drink

Chinese I Course

Continuing Classical Latin

Conversational German Course – First Contact

Conversational German Course – From Family to Shopping

Conversational German Course – From Time of Day to Eating Out

Conversational German Course – From Using the Phone to Pastimes and Holidays

Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

Form and Uses of Language

French I Course

French II Course

French Language Studies Course

French Language Studies Course – Dining Out, and Describing People and Places

French Language Studies Course – Fashion, School, Work and Finances

French Language Studies Course – Holidays, At Home and The Media

French Language Studies Course – Introduction

Getting Started on Classical Latin

Improve Your Understanding of Spoken French Course

Improve Your Understanding of Spoken German Course

Improve Your Understanding of Spoken Spanish Course

Improving Your French Language Skills Course

Intermediate French Course: Le Quatorze Juillet

Intermediate French Course: Ouverture

Intermediate Italian Course: Describing People

Introduction to Arabic Course

Introduction to Spanish Course

Introduction to Swedish Course

Introduction to the Chinese Language Course – First Contact

Introduction to the Irish Language Course

Italian Language and Culture Course: Advanced

Italian Language and Culture Course: Beginner

Italian Language and Culture Course: Intermediate

Japanese Language Course

Japanese Language Course : Introduction to Japanese Conversation

Japanese Language Course: Introduction to Japanese Phrases

Japanese Language Course: Introduction to Japanese Scripts

Japanese Language Course: Time and Parts of Speech

Language and Creativity Course

Language in the Real World Course

Languages at Work Course

Learning a Second Language Course

Mandarin Chinese Course: First Steps in Chinese

Mastering French Grammar and Vocabulary Course

Spanish I Course

Translation as a Career Course

Tsinghua Chinese Course: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People

Understanding Language and Learning Course

Why Study Languages?

Estimates of the number of human languages in the world vary between 5,000 and 7,000. However, any precise estimate depends on the arbitrary distinction (dichotomy) between languages and dialect. Natural languages are spoken or signed, but any language can be encoded into secondary media using auditory, visual, or tactile stimuli – for example, in writing, whistling, signing, or braille. This is because human language is modality-independent. Depending on philosophical perspectives regarding the definition of language and meaning, when used as a general concept, “language” may refer to the cognitive ability to learn and use systems of complex communication, or to describe the set of rules that makes up these systems, or the set of utterances that can be produced from those rules. All languages rely on the process of semiosis to relate signs to particular meanings. Oral, manual and tactile languages contain a phonological system that governs how symbols are used to form sequences known as words or morphemes, and a syntactic system that governs how words and morphemes are combined to form phrases and utterances.

Human language has the properties of productivity and displacement, and relies entirely on social convention and learning. Its complex structure affords a much wider range of expressions than any known system of animal communication. Language is thought to have originated when early hominins started gradually changing their primate communication systems, acquiring the ability to form a theory of other minds and a shared intentionality. This development is sometimes thought to have coincided with an increase in brain volume, and many linguists see the structures of language as having evolved to serve specific communicative and social functions.

Languages are processed in many different locations in the human brain, but especially in Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas. Humans acquire language through social interaction in early childhood, and children generally speak fluently by approximately three years old. The use of language is deeply entrenched in human culture. Therefore, in addition to its strictly communicative uses, language also has many social and cultural uses, such as signifying group identity, social stratification, as well as social grooming and entertainment.

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