Register now for fun, five-day foreign language courses at MTSU this summer

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In this 2013 file photo, MTSU Summer Language Institute students Winston Joffrion, left, and Remu Dadlani show off the props used during Spanish classes inside the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. The five-week summer classes are offered by the MTSU Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

Registration is open for classes at this year's Summer Language Institute, which includes various levels of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin and Spanish -- all taught in a fun, interactive atmosphere. Classes for Chinese begin in mid-May, with the majority of classes scheduled for June, with some also offered in July and August.

Dr. Shelly Thomas, Director of the Summer Language Institute, told us...

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Classes are for residents age 13 and older. For a full schedule, to register and to view a video, go to http://www.mtsu.edu/cala and click on the "See Our Classes" button.

The center, also known as CALA, is the official language training operation of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. Classes are held in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building.

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CALA has spent more than a decade researching how the brain learns language best with the experts in the field of psychology and brain research, according to Dr. Shelley Thomas, an associate professor of foreign language and founder and director of the institute.

Research shows the best way to learn a language is the same way you learned your native language -- with lots of hands-on methods that are enjoyable and take place in a fun, low-stress atmosphere using movement, songs, games and stories.

"We often have students who are completely new to the language," Thomas said. "After two five-day classes, complete beginners have tested out of anywhere from one to four semesters of college-level language classes on MTSU's foreign language placement test.

"The classes are fun and effective, so students are highly motivated to continue their language study. One student was so impressed with the results and reasonable cost, he actually took three different languages in one summer!"

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