Language Fees Cut for Summer

Lower tuition for beginning intensive courses meant to accommodate students and professors

The Daily Bruin

By Greg Swartz, Bruin contributor

UCLA OFFICIALS recently announced the university will offer financial incentives to students who enroll in language intensive courses during the summer.

Currently, 16 beginning-level language courses are offered through the summer incentive program.

By offering those courses during the summer, professors are free to teach more advanced courses during the normal academic year, said Kathleen Micham, the marketing manager of academic program development.

The summer language courses offer students a convenient opportunity to fulfill their language requirement, she added.

Students enrolled in these courses automatically receive a tuition discount of $800 for 12-unit courses and $1,000 for 15-unit courses, said Elizabeth Kivowitz Boatright-Simon, a UCLA spokesperson.

The courses last 20 hours each week for eight or nine weeks. Mitcham said the courses allow students to learn faster and to develop solid skills and that they are ideal for developing language skills before studying abroad or taking a more advanced language class.

For some languages, the summer program also offers what it calls Language Intensives in L.A., which allows students to experience real dialogue by venturing into the city, said Olga Kagan, a professor in the department of Slavic languages and literature.

Since Los Angeles has a robust and varied language community, students may directly experience real speakers of languages like Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, Kagan added.

An example of one of these intensives is a trip to a Russian bookstore in Hollywood, where students converse with patrons and the owners to bolster their conversational skills, Kagan said.

Prior to excursions, the courses focus on important vocabulary and phrases specific to the experience, Kagan said. These intensives are also important because they expose students to the culture of a language instead of simply to the words in a textbook.

The summer language intensives help students to advance both their speaking and listening skills through these immersion experiences, she said.

Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2009