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Old 04-19-2017, 11:20 AM
 
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Does anyone have any experience learning languages as a hobby in Seattle? I'm currently learning Arabic in New York City (Intermediate level) as a hobby/ night class and I'm looking to continue when I move to Seattle next month. I'd prefer to avoid the University setting if possible.

I've looked into WAL (Washington Academy of Languages,) and I've sent them an inquiry, but I'm having a hard time finding anything past beginner levels elsewhere.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. If you happen to be a native speaker/ qualified tutor who's worked with the book Al Kitaab, even better!

Thanks again!
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Lots of experience learning languages as a hobby in Seattle, OP, but most of it is in the university setting. What's wrong with that? One option would be to contact the Near East Studies Dept. at the UW, and inquire about tutors. There may be a grad student with teaching experience whom you could hire. I could tell you where bunches of native speakers hang out, in the north Seattle neighborhood around the mosque (there's a Starbucks nearby where all the NE cabbies hang out during the day), if you want to contact the community directly.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:02 PM
 
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Thanks Ruth!

Well honestly, I've never done it before. Is the cost much higher in your experience since it's an accredited course? I always assumed re-entering Academia for even one course would be more of a headache than it warrants. I've also been comfortable being in groups of adult-learners just learning something new, rather than 'serious' academics, but if you've had positive experiences I'll definitely look into it!
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:12 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Originally Posted by CodaConduct View Post
Thanks Ruth!

Well honestly, I've never done it before. Is the cost much higher in your experience since it's an accredited course? I always assumed re-entering Academia for even one course would be more of a headache than it warrants. I've also been comfortable being in groups of adult-learners just learning something new, rather than 'serious' academics, but if you've had positive experiences I'll definitely look into it!
University courses are now open to anyone in the community. There's a separate registration procedure/office for that. "Serious academics" isn't relevant to classroom language classes. Everyone's there to learn the language, that's all. You'd have to figure out what level you're at, though. You're past the rank beginner stage, I gather. So you'd need to see the instructor, or go to the UW bookstore to look at the textbooks, to see whether you belong in, say, 3rd trimester first year, or 1st trimester of second year, or whatever.

Maybe what you meant about academics is that you're used to a more laid-back atmosphere? For that, you could look to YMCA language classes (yes, they offer a few), but I doubt they have Arabic, but you never know. And ethnic communities sometimes have their own organizations that offer language classes, like Seattle's Scandinavian Union, for example, where I studied Finnish, which the UW stopped offering. For French, there's Alliance Francaise. But AFAIK, there's nothing like that for adult learners of Arabic. But again, if you at some point contacted the community directly, someone might know who the local "scholar" is, who could tutor you.

Cost: well, yes, the UW classes are pricey. The language classes meet 5x/week. Would private tutoring be cheaper? Well, it's private tutoring. That can get pricey. But if you're a quick language learner, it can be cost-effective, because it would move along at your pace. If that's a fast pace, then you could progress faster than in a UW class. Depending on the language, I found college classes to be much too slow. The Near East Dept. used to offer summer intensive classes in some languages. You could see about that, too.

And if you're a slower learner, like more of a normal-paced learner, the 5 days/week can be really helpful for practicing the language, hearing other students use the language, translate sentences or whatever, and you can learn from their mistakes, and so forth. With 5 days/week, it provides plenty of time and repetition for the material to sink in, if you see what I mean. So there are advantages to either way: University setting or private tutor setting.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:01 PM
 
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There are a lot of smaller universities and community colleges in Seattle that do non-accredited language study which is much cheaper. Check out the Washington Academy of Languages (Washington Academy of Languages) or maybe Seattle Central Community College (Languages & Travel Classes | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education). Seattle Central doesn't seem to currently be offering Arabic though, I think they used to.

Edit: Sorry, after checking some of the local smaller college websites, you are correct, nobody seems to offer anything other than an intro class :-/

Last edited by strad; 04-19-2017 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:20 PM
 
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You can hire a tutor through care.com or wyzant. A friend of mine took Arabic lessons a few years ago from a woman named Sherry in Bellevue(I don't know her last name, but she's a full time tutor, a native of Egypt, and available through both wyzant and care.com). My friend was going to work in Dubai, and liked Sherry a lot.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:46 PM
 
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Ruth, wow! Thanks for all of this!

I'm a faster learner - I've learned Spanish, French, Italian, and some German (they aren't at all similar to Arabic, but in general I love grammar, and I get the hang of it quickly.)
I'm used to paying about $40/hour for my courses here in New York - it's about $400 for a 10-week class, 2 hours per week (and usually some sort of promotion is going on, bringing that total down a bit). I think this is a fair rate, although I'm sure I could get a private tutor for about the same rate. For now I was enjoying the small class atmosphere, and I think 5 days a week would be way too much for me. I'm thinking once or twice a week in the evenings.

Ira, Thanks so much! This is a great lead - even if I can't track down Sherry I've never heard of wyzant, and it seems to have some great options!
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:09 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodaConduct View Post
Ruth, wow! Thanks for all of this!

I'm a faster learner - I've learned Spanish, French, Italian, and some German (they aren't at all similar to Arabic, but in general I love grammar, and I get the hang of it quickly.)
I'm used to paying about $40/hour for my courses here in New York - it's about $400 for a 10-week class, 2 hours per week (and usually some sort of promotion is going on, bringing that total down a bit). I think this is a fair rate, although I'm sure I could get a private tutor for about the same rate. For now I was enjoying the small class atmosphere, and I think 5 days a week would be way too much for me. I'm thinking once or twice a week in the evenings.

Ira, Thanks so much! This is a great lead - even if I can't track down Sherry I've never heard of wyzant, and it seems to have some great options!
Dude, you need to branch out! You're in a rut, with the European languages. French, Italian, Spanish--YAWN! Same old, same old. Though just for fun, I strongly recommend Romanian. But the UW's Romanian program is on hold for the time being, unfortunately. Romanian is the closest you'll ever come to speaking live Latin.

But Arabic should give you some fresh material to tackle. Not to mention--learning to write in squiggles. How's that going, btw?

Let us know how it all works out, after you get settled in, in Seattle.
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Dude, you need to branch out! You're in a rut, with the European languages. French, Italian, Spanish--YAWN! Same old, same old.
Hah, exactly! I thought Arabic would shake things up a bit! It's going great, actually. I'm pretty conversational in Modern Standard Arabic (kind of ironic, because no one really speaks formal arabic except the news, etc... but apparently it's best to learn it before any dialects,) but that's why finding a course in the next few months is critical so I don't lose it! Writing is also surprisingly easy once you put some time into learning.

Would love to learn Romanian someday. Maybe I'll join you in tackling the languages UW has to offer eventually!
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:38 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,460 posts, read 108,913,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CodaConduct View Post
Hah, exactly! I thought Arabic would shake things up a bit! It's going great, actually. I'm pretty conversational in Modern Standard Arabic (kind of ironic, because no one really speaks formal arabic except the news, etc... but apparently it's best to learn it before any dialects,) but that's why finding a course in the next few months is critical so I don't lose it! Writing is also surprisingly easy once you put some time into learning.

Would love to learn Romanian someday. Maybe I'll join you in tackling the languages UW has to offer eventually!
When I got to the UW as a student, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! So many languages! The sky's the limit! And then there's the Ethnomusicology Dept.! Addicting! Back then the school had a lot of fascinating, oddball disciplines that don't exist anymore, thanks to misguided bean counters eliminating entire departments, instead of simply trimming the big ones (and their own salaries, haha).

Still, there are academic nooks and crannies where one can have some real fun. And the Slavic Dept. has actually expanded, and added languages! Georgian, anyone? Oh, and Romanian is in Slavic, in case you may have assumed it was in Romance... Romanians always find this hugely ironic, if not slightly offensive, even. That's America for you.
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