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Four Great Language Schools in Washington

Going abroad? Here's where to brush up on your destination's lingo.

Not only does learning a new language boost brain power, it can also completely transform your travel experience. Washington is a great place for learning, with classes and groups—some teach up to 60 languages!—that cater to your level of fluency and offer flexible scheduling.

Fluent City

What they offer: Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Hebrew, Arabic, and German

What sets them apart: Fluent City offers classes in a traditional setting, but they emphasize learning what sounds natural: colloquial, conversational, and “real” dialects that veer away from sounding like a textbook. They also offer out-of-classroom language events, like what’s coming up June 25: a French slang workshop and bar mixer.

Price: $285 for nine weeks of weekly, two-hour long classes

2111 Florida Ave NW; 347-687-6896

International Center for Foreign Language Studies

What they offer: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Pashto, Russian, and Turkish

What sets them apart: ICLS offers day, evening, or high-intensity training classes, which you can pick based on your schedule. They also cater to friends, companies, and organizations by providing customizable group lessons.

1133 15th St. NW, Suite 600; 202-639 8800

Price: $325 plus a $25 registration fee includes 10 weeks of class, twice a week. Classes are one hour and 40 minutes long.

Global Language Network

What they offer: Over 60 languages! And three semesters of language classes in the spring, summer or fall made up of 12 two-hour sessions.

What sets them apart: GLN’s wide selection provides an opportunity to learn about almost every corner of the world. They offer classic choices, along with the likes of Azerbaijani, Bosnian, Haitian Creole, Yoruba, and Malay. GLN is also affordable—a semester long class can cost as little as $50.

1720 I St. NW; 202-684-6627

Price: $120 refundable deposit plus $80 non-refundable deposit for 12 weeks of class, once a week. Classes are two hours long.

Dictyon Language Services

What they offer: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese

What sets them apart: With classes in Arlington and Greenbelt, Dictyon offers courses that can be individualized and set on a global backdrop. People who are eager to learn a language for a business setting will find Dictyon courses particular beneficial, as communicating with foreign clients and diverse colleagues requires a certain understanding of cultural norms.

1010 N. Glebe Road, Suite 350, Arlington; 703-875 7630

6391 Ivy Lane, Suite 604, Greenbelt; 301-614 0527

Price: $320 plus $30 registration fee for 10 weeks of class, once a week. Classes are two and a half hours long.

Join a Language Meetup

If you want to boost your skill levels, consider joining one of DC’s meetup groups.

Afternoon French Conversations in Metropolitan DC offers its 2,216 members a place to speak French through happy hours, dance soirees, French courses, movie viewings, cooking classes, and wine tastings.

The Washington DC Spanish Language Meetup Group engages its 3,318 members through workshops, happy hours, dinners, picnics, and dancing. Language meetup groups like these provide mingling opportunities for those who are serious about improvement.