Love traveling? Aspirational polyglot? Live in Vancouver? 

If you are a Vancouverite with a love of travel and language learning, you are in one of the best possible places to study in Canada. Vancouver is incredibly diverse and multicultural, boasting so many different ethnocultural groups from around the world from countries like China, Korea, Japan, and India - just to name a few. Vancouver’s linguistically diverse population has resulted in so many cultural neighbourhoods with restaurants and shops where you can find food and products from all over the world. Language learners will also find cultural institutes, organizations, and schools for those looking to learn about international cultures and speak the language of a particular region or country.

Learn more about learning languages in Montreal.

Why is Vancouver such a special place? Vancouver is arguably one of Canada’s most beautiful cities with its location on the country’s Pacific’s coastline and numerous parks and green spaces. Described as the “city of glass” by beloved Canadian author Douglas Coupland, Vancouver is modern and visually striking, a metropolis flanked by mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Check out the city’s Chinatown - Canada’s largest - where you’ll hear the sounds of Cantonese and Mandarin while you sample the best Chinese cuisine. Japanese-Canadians are also a major part of the community: visit the Powell Street Festival or Nitobe Memorial Park to catch a glimpse of Japanese culture and food. If you are fascinated by Indian culture, wander through the Punjabi Market; lovers of Italy will be engaged in the Little Italy neighbourhood and Italian Cultural Centre.

Chinese Shop
Vancouver is a major cultural hub. Source: Unsplash

Students of international languages have access to a plethora of resources and communities from a vast array of communities and institutions. Whether you are looking to learn a new language for business purposes, communicate with relatives, or learn enough lingo to get through a backpacking holiday, you will find a class or teacher to help you in Vancouver. The city’s various cultural institutes, colleges, universities, and schools have so much to offer - establish your budget and reason for learning, and simply pick the best option. Another option worth considering is hiring a tutor - Vancouver has so many multilingual speakers that can get help you achieve any of your language learning goals.

This blog is about learning international languages in Vancouver - why its a great investment, what you can expect in a language class, and where you can learn language. Let’s start by exploring the benefits of investing time and money into learning a new language.

Learning a new language for travel or work? Here’s our tips.

Learning International Languages: a Great Investment

Making the decision to invest your time and money into learning a new language - provided you are serious and committed to learning - is a solid one that brings many returns. You can explore a new country or region with ease, meet people you would likely have never spoken to otherwise, and open an entire world of food and traditions. Get to advanced levels of proficiency and you can add it to your resume and apply for jobs as a multilingual speaker. With a new language, you will have knowledge and skills that you can apply throughout your life that can easily be enhanced through travelling and coursework.

travel language learning
Travel with ease when you learn a new language. Source: Unsplash

With a new language under your belt, you will join a greater cultural and linguistic community of speakers like yourself. Through classes, you can make new connections and experience the excitement of achieving new goals. You’ll have a host of new meetup groups, Zoom chats, and Facebook groups you can take part in; you’ll be able to follow a whole new universe of social media and content. Going to restaurants will take on a whole new meaning: in many ethnocultural establishments, you can practice speaking the language you are learning. And with one new language, you will be able to learn more languages more quickly. Learning Spanish, for example, is will arm you with cognates and conjugations that are also used in Portuguese and Italian.

With focus and a strong work ethic, you will discover that adding a new language to your repertoire is one of the rewarding investments you can make. 

Why should you learn a new language? Here’s six reasons why.

What to Expect in A Language Class

When you have committed to learning a new language, you can expect to be extremely busy with so much to take in. Beginner level learners will see the results fast - basics like alphabet, introductory phrases, and simple verb conjugations are easy to learn and will have you feeling excited. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a rut in the intermediate and early advanced stages: in these classes, you will learn the intricacies of verb and noun conjugations, conditional statements, and negatives. Travelling or making a regular practice of speaking with native speakers can make a big difference: make the most of your vacations by travelling somewhere people speak the language you are learning, and force yourself to communicate only in that language. Advanced level courses bring the challenges of reading literature, learning increasingly complex verbs, and conversing in a broader range of topics.

language class
Expect to be busy in a language class. Source: Unsplash

Make your learning journey more fun by choosing a language you will be motivated to learn and immersing yourself in the culture. If you have practical intents for learning, like working or completing a degree, you can focus on the rewards that come from financial benefit or degrees. If you are learning for personal reasons, like speaking a heritage language or travelling, you can look forward to communicating with a grandparent, distant aunt, or cousin or an incredible vacation in a foreign country. Keep your eyes on the prize, and let that push you on those long nights you have to study for a test or get through a workbook.

Maximize your classes by participating orally and finishing all your homework tasks. You’ll also want to watch lots of movies, TV shows in the target language, or even follow social media in the language you are learning. The more you listen, watch, speak, and write, the faster you will gain proficiency. 

Learn more about learning international languages in Canada.

Find the Best International Language Classes in Vancouver

Probably the best reason for learning a new language in Vancouver is the choice of schools and classes to choose from. You will likely find that some language courses are more widely offered than others depending on their popularity and use value. French, for example, is one of the most popular language because Canada is bilingual and French language skills make it much easier to get jobs in customer service, Government, or education. Another thing you will find is the quality of the learning environment: private or boutique language schools may have smaller classes, while university and college classes have many more people in a class.

Let’s take a closer look at the international language schools you can find in Vancouver.

Schools

Private language schools are a great option for recreational learners, intimate classes, and for heritage language learning. Vancouver has many private language schools you can learn from. Berlitz Vancouver offers instruction in a variety of languages, the Alliance Francaise will teach you all things French, and schools like the ILSC Vancouver and International House specialize in teaching English to international students. Other private schools of note include the Vancouver Mandarin School, Crocodile Mandarin School, International House, Hola, and the Berlitz. 

Thinking about taking language classes in Edmonton? Read our article.

Universities and Colleges

Universities and Colleges offer the some of the best and competitively priced options for learning languages. Check out the Vancouver Community College for courses in Arabic, Japanese, Chinese German and French. The University of British Columbia offers an even greater range of courses for those looking to complete a degree: find minor and major programs in French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean alongside courses in World Literature. Similarly, Simon Fraser offers programs in Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Italian, Persian, Punjabi, and Spanish.

Of course, these schools are just the tip of the iceberg in Vancouver: the city’s numerous public and private colleges have options as well, and don’t forget continuing education courses for adults who work full-time.

Toronto: find the best schools to learn international languages.

Private Tutors Can Make a Big Difference

Finally, don’t forget to check out the option of private tutors at sites like Superprof. A private tutor can provide you one-to-one practice at a reasonable rate - authentic conversation is the most effective way to learn and practice a new language. A private tutor can prep you for a business trip or holiday, refresh past learning, and grill you through complex conversation. In many cases, tutors are native speakers that will enable you to get practice difficult to get in your typical interactions.

Tutors can meet you in person online or through chats like Zoom. They are perfect if you have a busy schedule. Check out your options on Superprof today!

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.