There are so many reasons to learn a foreign language. Proficiency in a second language can help you get ahead at your job and help you communicate more effectively in other countries, and it can just be fun. Most people think that once they’ve left high school or college, their opportunity to learn a foreign language has passed, but this isn’t true. The following list will give you an idea of the diverse schools around Philadelphia that can help you cross “learn a foreign language” off of your bucket list.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Lingual Institute
1420 Walnut St, Suite 1200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 564-4040

Languages: English as a Second Language, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Czech, Ukrainian, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish and others
Levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced
Price: $20-$55 per hour per student

The Lingual Institute is Philadelphia’s most comprehensive language school, with over 20 languages offered. The Institute serves law firms, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and corporations in addition to individuals. Moreover, it can personalize your course of study to fit your needs. Rather than having set times for classes, you can schedule your instruction at a time that works for you. The Lingual Institute is one of the more costly options, but it is also one of the best.


Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 751-8010

Languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swahili
Levels: Elementary and Intermediate
Price: $170 per semester credit

Taking language classes at Philadelphia Community College is one of the most economical options for learning a foreign tongue. The most commonly-sought-after languages are available, and there are three to four semesters of each language offered. The downside with going back to college, however, is the same as the upside: putting up with bored college students who may or may not be as committed to learning the language as you are.

Related: Culture & Cuisine In Philadelphia’s Chinatown

(credit: Thinkstock)

ELS Educational Services
5414 Overbrook Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 473-4430

Languages: General English, English for Academic Purposes, Semi-intensive English, American Explorer Program, Complete Prep Program for the TOEFL, English for Executives and Super Intensive English Program
Levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced
Price: $1290-$1950 per four-week session

Maybe the only “foreign” language you need to learn is English. If so, the ELS (English as a Second Language) program is for you. This program hosts sessions ranging from more laid-back classes to learn English on your American vacation and all the way to one-on-one and group instruction for professionals or for those studying to pass the college English entrance exam, the TOEFL.

(credit: Thinkstock)

International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 387-5125

Languages: Mandarin, Korean, Farsi and English
Levels: Elementary and Intermediate
Price: 9-11 weeks is $170 for continuing students, $200 for new students

If you want to learn a foreign language at reasonable rates and at the same time expand your connections with international Philadelphians, International House Philadelphia is the place for you. Classes are reasonably priced, and the instructors are friendly. iHouse specifically focuses on teaching you language skills that are useful in real-life situations, rather than mindless activities like drilling verb conjugations.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Spanish Language School
2004 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 567-4446

Languages: Spanish
Levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced
Price: 20 sessions/50 minutes each – $350-$400 depending on the size of class, 10 private sessions/50 minutes each – $400

If you are interested in learning Spanish, how could you do better than an institute devoted exclusively to its instruction? Spanish is useful in both professional and personal settings. Groups at the Spanish Language School are formed based upon proficiency, and classes are scheduled based on students’ schedules. Finally: grasp the language you hear so often and join in the next conversation.

Related: Top Music Classes For Kids In Philadelphia

Katherine Ernst is a full-time novelist and freelance writer in Montgomery County. Follow her activity on her blog at Her work can be found at