Alfama Lisbon Cityscape


Explore different cultures and ways of thinking as you learn to communicate in a new language. Gain skills for conversation, travel or business in classes that fit your schedule — whether in-person or online.

Continuing Studies offers friendly, welcoming classes taught by leading language experts from UW–Madison and across the region. We offer French, German, Italian and Spanish classes year-round. Portuguese classes are offered twice a year.

Choose from high-quality language and cultural instruction in:

  • French — The French language is spoken on five continents and opens a world of travel and international business. We offer the region’s most comprehensive noncredit French language program, featuring four levels, pronunciation courses and occasional advanced conversation courses on literature and culture.
  • German — Half of Wisconsin residents have German ancestry, so why not reconnect with the past? Our German program features three levels with occasional cultural classes.
  • Italian — The Italian language gives you access to Italy’s rich history and one of the top European economies. Our program features three levels.
  • Portuguese — Portuguese is the official language in nine countries and one of the top five languages for doing business globally. Our program includes two levels. (Not offered every semester.)
  • Reading and Translation Courses — Dive into the nuts and bolts of how to read in your target language and translate accurately to English so that you can confidently conduct academic research or read for pleasure in French, German, Italian or Spanish.
  • Spanish — Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. We offer the region’s most comprehensive noncredit Spanish language program, featuring multiple levels of language instruction from Spanish 0 (a slow introduction for the true beginner) through advanced conversation courses, along with classes in pronunciation, writing, literature and culture. Custom classes are also available.

Note: Learners must be 18 years of age or older.

The value of our Continuing Studies language program at UW Madison

Find out why our online Language program is one of the best in the country!

Here’s an example of Spanish conversation intermediate learners experience.

There are plenty of “right” ways to learn a new language. The key is to never stop learning. Julie Dahl and other experts at the University of Wisconsin give tips for learning a language.

Have you always wanted to learn another language? You probably know several French words and phrases already, as Continuing Studies Assistant Professor Sage Goellner explains.

Language resources

Practice your language

UW–Madison offers a variety of immersive opportunities to practice your language.

Open source texts

Access UW–Madison’s free open-source digital textbooks:

Language quizzes

Our team

Julie Dahl

Position title: Executive Program Development Manager

Email: julie.dahl@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-5929

Sage Goellner

Position title: Associate professor of French and continuing education

Email: sage.goellner@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-4873

Chris Moore

Position title: Learning Experience Coordinator

Email: christopher.moore@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-262-7389

Erin Paul-Schuetter

Position title: Program Development Specialist

Email: erin.paul@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-4641