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.
- Urdu — Predominantly spoken in India and Pakistan, Urdu is the first language of nearly 70 million people. Large communities of Urdu speakers live in the United States, making this an important language for our globalized world. We are proud to offer Urdu in conjunction with the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes. Please note that the format will differ from other language courses offered by Continuing Studies.
Featured Training Programs
In 4 months, greatly improve your professional proficiency in Spanish and gain the cultural knowledge you need to conduct business with partners in Spain and Latin America.
Learn French, German, Italian or Spanish through effective online study that provides a solid foundation in the language while helping you prepare for a translation exam.
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.
From the blog
Since the most important part of learning a language is using that language to communicate with others, our online courses concentrate all the speaking practice into a carefully planned weekly virtual conversation class.
Each week, learners spend an hour participating in interactive activities to sharpen their French skills. After class, they have dinner together, practicing the language with university students and community members.