Since 2002, the language departments at Michigan State University have offered community-based language and culture outreach programs on campus and at area schools. In 2008, the Community Language School (CLS)  was officially launched as part of the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) to offer non-credit language classes for MSU faculty, students, staff and community members of all ages. Our programs and events are organized and facilitated by faculty members, graduate students, advanced undergraduate students at Michigan State University as well as community members and organizations. Our program offerings have expanded over the years to include a variety of languages for preK-12 students and adults, both in-person and virtual environments. 

Our mission is to raise globally competent citizens who are able to thrive and succeed in a multicultural world through the acquisition and appreciation of world languages and cultures.

Our program goal is to:

Create awareness among our participants and their families about the importance of language acquisition, encourage at least minimal proficiency in a world language and develop an appreciation of other culture(s) of the world.

Our programs aim to provide the following skills:

  • Interact with awareness, sensitivity, empathy, and knowledge of the perspective of others. 
  • Withhold judgment, examine one’s own perspectives as similar to or different from the perspectives of people with whom one is interacting.  
  • Be alert to cultural differences in situations outside of one’s culture. 
  • Act respectfully according to what is appropriate in a given culture or in multicultural situations. 
  • Learn to communicate with others in a professional setting and embrace best practices when interacting with professionals from different cultural backgrounds, learn to build trust in diverse teams and demonstrate respect for others, in-person or virtually.  
  • Appreciate global issues and develop a better understanding of approaches to address social, political, economic, and environmental challenges.