Learn a new language at Glendon

Members of the York community wishing to learn a new language can participate in Glendon’s Extended Learning Program. If you are planning on taking a trip to Europe and want to improve your French language skills, or if you simply want to investigate all the possibilities offered by learning a new language but don’t need a university credit, the program offers an excellent opportunity to receive all the benefits of a university level education, without the stress of exams and assignments.

The program’s coordinator, Susanne Holunga, left, is a specialist in education with many years of hands-on teaching experience and a PhD in curriculum design from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Studies & Education. Working together with the  program administrator, Zoraida Anaya, the pair focus on offering the best possible selection of non-credit courses, all based at Glendon.

“When I first visited Glendon, I realized immediately that it was an ideal place for learning languages,” says Holunga. “Its location, natural beauty, peaceful seclusion in the midst of a vibrant metropolis, everything about it confirmed a perfect setting for these courses.” Glendon’s multicultural community and the enthusiasm of course instructors are other important characteristics cited by Holunga as ideal for learning a new language in a highly positive and supportive environment.

Holunga’s vision for Glendon’s Extended Learning Program is to create a place that will meet the needs of both the University community and beyond for non-credit courses in French and other languages. “We have students coming to this campus from as far away as Georgetown and Whitby. During the summer of 2005, a group of students are coming from Japan to improve their English. The demand is obviously there”, says Holunga. “In the long term, we will do our best to meet the needs of the multicultural society surrounding the campus and to offer as many as possible of the variety of courses requested by them.”

At the end of each course, participants are asked to fill out an evaluation form concerning course content and instructor quality. Their response is the best demonstration of the value of these programs. Said one student, “The teacher is absolutely excellent, motivated, encouraging. This course provided me with exactly what I need to improve my French.” Another student stated, “I love the pace of the course, because it challenges me and forces me to keep studying. The teacher is great. I hope to return and take the next level.”

Holunga has a special message to Glendon and the whole York community. “I want to let everyone know that these non-credit courses at Glendon are available to everyone. There is a substantial fee discount available to the University’s employees and its students. I encourage you to benefit from this outstanding opportunity.”

The program is in a continual state of evolution, with new courses and new levels being added in response to demand. The variety of subjects presently offered includes French, Spanish, Mandarin, Tibetan and Portuguese, to name just a few. Special cultural programs are also offered when appropriate instructors are available. A good example of this was last year’s popular Uyghur dance course.

Interested participants are invited to drop by the office to meet Holunga and learn more about the Glendon Extended Learning Program. The office is located in room A202, York Hall, Glendon campus, telephone 416-487-6780, or e-mail extendedlearning@glendon.yorku.ca. Visit the Extended Learning Web site for additional information on courses offered.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.