Bringing World Language & Culture Classes to K-6 students

Bridges offers FREE language classes for children

Bridges: Children, Languages, World is a program that offers exploratory language and culture classes to young learners in the greater Bloomington, Indiana area. Knowing that learning a world language at an early age enhances linguistic ability overall, the central goal of Bridges is to ignite interest in learning about different languages and cultures and inspire children to pursue these languages with excitement and enthusiasm throughout their lives.

Bridges puts emphasis on providing classes in Less-Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL), many of which have been identified as 'Critical Needs Languages' by the U.S. State Department. The teaching approach used by instructors is the communicative method, which means fun for kids through games, stories, free play, crafts, puppet shows, and other interactive activities to help children acquire new vocabulary in the target language.

Indiana University students who are studying LCTLs are Bridges primary language instructors. In partnership with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies’ Title VI National Resource Centers and faculty from the IU Bloomington School of Education: Department of Literacy, Culture and Language Education, our program provides valuable teaching tools to IU student volunteers which they can apply in a variety of community settings.

Bridges classes take place throughout the Bloomington, IN area, within partner sites such as elementary schools and neighborhood learning centers. Since the pandemic, we also offer limited classes online.