The Online Collection of National Heritage Language Program Profiles

Community-Based Programs

Pacific Arabic Resources

San Francisco, CA

Pacific Arabic Resources is a secular, non-political institution dedicated to the advancement of Arabic in the Bay Area. Mainly for adults, courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends in downtown San Francisco. The program teaches Arabic with a full immersion technique, infusing oral drills and conversation practice in not only standard Arabic, but also a variety of dialects spoken across the Arab world. The program is on a constant quest to expand on the available Afro-Asiatic languages and cultures taught, and commits to offering the most comprehensive Arabic study in the Bay Area.

Atlanta Contemporary Chinese Academy

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Contemporary Chinese Academy (ACCA) was founded in 1992 and serves as the largest children's learning center for Chinese language and culture in metropolitan Atlanta. It has three campuses in the area, more than 1,200 students, and 65 well qualified teachers. ACCA promotes Chinese culture and language heritage as well as excellence in language academics. It offers students various classes including language, art, SAT verbal, and math.

Chinese - Cantonese and Mandarin
Chinese Language School of Columbia
Ellicott City, MD

Established in 1975, the Chinese Language School of Columbia offers the local community an opportunity to learn Chinese culture and language. The aim is that the school helps students preserve their customs, cultures, and language ability. To achieve these aims, the program offers Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese to mostly second-generation Chinese immigrants, and hosts cultural events for the local community members so that they can experience the rich Chinese culture.

Chinese Language School of the Chinese Cultural Center

Hartford, CT

The Chinese Language School strives to provide heritage students, adopted children from China and others interested in learning Chinese, with an environment to learn the language and culture.

Chinese School of Southern Westchester (CSSW)
Scarsdale, NY

Chinese School of Southern Westchester (CSSW) was funded in 1981 is a non-profit organization. CSSW promotes the teaching of Chinese language and arts, and the understanding of Chinese culture and traditions. The school is open to all students regardless of race, religion, or creed. Programs serve PreK-12 students on Saturday mornings at the facilities of Edgemont High School. CSSW devotes substantial resources to parent and adult education.

Chong Wa Education Society

Seattle, WA

One of the oldest Chinese schools in the state of Washington, the Chong Wa Education Society provides its students with an opportunity to become proficient in the Chinese language and culture.

Cleveland Contemporary Chinese School

Cleveland, OH

Founded in 1995, this community-based school teaches Chinese language and culture in order to promote cultural exchange between Chinese and American people. It also serves as a place for families to participate in local Chinese community activities and a way for children to maintain the language.

Mandarin and Taiwanese
Columbus Chinese Academy

Columbus, OH

This program was founded in 1973 to offer Chinese language and cultural classes for children from 3 to 18 years old.

Dayton Chinese Language School

Dayton, OH

The Dayton Chinese Language School was established in 1977 to provide Chinese language education and cultural enrichment to children (K-12) and residents of the greater Dayton area. The program consists of language classes and cultural activities.

Huaxia Chinese School of Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem, PA

This school was founded in 1998 by members of the local mainland Chinese community to address the growing need for a school that would teach simplified Chinese characters to their children. It now teaches Chinese language and culture to anyone interested, regardless of language background. Chinese as a second language classes and culture classes are offered in addition to heritage language classes.

Lansing Chinese School

Okemos, MI

This program was founded in 1986 to provide students with an opportunity to study Chinese language and culture. Additionally, the program seeks to provide support for individuals and organizations that share a common interest in Chinese ethnic and cultural heritage.

Lexington Chinese School
Lexington, KY

Lexington Chinese Schools, a non-profit organization, is committed to serving the Lexington community by providing an encouraging and unique environment for learning Chinese language and culture. While English is the most widely used language globally, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. Between these two languages lies an enormous gap that separates western and eastern cultures and forms a daunting barrier for communication and understanding. It is this gap that we seek to help bridge.

Cantonese and Mandarin
Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center

Alhambra, CA

Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center (LACLC) provides customized Chinese classes, online Chinese lessons, and Chinese group classes to educate Americans and Chinese who aim to function professionally in English and Chinese. With our experienced instructors, students not only learn Chinese and enjoy our Chinese tutoring service, but also learn about the business aspects of Chinese culture and explore opportunities in one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The size of class is between three and six. Classes meet once or twice a week for one and a half or three hours.

Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center

Los Angeles, CA

The Chinese Learning Center of Los Angeles works to provide students and professional companies with instruction and training. By making use of an extensive network of business specialists in China and local Chinese business specialists, the Chinese Learning Center customizes instruction for future business success. Staff teach their students how to learn Chinese by working with effective memory methods.

Northern Virginia Experimental Chinese School
Chantilly, VA

This community-based school provides the local community with the opportunity to acquire Chinese language and cultural knowledge and promotes awareness of cultural diversity and harmony. It also offers cultural, social, sports, and other extra-curricular activities.

Sunray Chinese School at Plano

McKinney, TX

This is a community-based school offers several levels of Mandarin for all ages of Mandarin speakers. The school has three different locations in Texas and more than twenty years of experience with heritage language education.

Xilin NU Chinese School

Wilmette, IL

The mission of the Xilin NU Chinese School is for all students to enjoy the experience of learning Chinese language and culture and to enhance students' academic competitiveness and social skills.

YingHua Language School

Princeton, NJ

YingHua Language School is committed to inspiring and facilitating Chinese language learning; promoting children’s linguistic, cognitive, and social development; and empowering local communities.

Chinuk Wawa
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Language Program

Grand Ronde, OR

This Native American heritage language program on the Grande Ronde Reservation in Grande Ronde, OR, offers several different languages but focuses on Chinuk Wawa. The program’s main objective is to reestablish Chinuk Wawa as the main community language and preserve all of the other languages spoken on the Grande Ronde Reservation. The program includes education for grades K-5 and adult level classes.

Himmelbjerget Danish Language Camp

Portland, OR

Himmelbjerget Danish Language Camp is a week-long language and culture experience in the mountains of Oregon. Three levels of language are taught for roughly ten hours during the week. Language instruction is complemented with cultural, historical, and heritage instruction, including dance, crafts, and songs. Some 55-60 students attend, with about 15 counselors. The program fosters a sense of what it means to be Danish and how Denmark and the United States differ.

Education Française à New York (EFNY)

New York, NY

Education Française à New York (EFNY) is the initiative of Francophone and Francophile parents connected to the French language and culture. They wish to share this language with their children by offering educational options that are practical and affordable.

German Language School of West Michigan

Grand Rapids, MI

The German Language School of West Michigan is a parent initiative promoting the German language and culture in the Grand Rapids area. The school offers children the opportunity to learn the German language in a formal classroom setting and provides a network for families to expand their knowledge of German culture and engage in cross-cultural exchanges. They offer immersion, partial immersion, bilingual, and foreign language programs, and a Saturday academy.

Sanne’s German Works

Ann Arbor, MI

Sanne’s GermanWorks after-school program focuses on teach as German for heritage speakers (full-immersion PreK-K and grades 1-12) as well as a foreign language. With the help of parents and other family members, this program hopes to build a lifelong love for languages (particularly German) and to increase understanding and tolerance of people and their differences.

The Hudson Valley Hindi School

Hopewell Junction, NY

The Hudson Valley Hindi School was started by individual volunteers with support from the World Hindi Foundation. The goal of the program is to offer instruction in reading, writing, and speaking Hindi with an emphasis on the conversational aspect.

Wapato, WA

This program teaches the Native American language, Yakama (IchChishKiin), to members of the Wapato heritage community. The class meets as a weekly club and focuses on developing primarily oral and conversational skills of Yakama for anyone who is interested.

Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts

Cambridge, MA

The Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts is a non-profit organization seeking to develop a consciousness of Italian Achievement in the arts, literature, science, and industry. Dante Alighieri Society promotes and fosters Italian language and culture through language courses for children from Pre-K to grade 12 on Saturday mornings and adult classes on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings throughout the year.

Kodomo no Ie Saturday Japanese Language School of the First Methodist Church of San Gabriel

San Gabriel, CA

The goal of the program is to provide children with learning experiences that they feel are relevant to themselves and their lives. The curriculum does not aim at learning language, per se, but rather learning academic subject matter. The curriculum is standards-based and utilizes hands-on and an inquiry learning approach to increase motivation.

Korean Academy of Language and Culture
Normal, IL

The Korean Academy of Language and Culture, located in Bloomington-Normal, is a non-profit organization affiliated with the Korean Church in Bloomington, IL. The goal of the academy is to promote a greater understanding of the Korean culture and language to the community at large. Membership is open to the public. No prior knowledge and association with Korea is required. However, two fifths of the students are from Korea.

Norse Hall
Portland, OR

A Scandinavian community center, Norse Hall holds Norwegian language and culture classes for adults and children. These classes teach the basics of Norwegian grammar, usage, and vocabulary and give the cultural background of the Norwegian language. Adult students take this course to be able to converse in understandable Norwegian with native Norwegians. Children obtain a sense of Norwegian culture and become familiar with the Norwegian language. The classes are taught weekly for one hour as well as once a week. Class size is fewer than 15 students.

Khayam Persian School Foundation

Irvine, CA

The foundation is an after-school program to develop the Persian language skills of Iranian-American children in the area. The program strives to promote basic Persian proficiency and Iranian culture awareness in its K-6 students.

Polish School of Jan Matejko
Wauconda, IL

The Polish School of Jan Matejko functions as a Saturday Academy for the local Polish community. Every year the program introduces new components to enhance the educational experience of the students enrolled. The mission of the Polish School of Jan Matejko is to create an environment for students to prosper and develop their knowledge of Polish language and culture. Students are immersed in a community that in addition to offering language instruction also immerses the stud cultural activities, sports, contests, and drama and art courses. Founded in 2002, the program’s dedicated staff continue each year to develop new instructional methods for an enjoyable and educational environment.

St. Casimir Polish Supplementary School
Newark, NJ

The St. Casimir Polish Supplementary School is a Polish for Polish Speakers program in Newark, New Jersey. The school focuses on teaching Polish language and culture to approximately 50 students each year. Since most students are the children of parents who come from Poland, their family members speak Polish at home, parents get involved in their children’s education, and many go to Poland for vacation. The school also fosters many cultural and community activities that reinforce the Polish language and identity.

Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski Polish School
Chicago, IL

The Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski Polish School was designed by a local Roman Catholic Church’s parishioners and priests to enrich the Polish language skills of their children. Their goal is to teach them about Poland’s history, culture, geography, and religion, in addition to developing confident and knowledgeable Polish-Americans. The program makes an active contribution to the local Polish community and takes part in the Polish Teacher Association and the Commission of Education of the Polish Language.

Escola Portuguesa Novos Horizontes
Ontario, Canada

Escola Portuguesa Novos Horizontes is a community-centered school in Toronto, Canada, for students in elementary, middle, and high school. The program concentrates on developing literary skills for students who are heritage speakers of Portuguese. About 80 to 100 students attend the school on Saturdays. In addition to an interactive learning environment that helps foster student awareness of culture and identity, the program helps prepare students for the Centro de Avaliação de Português Língua Estrangeira (CAPLE) examination for certification in Portuguese proficiency.

Russian Cultural Center
Washington, DC

The Russian Cultural Center provides cultural, humanitarian, and language programs for Russians and Americans. It presents the lifestyle and historic heritage of Russia to interested students by offering courses to both heritage and non-heritage speakers. The Russian Cultural Center was founded in 1999 as a part of the Rusintercenter—an independent agency within the structure of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which promotes international cooperation in science, culture, and education. The main goal of the Russian Cultural Center is to develop positive relations between Russia and the United States in the 21st century and to preserve the Russian culture and language.

Scandinavian Languages
Scandinavian Language Institute
Seattle, WA

The Scandinavian Language Institute is located in the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Washington. The Institute offers language instruction primarily for adults, at four levels, in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic. 200 students are enrolled in language classes at the Institute. Language instruction is supplemented with cultural programming that ranges from naming traditions and food to the arts, music, and film. Particular strengths are conversation and translation. In 2009 the Institute celebrates its 30-year anniversary.

El Círculo Juvenil de Cultura

Pittsburgh, PA

El Círculo is a project-based approach to heritage language education and addresses multi-level and multi-age needs by integrating language and culture. The program taps into the human resources available on the Carnegie Mellon campus and from the greater community. At the end of a 10-week cycle, participants in each workshop present their final product; for example, a play written by the children, a video production project, or song and poetry recitals.

Escuela Bolivia

Arlington, VA

This program is a Saturday academy focused on developing the Spanish language skills of both heritage language speakers and non-native speakers of Spanish, from pre-school through 12th grade. The curriculum is aimed at getting students acquainted with Bolivian heritage and incorporates history, geography, literature, arts, music, and dance. The program also offers English classes to adults.

Nuestra Lengua
Fairfax, VA

Spanish for Young Heritage Speakers: Nuestra Lengua, is a program sponsored by George Mason University that focuses on heritage learners of Spanish. The program, founded in September 2005, is designed to enhance children’s literacy skills and oral fluency in Spanish and build pride in their heritage language and culture. The program seeks to build intergenerational and community bonds by creating dialogue with family and community-based partners. Parents are encouraged to use the Nuestra Lengua program as a stepping stone to larger social advocacy, including in mainstream school units like the PTA and organizations in the community like the Tenants and Workers’ United organization.

Programa de Alfabetización Hispano/Latino

Washington, DC

The program’s mission is to teach non-literate Spanish-speaking immigrant adults to read and write in their native language, as well as other basic skills, so that they can achieve functional literacy. Indirect goals include facilitating their later acquisition of English and the preservation of the Spanish language among younger bilingual generations.

Southeast Asian Languages
Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute

Madison, WI

The Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin teaches Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese, Lao, Burmese, Filipino, Indonesian, Javanese, Khmer, Thai to heritage students. Instruction is intensive, 4.5 hours per day, occurs over an 8 week period in the summer, and encompasses three levels. There are roughly 175 students in the program. Completion rates are quite high. As part of a consortium of twelve schools, SASSI is able to assist many students through some tuition support.

Trollbacken Swedish Camp

Portland, OR

The Trollbacken Swedish Camp is a one-week camp for students aged 7-13 to learn about Swedish language and culture. Students are divided into four groups from Beginner to Bilingual. Both language and culture are combined in an intensive learning environment. All camp instructors are native Swedish speakers and are aided by the counselors, who are primarily repeat attendees of the camp.

CATA Tibetan School
Vienna, VA

The CATA Tibetan School was founded by parents of the local Tibetan community. It is a part of the US Capital Area Tibetan Association (CATA) and functions as a Sunday school for children and teens in the Tibetan community. Its main purpose and goal is to educate students on the language, culture, and religion of Tibet, as well as to create an atmosphere for students to feel comfortable with their heritage.

T. Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies

Parma, OH

T. Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies is a Saturday program that stresses language, geography, history and culture. The school is located in Parma, Ohio, and is sponsored by St. Vladimirs Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. It is a member since 1999 of the Ukrainian Congress committee of America (UCCA), Educational Council in New York City, and United Ukrainian Organizations (UZO) of Greater Cleveland. About 70 students and 22 teachers participate in the program's language immersion education. Classes meet for 3.5 hours per week and cover the four basic skills of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing.

Ukrainian Heritage School

Jenkintown, PA

The main objective of the Ukrainian Heritage School is the education of its students in Ukrainian language and culture in order that they may retain their Ukrainian heritage. The school has been able to instill in these students a strong sense of their identity as Americans of Ukrainian descent and an understanding of their responsibility to carry forward the Ukrainian tradition.

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*The Alliance is no longer collecting profiles for higher education programs. Please visit the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) at UCLA to find out how you can participate in their survey of college-level heritage language programs.