Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Beginning Languages Portal

Beginning Greek Series Series

Want to read the NT in the original Greek? The Greek translation of the Old Testament? This module’s for you! The first module seeks to introduce learners to the basics of ancient Greek: the alphabet, introduction to the verb system (tenses and moods) and the noun system (the very helpful article, first and second declension). Over several modules, the students will learn the foundations of the language and then students will be able to read texts.
Precepted by Larry Swain.

Beginning Japanese Series Series

Come join us as we begin to learn basic Japanese, focusing on the four areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Over the course of this module series we will start by learning: the characteristics of the three scripts (hiragana, katakana, and kanji); how to read and write hiragana; to be able to say and understand set phrases (social interaction-related); how to formulate a simple declarative sentence (AはBです structure); how to formulate a simple interrogative sentence; how to read orally; and vocabulary relevant to dialogues in the textbook. 一緒に日本語を勉強しましょうか! (Shall we study Japanese together?!)
Precepted by Robert Steed.
Backup preceptor: Pilar Barrera.

Beginning Scottish Gaelic Series Series

The Beginning Scottish Gaelic series consists of three intoructory modules, introducing language and grammar in line with European fluency standard A1. Covering basic conversation, vocabulary building, introducing case structure, irregular verbs, and prepositional pronouns, this module will be using the A1 Inntrigeadh resources from SpeakGaelic.scot.

Module 1 Class Delivery
Class 1 and 2 will cover Topic 1: New Friends
Class 3 and 4 will cover Topic 2: Places
Class 5 and 6 will cover Topic 3: Weather
Class 7 and 8 will cover Topic 4: Family

Module 2 Class Delivery
Class 1 and 2 will cover Topic 5: Home
Class 3 and 4 will cover Topic 6: Time
Class 5 and 6 will cover Topic 7: Work
Class 7 and 8 will cover Topic 8: Time Off

Module 3 Class Delivery
Class 1 and 2 will cover Topic 9: Food & Drink
Class 3 and 4 will cover Topic 10: Shopping
Class 5 and 6 will cover Topic 11: Day-to-day
Class 7 and 8 will cover Topic 12: Describing People

After the 3-module opening series, students wishing to continue learning Scottish Gaelic can proceed to Gaelic Foundations 1.

Beginning Spanish Series Series

This 8-module series is designed for beginners of Spanish who have had very little or no previous contact with the language. The purpose of the course is to build up communication skills through interactive and dynamic sessions. The modules overview essential vocabulary, expressions, and grammar. This is a progressive course, so each module builds on the concepts studied in the previous one, so that, as the modules progress, other students with prior knowledge may join. Vamos a aprender español!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera.

Classical Chinese 1

This is the textual language of the early classical Chinese philosophical and literary tradition, bearing a relationship to modern forms of Chinese like that of classical Latin to a modern Romance language. Just as one does not need to know Italian to study Latin, no prior knowledge of modern forms of Chinese is needed to study the classical language. This language served as a kind of "lingua franca" throughout East Asia for much of history, much like the role Church Latin served in medieval Europe. In this module we will begin building the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary to eventually be able to engage with the texts associated with Chinese thinkers such as Confucius, Laozi, Zhuangzi, and Mozi. If a cohort forms, we can continue this study within a continuing sequence. We will focus exclusively on developing the ability to read it as a literary language.
Precepted by Robert Steed.

Conversational French

Learn French like you learned your first language – through stories, questions, and answers.
Precepted by Sarah Tripp.

Conversational German Series Series

This 8-session introduction to German is intended to give the students a basic acquaintanceship with the German language and enough information for further study. This first module covers the alphabet, basic verb conjugation, important verbs like Haben and Sein, pronouns, grammatical gender, nominative vs. accusative cases, forming questions, and giving dates and times. Some specific vocabulary content is given in the session breakdown, but the individual entries are not meant to be either restrictive or exhaustive.

Session Breakdown:
- Session 1: The alphabet and sounds; the present tense of regular verbs; colors and numbers
- Session 2: Haben und Sein; nominative pronouns; noun gender; Was studieren Sie (what do you study?) and Wo wohnen Sie (where do you live?);
- Session 3: Fragewörter (question words) and forming questions; yes/no questions; “Interview” game
- Session 4: coordinating conjunctions; describing your field of study; the verb mögen (to like)
- Session 5: Die Wochentage (days of the week); Die Uhrzeiten (time); Der Wochenplan (weekly schedule)
- Session 6: Planning a meeting with a friend (combination of Der Wochenplan and the “Questions” from Session 3); negation (Nicht and Kein)
- Session 7: The accusative case; description of rooms (Ich habe/Es gibt); accusative pronouns
- Session 8: Accusative prepositions; general review
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

Conversational Spanish

In this module, we will speak about art, hobbies, memories, and many other topics in Spanish. We will examine specific vocabulary and expressions in an interactive way.
Precepted by Pilar Barrera.

Egyptian Hieroglyphs Series Series

The Hieroglyphics series will present students with a basic understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs, grammar, and knowledge about how to proceed with further study. In this series of 4 modules, we will discuss how to translate steles that you are likely to encounter in museums, as well as their cultural significance. As student progress, the class will tackle more complex translation. Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Hieroglyphics will communicate with our Director and Professor Gaffney to make the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Shawn Gaffney.

Japanese for Beginners Series Series

In this series of modules, you will get familiarized with basic Japanese vocabulary and structures. Using a communicative approach, you’ll learn basic expressions, start to learn the hiragana script, and recognize katakana and kanji in a fun and interactive way. We will also explore Japanese culture in general. いっしょに日本語を学びましょう!
Precepted by Pilar Barrera.

Klingon Series Series

ghojlu’meH QaQ jajvam! (“Today is a good day to learn!”) Klingons: the bumpy-headed warrior race from Star Trek that is obsessed with honor and glory. You’ve heard about people who learn to speak Klingon, and now you can join their ranks. This course will teach students how to read and speak the Warrior’s Tongue. Start with basic grammar and work up to complex sentences. Learn Klingon’s complex inventory of prefixes and suffixes. By the end of this course, you will be able to read and converse in basic Klingon. Qapla’! (“Success!”).

After Klingon 1, those students wishing to continue their Klingon experience can take Klingon 2, the final module in the Klingon series.
Precepted by David Trimboli.

Korean for Beginners 1 First in the Series

What do Korean dramas, K-pop, webtoons, and Korean films all have in common? ... The Korean language!

This module is for those who are ready to begin their journey in Korean. In this first step, we will learn to read the Korean alphabet (Hangeul), cover basic vocabulary, and begin exploring grammar and honorifics. We will be following a textbook, but will also spend time exploring song lyrics and a webtoon. The textbook we will be following is: Yonsei Korean 1-1 published by the Yonsei Korean Institute.

Note: This course has the potential to become a series of modules for those who wish to pursue higher levels of proficiency.
Precepted by Sam Roche.

Korean for Beginners Series Series

What do Korean dramas, K-pop, webtoons, and Korean films all have in common? ... The Korean language!

This module is for those who are ready to begin their journey in Korean. In this first step, we will learn to read the Korean alphabet (Hangeul), cover basic vocabulary, and begin exploring grammar and honorifics. We will be following a textbook, but will also spend time exploring song lyrics and a webtoon. The textbook we will be following is: Yonsei Korean 1-1 published by the Yonsei Korean Institute.

Note: This course has the potential to become a series of modules for those who wish to pursue higher levels of proficiency.
Precepted by Sam Roche.

Latin In A Year Series Series

Designed for absolute beginners as well as past Latin scholars who want to review at relative leisure, Signum’s 12-module Latin in a Year series surveys core Latin grammar and basic classical vocabulary. Each month, students will tackle new grammatical concepts and paradigms, learn new vocabulary, and practice translating short sentences and longer passages. Optional homework is available for the overzealous. Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students with prior experience are encouraged to communicate with our Director and Professor Acker to find the right entry point. See the list below for some general guidelines of what material is explored over the course of each module.

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We will be offering this series next in January 2023, starting at Month 1.
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Month 1: Overview of nouns and verbs (present active verbs, 1st and 2nd declension)
Month 2: Adding new tenses (imperfect and future active) and a new declension (3rd)
Month 3: 3rd and 4th conjugations (existing tenses) and new pronouns
Month 4: New verb tenses (perfect system) and more pronouns; numerals
Month 5: Passive verb forms; 4th declension nouns; more pronouns
Month 6: 5th declension, but mostly participles
Month 7: Comparatives, superlatives, and some irregular forms
Month 8: Basic subjunctives
Month 9: Irregular verbs and conditions
Month 10: Subjunctives, deponents, datives, and more irregular verbs
Month 11: (more) finicky grammar
Month 12: Basic readings
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Precepted by Faith Acker.

Learn Any Language Like a Baby

Perhaps you studied Spanish or French in high school, yet--frustratingly--can’t give your order for chilaquiles or soupe à l'oignon today. This course will provide you with a method for learning any language in the world by meeting with someone who has no experience in teaching their language--and learn in a way that will make the language stick! This “Growing Participator’s Approach” uses methods based on how children learn language. You will learn how you can grow into the language (and the culture) rather than just memorize vocab and rules.
Precepted by Eve Droma.

Middle High German 1: An Epic Introduction First in the Series

Middle High German (MHG) is the umbrella term for the German dialects used in the Holy Roman Empire from about 1050 to 1350. Its written form was the language of the court, and most MHG poetry embraces chivalric intellectual interests – adventure, romances, and courtly love! In our epic introduction to the language, we begin with a poem on subject matter that Old English and Old Norse students will immediately recognize: Das Nibelungenlied, the story of Siegfried (Sigurd) the dragon slayer, who we all know from the Völsunga Saga, the Poetic Edda, and (as his father Sigmund) Beowulf.

This module requires absolutely no modern German, but you may find that the course awakens that bit of “school German” you remember from high school. We will read our text – the 14th “Adventure” of The Nibelungenlied – slowly, as a small reading group. The benefit of the Nibelungenlied’s style is that enjambment is rare and each line can be treated as a single sentence.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

Middle High German Series Series

This is the landing page for Dr. Isaac Schendel's Middle High German Series which consists of two modules: Middle High German 1: An Epic Introduction and Middle High German 2: An Epic Continuation. For more information check out the module links below.

Also: Please wishlist this page if you are interested in taking Dr. Schendel's Middle High German series when we offer it next.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

Old English Series Series

Ready to begin learning Old English? This series of modules introduces students to the vocabulary and structure of the earliest recorded form of the English language. One year of modules prepares the student to read texts from over a thousand years ago! Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Old English will communicate with our Director and Professor Swain to make the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Larry Swain and Isaac Schendel.

Old Norse Series Series

This series of modules introduces you to the vocabulary and grammar of Old Norse, preparing you to read medieval sagas, eddic poetry, and even Viking-Age runic inscriptions. Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Old Norse will communicate with our Director and Professor Anderson to choose the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Carl Anderson.

Readings in Middle High German: Diu Klage

This module, which builds on the skills taught in the previous two Middle High German modules, focuses on the “concluding poem” of the Nibelungen Mythos, Diu Klage (The Lamentation), a 4360-line epic in rhyming couplets devoted to the aftermath of the slaughter in Etzel’s Hall. We will devote ourselves to both a close, philological reading of selected lines (about 20 lines per hour) and a general discussion of the entire work in English translation (German material can be consulted, of course, but the language of instruction is in English).

This session is intended both for veterans of the Middle High German modules and for beginners. If any beginners enroll, the discussion of MHG verse will focus a bit more on foundational grammatical concepts, but there will still be enough to interest and challenge advanced MHG readers.

Discussions of the text will look at it from a variety of perspectives, including: The “Heroic Age” in a High Medieval perspective, investigations of emotion in Middle High German verse, and intertextuality (both within German literature and across Germanic tradition). Students are, of course, welcome to bring their own expertise and interest – feel free to take up contact with the instructor ahead of time with your input!
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

Readings in Middle High German: Orendel

This module, which builds on the skills taught in previous Middle High German Modules, looks at a representative of the Medieval German so-called Spielmannsdichtung genre of short epics: Orendel. The titular hero of the epic, distantly related to the Old Norse Aurvandill, is a King with a fairy-tale mission to woo the beautiful Bride. He undergoes a number of adventures, including the discovery of Christ’s Tunic, in a paradigmatic example of a medieval Bridal Quest.

This module will both look at the poem as literature and as a chance for interested students to continue perfecting their Middle High German reading skills. We will devote ourselves to a close, philological reading of the most important passages in the text.

This module is intended both for veterans of Middle High German and for beginners. If any beginners enroll, the discussion of MHG verse will focus a bit more on foundational grammatical concepts, but there will still be enough to interest and challenge advanced MHG readers.

Discussions of the text will also look at it from a variety of perspectives, including: What is the Spielmannsdichtung genre? How do the Christian Faith and Bridal Quest narratives, which spring from two different cultural traditions, mesh? Does Orendel actually resemble in any way Aurvandill, or should questions of “Germanic origin” be put to bed? And are there any intertextual connections between this poem and other monuments of Medieval Literature?
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

The Old Saxon Hêliand I

Old Saxon, the continental cousin to Old English, was the language spoken in Northern Germany from the ninth to the twelfth century. It is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Anglo-Saxon, so Old English students will easily be able to read and understand it. The language boasts a number of smaller texts, but the Hêliand, an epic poem of nearly 6,000 lines, remains its most prestigious literary monument. It tells the story of Jesus Christ (the “Hêliand,” meaning “Savior”) reimagined as a Saxon lord with a retinue of twelve thanes, and is comparable to the Old English Beowulf. In our Space module, we will read and discuss selections of this poem. Some familiarity with Old English is required.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel.

The Women of Beowulf

Yes, there are indeed women in Beowulf. Vital and potent women in fact. From the valkyrie-esque figures to the weeping peace-weavers, a broad spectrum of women characters exists as both historical representation and imaginative mythology. Grendel's Mother is ferocious and masculine. Hildeburh laments the death of her brother and son before being carried off. Modthryth behaves like a sadistic queen. Wealhtheow is mindful of so much in her husband's hall. Freawaru seems destined for tragedy. And could the dragon be a female too? Maria Headley seems to think so. This module will explore this topic using dual-language editions of texts so we can see the original language alongside translations by J.R.R. Tolkien, Roy Liuzza, and Maria Headley.
Precepted by Chris Vaccaro.

Translation Principles: Adventures in Multilingual Comparison

Reading a text in multiple languages affords not only a fascinating look at the text but also insights into the process of translation. Participants of this module are each encouraged to bring a translation of the New Testament in a language other than English. Together, we will read through the book of 1 John, verse by verse, considering what translation choices were made for each language represented. We will discuss what we know about the conditions under which each translation was made and consider what we know about the respective cultures in order to investigate what motivated particular choices. As a side benefit, we will marvel at the widely diverse ways languages encode meaning and we will learn interesting facts about grammar in general.

This course will be most beneficial for people who have at least a basic reading ability in any language other than English.
Precepted by Eve Droma.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].