Add a valuable string to your bow with this round-up of language courses
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s not just the kids who are heading back to the classroom. With September there are lots of new opportunities for adult learners to pick up a new skill too. We’ve come up with a variety of language courses that’ll help you add another string to your bow.
Arabic There are loads of Arabic tutors available on the island but if you want to go the official school route, Lingo Ease offers Arabic as well as English and Spanish courses. There’s even one where you can expect to be able to converse and even read a bit in 10 weeks over 20 hours.
Offering both modern standard Arabic and Gulf Arabic, the school plans courses around its students to suit times and needs and teaching is by native speakers.
Timings and costs for the September classes are still to be confirmed.
Berlitz and the Gulf International Institute also offer a wide range of Arabic courses at various times. Lingo Ease, Budaiya Highway. Call (17 590 895). Berlitz, Adliya and Budaiya. Call (17 694 233). Gulf International Institute, Hoora. Call (17 290 209).
Chinese With Mandarin, and to a lesser extent Cantonese, becoming increasingly important in business, there’s never been a better time to learn.
Berlitz offers Mandarin courses or try one-to-one tutoring. Native speaker Yuting Ji teaches both Mandarin and Cantonese and classes can be arranged to suit either in your own home at 12BD per hour or at the Hole in One donut shop at the Palace Hotel. Call (33 720 088).
French The Alliance Francaise de Bahrain begins a new season of twice-weekly courses on September 16 running over 12 weeks both days and evenings on either Sundays and Tuesdays or Mondays and Wednesdays. There’s also a French cinema club and the Alliance has a French library for those who want to practice with a bit of light reading.
The prices are still to be confirmed as courses have previously run over eight weeks. Alliance Francaise de Bahrain, Isa Town. Call (17 683 295).
English Aside from Arabic, English is the island’s most commonly spoken language and is the one you’ll need for business.
There are various classes, again at Berlitz, Gulf International Institute and Lingo Ease, and the British Council offers general English, IELTS preparation (the language assessment you will need for immigration) and a newly-launched business English course.
Registration was at the end of August but it’s worth checking to see if there are places still available for the September course and there are further sessions planned for later in the year. Call (17 261 555/17 266 166).
German The German Embassy runs a series of courses from beginners to advanced level with the next term due to start on September 5.
Lessons correspond to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the teachers are experienced and highly-qualified native speakers.
You get a course completion certificate issued by the German Embassy and those who reach a certain language level can take examinations certified by the Goethe-Institute.
Courses run both day and evening over 12 weeks and cost BD230 and there will be another beginning on December 19. Classes are at the Salman Cultural Centre, Gudaibiya, off Sheikh Daij Avenue near the parliament building. Call (17 745 263).
Hindi India has dozens, if not hundreds, of different languages but Hindi’s the official one and the most widely spoken. And with the rise of the sub-continent as an emerging commercial super power, it could be the business language to have in the future. It’s also useful for communicating with the island’s massive Indian ex-pat population.
There aren’t any official Hindi classes available in Bahrain at the moment but there are plenty of tutors available. Find details at www.language-school-teachers.com.
Irish It might not be much use in the workplace but who can resist the romance of the original language of the Emerald Isle?
There’s no school or institute but if you fancy learning Irish Gaelic ‘cupla gocal as Gaeilge’, don’t despair classes are available. Call Catherine (39 272 683).
Italian Berlitz is the only official Italian language course available on the island though there are a couple of tutors.
You’ll have to go into one of the language centres to register as courses are designed based on your lifestyle, needs and aspirations.
There’s no set fee, it depends on what you want to achieve but an initial course of ten lessons will cost around BD180 and you can progress from there. Berlitz, Adliya and Budaiya. Call (17 694 233).
Japanese A Japanese-Language course is offered by the Continuing Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education, in association with Nomura Bahrain-Japan Friendship Fund. A new course is due to start in the middle of September but details had not been finalised as we went to press. Classed are at the University of Bahrain. Call (17 878 692/17 878 695).
Spanish Want to Learn Spanish has a variety of courses at which you’re immersed in the language from the very first class to prepare you to face real-life situations.
Teachers are native speakers from Spain and Latin America and you can attend as many classes as you like, within the same level, if you need to review or catch up.
There are classes for beginners, conversational and business Spanish and times, subject to change according to demand, are Tuesday mornings and evenings and Saturday mornings with registration at the Poetry House in Manama on September 8 and the first class on September 11.
Classes cost BD45 for 15 hours plus BD12 for materials and there’s also a Spanish cinema club and the chance to join intensive language courses in Spain. Spanish is also taught at Ligo Ease and Berlitz. Want to Learn Spanish classes are held at the Sheikh Ebrahim Centre. Call (38 396 273/39 638 714).