Student Voice


May 20, 2024


Light Drizzle

Classes geared toward better learning

February 15, 2007

Languages classes are being offered through the Outreach and Graduate Studies program, so anyone can develop their vocabulary and better understand a culture before traveling abroad.

The courses, which are held on the UW-River Falls campus, have already begun. Spanish I classes started Feb. 6 and will be held every Tuesday until March 13. Italian classes began Feb. 7 and will be offered on Wednesdays through March 14.

Spanish II will begin March 27, so enrollment is still available for this course.

“The course will give a basic elementary education of speaking the languages because they are mainly for traveling and teaching children,” Cynthia Wells-O’Malley, program manager of Outreach and Graduate Studies, said.

This is a new program that started this semester and, depending on interest, will continue to be held every semester from now on, she said.

Though you can’t transfer the credit over at all to the University, this is a straightforward class to take if students plan on traveling abroad, she said.

“This program is a way to reach out to the community; everyone can participate,” Wells-O’Malley said. “There are no tests, just homework, to make the classroom more stress-free.”

Karen Neset is one of the two teachers involved in the program.

She teaches Italian and has experience teaching non-credit classes at Minnesota colleges and universities.

“The class is specifically geared for travelers,” Neset said, “ The curriculum will consist of asking for reservations, eating and other normal activities with some comfort.”

Presently, there are twelve adults of all ages enrolled in Italian.

The students not only come from River Falls, but also from surrounding towns, such as Hudson and Ellsworth.

This is also an ideal introduction to the language for those planning to travel to Spanish-speaking countries.

Mike Madson, a River Falls resident, is taking the Spanish class because it will be useful in the future.

“I plan on retiring in the Caribbean or Cuba one day, so this course is beneficial,” he said.

The noncredit languages classes are also convenient because of how fast the course fills up on campus.

“It is good that they have this class available because it is so difficult to enroll in the University courses,” Madson said.

The other instructor, Nancy Schrank, a UW-River Falls alumna, teaches Spanish at a local public school.

According to the Outreach Web site, this class will combine culture, vocabulary and grammar.

“There will be activities that will replicate everyday situations such as speaking in front of large groups, which is a common fear, as well as having conversations in partners,” Schrank said. “We also try to make the learning interactive by throwing a ball around to practice word commands.”

Spanish and Italian will be an on-going six-week course held each semester and will be listed on the Outreach and Graduate Studies Web site.

Both classes are 90 minutes long starting at 6:00 p.m. and meet once a week.

The cost for each course is $85 and there are required textbooks and workbooks, which can be purchased at the University bookstore.

Registration can be done either on the Web site, by mail or at the Outreach and Graduate Studies office located on in the Regional Development Institute on campus.

In addition, there is free, convenient parking close to Rodli Commons and the Kleinpell Fine Arts building, where the classes are held.