Language Institute

The Language Institute

Welcoming the World through Caring Relationships and English Instruction


For All English Levels

The Language Institute at University Presbyterian Church offers classes to improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

We also have opportunities for you to practice your conversational English.

Email Valerie for more info.

We’re celebrating our 41 years of welcoming the world through caring relationships and English instruction! 
New Classes & Fall Registration Posted September 1

Our Classes

All students, email Valerie with your course and level requests. Check your level here.
When Valerie has confirmed your level, proceed to the registration page.

  • Fall Quarter Interviews: September 5 – 22
Time Sample Classes from 2022 Why Should I take this class?
2:30–3:30 Tuesday 3:00–5:00 Wednesday
Movement & Exercise
Be social. Get stronger. Learn English. Large screen, exercise app for yoga, strength, Pilates, and more. Wednesdays includes gym — basketball and more! Language Institute students and families.
9:30–10:45 Tuesday
Intermediate Reading and Discussion Skills
Read faster and better. Develop discussion and vocabulary skills — Jane and Richard Lewis
9:30–10:45 Tuesday
Advanced Skills using Movie clips & TED Talks — Ken Grafham
Watch, listen, think, write, speak! Improve all these skills using entertaining movie clips and TED Talks.
11:00–12:30 Tuesday
Intermediate Grammar — Katherine Luu
Learn the most useful intermediate grammar for the real world.
11:00–12:30 Tuesday
Advanced Grammar — Linda Quist
Learn the most useful advanced grammar in real-world contexts.
1:00–2:30 Tuesday
Intermediate Pronunciation, Listening and Speaking — Carol Overbeck & Sharon Meachum
Improve your listening skills. Learn correct pronunciation and discussion skills.
1:00–2:30 Tuesday
Advanced Listening and Discussion — Bruce Meachum
Improve listening comprehension, engage in conversation both formal and informal, learn idiomatic English and discuss questions about American culture.
10:00–11:15 Wednesday
Book Club & Discussion— Lisl Helms

Learn new vocabulary, verbal phrases, grammar, all while reading Pam Muñoz Ryan novel, Esperanza Rising. Please buy a paper copy, new or used. Intermediate —Advanced

11:30—12:30 Wednesdays
Bible Story Show & Tell — Your Story, Big Story All levels — Vivienne Leung & Valerie Giesbrecht
Watch, listen, think, speak! Learn the stories of the Bible — Noah and the Great Flood, Jonah and the Whale, The Little Man, The Pearl of Great Price, and many more.
7:00–8:15 pm Thursday
Conversation Class about living in America — Karen Farley
Your rights, schools, laws, sexual harassment, tipping, volunteering, cowboys, guns, and more! Learn practical information for living and succeeding in America.
10:00–11:00 Thursday
Language & Parenting on Zoom — Lauren Feng & Mayumi Yoshikawa
Discuss important parenting skills and share from life experiences. Meet with parents over zoom and in parks. Intermediate – Advanced.
10:00—11:15 Thursday
Advanced Beginners All Skills — Marsha Barr & Valerie Giesbrecht
Listen and speak, read and write. Practice everything you need for success in America.
11:00–12:00 Monday & Wednesday
News Hour on Zoom
Learn how to listen, read, and discuss the latest news from around the world. This class meets twice a week.
Times vary
True Beginners — Ingrid Korb & Pat Finlayson

Learn the words and sounds of English. email

Times vary
Private Tutoring (all levels)
Are you working on a specific project or need work on a specific skill? Do you want to read articles or a book with a tutor? Bring it to a 1:1 session.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • English language-learning adults from beginner to advanced
  • Short and long-term visitors, post-docs, researchers, family members, immigrants, refugees
  • Affordable in-person and zoom classes
  • Personalized instruction, small classes
  • Caring instructors – highly educated professionals
  • Classes are relational, giving plenty of time for conversation and questions
  • No passing or failing – you decide how much and how fast you will learn
  • Choose from academic and unique elective classes and/or one-on-one tutoring

Classes are 10 weeks long.

2023 Winter Quarter: January 3 – March 10

2023 Spring Quarter: March 27 – June 2

2023 Fall Quarter: September 25 – December 8

10-week classes are offered for a one-time $60 fee. Private tutoring costs a one-time fee of $200 for 10 weekly sessions.

Discounts and scholarships are available for refugees and low-income immigrants.

Please send an email so we can connect and help you start out well.

Please use this document to help you identify your level.

What Students Are Saying

“If it weren’t for Language Institute’s guidance and practice with me, I never would have received the fellowship I applied for. The time my tutor spent with me indeed helped me a lot. Thank you so much for your dedication.”  —University of Washington post-doctoral student

“This is my first time attending this kind of class. It is so different. I am grateful for patient teachers.”

“I don’t want another certificate. I want to experience the culture. I can do that here.”

“I can listen to different opinions in the class and learn from others.”

“The NEWS class forces me to open my horizons.”

“This class helps me think about parenting deeply. I can bring more tools and more strategy to my parenting like how to guide when your child hits somebody. This class is really efficient and important for parents. “

“I was lonely, shy, and afraid to speak English. For the first three months, I spent a lot of time at home alone. Then I joined Language Institute. Now I’ve made a lot of friends and feel much more confident speaking English!”

“At first, I didn’t imagine that I could read an English book until the end but following Valerie’s way is very helpful to me, and I made it. I’m proud of myself, and I would recommend this class.”

“Great teachers, friendly classmates, low student-to-teacher ratio, inexpensive tuition for high-quality classes. I LOVE my classes, and they keep me motivated.”

“Language Institute has been not only a forum where our family learns English but also a support group and a great social network that helps ease life’s hardships.”

“I love all my teachers. They all are supportive, nice, inspiring, patient, enthusiastic, and teach with real passion. I appreciate being part of this lovely community.”

“The parenting class helps me a lot to improve my parenting skills and increase my confidence by sharing my trouble with other moms. I really appreciate your help. I really recommend others to join Language institute.”

“The encouragement and support I get from my class is a priceless present.” 

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