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 42 years of welcoming the world through caring relationships and English instruction! 
New Classes & Fall Registration Posted September 1

Our Classes

All students, new and returning, 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
Buy 4 classes, get the 5th class Free! (spouses included). Email for the discount code.
Time Classes Why should I take this class?
9:30 - 11 Tuesday
Beginning English
Learn basics for reading, writing, listening and speaking with an experienced and patient teacher. Pat Finlayson
9:30 - 10:45 Tuesday
Advanced Listening/ Discussions 101
Learn advanced skills for listening and contributing to a discussion through TED Talks. Sharpen skills with short in-class writing prompts. Identify and use idioms and slang. Ken Grafham
10 - 11 Tuesday and Thursday
NEWS and Coffee Meet-ups
Upper Intermediate/Advanced Learn necessary English for understanding world news like new vocabulary, idioms, and verbal phrases. The second class is a discussion. This class meet twice a week on ZOOM. Additional coffeeshop conversation meet-ups will be scheduled for those living in Seattle. Margaret Largent
11-12:30 Tuesday
Graphic Novel
Intermediate/Advanced How are idioms and slang used in real life? How can cartoon pictures add to reading? Can grammar be learned from reading? Discuss themes of stepping into a new experience and so much more. This novel, Dragon Hoops, won BOOK OF THE YEAR!Ken Grafham
1 - 2:30 Tuesday
Intermediate Listening, Discussion and Pronunciation 101
Learn how to listen and understand in new ways. Discuss topics in small groups. Learn American culture and pronunciation tips! Carol Overbeck and Sharon Meachum
10:00 - 11:30 Wednesday
Speaking Made Simple 101
Intermediate Are you shy and afraid to speak? This class will build your confidence in a natural way. Step-by-step instruction and practice in a comfortable environment will show you how to improve! Jane and Richard Lewis
10:00 - 11:15 Wednesday
Learn with Moms: Parenting for English Learners
Gather with moms to learn from experience and research. Gain confidence in speaking English. This class meets on ZOOM with several in-person meetings and fun playdates. Lauren Feng and Renee Leong
12-1 Wednesday
Guide to USA: What scholars, visitors and immigrants need to know

Upper Intermediate/Advanced Learn practical information for living and succeeding in America - laws, medical system, cultural questions, schools including parent-teacher conferences. Bring your lunch to this noon hour class.

7-8:15 pm Wednesday
Pronunciation Plus
Intermediate/Advanced You can read, write, and understand English, but your pronunciation might not be clear. Learn new methods so you can be understood! Evening class on ZOOM. Ruth Voetmann
11 - 12:30 Thursdays
Global Issues Today
Upper Intermediate/Advanced Focus on listening, speaking, new vocabulary and grammar while learning about issues that affect us today. Expect lively discussions! Gretchen House
Flexible times
Private Tutoring
Upper Intermediate/Advanced 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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