FAQ

Why learn a foreign language?

What makes your school different from others?

Who are your teachers?

How many people are in a group?

Do I need to buy any materials?

What kind of specials do you offer?

Your school is far from our house. What should I do?

When can we start?

How frequent are the classes?

How long are the classes?

What is your makeup policy?

Why should children learn a foreign language while young?

Aren’t two languages enough? Is it really that beneficial to add a third?

Which language should I learn?

What is a heritage language?

Why learn a foreign language?

We know there are different reasons for studying a foreign language. Preparing for an international trip or a destination wedding, connecting with your roots, building relationships overseas, having a foreign partner, obtaining a competitive advantage at work, making sure your child gets into college with a scholarship, passion for a certain type of ethnic literature, music, food or culture – these all serve as motivation for learning different aspects of a language. Based on your needs, we choose the method that is right for you – an immersion program, fun lessons or a more formal approach.

It is easy to make the case for the importance of studying other languages and starting young.The ability to communicate with confidence and cultural sensitivity in more than one language broadens your experiences and expands your world view. Language study and acquisition develops your intellect and encourages you to engage in critical reflections about the world and its many cultures and about your own language and culture.

Language proficiency can also be greatly beneficial for

  • your chances of getting into a top tier university
  • employment and future career prospects
  • problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • minimizing language barriers and building cross-cultural understanding at your company or in your family

What makes your school different from others?

1. Rare languages. It is the only school in the Midwest that focuses on Russian, Chinese and Arabic, which are critical needs languages but are not as commonly available as others .

2. Highly customized and student-centered lessons. Our school doesn’t believe in a single magic recipe and carefully chooses and combines the techniques it employs – from immersion programs and fun activities to formal lessons depending on students’ goals. We utilize numerous teaching resources. Our teachers participate in the nation’s best workshops and employ the latest methods and best practices.

3. A lot of culture. Learning a language doesn’t simply mean memorizing useful phrases and mastering grammar. Learning a language is about absorbing another culture and understanding a different mindset. Our teachers, primarily all native speakers, are eager to share their cultures with you and your children and help you uncover opportunities that are inaccessible to people who don’t speak a foreign language.

4. Lessons based on real world scenarios. At Cloudberry you won’t just learn phrases and vocabulary but will feel comfortable ordering food in restaurants, bargaining in a foreign market, making an appointment over the phone or asking for directions. Our lessons are developed based on real world scenarios.

5. Family programs. Our school offers unique separate family programs for adopted children or those who want to learn a language as a family.

6. Heritage programs. Cloudberry is an expert in teaching languages to heritage speakers (who speak another language at home). Our heritage teachers receive the best training and utilize the latest resources. Learn more about heritage language programs.

7. Progress reports. We like to see your progress! That’s why we developed a unique progress tracking system. We will constantly update you on your strengths and weaknesses.

Who are your teachers?

Our teachers are not simply native speakers but highly experienced instructors who follow the latest teaching trends, have the best education in the industry and take responsibility for ensuring student progress. Learn more.

How many people are in a group?

Our groups usually have less than 7 people. We keep our groups small so everyone can get enough attention and feedback from the teacher. We form groups based on students’ interests and communication needs.

Do I need to buy any materials?

No. All materials are provided by Cloudberry.

What kind of specials do you offer?

Sibling Discount: enroll two or more children with a discount.

Refer a Friend Offer: refer a friend and get a free dinner

Gift for Learning Two or More Languages (3 gift options): if you choose to learn more than one language with our school, you should be applauded! Cloudberry is happy to reward you with a free dinner at one of Chicago’s ethnic restaurants, a book or a free language lesson. Choose your reward and carry on!

Your school is far from our house. What should I do?

We are proud of our flexibility and believe that in the 21st century schools should come to students. Contact us and Cloudberry might be able to come to your neighborhood or suburb.

We also can pick your child up at school or home and drive him/her back after the language classes for an additional charge. Learn more about our other services.

When can we start?

We are happy to enroll you or your child at any time and welcome your family to our school so that you can begin reaping the many benefits of learning another language immediately.  Learn more.

How frequent are the classes?

Two to three times a week is ideal to start seeing serious progress. Once a week is also enough to make progress. Half-day and full-day immersion programs have proved to be the most effective way to learn a new language.

How long are the classes?

Each class lasts 1 hour for young children and 90 minutes for teens and adults. We also offer highly effective and fun 4-8 hour immersion programs.

What is your makeup policy?

If you missed a class, contact us and we will try to get you up to speed for free so you can continue studying the language with your group.

Why should children learn a foreign language while young?

According to The Wall Street Journal, “learning a second language later in life is fundamentally different from learning it early in life….Toddlers who learn a second language along with their native tongue store this capability in a single sector in the brain…but if the second language is acquired later—say, in a French class in high school—the brain designates a separate area for processing it….those who learn two languages at a young age retain an [unique] ability to speak both as if each was their native tongue.” Early language learning not only enables a child to speak without an accent but enhances overall intelligence development. Research has shown that children who learn a foreign language do better at school, especially in English and math.

Aren’t two languages enough? Is it really that beneficial to add a third?

Studies have revealed that multilinguals have enhanced memory, planning, and multi-tasking skills. When learning multiple languages at a young age, the brain is trained to retain salient information and disregard non-pertinent information, a skill that later supports better focus, memory, planning and multitasking abilities.

  • Research shows that multilinguals use more of their brains than monolinguals and outperform monolinguals on creativity tests.
  • Multilinguals are shown to have heightened intellectual empathy and cultural integration skills. In short, they are more open to differing world views and experiences, and are more culturally sensitive.
  • In addition to the enhanced linguistic and cognitive benefits of being multilingual, imagine how many more doors will open if they speak a third language — the career opportunities, the travel opportunities, the expanded worldview and greater cultural understanding…not to mention the tremendous confidence they will have from being multilingual!

Which language should I learn?

Think of a language which helps to open opportunities for yourself or your children, to preserve family heritage, or to communicate with other family members/friends/business partners. The languages with the most speakers are:

  1. Mandarin Chinese (720 million)
  2. English (480 million)
  3. Spanish (320 million)
  4. Russian (285 million)
  5. French (265 million)
  6. Hindi/Urdu (250 million)
  7. Indonesian/Malay (230 million)
  8. Arabic (221 million)
  9. Portuguese (188 million)
  10. Bengali (185 million)
  11. Japanese (133 million)
  12. German (109 million)

The critical needs languages are Russian, Chinese Mandarin and Arabic. Apart from English, the five official UN languages are Russian, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French and Spanish. Also, it’s a question of personal preference. If you enjoy Italian movies and culture, go for it! Learn more and choose a new language to learn today!

What is a heritage language?

It’s a language a family speaks at home. A heritage speaker is someone who grows up with a family language that is different from the dominant language in the country. So if someone grows up in the U.S.in a family speaking Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean or Polish, then that person would be a heritage speaker of that language. Learn more about our Heritage Program. Learn more about heritage language program.

My question was not answered above. Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact Ksenia at ksenia@cloudberrylanguageschool.com or 773-942-6262.