Speak! Language Center

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About Speak! Language Center

Learn to Speak! the language of your dreams!

Speak! offers foreign language instruction for adults and children, in 10 languages, including: Italian, Spanish, French, Mandarin, German and English.

Small group, individual and custom courses for the short or long term are offered. We offer a fun, conversational and cultural approach.

We also offer travel consulting services, as well as study abroad/travel-and-learn experiences in France, Italy and, soon, Ecuador.

We have a beautiful cultural events and event space, located in Downtown Charlottesville, VA.


313 2nd St. S.E., #109
Charlottesville, VA 22902


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  • 5/5 stars

    Christina Ball had a dream. She wanted to offer an alternative means of language study for those not necessarily interested in university courses.

    It would be hard to explain Speak! Language Center without describing Christina Ball’s personality. Christina has a rare combination of qualities. She is very much a people person who nevertheless mustered the academic discipline to earn a PhD.

    Mastering a language requires diligent study, but Christina understands that language is fundamentally social. Ancient peoples could talk before they could write. You can never master a language if you are afraid to talk to people.

    Christina knew that her main challenge would be to break the ice. That’s what she does best. Everything about Speak! invites would be students to let go of their inhibitions and prejudices and “take the plunge.”

    It works. The second biggest challenge is simply to spread the word. Come see for yourself.

  • 5/5 stars

    I have been involved with Speak for about 3 years. The first year I took a trip to Todi in Umbria, I went by myself, but Christina helped me to make the arrangements. Last year I went with a Speak group to Todi for 2 weeks at the language school, La Linga, La Vita. Christina arranged a wonderful panorama of events and tours for us. After attending a class in Italian operas for 2 years at Speak, I am going to Verona this year with the group who has been studying opera and Italian. I've also attended pronunciation classes in Italian and a cinema class. Everything is alway well done. I believe that if you have a second language you do have a second life!

Question and answer

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Look for a language provider offering a full-range of programs - small group classes, individual lessons, cultural and travel services - so that they can work with you over the long term to help you achieve your goals. Learning a language requires lots of speaking practice, intimate classes, dynamic teachers and - ideally - lots of fun and inspiration to help keep you motivated!!! Speak! offers all of this - and more!

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. Teaching language requires patience, creativity, enthusiasm, great listening skills and an in-depth knowledge of both the language-culture being taught and the needs of each individual students. After 25 years in the language education business, it's clear that more frequent, face-to-face speaking practice combined with an inspirational, fun and social approach guarantees results over the short or long term. For more secrets, come to Speak! in Charlottesville or study the language of your dreams abroad with us!

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. *Do you offer a full-range of programs over the long term to keep me progressing and motivated? Will your programs take into consideration my unique language goals and my schedule?
*What is the size of your classes? (ideally less than 8)?
*How often do lessons take place?(ideally from 2-5 days per week)
*Do your teachers have native or near-native fluency as well as significant teaching experience?
*Do you offer travel services so that I can further expand my knowledge (and enjoyment) of the language-culture I am studying?
*Can you provide me with testimonials?
*I work and travel a lot: do you offer individual language training as well as online options?
*Do you offer the chance to meet others with similar language-culture-travel interests?
*I would like to learn with my children: do you offer programs for kids and families?

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. There are not many places like Speak! in the U.S.! Our school is beautiful, our approach is dynamic and fun, we provide a full-range of programs both in Virginia and abroad and we REALLY TEACH ADULTS AND KIDS TO SPEAK!! and ENJOY SPEAKING OTHER LANGUAGES!
Our approach combines top-quality language learning with an in-depth exploration of culture. Come visit any class or attend and event to see (and hear) what we mean!

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