Columbia Association’s popular World Languages Café to kick off 2016 in new location

December 30, 2015

Columbia Association’s (CA) World Languages Café began in early 2013 as a way to provide great evenings of conversations and culture in more than a dozen different languages. Now, as the popular program approaches its third anniversary, the World Languages Café will start 2016 by moving to a different location and a different day of the week.

The World Languages Café will meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the 50+ Center at East Columbia Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way in Owen Brown. Upcoming sessions will be on Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 22, April 26, May 24 and June 28. All sessions are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Individuals are invited to come and join the language table of their choice, whether they wish to drop in or stay the entire time. Tea, coffee and water will be available; vending machines with snacks are inside the library. People are welcome to bring food and beverages and may even choose to share treats with their table.

Languages include American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. Language tables are hosted by native speakers who will facilitate conversation. Most people who attend already have some fluency in the language and can put sentences together; these gatherings are not grammar or vocabulary classes.

The World Languages Café is a great place for individuals to speak a language they know or are learning, to converse in a friendly atmosphere, meet new people who enjoy learning about other cultures, increase their fluency by speaking and listening, pick up useful phrases to use when traveling and recall their childhood languages.

Check on what’s being offered each month, learn whom the table hosts will be or volunteer to become a host by emailing or calling Laura Smit, manager of CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs, at 410-715-3162.

“Although the World Languages Café is moving to the 50+ Center, it is still open to be enjoyed by everyone of all ages,” Smit said. “CA is greatly appreciative of Wegmans for hosting us for nearly three years and providing a great place every month for World Languages Cafe participants to come, grab a bite to eat if they wish, and take part in an enjoyable multicultural program. Participants are now able to bring in outside food if they so desire. We think it would be fun if participants bring food that coincides with the languages being spoken.”

CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs foster international understanding and celebrate the diverse cultures of Columbia. The goals of the International Exchange Program include developing new exchanges with Columbia’s three sister cities and creating new Sister City relationships in other cities and nations. CA also develops multicultural programs for the community such as the World Languages Café, Culture Fests, the International Book Club and the World Food Passport program. For more information, go to  Multicultural.

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