Community News Chattanooga School of Language's growth necessitates new facility

Community News Chattanooga School of Language's growth necessitates new facility

March 8th, 2017 by Shane Foley in Community North Hamilton

One of Chattanooga School of Language's adult French classes reviews their notes.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Learning a new language isn't just conjugating verbs. Students at Chattanooga School of Language also study the country or countries where the language is spoken, learning about things from geography to culture.

Learning a new language isn't just conjugating verbs....

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga School of Language is looking forward to a move which owner and director Laurie Stevens hopes will help those interested in learning another language — of which there are many in Chattanooga, she says.

"Our evening classes are practically bursting at the seams," Stevens said.

While the school is currently happy in St. Elmo, where it offers lessons in everything from Polish to Portugese, the growth of its programs has necessitated a larger space for the second time. Originally opening in Highland Park in 2011, the school moved to St. Elmo within six months of starting.

The school is now preparing to move to the Hixson area the first week of April, and the new location's proximity to Highway 153 and Amnicola Highway should give many clients a shorter drive to the facility, said Stevens.

In addition, the visibility provided by being on North Access Road, along with the recent growth in Hixson, should translate into more people eager to learn a new language, she said.

The expansion won't just mean more classrooms, either.

"We'll be offering a full-year home-school program for the 2017-2018 school year," said Stevens. "We'll also be able to offer more classes in the evenings for adults."

The term "home-school" refers to the method rather than the location — all classes will take place at the school's new location. Classes will be conducted in the language the students are trying to learn, and students will move from listening and reading up to speaking and writing, just as a young child would learn a language in the home.

The new facility's added space will make it easier to accommodate more students while also enabling smaller class sizes across the board, which will provide more interaction between individual students and instructors, Stevens said. As of right now, nearly every single classroom at the school's current location is used for night classes for adults, which are so popular that scheduling is difficult.

"Our mission is to create a more educated, aware and inclusive community through the teaching of language and culture," said Stevens. "We exist because there's a need in our town for the learning of language, and that need is growing."

The school offers classes to groups, as well as private lessons customized to meet individual needs. Teachers also work closely with businesses and corporations such as Volkswagen to help teach language skills necessary in the business world.

While the most common language taught at the school is Spanish, Stevens said there are frequent classes on Japanese, Arabic, French, German and American Sign Language, just to name a few.

For more information, visit or call 802-2040. The school's new address will be 4122 N. Access Road.

Email Shane Foley at