Detroit Mercy’s Language & Cultural Training (LCT) program has partnered with the city of Detroit’s Park and Recreation Department to provide family language classes in Arabic, Japanese, Spanish and ESL.
Lara Wasner, director of language and cultural training at Detroit Mercy, and city of Detroit employee and Detroit Mercy alumna Morae Cochran worked together to create the pilot program in 2021.
The program started with two, five-week sessions in both the fall and spring. Within days of the course offering, enrollment reached capacity. The non-credit-bearing classes are being offered to individuals and families with children ages 9 and older.
Students are introduced to the basics of the sound and writing system, some greetings and commonly-used phrases and interesting cultural information. Both Wasner and Cochran see this as an opportunity to support Detroit residents in accessing language education and opening the door for future partnership opportunities in language studies and in other areas.