"Bridges: Children, Languages, World" is a project that offers exploratory language and culture classes to young learners in the greater Bloomington, Indiana area. Knowing that learning world language at an early age enhances linguistic ability overall, the central goal of Bridges is to ignite interest in learning about different languages and cultures and inspire children to pursue both with excitement and enthusiasm throughout their lives.
Bridges puts emphasis on providing classes in Less-Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL), many of which have been identified as 'Critical Needs Languages' by the U.S. State Department. The teaching approach used by instructors is the communicative method, which means fun for kids through games, stories, free play, crafts, puppet shows, and other interactive activities to help children acquire new vocabulary in the target language.
Currently, Bridges programs take place throughout Bloomington, with partner sites such as elementary schools, and neighborhood learning centers. This mutually beneficial relationship among university and non-university partners allows Bridges to offer quality world instruction to children and parents of Monroe County, IN. This year the program is offering online courses and registration is free.