StudentGroup ProvidesClassesin23Languages

Contact: Matt Collette at 617-373-5471

(2-12-07) BOSTON, Mass. – The Northeastern University Cultural and Language Learning Society (NUCALLS), one of the fastest growing student groups at Northeastern, provides students with an opportunity to learn any of 23 languages in weekly classes taught by their peers.

NUCALLS was founded in July 2006, and its first meeting was attended by about 200 people. A few months later, NUCALLS had over 750 students taking classes, making it the largest student group at Northeastern.

“We weren’t exactly sure how people would respond, but we were prepared for a tidal wave and we got it,” said NUCALLS president Michael DeRamo, who got the idea for NUCALLS after working with the Student Government Association to determine how to improve language courses at Northeastern.

The most popular courses are Spanish and French, since many students want to continue with the languages they learned in high school. Asian languages, like Mandarin and Japanese, are also very popular, since students feel that learning these languages can help with their careers. NUCALLS offers four levels of courses, ranging from elementary classes for those who have never learned the language before to advanced classes taught completely in a foreign language.

NUCALLS is unique because it offers an opportunity for both social and academic networking. Its mission, to build an avenue for students to learn from each other, relies on the fact that students should want to be there, so having fun is a top priority.

“A lot of students want to learn other languages but don’t have the time or resources to take the classes at Northeastern, so this is an excellent alternative,” said Brittany Blackmon, who teaches an NUCALLS French class. “The program works because so many motivated people are involved and everyone wants to get something out of it.”

Courses are provided free of charge and instructors have access to unused textbooks from the Department of Modern Languages. NUCALLS officers have also met with the staff at Northeastern’s Snell Library to build a database of the language resources available on campus.

“Northeastern students are very career-oriented and therefore they want to participate in experiential opportunities such as international co-op or study abroad,” said NUCALLS Vice President MJ Paradiso. “They recognize that knowing the language will increase the value of the experience for them.”

This semester, NUCALLS is expanding its programming by offering foreign film screenings, trips to embassies and consulates, and lectures on foreign culture in addition to language classes.

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About Northeastern: Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit