The Alternate Language Study Option (ALSO) program is designed for self-motivated and disciplined students who want to learn a language not taught through the regular curriculum at Grinnell. The program provides a two-semester sequence of beginning level self-instructional study in a variety of languages, including but not limited to Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Hindi, Czech, and Kiswahili. The specific languages offered depend on the number of students interested and the availability of materials and trained tutors. Students interested in intermediate and advanced study may work with the director to select learning goals and materials for study.

Interested students must apply to the program and provide a compelling reason for studying their chosen language (study abroad, enrichment of a major or concentration) as well as two references who will speak to their capacity for self-directed study. Accepted students are expected to set up and adhere to a schedule of intensive daily individual study, supplemented by three practice sessions per week conducted by a native speaker of the language.