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.

Students attend a 4-week course at the beginning of the semester with the program director to learn tools and strategies for independent study. Students keep an e-portfolio documenting growth and are formally assessed at the end of the second semester (for beginning students) with a standardized oral interview via computer or phone. Students in starting a beginning course may pre-register for ALS-100. Students wishing to learn at a more advanced level should email the director.


In summer immersion programs, Hannah Hwang ’18 will study Korean in South Korea; Emily Howe ’16 will study Swahili in Tanzania.