Introductory language courses offered in German, Japanese

Western Carolina University’s Division of Educational Outreach will offer two introductory language courses designed to build both cultural knowledge and conversational language skills during the spring semester.

“German for Beginners” will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, Feb. 7 through April 11, in Room 143 of the Cordelia Camp Building on WCU’s main campus in Cullowhee.

Designed for adults, the self-contained, conversation-based course is built around original electronic materials created by the instructor, Will Lehman, associate professor of German in WCU’s Department of World Languages. Lehman holds a doctorate in German studies from the University of Florida and is an avid traveler and language learner himself.

The course will cover topics such as formal and informal introductions, talking about origins and hometowns, shopping, eating, clothing and family life.

“Learning German will not only make traveling in Central Europe more rewarding, it can also open a fascinating world of original texts in the sciences, philosophy, religion and the arts,” Lehman said.

The cost is $59 for those registering before Feb. 7; thereafter it is $79.

A course in “Introductory Japanese Language and Culture” will start March 21 and run for five weeks on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville.

The course will explore the traditional and contemporary culture of Japan, basics of Japanese conversations such as greetings, and cultural expectations such as how to use chopsticks correctly. Participants also will learn about the Japanese writing system.

“No previous knowledge of Japanese is necessary,” said Soichiro Motohashi, a native of Japan and instructor of Japanese at WCU who will lead the course. Motohashi holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of South Florida and has been teaching Japanese language and culture for eight years.

The cost for “Introductory Japanese Language and Culture” is $85 for those registering before Thursday, March 1; thereafter the cost will be $99.

For more information and to register, go to or call 828-227-7397.

WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach extends access to education and training through innovative courses, programs and services for individuals and communities both locally and globally. For more information, go to