Language practice groups
Mon Nov 7 2011
Illustration: Kelsey Heinrichs
New York Spanish Language Meetup
Brush up on your Spanish and meet new amigos as part of this group, which is open to all (even those without prior experience). Argentina-born organizer Nestor Masckauchan immerses attendees in the Spanish language and culture with a variety of monthly get-togethers, including straight-up language workshops and regular movie screenings subtitled in English (next screening Nov 18; $16 ). Spanishconversation.org.
French Institute Alliance Franaise First Tuesdays
Wine, cheese, culture and conversation are just a few of the things for which the French are known, and all are part of this monthly party. Activities include a mixer with wine and snacks, free 30-minute language classes, a book talk with a French scribe and movie screenings. The next edition features short films from the country's New Wave masters, such as Maurice Pialat, Franois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. 22 E 60th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-355-6100, fiaf.org). Dec 6 5:30--8:30pm. Mixer $12; screening $10, students $7; other events free.
American Sign Language (ASL) is the chosen form of communication at the Bowery Poetry Club's monthly jam. Comedian-storyteller-actor Douglas Ridloff hosts the audience-inclusive event, where the deaf community and hearing ASL speakers are invited to take the stage to "rap, rhapsodize, rhetorize, rehash or just relate in sign language." 308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts (212-614-0505, bowerypoetry.com). Nov 17 at 6pm; $5.
Italian Supper Club at Alloro
Learn how to properly pronounce fagioli and other key Italian phrases at this group meal hosted by Upper East Side trattoria Alloro. A language instructor will guide the two-hour culinary experience, where you and your friends will chat over a three-course prix-fixe lunch of antipasto, primo or secondo piatto and dolce. See, you're learning vocabulary already! 307 E 77th St between First and Second Aves (212-535-2866, alloronyc.com). By appointment; $65 per person, plus $130 instructor fee for groups fewer than ten.
The Fourth Ave Brooklyn Russian Language Group
Join the ranks of the many thousands of Russian-speaking New Yorkers with the help of this group. Participants of all skill levels will interact with cultural enthusiasts while making borscht or taking a variety of day trips to places such as Williamsburg, where the group recently toured a historic Russian Orthodox cathedral. Meetup.com/Russian-Brooklyn. Next meeting TBA.
Wall Street Chinese
This downtown center hosts a number of cultural classes—from cooking lessons to movie screenings—that make you forget you're technically in a classroom. Whether you're learning Chinese for business or pleasure, look for upcoming sessions focused on acupuncture (Wed 16 at 6:30pm; $22) and calligraphy (Nov 23 at 7pm; $20), as well as a Mandarin practice event dedicated to Internet-related vocabulary (Nov 30 at 7pm; $10, advance $5). 32 Broadway at Morris St, suite 1812 (646-853-3872, wallstreetchinese.net).