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Speaking in tongues

Getting there
From LAX, American and United fly nonstop to Washington Dulles International Airport. Delta, American, Northwest, US Airways, United, Continental, America West and Midwest Express have connecting flights (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $258 on America West, $408 on other carriers.

Language courses
Some weekend immersion courses offered in the U.S.:

French: French-American Exchange, 3213 Duke St., No. 620, Alexandria, VA 22314; (800) 995-5087, http://www.FrenchAmericanExchange.com . Six immersion weekends this year, May-October; the next one is July 26-27. Fees $295-$345, all inclusive.

Spanish: EduVacations, 1431 21st St. N.W., Suite 302, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 857-8384, http://www.eduvacations.com/spanish.html . Spanish immersion weekends offered in the Shenandoah Valley. Fee of $470 includes lodging for one night, one dinner and breakfast and instructional activities.

Colorado Free University's Spanish Immersion Weekend, 1510 York St., Denver, CO 80206, Attn. Spanish Center; (303) 399-5446, http://www.freeu.com/classes/spanish/weekend.html . Spanish immersion weekends in Denver. Offered three times a year (next one in fall). Fee $95 (plus $7 for first-time students), meals $65. Room and board package, $193, includes language instruction, meals and two nights' lodging in a dormitory.

Irish: San Francisco Bay Area Irish Language Immersion Weekend, N.L. Ragsdale, Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Weekend), 22661 Linden St., Hayward, CA 94541; (510) 881-5958, http://www.onesourcegraphics.com/Gaeilge/DeireadhSeachta ine.html. This course, held annually in San Francisco the last weekend of September (Sept. 26-28 this year), aims to increase fluency in spoken Irish for advanced, intermediate and beginning students. Teachers are native speakers. Fee $238, including meals but not accommodations.

Multiple languages: Penobscot School, 28 Gay St., Rockland, ME 04841; (207) 594-1084, http://www.languagelearning.org . Weekend immersion sessions are held at the century-old William Pitts House. Instructors are native speakers. Languages include French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. In general, one beginner and one intermediate immersion are offered in each language in fall and spring. Fee $195, including meals, lodging and classes. In September, Penobscot also offers "weekend immersions in the woods" in Lincolnville, Maine, which feature rustic cabin living, outdoor activities, nature study and native-speaking teachers and volunteers. Fee $130 for adults, $95 for high school students.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
  • Wrapped in an all-French weekend

    Wrapped in an all-French weekend

    A language program revives rusty skills and brings the food, wine, music and style of France to a weekend at a beautiful retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  • Word play

    Word play

    A French-American Exchange student checks her lexicon.

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