Culture and Language Acquisition

A New Approach to Language Learning

Learn A Second Language

China Italy

French: 74 million native speakers
Italian: 59 million native speakers
Mandarin Chinese: 955 million native speakers
Arabic: 293 million native speakers
Russian: 154 million native speakers

Communicate with the world through Culture and Language Acquisition at Sage (CLAS)!

Mission Statement

The Culture and Language Acquisition at Sage Program, originally modeled on the Drake University Program and now significantly updated and improved and completely online (through a partnership with Rosetta Stone), mentors students as they gain functional proficiency in a language other than English, develop cultural understanding, become responsible global citizens, and achieve global competencies. Students prepare to study or live abroad, enhance professional development, and pursue personal interests while working with native speakers and language acquisition specialists. The program was begun with a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Benefits of Studying a Second Language

According to research by the National Security Education Program there are five primary reasons to include a foreign language in your education:

1. Foreign language programs improve students’ overall academic performance.
As a result of their language studies, students have higher SAT-Verbal test scores, ACT test scores, math test scores, and English reading scores.

2. Foreign language programs positively affect students’ intellectual development.   
Those who have studied foreign languages retain the cognitive benefits well into adulthood and old age. Immersion programs in particular increase students’ IQ.

3. Foreign language programs help close the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students, the learning disabled, and English as a second language learners.
All students, regardless of intelligence or learning disability, can succeed in learning another language and culture.

4. Foreign language programs enhance students’ career opportunities.
The global economy necessitates that students understand other languages and cultures in order to secure the most competitive careers.

5. Foreign language programs provide students the opportunity to explore other cultures and more fully understand their own.
As students learn another language and culture, they begin to evaluate their own ways of thinking and viewing the world.  Students develop an appreciation for themselves and those who are different from them.

Learning Outcomes

Starting in 101-level study, and continuing throughout their entire CLAS experience, students will develop conversational speaking skills, will build listening-comprehension skills through significant exposure to real native speakers, and will acquire basic reading and writing skills in their new language. 

Personal Attention

Students are in regular contact with the language coordinator throughout the semester in addition to virtual meetings with Studio Coaches in Rosetta Stone's Studio sessions. Read this article from Russell Sage College's student newspaper, The Quill, to find out more about the program.

Student Video Testimonials

Mirka Soler

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

Launch Video »

Hayley Quinn

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

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Danielle Cavalluzzi

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

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Ashley Vega

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

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Olivia Tooley

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

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Lucila Esquivel

CLAS Student Video Testimonial

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International House

CLAS students have the opportunity to live in International House (aka French House). Please contact the Office of Residence Life for more information.

For more information

Send email to:

Dr. Kate Kagan, Coordinator, CLAS,