Non-Credit Language Programs for MBA Students

Throughout the academic year PLC offers a series of language courses with a business language focus. These courses will meet in class and on-line with support from AdobeConnect. Using web-based technology, students have a unique opportunity to gain the language skills necessary to communicate with their instructor and peers in the target language. The majority of the curriculum is delivered face-to-face, and there are supplemental materials to be worked with online at home. Every class meets twice a week for one hour on campus, and twice a week in real time online. An additional hour of conversational practice via on-line tools may be scheduled every week. The instructor communicates with students in real time, provides feedback to the students throughout the course and is available to help students in the on-line learning environment.

The fee for the class is $475 (to be paid separately from the Wharton tuition bill) and includes all the course materials.

Before the first class, each student is trained to be able to operate the on-line learning tools to participate in the course. Students use the computers to complete their assignments and to communicate with their instructor and work on collaborative projects. On-going technical support will be available to all students 24/7.


Language Placement and Proficiency

On-site placement testing will be available upon request.  If, after a placement test, you find the level inappropriate, you may move to an appropriate class. Upon completion of the language course, you may take a proficiency examination. The results of the exam will be accompanied by a letter from the PLC and Wharton certifying your level of proficiency.


Course Contents and Levels

The following language courses will be offered.  Please note that non-credit language courses only cover a portion of material usually covered during a semester-long for credit course.

  • Beginning Business Chinese - This course is designed for students and working professionals who have little or no prior Chinese language background and are interested in learning Chinese in a business context. It is a fundamental course for those who plan to travel to China in the near future. This introductory course will build the foundation of the Chinese language with a focus on speaking and listening. The course units will cover language skills in various business settings, such as exchanging business cards, socializing with colleagues, attending banquets as well as daily conversations.
  • Intermediate Business Chinese - This course is a continuation of Beginning Business Chinese that will continue with development of language skills.  This course is designed to train students' practical language skills in business Chinese context.  Text materials include dialogues and readings on the themes in the business transaction cycle that bring out  characteristic words or phrases used in international trade.  Students will be guided to conduct simulating business activities, learn to read and write business letters and documents, and trained to read economic news.
  • Beginning/Intermediate Business Spanish - This course is designed to provide students with a business terminology and vocabulary and to improve communicative skills within the cultural context of several developing Latin American countries.  Focusing on topics such as politics, economy, society, health, environment, education, science and technology, the class will explore the realities and underlying challenges facing Latin America.
  • Advanced Business Spanish - Advanced Business Spanish course is specifically designed for advanced speakers of Spanish. Students  will study corporate dynamics of a number of countries in Latin America, focusing on their economies and markets, as well as on the cultural and business protocols of each region.

Other language courses are available on demand and require an enrollment minimum of six students. Private tutoring arrangements are available upon request.


Course Schedule

Each non-credit course will meets for a total of six weeks. The exact schedules will be posted at a later time.


ACTFL Standards

All language courses address the 5 Cs of the ACTFL standard (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages): communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. The instruction is balanced between the thematic and communicative approach to learning language.

  • Beginning Level students with no experience or very limited familiarity with the language classes involve introduction to the most basic elements of the language development of oral proficiency emphasized so that students may be productive in the language within a short time appropriate level for students who want to try out a new language with
    intensive training one may be able to place into a more advanced class in subsequent term
  • Intermediate level  assumes a limited working knowledge of the language initial focus of instruction on reinforcing those skills already at the student's command subsequently classes will introduce more advanced grammatical material speaking and listening proficiency will be paramount, but assignments also given to enhance reading and writing skills
  • Advanced level  students who consider themselves to have a high level of proficiency in at least one aspect of the language (speaking and listening, reading, writing) emphasis on bringing student performance to a high level in all aspects aim to raise speaking proficiency to fluency or near fluency in various topical contexts.


Registration & Payment Process

More information and online enrollment form available Apply Online

Registration and $75 non-refundable deposit due
one week prior to the beginning of the course.  Balance due by second meeting day of class. Your deposit will reserve a place for your participation in the course and will be credited against the full tuition. Payment must be made to the Penn Language Center directly (credit card or by mailing it to address above).


Minimum Enrollment

Please be advised that to offer at least one class in any language, a minimum of six students must request instruction in that language. As a consequence, it is possible that lack of interest may preclude the offering of some classes. PLC will do its best to accommodate the needs of all students. Contact Penn Language Center for
more information at plc@ccat.sas.upenn.edu