Berkeley is home to a new, language-learning institution called Palma, which is set to open its doors to students in October.
The company’s mission is to offer students a “virtual classroom” to learn the language of their choice, and its students have been able to speak in Palmas’ English-only language classes.
Palma is currently offering classes in Spanish, French, Arabic, and Korean, but the company has plans to expand to other languages in the future.
“We’re really excited to be opening our doors to Palma students in the coming months,” the company wrote in an email to Polygon.
Palmas founder and CEO John McLeod told Polygon the company is working with the University of California to bring the language school to Berkeley.
“Palma was founded by a group of students from Palma’s first language class, and we hope to bring this to our students as well,” McLeod said.
The company’s English-speaking students are now speaking in Palmans language classes, and they’ll be able to learn in Palmeas classrooms as well.
“As our students gain more experience in the Palma Language class, they will be able learn in more Palmas classrooms and learn in a language they can identify with,” the email reads.
The university’s Palma English language students are just one of several universities across the country to be launching language learning programs.
The University of Texas has a Palma-based language learning program, as does the University at Albany, which operates its Palma University English-language program.
But while they all aim to offer language classes to students from around the world, they’re not necessarily speaking Spanish or French.
“There’s a lot of different languages that Palma offers,” McAleer said.
“For example, we have Mandarin, and Chinese and many other languages.”
As a company, Palma says it will work to bring languages to the world through a mix of students, faculty, and staff.
“It will be our mission to teach Palma to the entire world,” McLem said.
Palma is now looking to hire a language instructor for each of its schools.
“I would like to thank the University for helping to develop this program and I hope it’s something they will continue to support in the years to come,” McLeod added.