The best places for language instruction in San Francisco have something for everybody with creative personalities from actors, filmmakers, models and restaurateurs to diplomats, humanitarians and employees in professional development. Language schools teach everything from American Sign Language to critical-needs languages for the diplomatically inclined or Shakespearean text work and audition preparation. So, are you a restaurateur? Perhaps you plan to sail internationally? Are you going to help relieve suffering abroad? Are you a model, singer, actor or filmmaker? Whatever your life path, communicate how you’ve always wanted with one of these San Francisco language classes.

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Instituto Italiano Scuolo
North Beach
814 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 788-0242

Instituto Italiano Scuolo operates in North Beach, the Italian neighborhood, teaching all levels of Italian including immersion with study abroad and students on scholarship. Students may earn a certification in Italian as a second language. If you like fashion, food, travel, opera, film, politics or history, this school exposes students to art exhibits, culinary demonstrations, films, events and lectures that broaden your cultural spectrum. The teachers share your interest personally and come from places all over Italy including Milan, Umbria, Piemonte, Genoa and Bolzano. Teachers have worked in Spain, England and Paris.

Related: Best Italian Food In San Francisco


Pacific Arabic Resources
55 New Montgomery St, Suite 713
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 644-0110

Pacific Arabic Resources in the Financial District employs instructors with fascinating international credentials, humanitarianism and creativity. A documentary filmmaker born in Greece, Liza Xydis taught filmmaking and worked as a translator at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. Max Weinryb, an American, also teaches sailing, piloting and celestial navigation. Maher Sabry, an Egyptian, founded an independent theater troupe and won a humanitarian award. Jamal Mavrikios wrote a campaign song for UNICEF, has worked at the United Nations and supports sustainable development. Strive to be associated with these pioneers by learning Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages. Pacific Arabic Resources operates a facility in Morocco where students go for intensive instruction in standard Arabic or Moroccan dialect.

(credit: ABC Languages/Facebook)

ABC Languages
101 Spear St, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 738-7383

ABC Languages teaches everything from American Sign Language to Vietnamese and will help students set up their own groups, a language of their own suggestion and private lessons. The school also offers instruction for adults at a customized corporate level.  Children have the option of learning during after-school programs. Students have included filmmakers and other celebrities including a model going to Paris, actors and a restaurateur.

Related: Best Casual Art Classes In The Bay Area


U.S. State Department Critical Language Program (CLS)
San Francisco State and other venues
(202) 633-5005

Are you interested in using a foreign language professionally? The U.S. State Department sends students overseas during the summer to learn critical-need languages in a fully funded, group-based program, the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). U.S. citizens who are undergraduates, masters or Ph.D students are provided with overseas instruction for seven to 10 weeks which includes structured cultural exposure. Alumni ambassadors have participated in the program and show their profiles on the CLS website.

Lynne Soffer
Dialect and speech coaching for theater and film
San Francisco, CA
(415) 771-6423

Lynne Soffer aids creative personalities in a myriad of ways, from helping actors prepare for auditions and coaching them while working on a role to instructing singers in musicals and cabarets. She performs as a professional and has worked on over 210 productions and films or actors for films. If you would like to hurl Shakespearean insults, she can help you with projection and pronunciation as well as refer you to Shakespearean insult guides that are available for your witty advancement. She helps the performer or production with dialect, speech, clarity, vocal support, projection and all aspects of language for text work.

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on