Frequently Asked Questions

What makes classes at The Thinkers Cottage different from other foreign language classes?
We incorporate food, history, music, and various aspects of culture into our lessons.

We focus on all four areas of language acquisition - reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Our teachers are committed to academic excellence in the classroom and are members of their respective professional organizations: The American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), The American Classical League (ACL), The American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)

Students in our classes are given unique opportunities to stand out by participating in national competitions and events, such as the National Latin Exam, the Olympiada of Spoken Russian, the National Russian Essay Contest, the National French Contest, and the National Spanish Exam.

Our advanced students will have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs. This summer, our first group of 5 advanced Russian students will be spending a month in Kiev, Ukraine for an immersion program in Russian language and culture.
Which language should my student choose?
There are incredible benefits to studying any language. Take some time to look over our individual discussions on each language here on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page. We generally find that students do best when they choose the language they are most interested in learning.
Why study Latin?
Why study Latin? Well, until about 100 years ago, parents were not asking this question. Latin was an important part of any quality education. Over 60% of all English words, and about 90% of words with more than two syllables, are derived from Latin. Latin, therefore, will greatly increase your knowledge of English vocabulary and can help boost SAT scores. Studying Latin, and its very systematic and regular grammar, also increases a student’s analytical and problem-solving ability. Besides all these benefits, learning Latin will open up the fascinating world of Ancient Rome, its culture, and literature.
Why study French?
French is spoken by over 200 million people on five continents and is an official language in over 32 countries. France is the number one tourist destination in the world, but your study of French can take you even farther than that - to Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium. French is one of the world's top three languages in business and diplomacy. From a cultural standpoint, French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theater, the visual arts, dance and architecture, and the French are known for their literature, films, and music.
Why study Russian?
Why study Russian? We have been asked this question so many times over the years. Take a look at a world map, and the question can be easily answered. Russia is the largest country in the world and has enormous influence. Russian is designated as a “critical need” language by the U.S. government, and as a result, multiple scholarship and job opportunities are available to students studying Russian. It is one of only six official languages of the United Nations, is one of the top five business languages, and is the second most used language on the internet. Russian has a reputation for being a difficult language to learn and will help your student stand out from the crowd. Without a large population of native speakers to compete with, your student will have a better chance to get a job using his language skills. If these practical reasons aren’t convincing enough, consider the fact that Russia’s rich culture has produced unparalleled works in literature, music, art, science, and technology. We have yet to find a student who has not fallen in love with this stunningly beautiful language and culture.
Why study Spanish?
Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States. There are 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the US today. Becoming a fluent Spanish speaker can open up many opportunities in all aspects of your life. We know speaking Spanish will enhance your resume and improve your job prospects. But, have you considered that there have been many Spanish language Nobel Prize winners in literature, including Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, among others? Learning Spanish will help you gain important insight into this literary world that may otherwise be "lost in translation". Speaking Spanish also gives you the opportunity to have a much richer experience if you decide to travel or volunteer abroad.
How many students are in a class?
We limit our class size to 12 students.
How much time should my student plan to spend on homework and study each week?
Students should expect to spend 4-5 hours of study each week to be successful in our foreign language classes. It is extremely important to study a foreign language every day, so parents and students need to schedule time each day for homework and study.
Are there prerequisites for classes at The Thinkers Cottage?
There are no prerequisites for our Level I classes, but we recommend that students have a solid knowledge of basic grammar.
When and where do classes meet?
For the 2019-2020 school year, our Tuesday classes will meet at Westlake Fellowship in Montgomery. Our Thursday classes will meet at St. James Episcopal Church in Conroe. All classes meet once a week for 30 weeks.
Does The Thinkers Cottage provide grade reports?
Yes. We use an online grading program called iGradePlus. Parents can check their student’s grades at any time, and we provide detailed grade reports at the end of each semester.
Do The Thinkers Cottage classes count for high school credit?
Yes. A one-year class at The Thinkers Cottage is equal to one high school credit in Foreign Language.
What is my registration fee used for?
A yearly nonrefundable registration fee is required to hold a student’s spot in class. We use registration fees for large classroom purchases, teacher education, teacher memberships in professional organizations, and other teacher and classroom enrichment activities.
What is the drop policy for classes at The Thinkers Cottage?
You may withdraw your student anytime before August 12th and receive a full refund on any tuition you have paid, minus the Family Registration Fee. After August 12th, a student who drops is responsible for paying the full yearly tuition fee.
How does the enrollment process work?
If you are interested in enrolling in one of our language classes, click on the “Get Started” button and fill out our enrollment application. We do not have open enrollment. We like to get to know prospective students and their families first so that we can make sure The Thinkers Cottage is the right fit for them. Specific questions can be asked by clicking on the “Contact Us” button. We are happy to answer any questions you have.