Stay up to date with courses and trends in Humanities and Languages

"When you're getting feedback, you get it from different types of people, different cultures."
Read more from Lyn Aye.

Pursue your interests with courses on history, literature, philosophy, culture, cuisine and languages. Explore the historical context of classics. Gain a greater appreciation of the values of diverse religions. Or refine your palate with courses on fine wines. You can also study a language to enrich your social, cultural and professional experiences. Whether you want to brush up on your conversational French or learn Mandarin for your next business trip to China, UC Berkeley Extension has the right course for you. Courses are held in Berkeley, San Francisco, Belmont and online.


Lyn Aye,
Humanities Courses

Professional certificates and specialized programs of study

Professional certificates are the highest level of academic achievement from UC Berkeley Extension. Specialized programs of study provide focused subject concentrations to develop skills within specific disciplines. Learn more.

Meet Your Instructor

Rali Christo

"I love it when, as a result of our methodical study of Greek and Latin linguistic patterns, my students begin to discuss enthusiastically the possibilities and limitations of language as a communicative tool.  I vividly remember my first encounter with Shakespeare in the original; my native language is Bulgarian. I was shocked to realize that the various translations, beautiful and poetic as they were, did not do justice to the original. My students have a similar experience when they discover "the real Plato" or "the real" Vergil" in their studies of ancient Greek and/or Latin. Reflecting on the linguistic choices involved in translation brings a deeper understanding of our own native languages and teases out the logical similarities between languages, regardless of the particular idiomatic differences. My students are always delightfully challenging. I admire the camaraderie in the classroom, the intense engagement, the unique perspective that each student brings.


Rali Christo, Ph.D., is currently a lecturer at Saint Mary's College of California and the owner of ChristoTechne, a tutoring business. Christo's unique blend of small-group problem solving and systematic approach to language acquisition helps students develop transferable language skills and gain a deeper understanding of their own language.

Discover Oxford!

Experience the tradition and intellectual challenge of studying and living at University of Oxford in this unique three-week summer seminar program. Join other intellectually curious adults for a scholarly adventure within the hallowed walls of one of the world's oldest universities.

General enrollment for the 2016 Oxford Berkeley Program is now open.

Explore your next adventure!

Featured Courses

Which ESL Course Is Best for You?

Intermediate courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak or write in sentences or short paragraphs about familiar topics but have difficulty expressing themselves in longer paragraphs,
  • have studied grammar but have trouble using correct grammar within speaking or writing contexts,
  • sometimes have trouble finding the correct word or phrase to express their meaning.

High-intermediate to low-advanced courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak and write with some ease in full paragraphs about a wide range of subjects, with a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
  • need to improve their sensitivity to formal and informal language and the appropriateness of expressions in certain situations;
  • can express their meaning but need to improve use of vocabulary and idioms.

Advanced courses are for nonnative speakers who:

  • can speak and write fluently but need more complex vocabulary and grammar;
  • make occasional grammar and vocabulary errors that do not interfere with comprehension;
  • can frequently, but not always, speak and write with appropriate tone and style.

You are welcome to attend the first class to consult the instructor about your English-language level, but space in the class is not guaranteed. If you have any questions, prior to enrollment, please contact the Education department at (510) 642-1171 or email questions to

View all courses in English as a Second Language.

Contact the Humanities and Languages Department | (510) 643-1110

Ramu Nagappan
Humanities and Education
Khai Nguyen
Program Director
Liz McDonough
Program Director
Humanities, Writing and Editing
Nancy Ryoo
Nancy Ryoo
Program Director