On a typical weekday evening, students of all ages stream into the Beverly Hills Lingual Institute, pick up some cookies or pretzels and a cup of tea or coffee, and head off to one of several classrooms to learn one of the 27 languages offered, from Arabic to Vietnamese. Classes are small, teachers are native speakers, and the feeling is collegial and warm. West L.A.’s Language Door offers a lower-cost alternative, but BHLI has the aura of a busy international plaza. A two-month term of eight, weekly 80-minute courses is $225 for Spanish, French, Italian and English, and $275 for all other languages. Located on the second floor above a public parking garage (free for the first two hours before 6 p.m., $3 flat rate after 6 p.m.), BHLI also offers unobstructed vistas of the intriguing collection of people who call Beverly Hills home. Priceless. 439 N. Canon Drive, Suite 207, Beverly Hills. (310) 858-0717.

—Tom Christie

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