The Language Lab is located at the SLCC Taylorsville Redwood Campus in the Technology Building in room 418. The Language Lab has been open since 1992 and helps students develop their communicative skills when taking a second language class.
Students enrolled in a language course can get free tutoring from tutors who have native or near native proficiency. Ten languages are currently spoken in the language lab; Spanish, Russian, French, American Sign Language, Chinese, Japanese, Tongan, Italian, Portuguese and Arabic. So far, 18 tutors are working in the lab.
“I like helping people who are interested in Japan culture because most of them want to go to Japan and live there,” Yumito Sandstorm of the Language Lab said. “The grammar structure is different in Japan. It’s important for me to show them how to build a sentence and how to pronounce the words. I also have great conversations with them.”
Lin Chen, the Center for Language Coordinator and Chinese instructor said, “SLCC Language Lab is unique because it is both a technology center and a tutoring center where students can talk to an actual person and experience the diversity of learning. It is also unique because we are the only one institution who offers free tutoring.”
The overall feedback the lab receives is very positive. Lin also encourages people who are learning a language and who are not coming to the Language Lab to take advantage of the resources that the lab offers.
“We are trying to create a diversity environment when students have the chance to practice what they learn with a native speaker of the language by interacting, learning some knowledge by having the opportunity to perform real pronunciation and conversation,” Lin said.
Lin is also convinced that without the Language Lab, “Students will not be comfortable speaking another language.”
Spanish tutor Emma Todd-Rosales said, “It is amazing to see how they can be interested and how the student progress all semester long.”
It is important to know your student because some of them learn by pronunciation, others by seeing or writing. Sometimes the instructor doesn’t have enough time to take care of each student during class. The tutor is then able to adjust and help the student understand better.
Todd Rosales also added, “In a one-on-one tutoring session you can focus on the student’s problems and give them the right feedback.”
Lab technician Jaime Balderas said, “I have been there since day one of the Language Lab and it is fascinating to see how we progress from 4 tutors and 10 computers and now to see all the resources that we have today.”
Balderas said students in their second year begin to be fluent enough to engage in conversation on almost every kind of topic. To sign up for a tutor, visit slcc.edu/languagelab. The tutor’s hours are very flexible.