Maria Garza / Reporter
Learning a new language can be a daunting task. It takes time and practice to achieve such a goal. Fortunately for Del Mar College students, help is available at the Foreign Languages Lab.
The Foreign Languages Lab focuses on listening, speaking, correct usage and cultural awareness to prepare students for careers in a multicultural world. There are eleven computers equipped with Spanish software for students to use. There are also seven workstations that help students with their weekly assignments from class.
“Learning a new language is fun; just don’t give up and put in the effort,” said Rocio Chavez, a former Del Mar student and now a Foreign Languages Lab assistant.
Several lab tutors are available. Houeida Brodie and Christelle Hattais help with French, while Lydia Montevilla, Nidia Risi, Luz Mila James and Maria Elena Lopezhelp help with Spanish. Tutors come from different backgrounds and cultures as well. Mexico, Puerto Rico and Chile are some of the places of origin you can find when visiting the lab.
Lab activities reinforce speaking and listening skills through small-group conversation sessions, one-on-one tutoring, audio-visual media and computer software.
“The students will improve their knowledge, as well as speaking skills,” said lab coordinator Maria Mata.
Also, lab personnel have different backgrounds and bring their culture with them, enriching the program that much more. The lab is open to any student or member of the community.
The lab also offers work-study and volunteer opportunities. Marely Soto, a nursing degree major, volunteers in the lab. She enjoys helping others and also gets to practice her Spanish speaking skills.
“I have a Spanish class, so I decided to help here. It gives me a chance to practice my skills,” Soto said. “I’ve had people in my class, and in the lab, that go from no speaking Spanish to doing phrases and start a conversation.”
The Foreign Languages Lab is located in the Coles Classroom Building, rooms 106 and 108. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Mata, the lab coordinator, can be reached at 698-2313 or 698-1694, or firstname.lastname@example.org.