Fort Lewis College offers a variety of academic resources to ensure student success. One resource is the FLC’s Language Lab, which offers free assistance to all students learning a foreign language.
The Language Lab, located in Noble Hall, is open to all students on campus whether or not they are enrolled in a language class.
Ellen Hartsfield, chair of the modern languages department, serves as the current Language Lab supervisor and oversees a tutoring staff composed of students, who are either volunteers or paid student staff.
“These are students who just love languages and like tutoring and know that if you explain it to someone else, you know it even better,” Hartsfield said.
According to Hartsfield, students can be tutored by the staff or by using free language learning software packages, including Rosetta Stone.
Even after the cutting of Japanese and German language classes two years ago, the language lab still provides assistance to students who are interested in learning those languages, Hartsfield said.
According to this semester’s Language Lab schedule, there are tutors who assist students in Spanish and French. However, the language learning software is available in ten different languages.
Gunnar Bergkamp, a FLC senior and tutor, currently assists students in learning Spanish.
Bergkamp said, concentrated time investment is crucial for a student who wants to become proficient in a language.
“If you want to speak with any sort of fluency, it’s about immersion, exposing yourself to the language in any way possible,” he said.
Hartsfield said, language is a constantly changing part of human culture, and it is very important for young people to be able to not only learn about foreign language, people and culture, but also to realize that in doing so, they become a global citizen.
“I think language is so fundamental to who we are as human beings,” she said.
The Language Lab is located in Noble Hall, Room 150. There, you can pick up a tutoring schedule, use the free language learning software, and be well on your way to becoming a global citizen.