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Supplemental Instruction for Beginners Language Classes

Submitted by darmstro on Mon, 11/21/2016 - 3:36pm

Free, weekly peer-group study sessions for first year language students

Strengthen your language skills through the Supplemental Instruction for Beginners’ Language Classes

How do you learn a second language?

Typically, after you’ve learned the language’s basic grammar, and internalized 1,500 – 2,000 of its most frequently-used words, you will reach a point when everything “clicks into place.” Once that happens, you will be able to read and write, speak, and understand the language, and you’ll be able to improve your own proficiency outside the classroom.

Intimidated? Don’t be!

The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures offers free weekly study sessions for students in first-year language classes in Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian.

Your Student Group Leader will facilitate group activities that will help you process course content and build good study strategies. You can attend regularly or drop in when you think it will benefit you the most.

Study groups will help you get to know your classmates better, and will help you succeed in language learning as a team.

Start attending now! Drop in to any of the scheduled sessions below.

A project funded by a Quality Money Grant (2015-2019)


Meet our Student Group Leaders

Submitted by darmstro on Mon, 11/21/2016 - 3:40pm

Winter 2017 Student Group Leaders


Name: Yacine Berka
Major: Biological Sciences
Year of Program: Second year

Future Goals: I am currently on the path of pursuing a career in medicine. I have a strong interest in the operating of health services in conflict zones and the field of immunology. I hope to use my knowledge of the Arabic language to open new doors for my career.

How you see your role as SGL: As an SGL I see myself not as instructor, but rather a fellow student facilitating interactive group work to allow the students to independently work together to improve their Arabic proficiency. 

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): As a fellow Arabic student, I see myself as a mentor with the experience to provide strategies and tools to make their journey to proficiency both easier and more fulfilling. Although my primary goal for these sessions is to facilitate the students' self-improvement as Arabic language learners, my next greatest hope is to foster a sincere love for the language. On a personal level, I see this position as a fantastic opportunity to strengthen my competency as a supporter of Arabic language instruction. Historically, I have worked with heritage speakers, so this experience is an opportunity to gain an understanding of the unique challenges faced by Arabic learners who are entirely new to the language.

Session Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday - 10:00-10:50 a.m.


Name: Kennedy Baruta
Major/Minor Program: Major: Communications. Minor: Chinese
Year of Program: 3rd Year
Future Goals: I hope to work as an intercultural liaison for a non-profit organization. I am particularly interest in working with international development in the areas of education or the environment. 
How you see your role as SGL: As an SGL, I am a peer support for people interested in learning Chinese. I understand the particular challenges that come along with learning a new language, so I try to tailor my sessions to provide extra support in these areas. This is a great place for students to practice their skills in an informal setting where they can have fun and feel comfortable making mistakes. 
How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): This has been a great opportunity for me to practice my own Chinese language skills in addition to helping others practice their’s. It’s always great to gain extra confidence speaking the language and experimenting with the vocabulary in an informal setting! We’ve all learned a lot from each other!

Current SGL Schedule: Wednesday: 10-11:30 am (CHD 419) and Friday: 2-3:30 pm (CHD 428)


Name: Maia Jardine
Major/Minor: Major in Linguistics, Minors in Speech Language Sciences & German
Year of Program: 3rd year

Future Goals: After graduation I'm hoping to take some time to travel and possibly teach English abroad, then I'd like to either pursue a master's in Speech Pathology or teaching.

How you see your role as SGL: As an SGL I hope I can act as a mentor for my fellow peers and provide them with valuable and useful tools to help them better succeed in their classes and also connect with the language on a meaningful level.

How you feel this may benefit you & the other students in your academic experiences: Personally I feel that my experience as an SGL will help me gain valuable teaching skills within the classroom that will help me in my future endeavours, as well as give me the self-confidence to engage in these kinds of situations. Additionally I hope that this will be a mutually beneficial experience for everyone in the classroom that will enable us to learn something from each other and progress in our German language skills. Ultimately I hope I can help the students further develop their passion for learning languages, both in university and beyond.

Session Schedule: Wednesdays at 12pm, Thursdays at 11am and Fridays at 3pm


Name: Hazel Ocenar
Major/Minor Program: Majoring in Linguistics and Language, Japanese Concentration, and East Asian Studies
Year of Program: 4

Future Goals:  to work in Japan as a teacher or translator

How you see your role as SGL: I see my role as SGL as a middle line between teacher and a student. I'm not exactly teaching them anything new, just reinforcing what they have learned. Also, I can share to the the students tips I have learned along the way on how to understand the language more, particularly something they can't learn from their text books.

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): Personally it benefits me in the way that it's reinforcing the basics that I have taken for granted in the years that I've studied Japanese. It's also taught me how to be more responsible and how to teach others effectively. For the other students, I believe that the sessions help them learn the language more in a friendly environment. 
Current SGL Schedule: Fridays 11-12 am, CHD 428

Name: Jaylene Laturnas
Major/Minor Program: East Asian Language Studies, Concentration in Japanese
Year of Program: Third Year

Future Goals: Studying Abroad in Japan for a year, Passing Level N1 of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test

How you see your role as SGL: To assist students in their Japanese studies, providing them with the extra help they need. To help them develop proper skills and habits in language acquisition, becoming independent learners.

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): By attending Juku sessions, students are able to practice their Japanese outside of the classroom and connect with their fellow classmates. In this way, they can become more engaged in language-learning and receive additional resources to help them succeed in their classes. It is also a great opportunity to seek advice from a senior student who has previously taken the course.

Name: Megan Gill


Name: Allison Wade
Major/Minor Program: Dual Major in Russian and German
Year of Program: 4th

Future Goals: I would either like to pursue a career in teaching and/or language instruction, or potentially a Master's degree in Russian/Slavic linguistics.
How you see your role as SGL: My primary goal is to provide a comfortable, friendly space for developing good study habits and providing extra help with class material.
How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s):  I know from my own first-year experience that approaching instructors can sometimes feel intimidating - that's why I believe that peer-run study sessions have the potential to be so beneficial. For me personally, this will be a good opportunity to test my own knowledge of the language, and to develop methods of relaying this knowledge to others.

Session Schedule: Tuesdays at 1pm in CHD 419, Thursdays at 9am in CHE 212 and Fridays at 10am in CHD 419