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Supplemental Instruction for Beginners Language Classes

Submitted by fapisico on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 6:07pm

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.

Plan to attend these helpful sessions A new schedule will be posted within the first few weeks of the new term.

A project funded by a Quality Money Grant (2015-2020)


Submitted by fapisico on Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:47pm

Click on the specific language drop down menus below to read a short bio, and/or see the session schedule for each student group leader (Fall 2019). To view past Student Group Leaders click on the links below:

Current Student Group Leaders

Arabic SGL:
Basma Akhter




Chinese SGL:
Michelle Chan

German SGL:
Kelsey Wiggers

Japanese SGL:
Olivia Kennedy

Russian SGL:
Hannah Porter



Name: Basma Akhter

Major and Minor: Biological Sciences (Honours) with Minor in Arabic Language and Muslim Culture (ALMC)

Year of Program: 3rd

Future Goals: The top three things which I am truly passionate about are: student-centered learning, scientific research, and medicine. In the future, I would like to integrate my passions into a  career which allows me to explore all my interests.

How you see your role as SGL:

I see my role of SGL as an opportunity to collaborate with my peers and most importantly learn from them. I am looking forward to listening to the new approaches my peers have to learn a language that is foreign to them. SGL is an exciting opportunity for me to pursue my passion for helping students and hopefully motivate students to keep taking future courses in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures.

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s):

The position of SGL is a wonderful way to hone your creative thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. It allows you to build strong connections with professors and get to meet very insightful people at University who are continuously working hard to ensure that students learn the best in their class.

Weekly sessions (September - December, 2019):

Mondays  |   11 am -  12 pm  |  CHE 212
Wednesdays  |  12 - 1 pm  | CHC 309
Thursdays  |  12:30 - 1:30 pm  |  CHE 212


Name: Michelle Chan

Major/Minor Program: East Asian Language Studies with a minor in Sociology

Year of Program: 4th year

Future Goals: To get my master’s in social work.

How you see your role as SGL: I see my role as an opportunity to assistant in the further development of the student’s Chinese language skills. I also see it as a fantastic way to encourage the students to introduce each other and hopefully aid each other in practicing the language.  

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): I believe collaborative learning between individuals at different levels contributes greatly to the learning for all skill levels. I say this because by working together at different levels it can create a better foundation, and by creating a solid foundation the learning of the language will progress more, therefore, allowing any skill level to grow whether it’s at beginner level or at a more advance level it will re-polish the foundation of the language. Regardless, language is meant to be repeated and practiced over and over again in order to improve so there’s only benefits for both sides in this case.

Weekly Sessions (September - December, 2019):

  • Mondays  |  2 - 3 pm  |  CHC 309

  • Wednesdays  |  3 - 4 pm  |  CHC 309

  • Thursdays  |  4:30 - 5:30 pm  |  CHC 309


Name: Kelsey Wiggers

Major/Minor Program: COMBO: BCOMM (International Business); BA (German)

Year of Program: 4th 

Future Goals: Management Consultant, later transitioning into Foreign Affairs

How you see your role as SGL: I am incredibly passionate about learning German and enjoy connecting with diverse groups of people. I see my role as a PASS Leader to support my peers in discovering their love for studying the language, while providing helpful tips and tricks that make picking up vocabulary and grammar fun and exciting.

Weekly Sessions (September - December, 2019):

Wednesdays   |   1 - 2 pm
CHD 419 (Wednesday September 18)
CHC 309 (starting on September 25)

Thursdays  |  10 - 11 am   |   CHE 212
Fridays    |    1 - 2 pm   |   CHC 309


Name: Olivia Kennedy

Major/Minor Program: Double major in Accounting and East Asian Language Studies (Japanese)

Year of Program: 4th year

How I see my role as SGL: I see it as a way to help other students achieve their language goals in a collaborative space, where I can share my experience and knowledge with new learners.

How I feel this may benefit me and the other students in my academic experience(s): The students who participate in SGL sessions will experience additional opportunities for practice and study, as well as getting the chance to socialize with their peers and enjoy a more relaxed learning environment. For me, the benefit comes from gaining teaching experience, and also refreshing my own skills.

Weekly Sessions (September - December, 2019):

Tuesdays  |  10 - 11 am  |  CHE 212

Thursdays  |  3 - 4 pm  |  CHE212

Fridays  |  2 - 3 pm  |  CHC 309


Name: Hannah Porter

Major/Minor Program: Biology and Russian

Year of Program: Fourth year biology, second year Russian 

Future Goals: International wildlife conservation and research 

How you see your role as SGL: I see it as a fun and engaging way to collaborate with first-year language students on their learning and understanding of Russian, while continuing to develop my own skills in Russian and group study. 

How you feel this may benefit you and the other students in your academic experience(s): This will allow me to continue to cultivate my own understanding of Russian while creating a collaborative and engaging environment for students to practice without judgement. 

Weekly Sessions (September - December, 2019):

Wednesdays   |   4 - 5 pm   |   CHC 309
Thursdays   |   2 - 3 pm   |   CHC 309
Fridays    |    2 - 3 pm   |   CHD 419