CASL Language Lab Promotes Culture and Diversity
Alfonso Sintjago, Ph.D. is surrounded by diversity. He works as the Director of the Foreign Language and Multimedia Center and is also an Instructional Designer.
“What makes the lab is the students that work here,” Sintjago said.
Students work as tutors and also assist with course design for language classes in CASL. Rather than using only textbooks for language courses, students create quiz questions, audio clips, and games. These techniques help with learning, memory, and conversation.
Sintjago knows that in addition to effective student tutors, a commitment to innovation is important to maintain the lab as a welcoming student space. Student clubs such as the Anime club and the Art club are accustomed to meeting in the lab. A special Karaoke event was held during which students sang songs in various languages in front of a panel of student judges. At times, students come to the lab to study, or relax before their next class. They are able to watch movies, as three movies (old or new) are shown daily.
“I do this because it’s important for students to learn not just the language, but also the country’s culture and film history,” Sintjago said.
Other events are in the process of being planned, such as a Poster Session, which will allow students to share posters of different events and international travel pictures on the six large screens in the lab.
In the Fall, Sintjago will teach a hybrid Integrative Learning Capstone Course for the first time. The course is meant to help students think broadly, critically, and creatively about issues of global significance.
Time in the classroom will inevitably pull him away from the language lab periodically, but he will still give attention to the place that gives his work meaning and value, and supervise- but from a distance.
“I believe when you give trust, it empowers students and then they grow.”