Campus To Celebrate Opening of New Center For Language Learning
Publication Date: 1/18/2011
Last year this time, the language center at Rhodes College consisted of a one-room facility on the second floor of Buckman Hall. On Jan. 20, the campus community will celebrate the opening of its new state-of-the-art Center For Language Learning now located on first floor Palmer Hall. The event will be 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Palmer 102 and will include new technologies and language-learning demonstrations, remarks by Rhodes President Dr. William E. Troutt, and light refreshments.
Dr. Felix Kronenberg, who has provided numerous workshops and professional development opportunities for language teachers and professors and who has served as an consultant to colleges and universities, joined the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Rhodes in summer 2009 to undertake the development of the new center. He says that one of the highlights of the multipurpose space is how flexible and versatile it is.
All the chairs and tables are movable, allowing students to configure the space to fit their learning style. The walls of the center function as whiteboards that can be written on with dry erase markers and also serve as dividers to partition off a space.
“We know that there are huge differences in the way people learn, and our mission is to provide whichever way people want to work and make that possible,” says Kronenberg. “The old language lab was based on a model where you listened to a tape and repeated that information. Students now have the complete technical setup to do so many more things if they want.”
“The center is ‘smart’ and technologically adaptable,” adds Modern Languages and Literatures Department Chair Katheryn Wright. “It has large monitors and capacities that smart classrooms have, but it has even more in that we can connect with institutions or a class in another country and have the classes interact with one another.”
Equipped with technology for student presentations, digital storytelling and videoconferencing, the center also will make available fun media sources such as Spanish Karaoke and comic books and board games in various languages.
“Technology has taken on an increasing part, but a lot of things will be traditional, nondigital media. The communal aspect is also really important,” says Kronenberg.
In addition to the opening, the college’s Department of Greek and Roman Studies will now be housed in Halliburton Tower that adjoins Palmer Hall. “It has been a lifelong ambition and dream of Modern Languages and Literatures to be together,” says Wright.
Kronenberg says that because the language center is such a unique space on campus, he hopes faculty and students from all departments will take advantage of it.
(information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Lucy Kellison ′13)