You are here

Not Your Parents' Language Lab

September 30, 2001

Modern language instruction at Bentley leaped into the information age when the Center for Languages and International Collaboration (CLIC) opened in the Adamian Academic Center last year. For students studying Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic, CLIC provides state-of-the-art technology in a warm, inviting environment.

And the technology is impressive: 15 networked PCs with full audio-digital capabilities; a 24-seat "global theater" that can be set up for worldwide videoconferencing; two 42-inch plasma screens for video and digital display; a wall television for satellite viewing; five VCRs to play foreign-language movies and television programs; and a wall-mounted Geochron global time indicator. The human element of language study is alive and well in two rooms with a bistro-like design, where students can practice skills with a native speaker. There's also a lounge for reading and casual conversation.

The new facility is far from its humble beginnings as the Modern Language Learning Center, built in the mid-80s in traditional "language lab" style (think study carrels, headphones, audiotapes). Periodic updates notwithstanding, the LaCava-based center had untapped potential that lab director Jane Tchaicha was eager to explore.

"Using multimedia for teaching languages is a fairly new development," explains Tchaicha, a recognized pioneer in applying technology to language instruction. Her first major initiative, the Multilingual Jukebox, gives students direct, on-demand access to digitized language lessons and international radio and television programs from their PC. In 1999, Tchaicha was one of four Bentley professors who received a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to scout out new technologies and develop workshops for colleagues in the Modern Languages and International Studies programs.

"When students visit international web sites or view satellite television programs, they experience authentic language and culture," she adds. "Nothing's watered down."

"The combination of technology and our most important resource - our student tutors - makes this a formidable new facility," she continues. "We hope CLIC will prompt even more interest in the study of other languages and cultures."

Most recently, the Center has opened its doors to graduate students, faculty and staff, as well.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

Type: Latest Headlines