The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Teaching and Learning Centers [PDF] (TLC) give undergraduate students assistance through free walk-in tutoring, instructor-guided small group conversation and expert writing help. Our aim is to support and enrich the classroom experience of students enrolled in our undergraduate courses.
For online schedules, please see TLC Schedule Room 271 and TLC Schedule Room 273. Be sure to check the instructors' language designations, so that you attend when there are experts in the language(s) for which you're seeking support. (See the abbreciations for Spanish (SP/SPAN), Portuguese (PORT), Quechua (QUE), and Catalan (CAT).) For questions or issues related to the TLC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the TLC?
In the late 90’s the Department began offering extracurricular services to enhance students’ performance at the elementary and intermediate levels. Instructors volunteered to lead conversations in local cafés, and the experience was well received. When students requested more formal help with specific assignments in a language program survey, we initiated our free tutoring services.
We have progressed from offering Spanish tutoring throughout the week at scattered hours to offering Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua, and Catalan services on a regular basis. There are opportunities for conversation practice as well as for tutoring and support for second language (L2) writing.
Feedback has shown that TLC services make a difference. Both instructors and students comment on improved classroom performance and added confidence in using these languages in the real world. A student from an intermediate class commented, "The conversation center is a terrific idea. I could not have progressed this far without it." A beginning-level student said, "The tutors explain the material pertaining to my questions rather than just giving me the answers. It really helps to have one-on-one help." The TLC welcomes comments and suggestions from students as we continue to offer ongoing support and encouragement in acquiring proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua, and/or Catalan.
TLC Learning Strategies
- Communication is the goal, do not worry a lot about grammar.
- Listening is as important as speaking. Repeating what you hear as an active listener is a helpful learning technique.
- Just one other person is all it takes to have a conversation! Spend 15 minutes with an instructor (and perhaps with another classmate), just speaking casually. [NOTE: See also the Conversation Tables organized by the student-run SPPO Club. Sign up for their email list or see their Facebook page to find out about other fun activities that they organize!]
- Talk to yourself. Keep a running verbal account going in your head (or even aloud when appropriate) of things you see and ideas you have.
- Tune in to Spanish TV, watch YouTube videos in your L2, or rent a film in your L2 to adapt yourself to the rhythm and patterns of speech. Invent your own short account of what you have seen (using vocabulary you have just heard) and tell it to someone else, or tape record it and assess your own progress!
Any TLC tutor may help with tutoring, conversation, and reading and writing. All services are free of charge.
Tutors are instructors who can help with questions related to class work and homework from Individualized Instruction (in Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua), from our online courses, and/or from our face-to-face classroom courses at the beginner, intermediate, and/or advanced levels.
Conversation practice on topics related to classroom vocabulary. Sessions last 15 minutes and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Sessions may be extended to 30 minutes pending instructor availability. Plan to arrive at the beginning of a session. Group size is no larger than 2 students per room. Individualized Instruction students must sign in electronically for each 15 minute session in order to receive credit.
- Reading and Writing
Instructors can help with questions related to class work and reading/writing assignments for all of our undergraduate courses. To receive support with your writing, you must bring a completed draft of your assignment, along with the assignment guidelines and course syllabus, so that the tutor is aware of teh writing support policies specified for your course.
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