Beyond the classroom: peer-guided support for students learning French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese

Emily Beatty, Coordinator at the FHIS Learning Centre, shares about the benefits of getting involved in the FHIS community beyond the classroom and what the Learning Centre can do for you.

“The most rewarding part of my role as a tutor and coordinator at the Learning Centre is the satisfaction of helping other students improve their language skills and achieve their goals.”

How can students benefit from the FHIS Learning Centre?

The FHIS Learning Centre provides free student-guided tutoring and community building for all FHIS students who are learning French, Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese. You can improve your language skills in the following areas: conversation (speaking and listening), comprehension (reading and writing), grammar, and cultural knowledge. Students who have visited the Learning Centre for support often strengthen these core skills, which, in turn, increases their confidence and enjoyment in learning the language.

Students can also volunteer as tutors to develop teaching skills that they may find useful later in their careers. They also have the satisfaction of giving back to their community by helping other students improve their language skills, while practicing their own. I, myself, am a tutor, and my focus is to make all students feel welcome as part of a learning community at the Learning Centre.

The most rewarding part of my role as a tutor and coordinator at the Learning Centre is definitely the satisfaction of helping other students improve their language skills and achieve their goals. I also greatly enjoy fostering a positive and inclusive community environment for both students and tutors.

What drew you to the French program?

As a Political Science major who is deeply interested in political philosophy and theory, I thought studying French would be helpful if I were to work for the federal government. I decided to minor in French because I wanted to maintain my ability to speak the language I developed throughout elementary and high school.

What are the benefits of getting involved in the FHIS community beyond the classroom?

Engaging with the FHIS community outside of classes allows you to feel a greater sense of belonging and connection with other students and instructors.

It also allows you to practice your skills, especially conversational skills, which you might not get to spend as much time on in lectures. The FHIS Learning Centre is one of those places where students can get involved.

Learn more about the FHIS Learning Centre

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Emily Beatty is the FHIS Learning Centre Coordinator responsible for communicating with students, tutors, professors, and administrators with regards to anything Learning Centre-related, in addition to managing the online schedule. Under the guidance of the Learning Centre Director, Dr. Brianne Orr-Álvarez, she is involved in research-based initiatives, with the goal of ameliorating the Learning Centre for everyone involved and creating more student interest in the way of community building within the FHIS Department.