Language Q&A

Language Q&A (Spring 2014)

Got questions? We'll help you find the answers!

Stop by the LRC at the times below to get help finding answers to your language questions, or to practice the language you’re learning! Perhaps there are a few points on your grammar assignment you're not sure about. Maybe you're having difficulty wrapping your tongue around the pronunciation of a certain sound, or you'd like to clarify the connotation of a new word you've encountered. Maybe you'd like to try out your growing language skills with some informal conversation, or want suggestions for good books, films or music in the language you are studying.

At the following times, a native speaker or an advanced student of these languages will be holding office hours in the LRC to assist and encourage you in discovering which learning techniques and resources work best for you (no appointment needed):

      Arabic with Ahlam:
Mondays and Wednesdays 7-8pm

      Chinese with Xinyi:
Mondays and Wednesdays 4:30-5:30pm

      French with Moreen:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7pm

      German with Pia:
Tuesdays 4:15-5:15pm and Wednesdays 7-8pm

      Italian with Alessandra:
Mondays 7-8pm and Wednesdays 4-5pm

      Japanese with Guiying:
Tuesdays 6-7pm and Thursdays 5-6pm

      Russia with Aida:
Mondays 6-7pm and Wednesdays 4-5pm

      Spanish with Julia:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-5:30pm

Don't see your language listed? Let your department know that you'd like to take advantage of Language Q&A in the LRC.

Q&A on Q&A

Frequently asked questions about the Language Q&A (Question & Answer) program in the LRC (Language Resource Center) at Mount Holyoke College.

What is Language Q&A?

Language Q&A is resource for language learners in the MHC and Five College community. Each week, a mentor for each participating language holds "Q&A" (Question and Answer) sessions. These are scheduled times that the mentors are available in the LRC so that you can drop by to ask questions or review aspects of the target language, such as grammatical concepts, pronunciation, or sentence structure. We encourage students to come to Q&A to practice presentations, prepare for oral exams, or just have a casual conversation in the language. The mentors are also happy to share their experiences with the culture(s) associated with their language.

Who are the language mentors?

Language mentors are students who are either native speakers or advanced learners of the language. They are chosen by in collaboration by the LRC and their language department to lead Q&A sessions based on their language proficiency, their success in language learning and their interpersonal and academic skills.

Language mentors communicate with faculty members in their language department in order to become familiar with each course, its textbooks, and syllabus. When questions arise in Q&A sessions that the mentor is unable to address, she will contact the faculty to resolve the question and further her own learning.

Above all, the language mentor is a peer resource. We are all learners, no matter what level of language we speak. LRC language mentors work from their own experiences of learning languages to share their knowledge of language learning process. They also participate in ongoing workshops and training activities in order to develop their skills in peer mentoring.

What type of questions can I ask?

Bring any sort of question that you bump into as you learn a new language. Mentors are there to help answer questions on subjects like grammar, pronunciation and word usage, as well as questions related to language learning and resources available online and at LRC. Questions about any aspect of the language or language learning process are welcome. The Q&A sessions are also an opportunity to engage in casual conversation in the language being learned!

What if I don't have questions?

Feel free to stop by just to chat with the mentor—we often hear that students are looking for more opportunities to develop their conversational skills. The mentor can also serve as an audience if you're practicing for an oral presentation or exam, a sounding board for ideas as you’re working on a composition or if you would like to ask if something “sounds right” for a translation assignment.

Who can go to Q&A?

Q&A is a resource for any language learner in the MHC or Five College community including students, faculty, or staff, and regardless of whether you're currently enrolled in a language course or studying a language on your own. The only requirement to attend Q&A is to be a learner of a language or be interested in the language and the cultures who speak it. All you need is interest and enthusiasm!

Do I need an appointment?

No appointments are needed or taken. Just stop by during the scheduled hours listed above.

The scheduled hours don't work for me, or I wish there were more hours

We try to schedule Q&A at times that work for most students (of course, there's never a perfect time that works for everyone). If the scheduled hours don't work for you, we'd be glad to hear your feedback—we may be able to make adjustments with sufficient feedback.

The number of hours for each language depends on demonstrated need. If you wish there were more hours, then show us by participating in the currently scheduled times. If those times are consistently busy, then we may be able to add additional times for your language.

Can I bring in my homework assignment and have the mentor check it for me?

You may bring your homework to Q&A sessions to clarify and practice concepts from your studies, as long as such consulting is not prohibited by the class policies for the course that you are taking. Please check with your professor before doing so. Although mentors will not correct assignments or provide “answers” to you, they can can help you understand the underlying concepts and learn to identify and correct your own errors.

Can I bring my paper and have the mentor edit it for me?

Feel free to bring your paper. The mentor will be glad to talk with you about any language-focused questions relating to your writing (e.g., appropriate word choices, grammar usage, etc.). However, the mentor will not edit the paper for you. If you have questions that relate more to the writing process (e.g., organization of ideas, rhetoric, etc.) than to the language, then we also suggest that you visit the Speaking, Arguing and Writing (SAW) Center.

Is Q&A the same as tutoring?

Yes and no. Like tutoring, Q&A is a resource to support language learners throughout their study of a language. However, Q&A is not as intensive a level of support as is offered by tutoring, which involves a one-on-one relationship where a tutor is assigned to work with you individually on a more regular basis. If you are struggling with your language class or are looking for more in-depth support, you may want to talk with your professor about whether a one-on-one tutor would be a good option for you.

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