NUCalls offers peer-taught languages

NUCalls offers peer-taught languages

By Marc Larocque

For students struggling with rapidly rusting high school Spanish skills or thirsting for new language on their tounges, a new student group is being born.

The Northeastern University Cultural and Language Learning Society, or NUCalls, allows students to pick their own curriculum and attend a one-hour class taught by their peers every week, without the burden of homework.

“We want students to pick what they are learning,” said MJ Paradiso, vice president for outreach and public relations for NUCalls. “For instance, if you were learning French, you could ask your teacher, ‘How do I order food in French?'”

NUCalls will be offering elementary and advanced classes. The languages offered will be based on the demand of students and the amount of teachers. All teachers are volunteers and classes are free.

“We will match up the people teaching specific languages to the students who want to learn them. After that we are going to have to recruit teachers for languages that are still desired by these students,” said NUCalls President Michael DeRamo. “Eventually we are going to try to please everyone. Most people will be able to find a teacher.”

New members of NUCalls have expressed the desire to learn less taught languages like Gaelic, Vietnamese, Korean and Latin, Paradiso said.

The group will offer a variety of dialects not currently offered at Northeastern, he said.

“We noticed that modern language courses taught at Northeastern were not satisfactory in the variety of languages or the conventional usage,” Paradiso said. “This will be student knowledge to help subsidize the language program.”

A similar program, Global Languages Group, was started at George Washington University last year. After only a few months, the group grew to more than 800 members, Paradiso said.

“We have a lot of international students and it would be helpful to be able to learn from your peers for free,” said Kristen Perrotti, a senior speech pathology major. “I definitely could brush up on my Spanish. I took it in high school and I could use some extra work on it.”

Having just recently become a student group, NUCalls now has more than 100 students enrolled for its first semester. Students can sign up to become a student or a teacher of a language at www.NUCalls.com.

“The International Students Association has been a great support. We are excited about hopefully getting a lot of teachers through their office,” Paradiso said. “The grand plan is to be up and running with classes by the first week in October.”

NUCalls is also working with the International Business Club, Latin American Student Organization and International Affairs Society to raise awareness and draw interest, Paradiso said.

NUCalls will be hosting its first of three informational sessions today at 11:45 a.m. in 318 Curry Student Center. The introductory meeting is being held to discuss with prospective members how it works.

NUCalls will also meet Tuesday at 8 p.m in 322 Curry Student Center and Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. in 318 Curry Student Center.

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