New in every language

On Thursday, one day after the new Center for the Study of Languages (CSL) opened, glass-enclosed classrooms and curving orange walls butted up against boxes of foreign-language videos and handwritten room numbers. Students and faculty wandered in, wondering where small-group sessions would be held, looking for CSL staff, and generally asking about the new space on Cobb's second floor.

Manager Michael Berger, who has supervised the University's language resources since 1986, was there to answer the flood of questions, while an assistant moved box after box into the center. "I don't have a phone!" Berger exclaimed, after realizing he wanted to contact a faculty member. The CSL is still waiting for some furniture, televisions, and other items to arrive.

Designed by RADA Architects, Ltd., the CSL consolidates the Language Labs and Archives, originally located in the Social Sciences basement, with the Language Faculty Resource Center in Cobb. The firm renovated the Cobb space, creating small-group classrooms and faculty offices and adding cafe-style tables by the elevators for students to meet between classes.

The classrooms and equipment, including videoconferencing and satellite TV for foreign news and entertainment programming, will be put into use as small-group sessions begin next week. Meanwhile, the new center is attracting attention—one breathless student asked Berger to help her find where a Russian class on Nabokov's Lolita was being held. Berger was happy to oblige by checking the time schedules online. He did have a computer.

Jenny Fisher, '07

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Photos (left to right): A small-group room in the center; Berger (left) mans the front desk; students try out the new hallway tables.

January 5, 2007