The World Language and Cultures Center at Oklahoma City Community College is a small gem tucked away on the second floor of the main building. This learning center is full of resources for OCCC students wanting to learn more about a different culture or a new language.
This learning center is a place where different cultures meet and a place where all students can become friends, said Chiaki Troutman, the center’s Coordinator.
Students can visit the WLCC to receive tutoring for their language classes.
Yann Ondo, an international student and lab assistant, said he’s there to help students practice their French.
“French is my first language,” he said “In this lab, I get to be more conversational with people from a different culture than me and I get to learn new things about those cultures.”
According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, students who take a world language class tend to score higher on academic tests than those who do not take a language class.
Students who are not taking a language class at OCCC can still learn a new language through Rosetta Stone software that is offered online at occc.edu. There is no charge for students to use the software.
Students can access the first level of several languages through the OCCC website, and if they would like to get to the other levels they will have to visit the lab to continue on, Troutman said.
John Balog, a digital media and design major, said he is using the lab and the software to learn Japanese.
“After my classes are over, I like to go up to this lab so that I can learn Japanese with the Rosetta Stone and have a serene place to study or hang out,” he said. “I first learned about the World Language and Culture Center on a tour of the college and it was mentioned that this learning lab offered free Rosetta Stone.”
Balog said he was very interested in the language and history of the Japanese culture. ”Pop Culture also had an influence on me as well,” he said.
Balog said, he knows that he is learning and retaining the Japanese language because his mind is starting to use both Japanese and English to think and dream.
“I am on the last unit of level 1 and I am about to start level 2, and my favorite word that I use everyday is ‘hai’ meaning yes,” he said.
Troutman said the WLCC has a collection of over 200 international films that students can access for class assignments or just for fun. Students may also borrow current textbooks used in language classes.
“We are like a club or a class because students are not required to come here, but the students come here because they enjoy learning a new language and exploring different cultures,” Troutman said.
The WLCC is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.