Newly redesigned Clark Language Lab creates comfortable space for learning

‘Mingle with speakers of different tongues, test the new comfy chairs and taste delicious food from different places’ said an email invitation sent out to community for the Celebration of Languages event to inaugurate the redesigned Clark Language lab.

The space, located in Meneely 101, was unveiled on Friday, March 22 and features a new projection system, a more open floor plan, 13 mac desktop computers and comfortable furniture set up in an oval around the new projector screen.

“We’re not using it for any language classes but events that help promote the study of language,” said Nancy Evans, Associate Professor of Classics, “We really want to encourage community around the languages at Wheaton.”

Daniel Becker, Digital Learning Liaison said, “Before, the lab had more desks, and the computers were set up in the middle, making it look more like a classroom, less like a lounge. The goal was to create a space where people can gather informally and talk and learn collaboratively rather than the more solitary in-front-of-a-computer learning.”

Nefeli Custer ‘19, Classical Civilization Major, said of the changes: “It’s a lot easier for students to understand the area; a lot friendlier for people to get into it. The new facilities will help students to learn in ways beyond books.”

The Clarke Language Lab is open to all students before 5:00 p.m. and then accessible by tapping a Wheaton ID. “The lab’s primary purpose is to serve as a space for anyone learning a foreign language at Wheaton,” Becker said, “Whether to study, to converse or even to watch foreign-language TV.”