Library offers place for students to speak out loud and in different languages

Cassandra Beck

Students can now practice foreign languages for a class, and international students can talk like they’re at home in the University Library’s Speak Easy.

The room, transformed out of an old study room, provides a special space for language tutoring and conversation tables. The room is located on the second floor of the library and operates under normal library hours. If the Speak Easy isn’t being used for foreign language discussions, it can be used as a quiet study room.

“It’s a place for people to get together and speak different languages together,” said Joe Salem, head of reference services. “It was made to be a common area for people to speak out loud.”

Modern and Classical Language Studies provides at least one tutor a week to be in the Speak Easy. This semester, only French tutoring is offered.

“Most foreign language goes on in Satterfield Hall,” Salem said. “We wanted to bring that over to the library.”

Salem said the Speak Easy is in sequence with a program that the Writing Commons center does about once a month.

“Writing Commons has an international student hour about once a month,” Salem said. “We wanted to expand on that idea and do something with languages in the library all year.”

The Speak Easy is for all students who want to engage in conversation. Salem said the idea started because of interest in having a place for talking out loud in the library.

“It’s interesting trying to put this together with International Students,” Salem said. “It has opened up a real dialogue.”

Contact Cassandra Beck at Contact Joe Smith at [email protected]