Taking part in the activities of CLA, the University’s Language Center, is very important.
University of Calabria’s Language Center, member of the Italian Association of the University Language Centers and in which it has the role of National Secretariat, is very dynamic and crowded with so many professional figures linked to each other by common work interests, but also by emotional bonds established and strengthened over time.
If we look for some key works representing CLA, we can mention Culture, or even better, a “meeting of many cultures”, Languages or Multilingualism as a target to aim at; Internationality, which is different than the concept of Internationalization, it goes beyond, because it is meant as “sharing various ways of thinking”, “understanding of the differences of behavior”, “curiosity towards what is new and different”.
The first page of the CLA website intentionally overlooks this idea. Images of journeys run through, in front of the observer: they’re like post-cards from the world, encouraging to wonder what there is behind the picture, how much we can learn visiting those places, and what there is beyond.
But CLA is much more. It offers services and educational actions for all the University’s community: the students, the graduate students, the technical and administrative staff, the teaching staff. This is done by teaching services in the classes, but also online, a method that highlights, more than any other, the importance of self-learning. This latter, in particular, must not be considered as a way for leaving the student alone with his studies, but as a “studying philosophy”, able to give, especially to the younger ones - but not only - trust and awareness about the fact that they can autonomously manage their studies on the basis of individual interests, of their own studying rhythm, of their own skill. In other words: Do you have any skill? Your skills? identify them and put them in action.
This is the direction along which we worked during the years, trying to offer, to who will want to use the website of CLA, self-study paths guided through material that can help to develop language skills in the academic, business, social, scientific fields. All this takes place through interactive programmes, videos on common subjects selected for teaching purposes, videos of songs able to help to develop a necessary language musicality.
Many other teaching actions must be considered. First of all, covering one’s own space with colours and transparencies. Colours of the morning, as commented by a student! Orange, blue, yellow. Colours encouraging to study in a harmonic context. The aim is to welcome well all our guests, giving them the awareness that we have created a comfortable studying environment because they are our priority.
The rest can be listed in small actions which can be meaningful for many, we know this from experience and from the requests received during the years: discussing with a tutor in the language requested, readjusting the language aspects of a paper, revising the presentation we are anxious about before participating in an international conference, translating an article, offering an interpreting service, offering teaching services for the territory and for the schools, giving the opportunity to participate in exams aimed at obtaining international certificates. These actions are often accompanied by little costs. Why? Because CLA is rich of many ideas to achieve, but a little bit poor of funds. But also to emphasize the respect, the dignity and professionalism of many of the CLA staff members.
Anyhow, the institutional duties of the Language Center always remain our priority. The aim is to offer a linguistic input, thanks to the expert staff and thanks to the days committed to counselling on the teaching activities offered, scheduled for the students of the doctoral schools, for degree course students and for technical-administrative staff. In short, there’s a lot to do, and a lot of work to organize. We will keep you informed through the website and the CLA newspaper which we will publish periodically. All this is done to promote and overcome the multilingual laziness we often get wrapped in, to stimulate cultural awareness, able to direct us towards possible acquaintances of other people, to develop language skills in order to communicate well with the others in other languages. We will try to make these actions easier.
Good work to us and good study to you!