The Université Paris-Saclay has inaugurated a new Language Centre. On March 7, the Vice-Chancellors of CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Sud and ENS Paris-Saclay – who initiated this project – together with the President of Université Paris-Saclay, attended the event. The new centre optimises language and intercultural teaching, and offers joint programmes and the shared use of teaching facilities. The Language Centre is also a place for International and French students to come together as a community.
Facilities dedicated to language teaching and learning
The Language Centre is located at the heart of the Eiffel building at CentraleSupélec, with a total area of 8 000 sq. m over two floors (3 and 4). It comprises 57 classrooms specifically adapted for language teaching and learning and is fully equipped with up-to-date audio and video equipment. A resource centre, open to all, as well as providing Internet access, books, journals and reviews in many different languages will also provide specialised advice and information to language learners of all levels. Other facilities include a 120-seat lecture hall, several tutor rooms, booths to facilitate tandem learning and language exchange, an area in which to practice pronunciation, general work and reading areas and a cafeteria.
Sharing teaching programmes and facilities
The Language Center will be providing its services to three Université Paris-Saclay institutions CentraleSupélec, ENS Paris-Saclay and Université Paris-Sud. Their respective language departments will be managing its activities.
Sharing teaching programs in this purpose-built centre will help optimise and develop a range of innovative services. Courses for less frequently taught languages, such as Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hebrew, Italian and advanced English for science will be shared across Université Paris-Sud, CentraleSupélec and ENS Paris-Saclay, in order to stream students more effectively.
Language tandems, culture hub, language certifications
Other projects, such as language tandems which enable two students of different origins to practice their speaking skills, conversation workshops led by student tutors in their native tongue, intensive refresher or remedial learning modules, preparation for going abroad, already in place in some institutions, will be rolled out by the fall of 2018.
A culture hub will offer activities such as foreign language debating workshops, theatre plays, fun events, film screenings, conferences and workshops with a specific emphasis on language and interculturality.
The Language Centre also provides support and training tools to prepare for language certifications such as the Cambridge exams, IELTS, BULATS, TOEIC, TOEFL, CLES, Goethe Institut and Instituto Cervantes exams.
Other programmes will be developed, to meet the emerging needs and requests of both students and academic staff.
This new Université Paris-Saclay Language Centre is a concrete illustration of how the institutions involved complement each other and it is likewise a demonstration of their desire and capacity to bring joint projects to fruition.