New Language Center at SRC



Chris Duenas

The San Ramon Center has a new Language Center where students can get free help to improve their English-speaking skills, as well as their writing and reading comprehension.

The center, which opened last month, is coordinated by Sandra Gardiner, a former DVC student who worked as a tutor in the Learning Center here before earning her degree and becoming an instructor.

“Our goal is building confidence,” Gardiner, referring to the proverb, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

“”Our goal is building confidence,” – Sandra Gardiner

The purpose of the lab is not just to tutor but to help students improve their studying skills and continue to learn on their own. The lab has been full of eager students, even two weeks after its opening date, Gardiner said.

Six tutors are currently on staff, with that number expected to grow to meet the demand from students.

Tutors at the San Ramon campus were trained at DVC, where Heather Lee coordinates the English tutoring program. All must take a three-unit training course and can tutor while taking the class.

Lee said some students are hesitant to seek help due to the stigma that seeking tutoring means failure.

“But tutoring is not a crutch,” Lee said. “None of us gets anywhere alone.”

And tutoring is not just for students who have trouble in English classes.

 Even students with top grades continue to make use of the free tutoring to supplement their learning and continue to succeed, Lee said.

At the San Ramon lab, students can set up scheduled appointments to meet with tutors or drop-in on a first-come-first-served basis for a 25-minute session. The Language Lab has computers at each desk for students to take advantage of English software for their individual needs.

The lab is located in East Building 174, just across from the water fountain at the front of the campus and next to the main parking lot.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It reopens at 5 p.m. for two hours only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.