Johns Hopkins Gazette: December 9, 1996 Form

SAIS Opens
Multimedia Center

Center will enrich

Paula Simmons
Office of Public Affairs

The SAIS Multimedia Center is now available for individual and group use by all students, faculty and staff. The state-of-the-art facility features the latest in computer, satellite and audio- and visual-based technology.

Although the center is primarily reserved for language instruction, it will serve as an interdisciplinary multimedia center for the entire school. Language instruction, crisis simulation, economics tutorials, archiving video and audio resources, career services via the Internet and taped brown-bag lectures are but a few of the curriculum and program-enriching possibilities that can be available through the Multimedia Center.

The center's sophisticated computer-based technology includes two local area networks complemented by laserdisc and CD-ROM capabilities. As a whole, this configuration allows a virtually infinite variety of groups and individual activities to take place. The center also features SCOLA news broadcasts in a variety of different languages from around the world, a video archive, in a number of languages, for in-house use and language tapes for center and home use.

The Language Studies Department is currently in the process of researching and acquiring appropriate language instruction software for the 11 languages taught at SAIS as well as for rarely taught languages not offered there. This will allow interested students to gain access to self-training, either in a second language, in a language not offered at SAIS or to refresh their knowledge of a language they have previously studied.

According to Gerald Lampe, director of Language Studies, the technology now available through the Multimedia Center will have a positive impact and become an essential part of language instruction at SAIS. This technology will allow an exposure to the cultural environment in which the language is naturally produced, better integration of the language curriculum with that of the functional or area studies curriculum and the freeing-up of class time to practice oral skills.

"Essential to learning any language are qualified, well-trained, dedicated and talented instructors," said Lampe. "But by shifting some of the burden to technology-based instruction, valuable and limited class time can be used for the practice and honing of oral skills.

"I believe technology has advanced to a point that students and faculty can't do without it. And language learning technology has developed such that students actually enjoy it--it's not the sterile 'language lab' of yesteryear."

Ready or not, SAIS has taken a first step into the 21st century. It is now up to the students and faculty to follow its lead.

The Language Studies Department invites all students, faculty and staff to offer any suggestions for the Multimedia Center or to inquire about one-on-one training workshops to provide more in-depth information on the technologies available for instructional use. For more information about the SAIS Multimedia Center, visit the new Web homepage at or contact language learning assistant Nicole Mastromarino at (202)663-5751.

Other News

The Southeast Asia Studies program is proving popular with SAIS students. Established in 1991 under a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the program now enrolls 16 students in the M.A. program and two in the Ph.D. program. The Southeast Asia Studies program integrates regional studies with a strong emphasis on the international economics and international relations fields.

Beginning in the year 2000, the "century of Asia" will begin, and the SAIS program recognizes the continent's growing importance on the world's stage and anticipates the future need for Southeast Asian experts in the public and private sector.

The program also addresses how these newly resilient nations will use their newfound wealth and power. Rather than focus on questions of national identity and nation-building, the program explores how existing institutions can accommodate the voices of the new middle class, how today's export-driven growth can be sustained into the 21st century, what role will be played by new multilateral organizations, and how China and Japan will affect the region.

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