Language Commons

Spaces and Resources for Language Learning


About the Language Commons

The Language Commons seeks to facilitate excellence in language learning and teaching at UVA by providing spaces, resources, and programming. In the Language Commons, UVA language faculty can utilize the Language Lab for class activities, access a variety of professional development opportunities, and make use of instructional design consulting resources. Language learners can access a growing collection of online resources any time, and can visit the LC to spend time in a second language by participating in events, paging through a novel, playing language games, or just relaxing in-language. All UVA students are welcome in the Language Commons! 

The primary space of the Language Commons, located in New Cabell 298 Suite, serves as a hub for activities related to language learning and intercultural communication. The Commons offers a language-rich environment for language students and enthusiasts, with international tv channels and music, games, books, and online resources. In collaboration with partners such as the Institute for World Languages, UVA world language departments, and student organizations, the Language Commons will offer innovative programs and activities to support UVA’s language learning and teaching community. Check our Events page for upcoming activities such as yoga in multiple languages and world language chat hours.

Contact Us!

The Language Commons is located on the 2nd floor of New Cabell Hall.

Mailing Address: The Language Commons / University of Virginia /  PO Box 400711 Charlottesville, VA 22904

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Meet the Language Commons Team

Hope Fitzgerald manages the Language Commons and its on-grounds spaces. As an instructional designer, she also consults with world language instructors in developing and implementing new approaches to language instruction. Prior to joining Learning Design & Technology, Hope was the Assistant Director of the Middlebury College School in Jordan. She has served as an Arabic language lecturer at several US and international universities, and holds MA degrees in Foreign Language Education and Geography. 


Keith Samuels is the Language Lab Coordinator. As the Lab Coordinator he works with instructors to schedule, train, assist, support, and prepare for all activities that take place in the language lab. Prior to joining Language Design & Technology, Keith worked in IT for Re:discovery Software and spent two years working for ITS in Classroom Support at UVa. Keith has over 20 years of experience teaching and training adults and students in various forms of technology and music. Keith graduated from James Madison University and holds a Bachelor of Music degree.


Nicholas Scott is the graduate student associate for the Language Commons. He is a first year PhD student studying modern Latin American history, with a research specialization in late twentieth century Chilean labor movements. He is always looking to improve his Spanish and is currently learning Portuguese. 


2017-2018 Language Lab Assistants

Sharvani Mehta is a third-year student in the McIntire School of Commerce, concentrating in Marketing & Management. She is interested in global commerce and international economics and has experience in public relations, social media marketing, and international studies. Sharvani is fluent in Hindi and Gujarati and has studied French and Arabic. 


Taylor Shuford is a third year student studying Ecomonics and Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Outside of the lab, he plays on UVa’s Club Ultimate Frisbee team, volunteers through Madison House, and works as a research assistant at the JADE Lab.



Phylicia Holt is a third-year student majoring in Statistics and American Studies, concentrating in Actuarial Finance and Race & Ethnicity, respectively. Outside of the lab, she works within the Sports Medicine Department for U.Va. Athletics, volunteers through Madison House, and is a member of the Outreach Student Admission Committee. Phylicia has studied Spanish and Portuguese.

2017-2018 Language Commons Assistants

Dominick Giovanniello is a fourth-year Language Commons Assistant. Dom spent last year in Amman, Jordan, and has studied Arabic and French here at UVA. Outside of the Commons, Dom is involved in the Arabic Conversation Club and the Global Inquirer, a weekly student-run podcast that explores international issues through a variety of case studies.


Julia Harris is a third-year student majoring in Media Studies with a concentration in film. In the past, she has held positions as an intern for a post-production audio facility and as a tutor for high school students in German and French. She is currently an intern for ADAPT at the UVA Gordie Center.



Angie Ocran is a third year student studying Psychology and Spanish in the College of Arts and Sciences and a language lab assistant. She is fluent in Twi. Besides the Language Commons, she is an intern at Student Legal Services, a volunteer with Madison House, and a research assistant at JADE lab. 



Mattias Pinto is a second-year student studying German and Economics. He speaks Spanish and German and coaches recreational soccer in the Charlottesville Area.



Aditya Seth is a second-year student from Mumbai, India on the Pre-Comm track, hoping to pursue marketing and management. He is fluent in English and Hindi and speaks Marathi as well. Besides being a Language Commons Assistant, he is a member of the Model UN travel team, a Global Greeter and a member of Madison House. 


Tessa Short is a fourth-year BA/MT studying English and English as a Second Language pedagogy at the Curry School of Education. Outside of working as a Language Commons Assistant and researcher of second language acquisition pedagogy, she volunteers at the International Center, works with local students through the America Reads program, and moderates teaching demonstrations for the Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC). She speaks French and Japanese, and she is currently self-studying Korean.