Peer Language Advising

Students in a study area in Johnson Hall.

Ask questions, get support, and practice your language skills!

Language Advisers are Occidental students with extensive experience with language, while Visiting Language Assistants are exchange students who lead conversation class and also offer drop-in tutoring hours. 

Language Advisers and Visiting Language Assistants can help you:

  • Practice verbal language skills;
  • Practice pronunciation;
  • Discuss readings for better comprehension;
  • Discuss cultural, social or political issues relevant to the language of study;
  • Find and view current language materials in social media and other sources;
  • Work on particular needs by reviewing quizzes and exams;
  • Prepare for cultural events, karaoke performances, and open mics.

Drop-in Hours for Fall 2022

Hours and Locations for Drop-in Hours (Oxy log-in required). 


Xena Madi

Hello, everyone! My name is Xena Madi and I am the new Arabic Language Peer Advisor/Tutor. I am a first year international student from Palestine, so Arabic is my mother tongue. I grew up in a city in the center of Palestine called Ramallah, which is a 20 minute drive from Jerusalem. I am really excited for my next 4 years at Oxy as well as helping all of you out with your Arabic. My friends usually describe me as a fun and down to earth person, sometimes really loud...haha, but I would love for any of you to come see me to talk through material discussed in class. You can also pop in if you just want to learn the language! I am not a professor, I am your peer, so I assure you that our session will be informal and fun. Aside from academics, we will be watching movies, listening to songs, discussing art and maybe comics!

Drop-in Hours: 

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall     Sunday 6:30 to 8 pm; Wednesday, 4 to 5:30 pm


Ethan Kerman

Hello everyone! My name is Ethan Kerman and I am the peer advisor for Chinese. I am a sophomore from Portland, Oregon, and I am a double major in Urban and Environmental Policy and Chinese Studies. I started learning Mandarin at a Chinese immersion school when I was four years old, and I've been studying Chinese ever since! I think that Chinese is an extremely important language to know, especially today and in the future. Additionally, learning Chinese can help you communicate with a billion more people, which is pretty cool! Please come and see me for anything you need help with in Chinese; I'm available to help you review vocabulary, grammar, or any other concept you're studying in class. I hope to see you soon!

Drop-in Hours:

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall        Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday  7:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Klervi Tirel

Bonjour everyone, my name is Klervi and I am the French Language Assistant for the year, which means that I am from France! I am here to help you learn and practice French throughout the year, as well as to help you for your exams if needed. If you are stuck and lost in your French classes, or if you simply want to have a chat in French, I would be more than happy to help you. You can come see me during my office hours from 5:30pm to 7pm on Tuesdays and from 7pm to 8:30pm on Sundays. My email address is if you have any questions. I hope to see you soon.

Drop-in Hours:

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall    Sunday, 7:00 to 8:30 pm; Tuesday, 5:30 to 7:00 pm


Tali Kessler

Hi, my name is Tali and I will be the German Peer Language Advisor this semester! I am a senior Biochemistry major and German minor, and have been studying German since high school. If you ever need help with homework assignments, want to get some conversation practice, or just want to talk about the German language and culture, please stop by! I am more than happy to share any tips and tricks that have helped me throughout my journey of learning German. I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

Drop-in Hours:

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall     Monday & Wednesdays, 7:00 to 8:30 pm

Ancient Greek

Emma Denend

Hi! I’m Emma and I'm a senior majoring in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture. I have been studying Ancient Greek for three years now, and I started learning Latin a year ago as well. Learning Ancient Greek is very difficult, so I would encourage all students to visit me during my hours to review, ask questions, and stay on track! And if you need help outside of my hours, please email me:

Drop-in Hours:

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall       Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday  7:00 to 8:00 pm


Meg Tomonari

My name is Meg Tomonari and I am a sophomore at Occidental College. I’m an art history major with a focus on Japanese contemporary art. I’m first generation Japanese American and I usually talk with my parents and relatives in Japanese. I also went to school in Japan for half a year in sophomore year of high school. I think Japanese is a great language to learn because it introduces you to different parts of the beautiful culture. The language is complex but the culture will help with expanding your knowledge about the world, specifically East Asian countries. I’m here to help review lessons, grammar, writing, and reading. You are more than welcome to practice your conversation skills with me, or ask me about anything in Japanese culture! Email me at to let me know if you have any questions or if you want to set up a zoom! 

Drop-in Hours

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall    Tuesday 4:30 to 6:00 pm; Thursday 5:30 to 7:00 pm


Sofia Lauro

Hello! I’m Sofia and I’ll be the Latin Peer Advisor this semester. I am a sophomore who plans to major in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture, and I have a passion for languages. This is my sixth year studying Latin, and I have also studied a bit of Ancient Greek and taught myself Italian. I know how hard it can be to learn a language, especially one so memorization-heavy as Latin, so I’d love to help you out with any Latin grammar, vocabulary, or translation you would like some assistance with!

Drop-in Hours

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall  Tuesday & Thursday, 5:30 to 7:00 pm


Lara Nott

Hello! My name is Lara, I’m a senior CSLC and history major, and I am the Russian Language Advisor this year. Learning Russian is an amazing experience, whether you want to read the works of authors like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky in their original language, want to use knowledge of Russian to get a better understanding of current events, or just want the fun challenge of learning a language that is very different from English! Please come to my advising time to help reinforce concepts from class, have some extra practice with aspects you’re finding challenging, or if you just want to talk about learning Russian!

Drop-in Hours

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall    Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 6:00 to 7:00 pm


María Garretas Álvarez: Visiting Language Assistant

I am from Ponferrada, a city in Castilla y León (Spain). We are famous for our magnificent Templar Castle and our traditional dish: Botillo! Did you know about it? If we get along well, I'll let you know the recipe :)

Drop-in Hours

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall   Wednesday, 7 to 8:30 p.m.;  Thursday, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Himar González González: Visiting Language Assistant

Hello everybody! My name is Himar González. I recently graduated in the areas of translation and interpreting from the University of Salamanca and I am really looking forward to putting all this knowledge into practice. I invite all Spanish students to join my conversation classes and to come meet me during one of my tutoring hours. Both are going to be casual settings where we will make learning a fun but fruitful experience. Hope to see you soon!

Drop-in Hours

McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall   Tuesday, 5: to 6:30 p.m.;  Thursday, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.


Questions about the program? Email Luz Forero at