The Language Resource Center is comprised of two main spaces:
- the Café side to the north
- the Studio side to the south
In this 1800 square foot facility, a great variety of activities takes place in each space. Though the size of the facility mirrors that of the LRC’s former location in Meier Hall, the organization of the space has greatly improved the efficiency of the center. The contemporary feel and practical layout brings potential for new functions and expanded programming. In the early stages of planning the new center which began in 2010, the department established specific priorities, seeking a space configured in a fresh and efficient manner that would be flexible enough to meet curricular goals and attractive enough to meet student expectations. Through its services, resources and appealing setting, we envisioned the new LRC as a community-building center for all language students as well as international students, in particular those who come to us from our exchange partners abroad. We also envisioned the reconfigured center as a point of collaboration with other units on campus in support of international initiatives. Thanks to the guiding efforts and expertise of the architectural team at EHDD, we feel we’ve met these space planning goals in the new Language Resource Center with great success.
From “Language Lab” to Language Resource Center
Valparaiso University built its original Language Laboratory as part of the newly constructed Meier Hall building in 1968. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures was housed in Meier Hall from the beginning. In 2006 the department dropped the name “Language Lab,” adopting Language Resource Center to more accurately reflect the services and resources provided. The traditional language lab, dating back to the 1950’s, typically consisted of rows of audio booths where students worked on listening comprehension and speaking production, often in isolation from each other. Most labs outgrew this focus many years ago, especially as access to audio shifted online. Like a growing number of contemporary language centers, today the Language Resource Center provides a wide variety of resources and services related to the study of language, literature and culture with attention to face-to-face personal interaction, authentic language use, and intercultural understanding within a social space that welcomes both American and international students. For these and other reasons, the term “Language Lab” no longer describes the offerings or mission of Valpo’s LRC and so we have left the outdated name to the history books. This is all the more true since launching the new facility in the Arts and Sciences Building in 2012.
Various activities are scheduled to take place in the Language Resource Center throughout the school year. During most activities that occur during regular hours, the LRC will remain open to the general student population. There are, however, some activities that require we close part or all of the LRC. All activities, including those for which we must close part of all of the LRC for a period of time, are included on the LRC calendar.