When accepting a new position at a university, community college, or K-12 school, you may be asked to do more than teach a language. If you are an IALLT member or a person looking up information on the IALLT webpage – chances are that you are a language technology professional or a language instructor who has been tasked with designing or redesigning a Language Learning Center (LLC).

Designing or completely remodeling a LLC can be a daunting task. It is certainly a task that nobody should (have to) tackle alone. When first exploring the issue of (re)designing a center, it is crucial to determine your department’s or school’s needs for this new LLC. And, while exploring new technologies, it is also important to determine what kind of learning spaces you will need.

When first given the task to put together a proposal for a new LLC, I had a lot of questions.
As I visited LLCs at other institutions, I saw many different models for Language Learning Centers, and it quickly became apparent to me that there was no such thing as a “one size fits all” model. In fact, the most beneficial help I received from a colleague was a list of questions to consider when developing a proposal for a new LLC. IALLT’s Language Center Design publication contains just such a checklist, followed by chapters on determining the needs for a LLC and on (re)designing learning spaces.

Besides providing a lot of useful information, the 2011 edition of IALLT’s Language Center Design publication is complemented by a LCD resource space on the IALLT website. There, you can find photos of and links to new Language Learning Centers – or, you can add photos, ground plans, or a video tour of your newly designed LLC. In addition, IALLT offers a Language Center Design Workshop during the upcoming Summer Leadership Meeting in June 2012, and also during the IALLT 2013 conference. This is a perfect format to learn more about Language Learning Center design while networking with colleagues from different language programs. I hope you will be able to join us!

Best to all,
Ute S. Lahaie, PhD