Arabic class in ILRC

History of the ILRC

General Information

The Interactive Language Resource Center's  former namesake, the Language Laboratory, began in 1956 and has been in continuous operation since its opening. It was, for the most part, is a restricted reference laboratory open to students, faculty, and staff of the Departments of  French and Italian; German, Russian, Asian and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures; Spanish and Portuguese; and Classics.

The lab had its beginnings with state-of-the-art technology of the era, vinyl stereophonic records and reel-to-reel tape. In the 1970s, the Language Lab received a major renovation and a Tanderg Language Learning system was purchased. This system allowed students and instructors to use audio cassette tapes for their listening materials and allowed for two-way conversation and peer listening and collaboration.

The 1990s brought about the first computers into the language lab. When Irvin Hall was undergoing a major renovation, the College of Arts and Sciences decided to bring the Language Laboratory up to snuff to compete with the rapidly changing world of technology. The Language Laboratory was briefly relocated to Hoyt Hall during renovations to Irvin Hall. During this time, the College decided to change the center's name to the Interactive Language Resource Center and inaugurate the new facility at the completion of renovations to the building in 1993-1994. Along with the traditional Tandberg audiocassette system, the ILRC would have a dedicated computer classroom as part of its new configuration.

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Tandberg eventually gave way to computers for the whole facility. Audio recordings were converted from audio cassette to MP3 files, Videos were converted from film, television, VHS tape, and Laserdiscs to digital formats. Today, the Interactive Language Resource Center is the technical hub of the four foreign language departments at Miami University. Students enrolled in language courses use the facility to supplement and enhance their foreign language courses with language specific Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) software, access Internet and network applications, and use various language learning specific software.

Funding

A huge amount of funding for new computers and equipment used by students in the ILRC is the direct result of successful applications from the Student Technology Fee program. Since the student technology fee was implemented, we have had an average success rate of 2-3 proposals every year to procure new equipment for students!  We are constantly thankful and grateful to the student community for being willing to support our facility with the Student Technology Fee program!

The Interactive Language Resource Center is also funded directly through the College of Arts and Science and is supported  through an endowment given to the ILRC by Mr. Phelps and Mrs. Beverly Wood. Without their gift, the ILRC would not be able to accomplish the language-related tasks that language students, faculty, and staff rely upon.

The ILRC Online

In 2001, Henry Montgomery (Class of 1960) provided a generous contribution to help the Classics Department in their efforts towards computerization and integrating computer technology into Classics courses. The Classics Department received a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help purchase a file server. Henry Montgomery and the Classics Department at Miami decided that it would be best for all the languages to share in this unique advance of technology and charged the Interactive Language Resource Center with finding the most cost effective solution to meet the needs of both the Classics Department as well as the needs of efficiently distributing information resources among all the foreign language departments.

The result was the first generation of the ILRC Online which was located at http://montgomery.cas.muohio.edu/.  With additional funds provided by the Interactive Language Resource Center and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Montgomery File Server was born. The original server consisted of  a 450MHz processor Macintosh G4 computer, a Macintosh X-Serve RAID which contains 1.26TB of data and ran Macintosh OS X 10.3 Server software.

In 2009, the second generation of the ILRC Online came to life through a $22,500 grant from Miami University’s Technical Fee Grant program. A new Macintosh X-Serve was purchased along with an 8TB Promise V-Track RAID storage array and  Macintosh OS X 10.6 Server software.

Attendance Figures

On January 23, 2013, sometime between 10:00am and 11:00am, the ILRC logged a major milestone of the 1,000,000th student to visit the language center. The feat took 57 years to accomplish, according to the best estimate of student visits and attendance tracking over the years. Our current attendance tracking system is a SenSource people counter installed at the entrance of the ILRC. For each student coming and going, the SenSource tracks the figure and the data is compiled at the end of each semester.

Academic
Year
Fall
Term
Spring
Term
Yearly
Totals
Totals
to Date
1956-1957                      -                      -              27,948               27,948
1957-1958                      -                      -              28,444               56,392
1958-1959                      -                      -              28,754               85,146
1959-1960                      -                      -              28,877             114,023
1960-1961                      -                      -              28,813             142,836
1961-1962                      -                      -              28,563             171,399
1962-1963                      -                      -              28,127             199,526
1963-1964                      -                      -              27,504             227,030
1964-1965            13,424            10,451              23,875             250,905
1965-1966            16,517            12,889              29,406             280,311
1966-1967            13,123            10,602              23,725             304,036
1967-1968            13,783            11,083              24,866             328,902
1968-1969            12,291              7,720              20,011             348,913
1969-1970              9,229            11,092              20,321             369,234
1970-1971              8,448              9,544              17,992             387,226
1971-1972              7,666              7,995              15,661             402,887
1972-1973              7,855              3,693              11,548             414,435
1973-1974              7,272              4,327              11,599             426,034
1974-1975              5,395              3,369                8,764             434,798
1975-1976              2,234              3,555                5,789             440,587
1976-1977            10,128              4,140              14,268             454,855
1977-1978              9,324              5,014              14,338             469,193
1978-1979              9,324              9,675              18,999             488,192
1979-1980              7,983              7,082              15,065             503,257
1980-1981              9,701              3,530              13,231             516,488
1981-1982              8,106              3,887              11,993             528,481
1982-1983              7,979              2,984              10,963             539,444
1983-1984              8,829              3,487              12,316             551,760
1984-1985            10,430              4,787              15,217             566,977
1985-1986            12,664              5,598              18,262             585,239
1986-1987              8,127              4,709              12,836             598,075
1987-1988              9,273              4,137              13,410             611,485
1988-1989              5,881              2,676                8,557             620,042
1989-1990              5,698              2,302                8,000             628,042
1990-1991              6,936              4,492              11,428             639,470
1991-1992              5,349              3,497                8,846             648,316
1992-1993              5,800              3,512                9,312             657,628
1993-1994              8,679              4,403              13,082             670,710
1994-1995              9,621              7,147              16,768             687,478
1995-1996            11,801              8,146              19,947             707,425
1996-1997            10,754              7,567              18,321             725,746
1997-1998            13,830            10,169              23,999             749,745
1998-1999              8,539              7,421              15,960             765,705
1999-2000            12,105            10,385              22,490             788,195
2000-2001            10,979              7,646              18,625             806,820
2001-2002              8,144              6,691              14,835             821,655
2002-2003              8,289            13,285              21,574             843,229
2003-2004              9,093              8,166              17,259             860,488
2004-2005              8,672              8,014              16,686             877,174
2005-2006            10,028              7,481              17,509             894,683
2006-2007              7,915              9,585              17,500             912,183
2007-2008              7,203              4,305              11,508             923,691
2008-2009              5,715              8,572              14,287             937,978
2009-2010              6,292              9,375              15,667             953,645
2010-2011              5,283              7,925              13,208             966,853
2011-2012            11,518              9,448              20,966             987,819
2012-2013            11,672              8,268              19,940          1,007,759
2013-2014            11,642              9,896              21,538          1,029,297
2014-2015            10,173            11,580              21,753          1,051,050
2015-2016              8,022              5,639              13,661          1,064,711
2016-2017              6,004              5,095              11,099          1,075,810
2017-2018              6,814              5,371              12,185          1,087,995
         
Average Visits              7,864              6,023              17,548
* On Jan. 23, 2013 between 10:00-11:00, the ILRC hit 1,000,000 visits

 

Center Directors

Since the inception of Miami's language laboratory and it's successor, the ILRC, there have been six of known directors of the facilities:

  • 1956-1973: Robert Phillips
  • 1973-1974: Michael Daniel
  • 1974-1976: Peter Carels
  • 1976-1994: Edward Plater
  • 1994-1998: Charlotte Wharton
  • 1998-present: Daniel E. Meyers