Student working 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 inagurate 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 eventaully 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 contantly 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 langauge 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

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