Title: Setting up a SALC at Surugadai University
My name's Renee and I work at Surugadai University in Hanno, Saitama. We will be setting up a language center to open in April 2009 and I am in charge of creating a layout plan and proposal for materials. I would like to ask for your advice and support as I enter this challenging path.
First of all, I'm the only language teaching specialist at Surugadai and I just succeeded in convincing the administrators to invest in a SALC in addition to restructuring the foreign language program at an administration level (that is what they envision when they say 'Language Center'!) And, I am working on getting the support of colleagues who teach foreign languages. So far, so good.
I received permission to visit other SALCs in the area and am setting up appointments at Soka University, Kanda University of International Studies and Tsuda College. I would like to go to Akita and Kansai, but that’s not possible. I would like to conduct the visits in May and have a proposal ready by the beginning of June. Tight time line!
The main areas I need to research now are:
- What kind of layout is conducive to high usage?
- Group space vs. individual and pair/small group booths
- Student, staff and language teacher usage space
- What kind of materials are desirable?
- Balance of high tech and paper-based?
- Student and teacher resources
- Specific ‘must’ items (Thanks, Lucy, for the software advice!)
- What kind of support to offer students, staff and faculty members?
- What are important questions to ask / things to look for when I visit other centers?
I’ve enjoyed reading contributions that you have placed on the web regarding your centers, papers, etc. I would really appreciate any detailed advice you could give.
I look forward to exchanging ideas and keeping you posted on the progress here at Surugadai. I hope to be able to one day to have a good model and help others to create similar ones.
Language Center planning committee member