Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Setting up a SALC at Surugadai University

Title: Setting up a SALC at Surugadai University

Hello everyone,

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:

  1. What kind of layout is conducive to high usage?
    1. Group space vs. individual and pair/small group booths
    2. Student, staff and language teacher usage space
  1. What kind of materials are desirable?
    1. Balance of high tech and paper-based?
    2. Student and teacher resources
    3. Specific ‘must’ items (Thanks, Lucy, for the software advice!)
  1. What kind of support to offer students, staff and faculty members?
  1. 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.


Renee Sawazaki

Language Center planning committee member

Surugadai University