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REINVENTING THE LANGUAGE LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER: MEETING NEW CHALLENGES THROUGH FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES

I. Pérez Ibáñez, M. Echevarría, D. Rarick

University of Rhode Island (UNITED STATES)
During the last years we have seen extensive discussion about the role of Computer Laboratories and Language Resource Centers on university campuses. What is the future of these facilities when every year the percentage of students that own laptops is higher and when so many language textbook publishers now make auxiliary audiovisual materials available on-line? Contrary to what one might expect, the Language Learning Resource Center (LLRC) at the University of Rhode Island (URI) is flourishing more than ever, with more patrons using our facilities every semester (over 6,000 in Spring 2009) and with faculty members offering continuous messages of support and appreciation for our work. In our paper we discuss our experiences and examine the main factors that we consider key to our successes in this ever-changing environment: the fostering of collaborative relationships with faculty, flexibility and continuous adaptation to meet the needs of our Department, and a management style that creates an environment of mutual trust and respect and that motivates student employees to make personal investments in their work.