History of the Language Centre
The Language Centre has been part of the University of Warwick's central academic services since its establishment in 1964.
The Language Laboratory was first set up in 1964 on the East Site (Gibbet Hill Site), by the Senior Technician Laurie Evans. It moved to new premises in 1966 in a new building which is now solely the Library, but the building then housed the Arts Faculty, Library, Book-bindery and Photography departments. When the Arts faculty (Humanities) building was constructed in 1970, we occupied a few rooms within our current location. We have taken over a few adjacent rooms over the years to reach our current capacity. We managed at last in 1995 to equip all four of our language laboratories with the same machines, standardising with the Tandberg IS10 model. This has made the life of our tutors easier by not having to become familiar with different operating controls.
Laurie Evans became Superintendant, but later was re-designated Director until his death in 1985. Afterwards, the post of Director was taken by Noemi Messora (appointed 50%) and when she left Warwick to return to Italy, Bob Powell was appointed to a full-time post as Director in 1993.
It can be seen from the archive photographs that Language Laboratory technology has moved on, from valve open-reel tape recorders, to transistor solid-state open-reel, onto cassette tape recorders. Having recently installed a fully digitalised satellite system, we are now progressing to totally computerised digital sound recording. We have always maintained pace with technology to enable our tutors to utilise the most modern teaching methods - sometimes at the cutting edge of innovation. The Centre's activities continue to expand as part of the University's long-term commitment to the increased provision of foreign language tuition across the Faculties.