The Intensive Language Training Center at Indiana University was created in 1959 as the Air Force Language Program with the primary aim of instructing cadets in spoken Russian. In 1962, the name of the program was changed to the Intensive Language Training Center (ILTC) in order to facilitate training beyond its contract with the Air Force. As a result of this, the ILTC became part of the College of Arts and Sciences, thereby fully integrating it with the university. The following year, the ILTC was placed under the direction of the newly formed Department of Linguistics.
The ILTC negotiated contracts with a number of organizations. One of these was the Defense Language Institute (DLI). The DLI was established in 1963 under the authority of the Defense Language Program in order to standardize language training among the military services. The ILTC also had a contract with the Peace Corps.
A number of languages were taught at the ILTC, namely a variety of African and Arabic languages, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, and Russian. The emphasis in the classroom was on the spoken word rather than the written language. Students would work for six hours a day, which included oral communication with the native speaking professors and other students. The written language was taught once the student was able to understand the spoken language.
In 1968, the ILTC program was disbanded, with some of its functions being taken on by the Research Center for the Language Sciences.