Language labs are far from a new invention. They have been a key part of language education for almost a hundred years, though the technology behind them has obviously changed a great deal during that time! The first language laboratory was developed in 1908 at the University of Grenoble. Despite this impressive history, there are a surprising number of schools and colleges who aren’t effectively harnessing the power of language labs. This is surprising as they have been universally shown to be extremely effective in supporting educational success in languages.
Advances in eLearning technology has made it easier than ever to put together an effective language laboratory. It’s no longer necessary for organisations to invest in specialist tape decks or auditory equipment. Instead, modern language labs generally consist of a bank of computers. The thing that makes these computers valuable as a language education tool is the addition of high quality language laboratory software.
Why Language Labs are so Beneficial?
• Language labs offer an immersive linguistic experience that can speed up the pace of learning.
• They are completely self-paced which gives students more control over their own progress.
• Digital language laboratory software keeps track of progress, making it an excellent tool for tracking results.
• Hearing correct pronunciation regularly with voice recognition system can make a big difference to students’ ability to progress.
• A language laboratory can be used with or without the teacher, making it the ideal resource for class time or self study.
• Language labs can make repetitive tasks such as practising pronunciation or grammar rules more enjoyable and far less tedious.
• This type of specialist software can encourage students to study together which can be extremely beneficial in terms of spoken and listening skills.
• Teachers can easily keep track of how much independent study their students are doing, and how much of an impact it’s making.
• Language labs can help nervous students to increase their confidence in their listening and speaking skills.
Of course, one of the added benefits of the modern language laboratory is that it doesn’t need to be a purely physical space. Cloud-based software can be made available to students to access from other parts of campus or even from home.
Want to learn more about maximising students’ chance of success? Read our thoughts on how student results can be improved by using learning reporting tools.
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