Ten reasons why a language lab is essential in modern languages teaching
Language Labs are no longer simply about listening and repeating, recording and playing; only concentrating on the Oral and Aural skills.
The latest generation of labs can all support learning in the following ways:
1. Differentiation: In order to reach the same learning objectives, bespoke work can easily be provided to the learner. Differentiation by text, task or outcome is made simple as the teacher is able to deliver pupil specific work directly to each pupils’ computer
2. Independent learning: Pupils are able to immerse themselves in their learning, using online resources to solve problems and having their teacher on call to support them
3. Controlled Assessments: Newer language labs are able collect and label students’ work at the click of a button. This work could be an audio recording or a written text. Practice and preparation for the written and spoken controlled assessments can be easily stored and evaluated and feedback can be given through the Language Lab.
4. Assessment for learning: Language labs allow pupils to review their own work and note areas for improvements. Learners can also review and feedback on each other’s work; a sound example of Assessment for Learning in practice.
5. Instant feedback: Newer labs have in built quiz or test features where multiple choice questions can be created using audio, video and web based resources. The answers can be sent directly to the teacher for marking or the software can do the marking for you.
6. Providing evidence of pupil progress: Using quiz and assessment features over a period of time will provide evidence of pupil progress to be shared with learners and used to set future targets. Assessment scores are stored centrally for easy access.
7. Behaviour management: Teachers are able to monitor remotely the pupils’ screens and limit which programs are to be used. Teachers can also control remotely the learner’s keyboard and mouse.
8. Group work: By placing pupils in different groups it is possible to teach a number of lessons within one lesson, this is a great feature allowing teachers to differentiate; to support the weaker pupils and stretch the most able.
9. Talking your students’ language: students are exposed to a plethora of multimedia devices in the home, using a language lab to send rich multimedia files to students improves engagement in language lessons.
10. Whole school / campus wide access, efficiencies and cost savings
Truly software only language labs can be installed and used on any networked PC anywhere on a school, college or university campus. Students can access resources in one room, from room to room or from campus to campus.