The modern language lab—whether you are studying a foreign language or you want to look more broadly at the mechanics of all language—tend to include many tools. These tools are essential—and work in tandem—to ensure that you get the richest, most diverse, and most thorough training possible.
The TEACHER STATION
Teachers use a computer-based workstation supplied through the school. This allows them to manage and monitor the various activities of the Robotel est-lab language lab. This workstation could be just a simple laptop—though it is more often a desktop PC with two monitors—that can display all of the language lab console software.
The STUDENT STATION
The student station provides access to various platforms, also provided by the school. This can include:
- desktop computers
- laptop computers
Learning a new language, of course, requires students to listen to the words and phrases in the new tongue. Headsets, then, make it easier to focus on hearing the sounds of letters and words without the distraction of ambient room noise and the voices of other students.
Any program that involves a network of computers and databases needs a server to manage all the information and operations. A modern language lab, then, should have at least one computer that hosts all of the native software and houses the multimedia database so the school, instructors, and students all have consistent and ready access to the lessons. And these days, that information is typically cloud-based.
You can’t access the information on a server without a solid and secure network, of course. Modern language labs, then, have a network that connects all of the computers and databases for quick access. The network might even be accessible outside of school so students can continue their studies at home.
LANGUAGE LAB SOFTWARE
And finally, any quality modern language lab will need to have language lab software. This is the suite of applications which enable teachers and students to interact with each other and the materials being taught. Typically, the suite will include also include a database of courses and available classes as well as a roster of teachers and students; a multimedia library with lesson materials and assignments, as well as student response and teacher feedback programs.