Friday, March 17, 2017

How do you make a language lab when you don't have one?

by Walter Parenteau license
I cut my baby teacher teeth in a language lab. It was a really nice setup in a public high school: 30 computers hooked up to a Sony lab system, with a full-time lab assistant to help you. A language lab has at least three modes that mimic language modes: interpretive (listening, viewing, or reading), interpersonal (speaking or writing) and presentational (speaking, most likely, in the lab). You can beam out audio or video files to all the students, pair students up for conversations, and record students' interactions. Frankly, it was awesome. But then I started teaching in independent schools that did not have labs. What then? How do you mimic the setup of a lab without a lab?