Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Language Lab (4)
Digital Language Lab
What is the main objective of a language lab? Communicative Language or Phonetics?

Although Communicate language and Phonetics form the main goals in a language lab, language labs can be used to teach grammar, business linguistics, Personality development, writing skills, listening skills and comprehension.

What are the technical requirements of student and teacher in a computer language lab in teaching?

The computer software although very user friendly and interactive needs to be understood both by the teacher and the student. It may take a few sessions before the students and teacher get to use all the features of a language lab.

There are no blackboards in digital language lab and learning has to be experimental as far as the usage of the lab is concerned. Almost all students even if moderately computer literate can overcome this problem and start using the language lab system in less than a weeks time.

For the teacher it is important to know all the functions of the software application and this normally takes two to three sessions of practice.

Is there any change in the roles of teachers and students in a digital language lab?

Yes. The teacher is no longer a regular teacher but more of a coordinator. For the teacher, it is more of monitoring than teaching.

If the students are using e-learning content or any self-paced learning content, then the teacher may not even be required.

More often, the teacher helps the student understand the usage of the system and intervenes only to assist the students. The teacher however, can make use of a language lab to prepare their own content and use it to teach a language without using any ready-made teaching content.

The students also get used to independent learning and use technology as a tool to summon the teacher, other students or sources of information to understand the language. It is impressive to see students who never speak up in a regular classroom suddenly start learning by interaction albeit through a computer based interaction. This explains the comfort level of a student with a computer as compared to student with a teacher.

What are the similarities and differences of language teaching and learning between a traditional classroom and a digital language lab?

A traditional classroom is instruction oriented and is considered an unbalanced form of teaching as it is not a two-way interactive method in every sense. In a traditional lab, the teacher has to create topic-specific situations by drawings and discussion which may not result in complete participation as the students may not be able to imagine or visualize that situation.

A multimedia language lab is far more interactive than a traditional lab. The teacher can talk to any student through the broadcasting system and also monitor the screen of the student computer. The language lab also offers great visualization as the method of learning is through multimedia content with great graphics and video.

Both, however, require a classroom and have a similar environment.

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