Multimedia Touchscreen-based Language Labs: An Innovative Solution for Higher Education
27 January, 2009
Digital solutions are becoming an integral part of language labs in secondary and higher education and are gradually replacing traditional audiocassette or tape-based language laboratories.
Both students and teachers can now access all the features of a language laboratory via a simple and intuitive touchscreen-based interface in an ergonomic digital environment.
The Features of a Touchscreen-based Language Laboratory
These types of digital labs provide users with access to all multimedia-related resources: digital audio and video media, that can used repeatedly without any perceptible distortion or loss of clarity. AAC (Audio Active Comparative)-compatible, the labs offer all the capabilities of classic language labs.
Technology Platform and Teaching Tools
The solution is made up of three components:
- The teacher console, used for managing the learning sessions and teacher/learner interactions;
- The server, which centralizes, organises and stores the teaching resources and student productions;
- The student units, which are simple, easy-to-use installations.
Touchscreen-based language laboratories are based on audio active comparative methods that are used to create linguistic automatisms; students review digital audio and multimedia content, record a separate audio response track, which are then compared.
A Technology Environment that Fosters Language Learning
The solution offers language instructors features that are practical and easy-to-use.
The language lab is displayed on the screen in three dimensions, enabling the teacher to identify and select groups of learners and/or to initialize one-to-one exchanges. The teaching actions are linked to the touchscreen via a simple interface.
The teacher console provides powerful and comprehensive desktop tools allowing language instructors to:
- Lead the sessions and monitor the progress of each student;
- Easily identify and locate students through the 3D display;
- Organise the class by groups of users to customise teaching;
- To launch learning activities on student consoles and support them while they work individually, in pairs, or in groups.
- Use digital or analog resources to create learning sequences.
Teachers can also organize the sessions by type, subject, or level and choose which students or groups of students will have access to which type of resources.
The teaching tools can be accessed via an exercise and resource library during the class or independently. When there are several teacher consoles involved, the library content can be shared thanks to a user rights management feature.