The ways of teaching and learning have profoundly changed in the last 20 years: The emergence of ICT, the new scientific and pedagogic findings on how the human brain acquires knowledge, changes in social behavior and mobility, etc. All of these factors have also led to changes inside the labor paradigm. Nowadays, companies look for young people with the capacity to learn in a digital environment, like a language laboratory, where abundant, accessible and constant information is generated; they are also in search of those young people that have the capacity to extract and filter that information, acquire knowledge from it, apply the given knowledge and generate new ideas through innovation.
In this context, tutors find themselves needing to create new educational contents that should be updated continuously, just as the educational environments which are more attractive and participative for students. In second language education, this is even more critical. The traditional classroom environment is very limited since it barely lets you practice the language. According to experts (DESI, 2006), in a traditional language class, the total amount of time dedicated to practicing a language is of 10 minutes, this amount decreases as the number of students in the classroom increases. Thereupon, in a conventional classroom of 30 students the time dedicated to practice per student is equivalent to 21 seconds.
Introducing a language laboratory in a center is an excellent solution for this and other issues. Not only does it facilitate the teacher in creating a more attractive and interactive 3.0 environment for the student, but it also allows hours of language practice while he or she saves time and effort in the preparation of the classes.
Pros of a language laboratory
Below, we will provide some advantages of the use of the Dexway language courses for language laboratories that are introduced in the classroom:
- It allows you to work with greater intensity the different language skills (listening and reading comprehension, writing and speaking skills) independently. In this way, the students acquire a more active role in learning while the teacher releases workload of certain skills.
- Increase of practice hours. Students can independently do listening and speaking exercises that the teacher predesigned without distracting his or her classmates in the classroom. They can also continue with activities or tasks initiated in class outside school hours.
- Privacy: Those students that feel embarrassed to speak in front of his or her classmates can record the speaking activities so that the teacher can evaluate them after.
- Multimedia exercises: Interactive vocabulary games, videos and audios of real-life situations with subtitles, phonetic practice, pronunciation where voice recognition is measured by colors, speaking and writing exercises, magazines, karaoke.
- Chat: It enhances collaborative learning since students can interact with one another, talk with teachers, participate in group dynamics, conversation threads, etc.
- Automatic grading system: The exercises that the students carry out are graded automatically while the students do the lesson.
- Coaching: The tutor can design activities monitored by them to carry out a follow-up in real time. In addition, students can contact the teacher at any time through message service or chat to resolve doubts or request their assistance.
- User-friendly management system: No need of previous sophisticated technological knowledge. The tool is simple and intuitive. The teacher just needs to drag and drop the exercises that he or she wants to include in their classes and at the end, the results of each student remain registered in the system for their evaluation.
- Network security: With the aim to protect the student of the risks in the use of internet (cyberbullying, control of digital identity, use of social networks), this tool allows us to block certain websites. At the same time, the teacher is ensured that the students will not get distracted or that they will not receive external information while conducting the exercises.
- CEFR levels: The course levels and the Dexway tests correspond to the levels that are stipulated in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
- Unique software: Through licenses, students can access the courses from the available workstations in the classroom or in the language laboratory. This version also allows local access without the need of internet, only with the need of a simple installation in the classroom’s mainframe computer, enabling an online/offline access without losing information and with a complete follow-up of the practiced skills.
- Support service: All of our language laboratory courses include a support service. The tutor can receive doubts by email, phone call or remote assistance. In addition, you can use videos and tutorials designed specifically for course use or request our online or in-person training.
Language laboratories are a simple way to incorporate practice and new technologies in the classroom. Combined with our didactic material for in-person classes, it is the perfect solution to design an academic curriculum in accordance with the academic objectives of any center that has an international perspective, looks for excellence in training and is committed to an education adapted to the 21st century challenges.