This week was the start of our language labs at the university (i.e. 9 out of 12 of my classes). They only run for 10 weeks, so we don’t start them when regular classes start. Unfortunately, our brand new computerized language lab is not working properly, so we can barely use it. Instead, we’re running almost all of the labs in our old cassette-based lab. But of course, the sudden change to cassettes means that some classes aren’t exactly prepared because we don’t have the correct tapes.
I was so excited for the new lab when I first heard about it since I love technology in language learning. Then the stupid wires had to get all fussy and not let the system work. I tried it yesterday with a Phonetics lab, but the program crashed 3 times in 5 minutes, so I just gave up and tried to run the hour as a regular “lecture” class, which is actually kind of difficult when the students are in their little cubicles.
I’ve been forced into the cassette lab for several of my classes, and surprisingly I like it. The teacher’s desk looks so old-school with all the buttons and lights, but it’s fun to play with and I know it will work. It may be a bit out-dated (there are still signs on the wall from 1992 that say the room was recently redone with the latest technology), but it sure is reliable. Until your master cassette breaks when you’re trying to do the copy for the students’ cabines…
We aren’t sure yet if the new lab will be fixed for next week, but I honestly wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t.
It’s been an interesting week.