State of the art language learning: if this is you, we can help.

Holy Family Language Lab

At the same time of the Xerox club (see below), Sister Joan Schmitt was teaching French in the Holy Family High School Language Lab. As you can clearly see, it was a compelling, technology-rich, language learning experience.

Please note, if your lab looks like this, please put down the reel to reel immediately and leave us a comment. We can help 🙂

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Benjamin · March 10, 2008 Reply

    It’s interesting, we just added a computer language lab that looks a lot like this picture (in its formation). The idea is that teachers bring in their entire class to do activities using technology. But one thing is actually designing activities that focus on the integration of skills through collaborative learning experiences and another is simply completing exercises online as a group.

  2. Barbara · March 10, 2008 Reply


    Interesting, and thank you for responding.

    See, in my tiny mind I see the furniture and the booths even more restrictive than the technology in this picture. The creation of collaborative learning experiences becomes so much harder when we bolt down the chairs and put kids in booths, regardless of what the technology may be.



  3. Benjamin · March 17, 2008 Reply

    I agree, Barbara. It’s been my experience (limited as it is) that as we add these new “tools” to educational designs that we automatically assume that educators know how to use them in such a way that fosters social, emotional, and cognitive development. With the proper design, technology could be used for such development if, for example, students are collaborating online with others (either within the same classroom or with other language learners around the world) and participating in a series of tasks to solve a particular problem. What’s most important is that language learners know what the objectives are during their performance and that proper assessment accurately evaluates products and processes in such a way that allows for ample evidence that supports learning outcomes. These common teaching practices that apply to any teaching context, I believe, apply even more so when implementing technology into the classroom.


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