Growing classes prompt language lab expansion

The foreign language department will expand the existing language lab during the summer to include 15 additional student stations to allow two language classes to use the lab at the same time.
The enlarged lab should be operational by August 2007, according to the proposal for the lab’s expansion.

The library language lab, which is within the tech center, was completed in July 2005 and was first used by students in September of that year.

It currently has one teacher console and 20 student stations. With the success of the language lab came shortages, especially since only one class can use the lab at a time.
“The rationale [for the expansion] is that the success of the use of the lab was such that we are operating at full capacity,” Zaragoza said.

“There are a number of classes that do not get to use the lab the needed day and have to take the available days, thus breaking the continuity of the lessons.”

Such conditions led the Foreign Language department to the conclusion that language lab capabilities should be extended to computers on the periphery. With the proposed expansion, the language lab will be able to accommodate two classes of 22 concurrently.

Other ideas were considered, Zaragosa said, but it was concluded that the best scenario would be to have another unit next to the current one and to make all the computers as part of the language lab.
There will be another teacher console to enable two concurrent operational systems.

Another stimulus in expanding the language lab is the fact that there are the most students ever in the AP-level languages.

Additionally, the language lab has been shown to help students gain oral comprehension and speaking skills. Japanese II, III and IV classes’ graded recordings improved five percent, in the 2005-2006 school year.

Spanish III visited the lab once every three weeks. This class’ recordings improved four percent.
AP Spanish Language, on the other hand, visited the lab every week. At the beginning of the year, the average grade was 80 percent, a B-. By the end of the  year, however, the average grade for the class was 89 percent, a B+.

According to these results, the more often a class visited the lab, the more the grades on their recordings improved.