Students at the language lab on Loyola campus on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
No, there are no aprons in an English lab, only integrated headphones and wafer-thin TFT monitors.
Loyola School, Jamshedpur, inaugurated its language lab on its campus on Thursday morning, a 55-seater facility that resembles a swanky call centre, to teach its students “better English in every way, grammar, pronunciation and usage”.
Loyola School principal Father Victor Misquith, who inaugurated the facility at the school’s Knowledge Centre, said they installed a state-of-the-art digital language lab (DLL) system to give importance to English learning.
It is a welcome step by a leading school of eastern India at a time when the CISCE, which runs the ICSE and ISC board exams, is slashing English syllabi at both Classes X and XII levels.
The Language Lab will catch ’em young. It will teach students from Classes III to VII phonetics and grammar through reading, writing, speaking and most importantly listening. Students will wear headphones with their eyes glued on screen to learn the finer points of the global language.
Classes will start from the academic session 2013-14.
Kochi-based firm Orel Digital Language Lab has installed the software.
“One of the most important factors of learning a language is listening. Each system is connected with headphones for students to clearly hear how a particular word is pronounced. It also means the teacher will be heard across the class through headphones without problem,” said Father Victor.
The veteran educationist added that young learners picked up language skills the fastest. “This is why the programme is designed for Classes III to VII,” he said.
Students will also get assignments online. They can digitally write out their assignments and send it to the teacher concerned who will then check them on his or her personal system, make corrections and revert online.
In addition, all the systems in the class are inter-linked.
“The software has a basic module to teach language. In English, it is about grammar and literature. The software stresses on listening, speaking, writing and reading to get a firm grasp on the language. And we have software for other languages too. In a globalised world, communication in various languages is the key to success,” Pawan Singh, a representative of Orel Digital Language Lab, said.
Loyola School, during its vacations, may also consider giving access to the portals of the language lab to outsiders interested in a quality English crash course.
Back on campus, the hi-tech language lab has left students amazed.
“I know about science and computer practicals, obviously, but having a lab for English will be amazing. I love English and would love to learn it well. I think our language lab is the coolest,” grinned Class V student Roshan Anand.
The Bard would have agreed.