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The Definition and Origin of Language Laboratory

The Language Laboratory is an audio or audio-visual installation used as an aid in modern language teaching. They can be found, amongst other places, in schoolsuniversities, and academies. Perhaps the first lab was at the University of Grenoble in 1908. In the 1950s up until the 1990s, they were tape-based systems using reel to reel or (latterly)cassette. Current installations are generally multimedia PCs. The original language labs are now very outdated. They allowed a teacher to listen to and manage student audio via a hard-wired analogue tape deck based systems with 'sound booths' in fixed locations.