The Sanako-Tandberg Language Lab: The Best Choice Ever!
When my school purchased a Sanako-Tandberg lab for my engieering school, I was able to change completely the way I teach and managed to implement a far more effective program. I have never regretted my choice. I was appointed to the university in Grenoble, France, in 1980. At that time I was determined to get a language lab that would satisfy my needs and those of the students. I had already used a lab in Venezuela, and I knew all the advantages of working with advanced technological tools.
Individualized teaching thanks to the lab
In the early 80s language labs were expensive, but I managed to convince the administration of my engineering school to invest in one by submitting a detailed project. This project emphasized the need for individualized teaching. I wanted to create a learning environment where the teacher could work privately with each student. I knew that if the students had an interesting lab program, they would be able to work on their own without the assistance of the teacher. The latter could then devote all his/her time to one student at a time—thus creating a “tutorial” system offering individual attention. Since all the other students would be listening through their headsets and doing “speech productive” oral exercises, the student performing in the presence of the teacher would never feel intimidated by his/her classmates.
When I met the Tandberg Team I had found the best possible lab
Once my pedagogical project had been accepted and the funds allotted, I started looking at different labs. I knew I would need a very reliable lab. The idea was for the teacher to launch the program at the beginning of the class and then use all of the hour for the tutorials. No time could be lost manipulating the lab, and operations had to be simple. I went to several demonstrations. Each time I explained my needs in the hope of finding the ideal lab. Once I met the representatives of Sanako-Tandberg—at that time called Tandberg—I knew I had found the best possible lab. I opted for a 16-student set-up without any booths to create a more convivial atmosphere.
Not one single lab hour lost due to a breakdown!
I worked with the Sanako-Tandberg lab from 1982 to 1993 organizing a 30-hour per week timetable for the 400 students and 12 teachers. During this period we did not lose one single lab hour due to a breakdown! The lab functioned perfectly during all my years at ENSERG. In 1994 I moved on to other responsibilities at other engineering schools, but I know for a fact that the lab continued to be a very useful tool in the “individualized” teaching that ENSERG teachers offered their students.
Sanako labs—still the best choice
Today I am retired but I continue to advocate the “tutorial” system of ESL teaching in books and articles and would without any hesitation recommend a Sanako-Tandberg language lab.
Marianne Raynaud recently published QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource book. Marianne is the founder of the Web site QualityTime-ESL.com and airs podcasts QualityTime and Your English on iTunes. She conducts ESL workshops internationally and is the coordinator of TESOL France-Grenoble.