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language laboratory



The Tandberg Audio Lab

The Tandberg Prisma analog audio system consists of a teacher console plus 26 interfaced audiocassette listening/recording workstations. From the Prisma console, the instructor may conduct oral exams, discreetly monitor and converse with students, activate random pairing or group conferencing among students, and simultaneously distribute to student groups 3 different audio sources (2 in audiocassette format, 1 in CD audio) as well as the audio track of VHS video projected from a monitor at the front of the lab.

Prisma student position cassette recorders provide the following features and functions:

  • visual read-out of real-time counter and volume settings
  • electronic bookmarks
  • two-speed fast forward and rewind
  • adjustable tape-speed control in playback
  • recap of previous sentence of the program track
  • student track record capability while master program is played back


Portable Audio Equipment

Faculty may borrow portable cassette recorders, CD/radio/cassette-corders, and/or digital voice recorders for use in the classroom. A 24-hour advance reservation is required. Students needing portable audio equipment for use in conjunction with an in-class oral presentation must make their needs well known in advance to the faculty member in charge of the class session. The Language Laboratory staff will distribute equipment only to faculty.


Videocassette/DVD Viewing

Language learning and cultural material presented in VHS video format may be accessed via multistandard VCR units located at the front of the audio lab and in the facility's two viewing rooms. Each VCR accommodates playback of videocassettes recorded in the NTSC, PAL, and SECAM color systems. Viewing rooms are also equipped with multi-region DVD players for the playback of DVD-formatted video. [NOTE: Seating capacity of viewing rooms limited to 1-4 people.]

Additionally, two media carrels (for individual use) house NTSC-only VCR units, as well as multi-region DVD players.


Computer Workstations

The Language Laboratory's computer workstation area includes 16 Macs and 7 PCs. Fifteen of the Mac installations feature a Boot Camp/Windows partition to accommodate the use of Windows applications on the Mac. Internet and printing access is available. NOTE: One Mac OS 9 iMac is available for use with "legacy" (circa 1990s) CD-ROMs and computer software programs in the Lab's collection.

Priority for the use of the workstations is given to students/faculty using world language programming from the Language Lab's collection and to students/faculty required to complete word processing and/or Internet-related assignments/materials preparation for language courses.


Boston College Cable Television

Access to the Boston College Cable Televison Network is provided at the front of the audio lab, in the laboratory's video viewing rooms and media carrels. BC Cable TV features 65 TV channels (eight reserved for BC programming), at least two of which provide international news and/or entertainment programming.

Currently included on the international roster are: