Understanding the Learner in the Language Laboratory

  • Wilga M. Rivers


Much research and money has been poured into equipment since
language laboratories first burst onto the language-learning scene. There
was at first great optimism that students would now learn languages with
an ease and rapidity never observed in conventional classroom situations.
Unfortunately, in many areas students voted against laboratories with
yawns and sighs. Technological wonders cannot assist learning without
effective courseware, that is, a carefully designed and executed language
sequence that provides authentic language materials which are interesting
enough to retain the student's attention and encourage perservance. We
must understand how students learn languages, appreciate what they
need to learn to achieve their objectives in undertaking language learning,
and provide materials which bridge the gap between the two.