Three examples that occur frequently throughout the document are: All of these devices and media can present sound and most of them can also present video.Sound is indispensable because teaching a language without offering the learner the opportunity of hearing native speakers' voices is unthinkable.This was due in part to improvements in technology, but also to more user-friendly controls, imaginative materials and improved lab design that got away from the battery-chicken-farm appearance of rows of booths.At the same time, self-access was coming into fashion and there was a wealth of new ideas on using the lab: pair work, group work, role-play, communication games, etc: see Ely (1984) and Davies (19f.).
The tape-based language lab, which became popular in secondary schools and other institutions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a development based on the AAC recorder.
The language lab was initially perceived as a solution to the problem of teaching foreign languages to a large number of learners in a short time, and undoubtedly it was a worthwhile invention.
However, the language lab gradually fell out of favour towards the end of the 1970s, mainly for the following reasons: From around the mid-1980s, the language lab was given a new lease of life.
Its introduction meant that the teacher could play recordings of authentic native speech, and the learner could also record his/her own voice and play it back to hear how he/she really sounded.
A modified version of the tape recorder, the Audio Active Comparative (AAC) recorder, went a step further.
Digital technology dates back to the invention of the digital computer in Manchester in 1948.