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FMU to dedicate language lab, April 20

    FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will dedicate a new language learning facility, Tuesday, April 20.

    The ceremony will begin at 3:45 p.m. in Room 101 of the Cauthen Educational Media Center. The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremony and tour the facility.

    FMU was recently awarded state lottery funds to convert the existing tape-based language lab into a computer-assisted learning environment. Modern language faculty and students in all of the university’s language programs will be able to use the Sony LLC 8000 Symphony Language Learning System for the purpose of language instruction. 

    “The new technology will help maintain a strong, proficiency-oriented foreign language program at FMU,” said Elizabeth Zahnd, who co-authored the grant request with Chris Johnson, English department chair. “Students will be able to practice their language skills using a variety of authentic materials such as foreign-language music, TV shows, and Internet sites. This will expose them to different accents and invaluable cultural information.”

    The new laboratory, which will be housed in the media center, contains 12 computer stations with headphones, an instructor console, and a server/encoder station where teachers may develop original materials. The language software provides a digital recorder with voice-analyzing capabilities, a text player and web-page viewer, as well as programs for data collection. Faculty will be able to digitize and stream audiovisual materials for use in individual, paired or group activities.

    Zahnd will serve as the lab coordinator, while Brad Wofford, media center director, will act as system administrator. “This technology will benefit other departments in addition to modern languages,” said Wofford. “It will allow us to serve video via the Internet, which is a capability we’ve never had before at FMU.”

#154 / 4-15-04

Last Published: April 27, 2004 8:55 AM
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