The Prescotian Webzine

The Prescot Grammar School language laboratory appeared in the mid-sixties. "The 'traditional' system generally comprises a master console (teacher position) which is electrically connected to a number of rows of student booths , typically containing a student tape recorder and headset with a boom arm microphone. The teacher console is usually fitted with master playback source equipment (tape recorder), some means of monitoring of each booth in the class via the teacher headset and an intercom facility offering 2-way communication between teacher and student." [Wikipedia].

[Sorry, but this female dominated photo is generic from the Internet!].

Your Memories of the Language Lab!
Does anybody know when the language lab was set up at PGS? When I joined in 1970 it was already up and running and when I tell friends of my age about it nowadays they are amazed that we even had such a facility. Sitting there in our individual booths with headphones, microphones and tape machines with the teacher (in my case Mrs Fairfax most of the time) able to listen in to what we were doing from her console at the front of the class. Unfortunately I wasn't very good at French. Probably too immature to take it seriously at the time. [Anon]
I would guess at 1963/64 as I was probably in the 3rd year. No later than 1965 and no earlier than 1963. [Dave Farrier]
It must have been 1965. I started in Sept 1964 and it opened during my first year, but I remember it first being some kind of overflow room from the Chemistry Lab (Rm 22?). [Paul Carey]
Wow, now I'm really impressed. Makes PGS sound like Abbey Road Studios! Could have had George Martin sitting at the front of the class with a few choruses of "yeah, yeah, yeah" ! Seriously though it must have been way ahead of it's time. There was no sign of us Brits joining the "Common Market" at the time, foreign holidays were still in their infancy, and therefore you would have thought that mastering a foreign language was not at the top of a list of priorities when the school was deciding what to spend it's available funds on. [Anon]
Altogether now.... ."Ecoutez et repetez" [Anon]. "Ecoutez et repetez ,beeeeeeeeep" [Another]
It was good fun to play with the equipment but when you heard yourself speaking French on the playback that was embarassing. It was one thing learning lists of verbs to conjugate but getting the accent right to actually speak the language was something else. Something which still haunts me today! I have in the meantime mastered German but a lot of people I speak to think I’m from Holland because of my pronunciation! [Ian Thorogood]

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