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Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

Language Laboratory Instructions

Please read this page carefully so that you are familiar with the things you can do at the Language Laboratory and how to do them. If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.


During your stay at the lab you will receive a yellow voucher for time spent at the lab doing lab activities such as the lab or video manuals, or other activities specified by your instructor. You will not receive credit for doing non-lab work which you can do elsewhere, such as studying or doing your workbook, though you may do those things at the lab if you want.

For more information on optional lab activities you can do at the lab when youre done with the mandatory activities, please check the course web page or check with your instructor. These activities include listening to foreign language songs and radio stations, watching foreign language movies, reading foreign language online newspapers, etc.)

You do not get yellow vouchers for watching movies or seeing a tutor. There are special orange and pink vouchers for that purpose.


The LRC has a collection of foreign language songs (the Spanish collection is by far the largest collection). You may listen to these songs to help you learn the language. For many of these songs, the lyrics will pop up when they're playing, so you can watch the lyrics and listen to the song at the same time. Explore this great resource to get extra lab time.


Most instructors will give you extra credit for watching a foreign language movie at the language lab. The listing of available movies can be found online. Ask the lab attendant for the movie. You will be asked to leave your current student ID with the attendant when you check out a movie. Videotapes can be watched at the two consoles by the door. DVDs can be watched at any computer. You will get an orange voucher for the time you spend watching a movie.


Every Spring semester the Department of World Languages & Cultures offers a Spanish tutoring service at the language lab (occasionally there are tutors in other languages). Feel free to ask them for help, especially if youre having trouble with the material. Anybody carrying less than a B average is strongly encouraged to see a tutor on a weekly basis. Most instructors give extra credit for seeing a tutor. Besides that, its guaranteed to increase your grades.

For other languages or on other semesters you may inquire at the Learning Center (3rd floor of the library) about the availability of tutors.


The labs computers are set up by default to use a variant of the US-English Windows keyboard (called US-English-International). The only difference between that and the regular keyboard is that if you type:

         Apostrophe (') + letter (a, e, i, o, u) = accented letter (á, é, í, ó, ú)

         Slant apostrophe (`) + letter (a, e, i, o, u) = accented letter (, , , , )

         Quote marks (") + letter (a, e, i, o, u) = accented letter (, , , , )

         ~ + n = ñ

         Ctrl-Alt-? =

         Ctrl-Shift-! =

So, remember that to type an actual apostrophe (), quotation marks (), or tilde (~), you must press the space bar after pressing the appropriate key. To insert many non-English characters you can also use the Alt-key to the right of the space bar with the appropriate letter. Try it! MS Word has another way to insert special characters, which you may use.

For more information go to:

To type in plain English you may change the default keyboard to standard US-English by using the button on the taskbar.


Word 2000 allows you to spell check your document in either English, Spanish or French. First you have to tell Word what language the document (or part of the document) is in. Select the text (Control-A will select all the text in the document) and then choose the language in Words formatting bar above (ask the lab attendant if you need help).


A trilingual Oxford electronic dictionary is installed on each LRC computer. English-Spanish/Spanish-English, English-French/French-English, and English-German/German-English. Look for the icon on the desktop. There are links to online dictionaries for other languages at the Language Resource Center web site (


Eating or drinking at the language lab is not allowed.


Salem State University | Department of World Languages & Cultures | Language Resource Center

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Last updated: July 3, 2006