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

Language Lab Tapes


The main component of language lab assignments consists of ding the "lab exercises" in your workbook, while listening to the "lab tapes". Beginning and intermediate language textbooks come with sound tracks for students to get listening practice and to complete the lab section of their workbooks. This practice, when done correctly, allows you to train your ears to identify sounds, words, and phrases.

In the past students were either asked to go to the lab to get copies of the lab tapes onto their own blank cassette tapes, or else (more recently) they were lent copies of those tapes. Students had to listen to these sound tracks at home, often in less than ideal listening conditions. Locating a particular segment of a sound track on a cassette tape was rather hard and constant rewinding problematic at best.

Currently those sound tracks live in digitized form (MP3 format) on the LRC server to which all the LRC computers are linked to. In some cases the tracks can be listened to from any computer connected to the Web (see below).

To listen to these digital "tapes" you will use the Winamp player.

This is what the Winamp player looks like:

This is what the buttons do:

  • A: Minimize
  • B: Make the player flat
  • C: Close the program
  • D: the button that moves along as the track plays. You can drag it back and forth to move to a different part of the track.
  • 1: Volume
  • 2: Balance
  • 3: Equalizer (don't use this)
  • 4: View/hide Playlist
  • 5: Go to previous track
  • 6: Start playing the track
  • 7: Pause
  • 8: Stop the track
  • 9: Go to the next track
  • The playlist viewer looks like this:

    Here is what you need to do (from a computer at the LRC):

    1. Go to the lab-tape playlists page
    2. Click (once) on the playlist for the textbook you are using.
    3. In a few seconds the Winamp player will automatically open with the playlist loaded.
    4. Click on the activity that you want to listen to.
    5. Use the player's buttons to start, stop, pause, etc.
      NB: to go back 5 seconds, click on the keyboard's left arrow key [<--];
      to go forward 5 seconds, click on the keyboard's right arrow key [-->].

    X = Play
    C = Pause
    V = Stop
    <-- = Skip back 5 seconds
    --> = Skip forward 5 seconds

    Click here to access the lab-tape playlist page

    Up to the top

    Listen to the lab tapes from the Web

    The best way to listen to the lab tapes is from the LRC computers. That is how you will get the highest quality and the easiest access to all the activities' tracks and parts of tracks.

    We are also currently making it possible for students to access some of the sound tracks from computers outside the LRC.

    Note, however, that:

    • Unless you have permission from your instructor, listening to the sound tracks at home is not a substitute for spending the required time (and listening to the sound tracks) at the LRC;
    • The quality of these sound files is not as good as the sound files you listen to at the LRC (they have been optimized for being downloaded with 28.8Kb modem connections)
    • Since these sound tracks are copyrighted by the textbook publishers to access such sound files you will need a password which you can get only from your instructor; this password will be changed every semester.

    Go to the Restricted Audio File Page
    (Password Required; get it from your instructor or from
    Dr. Aske)

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

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    Last updated: September 15, 2003