Recording Student Responses Using a Digital Language Lab

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Digital language labs feature a teacher-controlled console connected to one or more student stations or headsets. They allow teachers to play back or broadcast audio and listen to and control the recording of student oral responses. Digital language labs use computer and computer networks to manage the playback, monitoring, and recording.

In an AP exam setting, digital language labs can be an effective method to record spoken student responses. The master listening CD can be loaded into the central console or computer and played back to students over headsets. The recording process is typically proctor controlled—starting, pausing, and stopping recording for all students. No student actions are required.

The scripts for the AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams and the AP Music Theory Exam in the AP Exam Instructions book include instructions for recording using a digital language lab.

Necessary equipment

A variety of digital language lab options are available at various price points. If considering purchasing a digital language lab for your school, be sure to confirm that the system supports AP testing and recording Section II Part B spoken student responses. To do so, the system must output a single audio file (in MP3 format) for each student that contains a spoken AP number and both student audio responses. In addition, the room configuration (including student spacing) must conform to the requirements in the AP Coordinators manual.

The AP Program does not endorse brands or models of digital language labs. Please consult with the language department chair and IT personnel at your school or district to determine the best fit.