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Web Audio Lab

Web Audio Lab is a program developed at Cornell, written by Slava Paperno, designed for out-of-class language practice.  It revives the sort of fluency practice that has been forgotten by many language programs since the demise of the Audio-Lingual Method in the 70s.  It allows students to listen to target audio, view text or pictures, and respond by recording their voice.  They can then compare their own recordings to the model recording.  Teachers can listen to students' recordings and offer comments back to them.  For more information, write to Dick Feldman, Director of the Language Resource Center, Cornell University, at

Getting started in Web Audio Lab

Recording words and sentences is part of your homework for many language classes. Use the program called Web Audio Lab to make the recordings and upload them to our server. The teacher may review your recordings by playing them from the server.

Web Audio Lab by Slava Paperno is an online application that can be used with several (but not all) modern browsers on Windows and Mac OS X computers. If you decide to pay for access, you will be able to use it from your own room. However, we strongly recommend that you use the computers in the language lab for the first couple of days. This will help you avoid possible technical glitches and concentrate on your work rather than spend time installing required software.

Before your first WAL assignment is due, go to the Language Resource Center (on the ground floor of Stimson Hall) and use one of the computers in the public computing lab.  If you run into any technical problems, talk to the student attendants in the lab.

  1. the machine password is "user"
  2. Google Chrome  (Firefox is not supported) - we recommend Safari
  3. Watch the WAL tutorial video for instructions on how to register for the program and how to use it.  There is an icon on the desktop for the WAL login page -  On the top of that page is a link to the video tutorial.

After logging into the program and selecting your class, you should see the screen where you will do all your WAL work: listen to short statements and record your own voice--either repeating what you heard or responding to it. Click Start to begin. When the exercise pauses for one reason or another, click Go On. Speak when you see a red line running across the screen. There is no Record button: recording starts and stop automatically.

You will see the dots in the bottom row turn red, then green as your voice is recorded and the recordings are submitted to the server. When you're done with the first exercise, and the last dot has turned green, select the next exercise from the navigation bar and click Go.

You can quickly review any of your recordings by clicking its dot-button. If your voice seems too quiet, you may need to move the microphone closer to your mouth or try to adjust the microphone recording level (click Mic settings in the navigation bar).  If there is a model answer, you can click the diamond-shaped buttons to hear your answer followed by the model answer.  You can then redo your recording if you want to, to be sure you have submitted your best work.  When you do this spot-checking and re-recording, you may want to click on "One at a time," which will stop the program after each item.

When you are done, you may, if you wish, click Your history and verify that your recordings are on the server. That's how your teacher will review your homework.

After about two weeks into the semester, you will have to pay $25 if you want to use the program out of the lab.  A link will appear for you to do this.

Find out what students in Russian 1121/1122 say about using Web Audio Lab.