Auroville Language Laboratory (ALL)
Located in the International Zone of Auroville, ALL offers classes in a variety of languages, including English, Tamil, French, Hindi, Spanish, German, and Italian, and occasionally other languages - all taught by native speakers. It also has award-winning materials – including videos, audio, and interactive software in over 100 languages – in its “mediatheque,” and has a reference library for language learning. Guided study programmes are offered and one-on-one classes can be arranged on request. ALL offers regular 3-month English Intensives for beginners and intermediate students. It also occassionally offers 10-day Intensive Introduction programs in Hindi, Tamil and French.
The Laboratory is the first centre in India to offer the Alfred Tomatis Method, a listening/ear-retraining therapy also known as “Audio Psycho Phonology”, which has both language learning as well as therapeutic applications. The Directors of the Language Laboratory had a life-changing opportunity to meet the founders, Dr. Alfred and Mrs. Lena Tomatis, and received their blessings to bring this method to India and Auroville.
The Auroville Language Lab is a full-fledged language laboratory that draws upon the unique linguistic culture of Auroville. Alive with the rich vibrant sounds of languages from all over the world, Auroville is the perfect place to learn a new one.
The Auroville Language Lab is a special place where everyday, people of all ages and nationalities come together to learn new languages, and in the process learn more about each other and themselves. The Language Lab is open to all.
In addition to providing a beautiful and inviting space for language learning, ALL is also involved in several ongoing projects, research, and in creating exclusive language-learning material.
The doors of the Language Lab are open 5.5 days a week, providing our students with world-class learning material, access to a multi-media library and the opportunity to choose one’s own method of study (group classes, self-study programs or one-to-one classes).
A network of computers, each equipped with headphones and microphones, sharing resources, it gives access to a wide variety of very high-quality films, videos, audio materials and interactive software in many different languages. So even if there isn’t a group class in the language you want to learn being conducted at the moment, that should not stop you: you can book your slot on the médiathèque and follow a self or guided study program.
We welcome young Aurovilians, Newcomers and Guests who would like to offer their services in teaching a language. ALL offers some wonderful resources to help you plan your lessons, make handouts that your students could use as well as a range of material including books, audio materials, videos, TV and radio programs. And discover how teaching is a very rewarding experience….
At any given point in time, there are classes in different languages at varying levels available at the Lab.
The Building of the Language Lab
The Language Lab building is a very special building, made with lime rather than cement, marrying ancient Indian knowledge of building and climate control with modern knowledge and methods. It is an ecological building and has a special system of cooling without air-conditioning. It is a major example of constructing to combat climate change - and a model for institutional buildings. It is also built to be electromagnetically-compliant. Mobile phone use is not permitted anywhere inside. The building is beautiful and one feels good inside it! More information on this special building is here: www.aurovillelanguagelab.org/architecture.php
More about the Tomatis ear re-education training
Languages available using this special method include Tamil, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese & Chinese. Other languages can be made available on request. A three-nation study commissioned by the European Union, involving five universities, has shown that it can reduce the time taken to learn a language by half, since it “acclimatizes” the ear to the sounds, frequencies and cadences of the language, by literally training the brain to listen (and therefore pronounce) like a native speaker. While it does not replace the need for language classes covering grammar, vocabulary acquisition etc, its effects include better and immediate understanding without needing to translate mentally, reduction of mental blockages, increased confidence, ease and flow of speech (fluency) and improved pronunciation. The individualised language programmes also have many beneficial “side-effects”.
As of June 01st, 2019, the Auroville Language Lab has become the only place in India, and one of the very rare places in the world, to offer group language training using this special method, for upto six persons at a time, as well as a “Tomatis Classroom” - a traditional language classroom using the Tomatis equipment to impart precise listening and pronunciation training.
Therapeutic/re-educational applications of the Alfred Tomatis method include improving attention, concentration and memory, releasing creative potential, improving communication, reducing anger stress and anxiety, helping with depression, low self-esteem and lack of confidence, lack of energy and low motivation, lack of sleep, as well as with learning disorders including dyslexia, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, autism, developmental delays, language delays and other language-related problems such as stuttering, problems in expression and voice control, in addition to certain kinds of hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, etc.
The diagnostic “Listening Test” offers fascinating insights as a tool of self-knowledge. It also helps determine the potential and obstacles to a person’s ability to learn languages, and even learning in general.
The Tomatis Research Centre of the Auroville Language Laboratory offers individualised programmes in this profound method, for children, teenagers and adults. The Centre receives people from all over India and even abroad for these programmes.
Language programs are shorter, while the “therapeutic” programs are longer. Both involve a commitment of two hours per day, Monday-Friday.
A typical language program takes around two and a half months and consists of a “passive” phase of listening through special headphones, and an ”active” phase of repeating words and sentences under the effect of a special machine developed by Dr. Alfred Tomatis. The passive and active phases are separated by a short break.
Shorter programmes can also be arranged, depending on the need and the results of the Listening Test. Even one week programs have been shown to be beneficial, and we also offer two and three week programs.
An example of the “Tomatis Effect” can be seen in this video:
A typical “therapeutic” program takes about 15-17 weeks (4 - 4.5 months) at a minimum. The listening sessions are divided into 3 blocks separated by breaks of 5-6 weeks each. Three blocks make one cycle. For cases of autism and developmental delays, the programs are much longer since the cycles need to be repeated.
The equipment is quite advanced and expensive. However, the group training possibility has helped make it more affordable for language training. Therapeutic applications naturally remain very individualised.
More information about the Tomatis Method and its applications is available at: www.aurovillelanguagelab.org/tomatis-method.php.
The Language Lab is a self-sufficient service non-profit unit registered under the Swagatam Trust of the Auroville Foundation. The Tomatis programs are a key to self-sufficiency.
Research work on the special Tomatis settings for Indian languages is continuing. In early 2019, the research work on Tamil bore fruit and now we offer the Tomatis listening training program for Tamil. We need volunteers (native speakers) to help us with our research for other Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam > all languages for which we have developed material over the years but now need to focus on finding their special Tomatis settings.
Auroville Language Laboratory is open
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12noon.
Location: International Zone, Beyond Savitri Bhavan, Unity Pavilion and Pump House.
Phone: 91-413- 2623 661
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