The “language lab” in reality was just a few rows of wooden booths with a tape machine and headphones. We were actively encouraged to have French pen-pals. Mine was a boy and I used to take his letters into class so that Mrs Farrant could tell me what he’d written!
I remember French oral exams – being given a picture beforehand and then having to go in and answer questions on it five minutes later….in French. I have no idea how I managed to pass!