Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching
Department of English
National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Unit 1. Introduction to Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
1.1 What is CALL?
Definitions of CALL:
- Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) was the expression agreed upon at the 1983 TESOL convention in a meeting of all interested participants. This term is widely used to refer to the area of technology and second language teaching and learning despite the fact that revisions for the term are suggested regularly (Chapelle, 2001, p. 3).
- Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) may be defined as the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning (Levy, 1997, p.1).
- Given the breadth of what may go on in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), a definition of CALL that accommodates its changing nature is any process in which a learner uses a computer and, as a result, improves his or her language (Beatty, 2003, p. 7).
- CALL has come to encompass issues of materials design, technologies, pedagogical theories and modes of instruction. Materials for CALL can include those which are purpose-made for language learning and those which adapt existing computer-based materials, video and other materials (Beatty, 2003, pp. 7-8).
CALL programs/materials include (from ICT4LT Module 1.4):
- CALL-specific software: applications designed to develop and facilitate language learning, such as CD-ROMs, web-based interactive language learning exercises/quizzes (see CD-ROM examples for language learning)
- Generic software: applications designed for general purposes, such as word-processors (Word), presentation software (PowerPoint, see an e-book made by students "Many Moons"), and spreadsheet (Excel), that can be used to support language learning (see examples of using Excel for language learning & teaching) *Also see Microsoft Office Online Templates)
- Web-based learning programs: online dictionaries, online encyclopedias, online concordancers, news/magazine sites, e-texts, web-quests, web publishing, blog, wiki, etc.
communication (CMC) programs:
synchronous - online chat; asynchronous - email, discussion forum,
1.4 What Computers Can and Can’t “Do” (based on Meskill, 2002, p. 122)
- Computer technology has to be treated as an aid, but not a panacea.
- The effectiveness of CALL cannot reside in the technology itself but in how it is put to use and for what purposes.
- computer as tutor for language drills or skill practice
- computer as a tool for writing, presenting, and researching
- computer as a medium of global communication
(*Note: the three stages have not occurred in a rigid sequence. As each new stage has emerged, previous stages continue.)
View of Language: Structural (a formal structural system)
English Teaching Paradigm: Grammar-Translation & Audio-lingual
Principal Use of Computers: Drill and Practice
Principal Objective: Accuracy
View of Language: Cognitive (a mentally constructed system through interaction)
English Teaching Paradigm: Communicative Language Teaching
Principal Use of Computers: Communicative Exercises (to practice language use; non-drill format)
Principal Objective: Fluency
View of Language: Sociocognitive (developed in social interaction through discourse communities)
English Teaching Paradigm: Content-based & ESP/EAP
Principal Use of Computers: Authentic Discourse (to perform real-life tasks)
Principal Objective: Agency (*definition: "the satisfying power to take meaningful action and see the results of our decisions and choices" Murray, 1997, p. 126)
Two types: Multimedia CALL (CD-ROMs) and Web-based CALL (on the Internet)
A) Multimedia CALL
B) Web-based CALL
A) CMC –
B) The Web –
* Question: Do you think Warschauer's analysis of the development of CALL is a good one? Do you see any problems in his analysis?
[Read Bax's (2003) or see the quoted passage: Bax's criticism to Warschauer's analysis of the development of CALL]
II) Bax's Analysis (2003)
* Question: Do you think Bax's analysis of the development of CALL is a good one? Do you see any problems in his analysis?
1) Teaching with one computer in the class
- delivery of content (PowerPoint, word-processor, Webpages, etc.)
- classroom activities/discussions mediated by the computer
- Interactive whiteboard
2) Teaching in the computer network room (network-based language teaching)
- task-based group work /activities
- computer-mediated communication (CMC): asynchronous/synchronous
- tandem learning
3) Self-access learning (independent learning)
- drills and exercises
- word processing
- resource searching
4) Distance learning (i.e. individual learners working by themselves, at a place and time of their choice and, to some extent, at a pace and in an order also chosen by themselves.)
- delivering online course content
- CMC activities: email, discussion forum, chat rooms
- tandem learning
- community building
- student/learner-centeredness (to promote learner autonomy)
- meaningful purpose
- comprehensive input
- sufficient level of stimulation (cognitively and affectively)
- multiple modalities (to support various learning styles and strategies)
- high level of interaction (human-machine and human-human)
Kern, R., & Warschauer, M. (2000). Theory and practice of network-based language teaching. In M. Warschauer & R. Kern (Eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice (pp. 1-19). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kern, R., Ware, P., & Warschauer. M. (2004). Crossing frontiers: New directions in online pedagogy and research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 243-260.
Warschauer, M. (1996). Computer-assisted language learning: An introduction. In S. Fotos (Ed.), Multimedia language teaching (pp. 3-20). Tokyo: Logos International. Available: http://www.ict4lt.org/en/warschauer.htm
Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 57-71. Available: http://www.gse.uci.edu/person/warschauer_m/overview.html
Warschauer, M., & Meskill, C. (2000). Technology and second language learning. In J. Rosenthal (Ed.), Handbook of undergraduate second language education (pp. 303-318). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Warschauer, M. (2004). Technological change and the future of CALL. In S. Fotos & C. Brown (Eds.), New Perspectives on CALL for Second and Foreign Language Classrooms (pp. 15-25). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.