電腦輔助語言教學

Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching

Instructor: Chi-Fen Emily Chen  陳其芬

Department of English

National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan


Course Introduction

課程簡介

Course Contents

課程內容

Interactive Exercises

互動練習

Online Dictionaries

線上字典

Web Resources

網路資源

Student Blogs

學生網誌

Student Projects

學生作品

Discussion Forum

線上討論區

 

Unit 4.  Multimedia CALL and Evaluation of CALL software

   Please read

  1. Davies, G. (2004). ICT4LT Module 2.2: Introduction to multimedia CALL. http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod2-2.htm

  2. Scholfield, P. J. (2003). Evaluation of CALL software. http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~scholp/calleval.htm

 

4.1   Introduction to Multimedia and MPC

4.2   Comparing Early CALL and Modern CALL
4.3   Pros and Cons of Multimedia CALL
4.4   Evaluating Multimedia CALL Software
4.5   Exploring CALL CD-ROMs
 

4.1  Introduction to Multimedia and MPC

  •   Multimedia:

Definition:

"Nowadays multimedia refers to computer-based materials designed to be used on a computer that can display and print text and high-quality graphics, play pre-recorded audio and video material, and create new audio and video recordings." (Davies 2004).

Two types of multimedia:

- Web-based multimedia

- Multimedia on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

Because of its capacity of combining text, images, animation, sound, and video in a variety of activities, multimedia offers many exciting opportunities for language learning and helps to integrate the learning of four language skills - listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Comparison of the two types of multimedia:

  1. Web-based multimedia is rapidly growing but it has not yet replaced CD-ROM or DVD-ROM technology. Web-based multimedia may offer more in terms of presentation rather than interaction (e.g., In a web environment, it is not easy to record and playback one's own voice, and it is not always smooth to deliver/play sound and video), while CD-ROM /DVD-ROM can provide more spontaneous human-machine interaction.

  2. The use of web-based multimedia often requires more technical preparation (e.g., Users need to ensure that they have installed up-to-date plug-ins and have broadband access to view webpages more easily and successfully). Moreover, some website may become congested at peak time, thus causing difficulty to access them. This problem won't occur when using multimedia on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.

  3. However, web-based multimedia materials are usually free and can be accessed by every web user. Also, the materials can be updated or modified by the author at any time. Multimedia materials on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM are usually commercial products and once they are produced, no information can be changed.  

  4. Web-based multimedia can offer computer-mediated communication (CMC), such as emailing, online chatting, and online discussion, which helps to foster an online learning community. This is what multimedia on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM cannot do.

  •   MPC:

An MPC (multimedia computer) is basically the same as a standard PC, with the following additions:

- a soundcard

- speakers or headphones

- a microphone

- a CD-ROM (or DVD-ROM) drive

 

 

4.2  Comparing Early CALL and Modern CALL

 

  Early CALL

  Modern CALL

- behavioristic

- individualized drills

- programmed-learning

- viewing language as discrete components

- emphasizing the importance of control

- giving extrinsic feedback

- communicative and integrative

- task-based, collaborative activities

- providing alternatives to learners

- viewing language as a whole

- emphasizing the importance of guidance

- giving both extrinsic and intrinsic feedback

 

There is a close relationship between the use of different types of CALL programs and the stages of language acquisition (Butler-Pascoe and Wiburg, 2003, p. 9):

- In the pre-production stage: The behavioristic approach is more emphasized. CALL software is used to provide comprehensible input and ask learners to give limited responses through controlled exercises.

- In the more advanced stage: The communicative and integrative approach is more emphasized. Telecommunications activities and interactive video and simulation programs of real-life experiences that foster critical thinking and problem solving are more needed. Learners are encouraged to manipulate technology to complete tasks or communicate with real audiences around the world. 

 

 

4.3   Pros and Cons of Multimedia CALL

 

Before discussing the following questions with your group members, read the twelve attributes considered essential to the success of technology-enhanced language learning environments (Butler-Pascoe and Wiburg, 2003, pp. 15-19): Such environments

  1. provide interaction, communicative activities, and real audience

  2. supply comprehensible input

  3. support development of cognitive abilities

  4. utilize task-based and problem-solving activities

  5. provide sheltering techniques to support language and academic development

  6. are student-centered and promote student autonomy

  7. facilitate focused development of English language skill

  8. use multiple modalities to support various learning styles and strategies

  9. support collaborative learning

  10. meet affective needs of students

  11. foster understanding and appreciations of the target and native cultures

  12. provide appropriate feedback and assessment

Discussion Questions:

  1. Based on your language learning experience with CALL software/website, please discuss pros and cons of multimedia CALL with your group members. Think about what you like and what you do not like when using CALL software/website to learn English or other languages. Then come up with a list and examples.

  1. Many multimedia CALL software packages claim their high level of interactivity. What does "interactivity" mean to you? Do you think they are truly interactive? Please give some examples to explain your opinion.

  2. In the first article you read about "Some Pros and Cons" (ICT4LT Module2.2), the author, Davies, writes, "There is a danger, however, of relying too much on the computer's ability to process the learner's input" and then he cites Levy's (1998) words to support this point:

    "Where the student is generally working alone without the teacher, the computer has to reliably give the student the right kind of guidance and advice every time the program is used; there is no second wave of feedback that can come with a teacher's presence to act as backup. [...] The success, therefore, of the computer in the tutorial role, hinges on how reliably the program manages the student's learning and on how timely, accurate and appropriate is the feedback, help and advice given." (Levy 1998:90)

     

    Do you agree with this point? Discuss this issue with your group members. Can you further elaborate this "danger" with examples?
     

  3. Davies also points out that many designers of CALL-based programs were "more interested in control rather than guidance". Do you agree? Can you give some examples to support or refute this points?

  4. At the end of this section, Davies makes a final comment on multimedia CALL:

"Technology is racing ahead of pedagogy and, unfortunately, often driving the pedagogy. Above all, there is a need for further research into how language students learn. We still know relatively little about the learning process, but what little we know is often disregarded by multimedia developers."

 

Based on your own learning experience with CALL software, did you find some that involve a high level of technology but provide little help to language learning? Or did you find some that involve simple technology but are really helpful to language learning?

 

 

4.4   Evaluating Multimedia CALL Software

 

Many multimedia language learning programs rely on what may be called the "point-and-click-let's-move-on-quick" approach. It is also too easy to be deceived by flashy presentations. Therefore, we need to make a critical evaluation of multimedia CALL software before using it.

  1. In the first article you read about "Evaluating multimedia" (ICT4LT Module2.2), Davis (2004) suggests that we ask ourselves the following questions when examining a new multimedia program. Do you find some of the questions are more important than others in choosing CALL software? Why?

  1. Is the level of language that the program offers clearly indicated?

  2. Is the user interface easy to understand? For example, are there ambiguous icons that cause confusion?

  3. Is it easy to navigate through the program? Is it clear what point the learner has reached?

  4. What kind of feedback is the learner offered if he/she gets something wrong? Is the feedback intrinsic or extrinsic?

  5. If the learner gets something right without understanding why, can he/she seek an explanation?

  6. Can the learner seek help, e.g. on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural content?

  7. Does the program branch to remedial routines?

  8. Can the learner easily quit something that is beyond his/her ability?

  9. Does the learner have to mentally process the language that he/she sees and hears? Or does the program offer a range of point-and-click activities that can be worked through with the minimum of understanding?

  10. If the program includes pictures, are they (a) relevant, (b) an aid to understanding?

  11. If the program includes sound recordings, are they of an adequate standard? Are they (a) relevant, (b) an aid to understanding? Is there a good mix of male and female voices and regional variations?

  12. Can the learner record his/her own voice? Can the learner hear the playback clearly? Does the program make use of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)? Is it effective?

  13. If the program includes video sequences, are they of an adequate standard? Are they (a) relevant, (b) an aid to understanding?

  14. Does the program include scoring? Does the scoring system make sense? Does it encourage the learner?

  1. Also read the following three evaluation checklists/forms of CALL software and compare their criteria. Do you think those criteria are equally important?

- Three key components to consider in CALL evaluation:

a) the nature of the materials/software

b) the nature of the teaching/learning situation

c) the suitability of rating criteria

- Three evaluation criteria:

a) specification

b) program design

c) pedagogically relevant features

- Five evaluation criteria:

a) functionality

b) media content

c) quality of linguistic/cultural content

d) relevance

e) exploitation and outcomes

*Note: MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for learning and Online Teaching) is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. It collects links to online learning materials along with brief annotations and peer reviews/member comments.

  a) Quality of Content
b) Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching-Learning Tool
c) Ease of Use

 

  1. Develop your own CALL software evaluation criteria with your group members and explain why the criteria you choose are important.

  2. Choose a CALL software package or a website and evaluate it together with your group members. Then write your evaluation in the message board and give an oral presentation to the class next week.

* Note: If you don't know which ESL/EFL website to choose for evaluation, you can go to the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for learning and Online Teaching) and enter 'ESL' in the Search Materials Box <http://www.merlot.org/> and take a look at how others reviewed or commented on those selected websites.

 

* Please do Exercise 4  Multimedia CALL and Evaluation of CALL

 

 

4.5   Exploring CALL CD-ROMs

 

Explore the following CALL CD-ROM examples with your group members. Find out what features and functions each of them has in terms of both presentation and interaction. Take notes while exploring them. 

  1. CD-ROMs as reference tools

  •   Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  •   Eyewitness - World Atlas

  1. CD-ROMs for children

  •   Engphonics - English pronunciation and spelling courseware

  •   Sesame Street Reading Basics

  •   Let's go read

  •   Reader Rabbit first grade learning adventure

  •   Curriculum Alive - English  

  1. CD-ROMs for adults

  •   New Interchange

  •   Live ABC

  •   CNN Interactive English

  •   Interactive English for Business

  1. CD-ROMs for test preparation

  •   BEC Preliminary Preparation and Practice for Further Ahead

  1. CD-ROMs incorporating Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)

  •    TriplePlay Plus

 

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