Skip to content

CALL

April 28, 2013

Name: Fatimah
NIM: 2201410061
Summary:
Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL)
(Davis, Alan and Catherine Elder. 2004. The handbook of applied linguistics. Cornwall: Blackwell Publishing Ltd)
25.1 Introduction
Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can be defined as “the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning” (Levy, 1997, p. 1). Although earlier practitioners relied on acronyms such as CAI (computer-aided instruction), CAL (computer-assisted learning), CELL (computer-enhanced language learning) and TELL (technology enhanced language learning), CALL is now widely regarded as the central acronym to refer to studies concerned with second language and computer technology.
The main objective of CALL is to “improve the learning capacity of those who are being taught a language through computerized means” (Cameron, 1999a, p. 2). This definition focuses particularly on language learning.

25.2 Overview of CALL
As with the broader field of applied linguistics, CALL can be located at the crossroads of a number of disciplines, like Levy (1997) stated, they are psychology, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, instructional technology, and human–computer interaction. In other hand, Chapelle (2001, pp. 27–43) places CALL within six computer-related sub-disciplines: educational technology, computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, and computer-assisted assessment.

25.2.1 A brief history
From the early 1980s, increased computer availability fuelled a growing interest in CALL. Teachers were able to write or modify computer applications to suit specific language learning situations; as a result, more and more students were exposed to them both at home and on campus. Computers had the capacity to integrate text, audio, and video that could be controlled by the learner.
One significant part of the communicative approach project was the full integration of language teachers in the development process; that is, project managers promoted teaching and learning with computers above software design and instructional theory.
CALL practitioners had produced a substantial body of work that focused mainly on pedagogical computer use. Critics at the time, however, began to question the effectiveness of such practices and suggested a much deeper examination of CALL activities and materials (Dunkel, 1991, pp. 24–5).
From the start of the 1990s, teachers began to make greater use of networked computers, and by mid-decade the explosive growth of the Internet prompted CALL educators to increasingly adopt socio-collaborative modes of learning. Classroom-based CALL activities could include learner communities throughout the world through email, virtual environments, and shared domains. Pedagogical discussions of CALL have thus shifted to exploration of such communities and their use of collaborative activities.

25.2.2 Major theoretical perspectives
In communicative CALL sought to help students develop their own mental models through use of the target language. Exercises were designed to guide meaningful peer interactions and promote fluency.
Integrative CALL seeks to make full use of networked computers as a means to engage learners in meaningful, large-scale collaborative activities (Debski, 2000; Warschauer & Kern, 2000). Instructors promote close ties between learning processes, objectives, and a student ownership of the outcomes. Authentic discourse provides the basis for learning material. Students are taught techniques in online publishing, and are urged to produce their own texts. The key distinction between communicative CALL and integrative CALL is that, in the former, learner choice and self-management of activity are driven by task-based approaches to syllabus design. At its most liberal interpretation, a syllabus in integrative CALL simply represents a “dynamic blueprint” where learning occurs through “accidents” generated by projects (Barson, 1999). In contrast, a syllabus in communicative CALL is likely to be discrete and related to a set of curricular guidelines that have been defined in advance of learner needs (Corbel, 1999).

25.3 Key Areas: The Roles of Computers, Students, Teachers, and Researchers
Broadly speaking, CALL is made possible through an interdependent relationship among computers, students, and instructors. The use of computers, for example, influences the nature of student activities which in turn affects how teacher may set goals and constructs the learning environment.

25.3.1 Roles of the computers

These days, the computer is likely to be seen in the “subservient role of tool in the service of the larger goals and contexts of instructional communities” (Meskill, 1999, p. 141).
One key role of computers is to deliver materials. In CALL, efficient materials delivery was a prime focus of the technology. Sophisticated applications have been designed to adapt and fit individual learner needs. Materials in communicative CALL served as prompts for both discussion and practice.
Computers also permit the creation of electronic materials. Davies (1998) provides a succinct four-part overview of multimedia authoring packages for language teachers. In the first of his categories, he cites products which align with the “Keep it Simple and Stupid” school of design. The popularity of this approach rests with its relative ease of use. Secondly, an integrated approach using a full authoring suite can be utilized for materials production. A third approach is to use a multipurpose application and then later move and adapt materials into related computer environments. In his fourth “Generic CALL” category, Davies writes about the formation of a European Community project, known as MALTED (Multimedia Authoring for Language Tutors and Educational
Development), that aims to create an authoring environment which specifically meets the requirements of language teachers. Participating project members are set to develop the means of authoring multimedia courseware that can be shared and revised according to the requirements of local contexts.
The basic definition of pedagogical tasks is “a focused, well-defined activity, relatable to pedagogic decision making, which requires learners to use language, with an emphasis on meaning, to attain an objective, and which elicits data which may be the basis for research” (Bygate, Skehan, & Swain, 2001, p. 12).
Debski (2000) said that collaborative learners themselves need to negotiate what to do and how to complete activities. That is, task definition in and of itself is an opportunity for learning in an ill-defined domain. The optimal role of “objectives,” too, may require consideration because they may change within the context of a group project.
Significantly for CALL educators, computers have the potential to help students with special needs, for example, in their use of screen readers, Braille devices, or other assistive technologies.

25.3.2 Roles of the learner
In each of the three stages of CALL, the role of students changes in tandem with shifts in learning theory, the capabilities of computers, and instructional processes. In CALL, this interest has been directed to looking at student behaviors regarding online reading, listening, speaking, and writing (Hegelheimer & Chapelle, 2000; Liou, 2000), particularly in regard to the comprehension of second language multimedia.
CALL studies have researched autonomous learner processes, one direction in the move toward integrative CALL is to allow for, and promote, learner autonomy throughout a course of instruction. Within the context of CALL, learner autonomy can be defined as “the development of a capacity for engagement with and critical reflection on the learning process” (Shield & Weininger, 1999, p. 100). Aligned more with socio-collaboration, autonomy “involves the development of interdependence through which a group of learners and teacher will collaboratively take responsibility for and control of their learning/teaching environment” (Blin, 1999, p. 134). In the context of CALL the term seeks to describe the range of technical skills and embedded social practices students need before they can productively engage in computer-based activities.
Accordingly, Shetzer and Warschauer (2000) divide the electronic literacy framework into three overlapping areas: communication, construction, and research. Thus, to become adept at communication via computer, the learner must be able to interact and collaborate in decentered, asynchronous ways. They argue that learners engaged in electronic literacy practices must ultimately become autonomous and take charge of their own learning. One role for instructors, then, is to promote independent lifelong learning strategies.

25.3.3 Roles of the instructor
The integration of CALL into the classroom has challenged instructors to become familiar with new technologies and redefine their views of teaching. Not only have computers shifted instructional practices, they have changed the way materials are designed, assessment is conducted, and how programs are evaluated.
In both structural and communicative CALL, the teacher often served as a mediator between the computer and students throughout the learning process. Although computer usage generally fostered a “programmed” approach to instruction, instructors were nonetheless reminded to stay on hand to keep things running smoothly.
Within integrative CALL, teachers are encouraged to take on a less intrusive role. Debski and Gruba (1999) undertook a qualitative survey into foreign language instructors’ attitudes toward integrative CALL. Key perceptions included a primary teacher concern for authenticity and recreating real-life situations. The instructors saw computers as a way to encourage social interaction so that the computers acted as “active partners” rather than “passive assistants” to the instructional process (p. 232).

25.3.4 Establishing CALL research priorities
Primary research concerns in CALL shift with each stage. In Chapelle’s view, cross-disciplinary contributions to empirical CALL research were found wanting and published studies had often vaguely described key definitions. She identified two key research questions: (1) “What kind of language does a learner engage in during a CALL activity?” and (2) “How good is the language experience in CALL for L2 learning?” (Chapelle, 1997, p. 22). Essentially, Chapelle sees attempts to answer the first question as descriptive. That is, they provide a basis for decisions creating a syllabus. The second question is evaluative in that it aims to examine the quality of learner language.
In the area of educational media research, the dismissal of media comparison approaches led to a rise of investigations concerned with “media attributes” (Wetzel, Radtke, & Stern, 1994). Educational media researchers (e.g., Clark, 1994; Kozma, 1994) now urge investigators to consider those variables that cluster around “media” (e.g., speed of presentation, familiarity, editing style, clarity of images, topic).
In regard to the examination of learner behaviors, or strategies, CALL researchers need to explore the framework of “constructively responsive” readers. This perspective, based on the underpinnings of cognitive constructivism (for an overview, see Driscoll, 2000), regards comprehenders as flexible, concerned with main ideas, and, most importantly, responsive to the presentation of textual resources as they attempt to build a coherent macro-structure.
The need for evaluation of CALL projects and activities is a recurrent theme in the literature and has become more urgent as the field expands (Chapelle, 2001, p. 26). Broadly speaking, the increased emphasis on computer-based learning throughout education has produced new tools for analysis, increased funding, and widened interest.
Lynch notes that proponents of integrative CALL must be careful to strike appropriate balances between those activities which focus on electronic literacy skills and those which provide opportunities for language learning.

25.4 Discussion
Because of large-scale computer-based tests, student work styles and the increasingly commonplace use of information technologies the context of computer-supported collaborative learning.
Given the increasing centrality of technologies to applied linguistics, it is disappointing to see recent attempts to define pedagogic tasks (Bygate, Skehan, & Swain, 2001) ignore the role of computers.
CALL research both needs to be conducted in a wider variety of organizations and over longer periods of time.
Warschauer (1999; 2000b; 2002) examines the impact of computers beyond the classroom and begins to unpack the “digital divide,” other CALL researchers need to be urged to read more widely in areas of social informatics, cyber-cultures, and cultural studies.

Question
1. Q: What are some advantages of using computer in learning language?
A:
– It is more interactive aid
– It could interact with the students
– It may act as a teacher or tutor
– It can become a very effective reference book
– It can be utilized to communicate visually
2. Q: What are some disadvantages of CALL?
A: – CAL program is considered to be much less handy
– If we reading on the screen, we will more difficult and tiring
– CAL program is costly enough for the teacher or programmer

Advertisements
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: