CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

Niken Larasati Wening

2201410009

 

  1. 1.   CAL and CALL

CAL program refers to the learning involving the utilization of the computer, usually by means of an interactive computer. CALL means CAL which is implemented to language. In this point, the utilization of the computer is primarily directed to make provisions to a language learning tutorial program

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.

Other terms, however, continue to be introduced to focus on particular uses of the computer. For example, individual learning through adaptive computer systems, promoted as intelligent CALL (ICALL), and web-enhanced language learning (WELL), is used by educators who promote Internet-based activities. A European Community group has formed under the banner ICT4LT (Information and Communication Technologies for Language Teachers). For their part, Warschauer and Kern (2000) prefer to use the term NBLT (networked- based language teaching) to encompass a broader range of the interconnected computers; whereas Debski (2000) has coined the term PrOCALL (project-oriented CALL) to highlight large-scale collaborative activities. Chapelle (2001), on the other hand, employs the acronym CASLA (computer applications in second language acquisition) to serve as an umbrella phrase that pulls together research in CALL, computer-assisted language assessment (CALT), and computer-assisted second language acquisition research (CASLR).

Overall, 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).

 

  1. 2.     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. The aim of this section is to provide a detailed examination of the roles computers, learners, and teachers play in CALL settings.

  1. Roles of the computers

In the structural stage of CALL, educators characterized the computer as a “tutor” who patiently delivered repetitive drills. In this way the computer could engage the independent student in individualized, self-paced instruction through efficient materials delivery. Later, in communicative CALL, the computer was seen as a “pupil” that was trained to navigate through “microworlds” (Papert, 1980). Communicative CALL practitioners also used the computer to stimulate conversations amongst small groups of students who sat in front of it. In recent integrative CALL approaches, the computer acts like a “unified information manager” (Ullmer, 1994), that comes equipped with a host o applications, or a “toolbox,” that stand ready to be used in the construction of projects.   More and more, a computer environment can create a “social space” in which to conduct purposeful interactions through virtual reality (Toyoda & Harrison, 2002).

With the widespread use of computers in the 1980s, concern grew about their effectiveness (Kulik, Kulik, & Schwalb, 1986). Significantly, critics sought justification of claims that computers help to raise test scores and speed language acquisition (Dunkel, 1991) or otherwise promote cognitive augmentation through carefully designed materials (Clark & Sugrue, 1991). Such concerns were raised against a background of comparison studies which pitted computer-assisted instruction against other modes of learning and often concluded there was “no significant difference” between the types of presentations (Russell, 1999).

  1.  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 structural CALL, students were dependent on programs of instruction that efficiently delivered grammar and vocabulary materials.

Communicative CALL practices sought to place learners in independent relationships with the computer, as students progressed through interactive work with applications. Within integrative CALL, students are expected to work collaboratively and utilize the computer as a “toolbox” for group project work. Increasing student familiarity with computers now challenges CALL educators to direct their use for the specific purposes of language learning (Chapelle, 2001). To better understand the relationship of students to the computer, CALL researchers have explored learner strategies, examined the status of learners, and begun to characterize the skills and practices required to work effectively in computer environments.

Generally, applied linguists hold a strong interest in learner strategies (Chamot, 2001). 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. Chun and Plass (1997) framed the key issues of “multimedia comprehension” based on studies of online reading and visual interpretation. Hoven (1999b), too, proposed a model for learners’ listening and viewing skills in multimedia environments.

  1.     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. Indeed, according to Kramsch (1993, p. 201): The enormous educational potential of the computer is confronting teachers with their pedagogic responsibilities as never before. Never before have teachers so urgently needed to know what knowledge they want to transmit and for what purpose, to decide what are the more and the less important aspects of that knowledge, and to commit themselves to an educational vision they believe in. Not only have computers shifted instructional practices, they have changed the way materials are designed, assessment is conducted, and how programs are evaluated. Although once the realm of specialists, CALL techniques and practices have become an integrated part of professional development programs.

Within integrative CALL, teachers are encouraged to take on a less intrusive role. In classrooms described in the PrOCALL Project (Debski, 2000), for example, students are asked to nominate their own projects and, at the same time, take responsibility for shaping the objective, syllabus, and assessment components of the subject.

 

  1. 3.   Advantages  and  Disadvantages of CALL

Advantages:

  • As far as reading habits are concerned, CALL encourages users to develop a non sequential reading habit, which is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional printed material
  • CALL offers freedom for users to choose any topic of information available within the package. The table of contents denotes all topics available which can be selected by simply clicking on the box labeled for a particular topic.
  • Since the CALL tutorial package can be also be used in pairs, it spurs the user to be able to collaborate very usefully in problem solving which in itself is considered to be a good skill to acquire
  • CALL’s flexibility of time allows the students to determine what particular topics and how long he wants to learn.

Disadvantages:

  • Compared with traditional books, the electronic book, the CAL program is considered to be much less handy. It is much different from traditional book that are small enough to be carried around
  • In general, reading a text, especially the long ones, on the screen is slower, more difficult and tiring
  • Viewing from the financial point, CAL is costly enough for the programmer or teacher, let alone the students

 

QUESTION

  1. What does the CAL and CALL mean?

Answer: CAL program refers to the learning involving the utilization of the computer, usually by means of an interactive computer.

 CALL means CAL which is implemented to language. In this point, the utilization of the computer is primarily directed to make provisions to a language learning tutorial program

Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can be defined as “the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of CALL?

Answer:

Advantages

  • As far as reading habits are concerned, CALL encourages users to develop a non sequential reading habit, which is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional printed material
  • • CALL offers freedom for users to choose any topic of information available within the package. The table of contents denotes all topics available which can be selected by simply clicking on the box labeled for a particular topic.

Disadvantages

  • Compared with traditional books, the electronic book, the CAL program is considered to be much less handy. It is much different from traditional book that are small enough to be carried around
  • In general, reading a text, especially the long ones, on the screen is slower, more difficult and tiring
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