Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization

Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization

Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization

Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization

Synopsis

So far the development of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has been fragmented. This book sets CALL in its historical and interdisciplinary contexts, providing a comprehensive overview of the topic. Drawing on published work and an international survey among CALL practitioners, he looks at the relationship between CALL's theory and application, describes how the computer is conceptualized as both tutor and tool, and discusses the implications for computer programming, language teaching, and learning.

Excerpt

In writing this book, I have been motivated by three major concerns. Firstly, I have felt a strong desire to understand, and to some extent to circumscribe Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) for the purposes of teaching it. For the last six years I have been coordinating a Master's degree in CALL, first at Bond University and now at the University of Queensland. Under the guidance of my colleagues Professor Andrew Lian and Professor Roland Sussex, I have had to determine the subjects that might go into such a Master's degree, then decide upon their content and appropriate assessment procedures. I have also been required to undertake research supervision at Master's and Ph.D. level. As a result, I need to have an idea of what constitutes CALL, what forces drive it forward, and what needs to be done by students who want to study it.

Secondly, I believe the CALL community needs to build upon what has gone before, rather than be led purely by the capabilities of the latest technological innovation. With the almost monthly appearance of new hardware and software there can be a tendency for those interested in CALL materials development simply to pick up the latest machine or technological option and get to work on a project. If the technology has not been widely distributed, it is rather too easy to impress. Moreover, past work and valuable experience can be ignored or overlooked. It is usual, when commencing research in other fields, to review and extend the work of others, but with CALL the approach can sometimes be a little more cavalier. Over the last three decades, a substantial number of CALL programs have been created. The concepts and principles underpinning the best of these programs do not necessarily become obsolete when the computer that is used to run them is retired. In fact, the valuable knowledge and experience that has accumulated through this work needs to be absorbed and used to inform new projects in the future.

Thirdly, I have been motivated by a desire to understand better the relationship between theory and application. In this, I have been particularly influenced by the collection of papers in Carroll's book . . .

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