CALL me or call me?

CALL me or call me?


When looking all around us, we notice that computers and software have become a pressing need in every aspects of life. They have invaded everything within reach and as in the case of teaching and learning. Learning a language cannot be always in a foreign context which means that we learn most of the time in a second-language context because we are foreigners, so learners would enjoy using technology that can connect them with native speakers of the same language they learn. Students who wish to develop their writing can use different types of technology to check spelling and grammatical structure which helps them to engage in the editing process. Teachers can also use video conferencing to link their classes with other classes around the world to improve their students’ speaking skills. Technology helps in creating synchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) which contributed positively to second language acquisition. (CMC) is a technology that provides interaction occurring at the same time. It supports face-to-face task-based interaction by providing comprehensible feedback, input and opportunities for learners to self-correct. Ellis, Loewen and Erlam (2006) found that interaction within a synchronous computer-mediated environment creates corrective feedback for L2 learners and this affects positively on their performance.  (CALL) which stands for Computer Assisted Language Learning is defined as “the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning”.

 

CALL has gradually been through three main phases over the past 30 years: Behaviorist CALL, Communicative CALL and Integrative CALL.

CALL first phase started in 1960s and 1970s and it was based on behaviorist model that consisted of learning explicitly with repetitive language and kill-and-drill exercises. During 1970s and 1980s, a communicative approach was proposed, and it had to do with implicit knowledge that takes place by giving learners contexts and they have to come up with rules but it was built on non-contextualized practice which means that learning and teaching did not occur in contexts and they learn words in isolation. In 1980s and 1990s, a new era of CALL was created, which is communicative approach. It accounts for the role of social interaction and the role of the learners themselves integrated more fully with technology. It moved and shifted the focus from teachers to rely heavily on students by interacting in real contexts and applying what they learn in real discourses with the use of different tech tools. This approach got rid of teacher-fronted notion and created learner-centeredness autonomous role. 

Technology is clearly interfering in a positive way with teaching and learning processes, but negatives should not be overlooked.  Teachers and students should understand that computers act as an assistant teacher but not as alternatives who replace them. Tech tools made cheating easier and facilitate copying assignments and projects from others. Students write their researches and essays without paying attention if the source they are using is reliable or not. They should look at online pieces with wary eye. What we can say is every cloud has a silver lining J

Also, let’s not forget that CALL could come in handy for translators too.


Dania Shihabi

Junior Translator

 

References

Levy, M. (1997) Computer-assisted languagelearning: context and contextualisation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

Warschauer, Mark, and Deborah Healey. "Computers And Language Learning: An Overview". Language Teaching 31.02 (1998): 57. Web.

 

Ellis, Rod, Shawn Loewen, and Rosemary Erlam. "IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK AND THE ACQUISITION OF L2 GRAMMAR". Studies in Second Language Acquisition 28.02 (2006): n. pag. Web.