This entry provides a thorough introduction to computer- assisted and -aided language learning (CALL). It starts by providing the definition and history of CALL and associated relevant terms. Then, an existing CALL methodological framework is presented and discussed. This is then followed by an overview of the current state of CALL by citing some representative examples of its uses and discussing advantages and disadvantages of current CALL systems. The chapter concludes with a discussion of present and future research and commercial directions of CALL.
History Of Call
The earliest applications of CALL date back to the 1960s. Warschauer (1998) divides the history of CALL into three stages.
Behaviorist CALL: This was implemented in the 60s and 70s, and could be considered “a sub-component of the broader field of computer-assisted instruction.” Informed by the behaviorist learning model (Kern & Warschauer, 2000), this mode of CALL featured repetitive language drills, referred to as drill and practice.
Communicative CALL: This emerged in the late 70s and early 80s. It was also during this time that behaviorist approaches to language teaching were being rejected at both the theoretical and pedagogical level, and new personal computers were creating greater possibilities for individual work. Warschauer (1998) mentions that proponents of communicative CALL stressed that computer-based activities should focus more on using forms than on the forms themselves, teach grammar implicitly, allow and encourage students to generate original utterances rather than just manipulate prefabricated language, and use the target language predominately or even exclusively (Jones & Fortescue, 1987; Phillips, 1987; Underwood, 1984).
Integrative CALL: This emerged in the late 80s and early 90s while critics pointed out that the computer was still being used in an “ad hoc and disconnected fashion.” Warschauer (1996) terms integrative CALL as “a perspective which seeks both to integrate various skills (e.g., listening, speaking, reading and writing) and also integrate technology more fully into the language learning process.”
Key Terms in this Chapter
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): The study, planning, and design of what happens when humans and computers work together.
Videoconferencing: The use of multimedia elements, digital cameras, and microphones to capture video and sound and transmit it live to other users who will receive it using their display units and speakers.
Pedagogy: The activities and theory of education, instructing, or teaching.
Computer-Aided Language Learning (CALL): Any kind of language-learning activity that makes use of computers.
Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL): The exploration of the use of artificial-intelligence methods and techniques for language learning.
Computer-Assisted Language Testing (CALT): An integrated procedure in which language performance is elicited and assessed with the help of a computer.
Distance Learning: A planned teaching and learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies to reach learners at a distance, and is designed to encourage learner interaction and certification of learning.