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On CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)


This is the first post on this blog, so I would like to maintain it as an introduction to Computer assisted language learning (CALL) and how language teachers and practitioners can harness the power of CALL to enhance language learning.
Most if not all teachers now are called “technology immigrants” since technology was not around in their time when they were learners. Our students, in contrast, are called “technology natives” as they experience technology on a daily basis whether in an educational setting or for personal use. Two things are obvious with regard to our students:
  1. They will know about technology more than we will ever know
  2. They expect their teachers to be knowledgeable in technology


CALL is a part of applied linguistics that is gaining momentum so rapidly as technology changes. Researchers on CALL are increasing as technology is becoming attainable to all ( open source software, internet, web 2.o). Still, many teachers are technophobic since they did not experiment with technology long enough to integrate it into their teaching contexts. Technology can be seen as a tool to enhance learning. So, like any tool, it relies on how a teacher uses this tool to enhance learning. The affordance of technology varies from teaching context to another so teachers should not be afraid to experiment with it. As with course design, teachers can integrate technology successfully based on their creativity.
Language Teachers should exploit technology
  1. based on methodological frameworks and theories of language learning
  2. based on their specific learning context
  3. to enhance language learning
  4. to enhance peripheral learning to language learning , such as autonomy, collaboration, social networking
  5. to enhance their pupils’ critical thinking
The disposition of the teacher to experiment with technology and try it with his/her students to result in innovative language learning setting is worthwhile and the rewards are substantial.
The following posts will discuss CALL and the integration of technology, with its subcategories, multimedia, web 2.0, e-learning, successfully in the language classroom based on methodology and theories of language learning, and especially on reflection on practice.
I hope you find the forthcoming posts valuable and worth reflecting on. More importantly, worth experimenting implementing in your language classroom.
Moreward
Ammar

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