COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (CALL)
It is an approach to teaching and learning in which computer and computer based resources such as internet are used to present, reinforce and access material to be learned.
It also includes the search for investigation of application in language, technology and learning.
The term CALI (Computer Assisted Language Instructions). CALI was software used before CALL.
It fell out of favor among language teachers, as it appeared to imply teacher-centered approach whereas language teachers are more inclined to prefer students centre approach, focus on learning other than instructions.
CALL replaces CALI in 1980.
Other terms use such as Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) and Computer Aided Learning Language are same.
The history of CALL can be divided into three phases:
It started in early 50s and developing through 70s.
Programs of this phase entailed repetitive language drills and can be referred to as drill and practice This era language was seen as made up of discrete units.
Different rules and their applications were taught.This era is marked for stimulus and response. The computer prompts the student with question (stimulus) and student gives an answer (response).
Drill and practice course wear is based on model of computer as a tutor. Computer serves as vehicle for delivering instruction material to students.
Computer in this era were mainly utilized as device that could present stimuli in same manner as teacher without getting tired and gives instant feedback. Moreover, by repetition of same material is beneficial of learning. An example of this is PLATO program which include vocabulary , grammar and translation drills.
It started in era in 80s and 90s. The communicative approach to language teaching came into being as a reaction to the Grammar Translational and Audio-lingual methods.
Instead of teaching language, its rules, syntax, phonemes, morphemes were taught and usage I language. Tasks were given to student in which communication and interaction were important.
This development didnt just affect the testing part of CALL it made teaching more vivid. Here computer can be used as tool in order to learn language. For example: In addition to drill formats students can learn by watching video how native speaker of language interact. They can understand how language is used in different situations.
It started in era of 2000 and onwards. In integrative phase blended virtues of communicative and behaviorist CALL.
It includes development of internet and hypermedia the can integrate video and audio streaming, graphic interactive content and virtual worlds that have redefined the process of learning.
Example is Fluent U with its interactive videos. Different types of videos on different topic, themes can be presented with the transcript so that we can understand language and its grammar.
ADVANTAGES OF CALL:
Many educators indicate that the current computer technology has many advantages for second language learning. The following are advantages of CALL:
INTEREST AND MOTIVATION:
Classical language teaching in classroom can be monotonous, boring, and even frustrating, and students can lose interest and motivation in learning. CALL programmers can provide student ways t learn English through computer games, animated graphics, and problem solving techniques which can make drills more interesting.
CALL allows learners to have a non-sequential learning habit; they can decide on their own which skills to develop and which course to use, as well as speed and level by their own need. It is also powerful tools because it gives student control over their learning, individualizing their needs accordingly, promoting at the same time learner independence and development of learning strategies.
It is an interactive tool because it offers students the possibility to create their own materials and share them with other students, also giving them possibility ti communicate with native speakers, a chance for better understanding and more accurate meaning rendering.
It is an educational tool because it offers students the opportunity to actively take part in activities beyond classroom and course book, in the target language, exchanging messages with native speakers and interacting in the target language, as part of cultural and social exchange, the outcome being an improvement in reading and writing skills.
Students receive maximum benefit from feedback only f it is given immediately. A delayed positive feedback will reduce the encouragement and reinforcement, and a delayed negative feedback affect the crucial knowledge a student must master. Computer can give instant feedback and help the students ward off his misconception at a very first stage. Advantages of CALL as giving immediate feedback, allowing students at their own pace , and causing less frustration among students.
DISADVANTAGES OF CALL:
Although there are many advantages of computer, the application of current computer technology still has its limitations and disadvantages, some disadvantages of CALL are as follows:
LACK OF TRAINED TEACHERS:
It is necessary for teachers and students to have basic technology knowledge before applying computer technology in second language teaching and learning. Therefore, computers will only benefit those who are familiar with computer technology.
INABILITY TO HANDLE UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS:
The leaning stimulation that a second language earner faces is various and ever changing. Computers merely have artificial intelligence so it cannot deal with learners unexpected learning problems or response to learners questions as teachers do. Blin stated that computer technology with that degree do not exist, and are not expected to exist quite a long time. In other words, todays computer technology and its language learning programs are not yet intelligent enough to be truly interactive.
INCREASES EDUCATIONAL COSTS:
Based on the view of financial aspect, CALL programs require a lot of cost. It increases educational costs, since computer became a basic requirement for students to purchase, and low-budget schools and low income students cannot afford computer.
Computer still has low colour resolution that is less on screen due to which users feel painfulness and their eyes gets get irritated. In this case the designers and programmers must consider the return in terms of regulation on a computer screen to be more adequate.
2. IMPERFECT CURRENT CALL PROGRAMS:
At present, the software of CALL mainly deals with reading, listening, and writing skills. There are some speaking programs have been developed recently, but their functions are still limited. A program should ideally be able to understand a users spoken input and evaluate it not just for correctness but also for appropriateness. Speakers problem should be able to diagnose a learners problem with pronunciation, syntax, or usage and then intelligently decide among a range of options.
APPLICATIONS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LEARNING LANGUAGE
Corpora and concordances:
Corpora have been used for many years as the basis of linguistic research and also for the compilation of dictionaries and reference works such as the Collins Cobuild series, published by HarperCollins. Tribble & Barlow (2001), Sinclair (2004) and McEnery & Wilson (2011) describe a variety of ways in which corpora can be used in language teaching.
The use of electronic concordances in language teaching can be found as a practical use in the classroom is described.
Tim Johns (1991), however, who raised the profile of the use of concordances in the language classroom with his concept of Data-driven learning (DDL). DDL encourages DDL encourages learners to work out their own rules about the meaning of words and their usage by using a concordance to locate examples in a corpus of authentic texts. It is also possible for the teacher to use a concordance to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate a point of grammar or typical collocations, and to generate exercises based on the examples found.
It is possible to use Google as a concordance, but there are also a number of drawbacks, for instance there is no control over the educational level, nationality, or other characteristics of the creators of the texts that are found, and the presentation of the examples is not as easy to read as the output of a dedicated concordance that places the key words in context
Virtual worlds date back to the adventure games and simulations of the 1970s, for example Colossal Cave Adventure, a text-only simulation in which the user communicated with the computer by typing commands at the keyboard. Language teachers discovered that it was possible to exploit these text-only programs by using them as the basis for discussion. Jones G. (1986) describes an experiment based on the Kingdom simulation, in which learners played roles as members of a council governing an imaginary kingdom. A single computer in the classroom was used to provide the stimulus for discussion, namely simulating events taking place in the kingdom: crop planting time, harvest time, unforeseen catastrophes, etc.
The early adventure games and simulations led on to multi-user variants, which were known as MUDs (Multi-user domains). Like their predecessors, MUDs were text-only, with the difference that they were available to a wider online audience. MUDs then led on to MOOs (Multi-user domains object-oriented), which language teachers were able to exploit for teaching foreign languages and intercultural understanding.
The next major breakthrough in the history of virtual worlds was the graphical user interface.
Human language technologies:
Human language technologies (HLT) comprise a number of areas of research and development that focus on the use of technology to facilitate communication in a multilingual information society. Human language technologies are areas of activity in departments of the European Commission that were formerly grouped under the heading language engineering.
The parts of HLT that is of greatest interest to the language teacher is natural language processing (NLP), especially parsing, as well as the areas of speech synthesis and speech recognition.
Speech synthesis has improved immeasurably in recent years. It is often used in electronic dictionaries to enable learners to find out how words are pronounced. At word level, speech synthesis is quite effective, the artificial voice often closely resembling a human voice. At phrase level and sentence level, however, there are often problems of intonation, resulting in speech production that sounds unnatural even though it may be intelligible. Speech synthesis as embodied in text to speech (TTS) applications is invaluable as a tool for unsighted or partially sighted people. list several examples of speech synthesis applications.
Speech recognition is less advanced than speech synthesis. It has been used in a number of CALL programs, in which it is usually described as HYPERLINK ” o “Automatic speech recognition” automatic speech recognition (ASR).”Complex cognitive processes account for the human ability to associate acoustic signals with meanings and intentions. For a computer, on the other hand, speech is essentially a series of digital values. However, despite these differences, the core problem of speech recognition is the same for both humans and machines: namely, of finding the best match between a given speech sound and its corresponding word string. Automatic speech recognition technology attempts to simulate and optimize this process computationally.”
The following professional associations are dedicated to the promulgation of research, development and practice relating to the use of new technologies in language learning and teaching. Most of them organize conferences and publish journals on CALL.
APACALL: The Asia-Pacific Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning. APACALL publishes the APACALL Book Series and APACALL Newsletter Series.
AsiaCALL: The Asia Association of Computer Assisted Language Learning, Korea. AsiaCALL publishes the AsiaCALL Online Journal.
Association of University Language Centres (AULC) in the UK and Ireland.
CALICO: Established in 1982. Currently based at Texas State University, USA. CALICO publishes the CALICO Journal.
EUROCALL: Founded by a group of enthusiasts in 1986 and established with the aid of European Commission funding as a formal professional association in 1993.