Computers In Language Learning

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INTRODUCTION

Technology has become a very powerful tool in our daily life and it has a uniquely strong way of grabbing people’s attention, especially the attention of the younger generation of kids who have been almost completely surrounded by it their whole lives. Computers have become so widespread in schools and homes and their uses have expanded so dramatically over the past few decades that we, as teachers, must rethink the role computers have in education and the implications of using them in language learning.

Computers can be a great tool for language teaching, they work hard, they never get tired, and most of all, they transform teaching and learning into a fun and stimulating process. In fact, computers have been used for language
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It usually includes a substantial interactive element. Except for self-study software, CALL is meant to supplement face-to-face language instruction, not replace it. Computer-assisted language learning requires a convergence of several other related pedagogical fields such as educational psychology, linguistics, web-based instruction, artificial intelligence, and second language acquisition. Over the years it has been known by several other terms such as technology-enhanced language learning (TELL), computer-assisted language instruction and computer-aided language learning, but the field is the same.

The role of computers in language teaching has changed significantly in the last 30 years. Previously, computers used in language teaching were limited to text, simple simulations and exercises such as gap-filling and multiple-choice drills. Technological and pedagogical advancements now allow us to more fully integrate computer technology into the language learning process. With cutting edge software and unlimited online access at our fingertips, we now have a myriad of opportunities to communicate in the target language, access textual and multimedia information, and interact for a global
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In the late 1970s and early 1980s, when new personal computers were creating greater possibilities for individual work, supporters of communicative CALL stressed that computer-based activities should focus more on “using forms than on the forms themselves, teach grammar implicitly rather than explicitly, allow and encourage students to generate original utterances rather than just manipulate prefabricated language, and use the target language predominantly or even exclusively.” Communicative CALL corresponded to cognitive theories which stressed that learning is actually a process of discovery, expression, and development. Popular CALL software developed in this period included text reconstruction programs (allowing students to work alone or in groups to rearrange words and texts to discover patterns of language and meaning) and simulations (which stimulated discussion and discovery among students working in pairs or groups). For many proponents of communicative CALL, the focus was not so much on what students did with the machine, but rather what they achieved with each other while working at the
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