Call at the crossroads
Myths, realities, promises and challenges
CALL has been promoted for nearly 30 years essentially on the basis, not of fact, but of the myth, that it demonstrably produces positive language learning outcomes. In reality, there is no reliable evidence to support such claims. If the effectiveness of CALL is to move beyond the stage of myth to that of demonstrably “certified” fact, development in the field needs a clear theoretical base from which to operate. SLA theory can provide insights and help ensure that we are at least asking the right questions. Likewise, it has reliable research methodologies available to properly frame hypotheses and evaluate the results of CALL efforts. No less so, however, SLA theory very much needs the kind of “hard” language learning input which CALL can deliver. Collaboration in the design of CALL programmes offers a valuable means of eliciting linguistic data essential to the testing of SLA hypotheses. Even more importantly for SLA theory construction, the ability of computer-based programmes to unobtrusively track the behaviour of learners, offers a unique “window of observation” on the processes underlying observed performance. Despite much promise, and nearly three decades of efforts by CALL enthusiasts, effective exploitation of educational technology in language teaching remains to be achieved.
Cited by other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 27 august 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.