Computer Assisted Language Learning

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Computer network technology has long been considered a tool for language learning within and outside the classroom. The advantages presented by computer technology are very beneficial. Computer Assisted Language Learning tools provide a wide range of materials and opportunities for communication. For Computer Assisted Language Learning (that will be referred to as CALL in this essay) to be fully implemented into classrooms, teachers and students must prepare to embrace different roles. The decision to use computer network technology in language classrooms must be built upon a strong pedagogical rational so that learners may benefit from the technology. This essay will discuss the use of CALL in language teaching, review current developments in CALL and finally assess the advantaged and disadvantages of using CALL in a classroom context.

“Computer network technology has been used in language teaching since the 1980s” (Vi, 2005). With the introduction of the internet to the world, the computer which was once simply a tool for information gathering has been transformed into a tool for communication. The instant connections worldwide made possible by the internet have revolutionised the way teachers work. This revolution in language teaching is not only advantageous for teachers. The advantages of the internet in language instruction is becoming more and more recognised and a number of internet resources have been utilised by language professionals worldwide. These resources are email, world wide web, multimedia, databases, chat, electronic journals and online conferencing (Vi, 2005). “Using the Internet as a teaching tool to facilitate and enhance foreign language teaching and learning is no longer new” (Lee, 1998). That being said, in the language teaching profession the internet still proves to be a 1

challenging resource. The growth of internet resources and technologies has provoked some language professionals to explore advantages and disadvantages the...
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