Computer Assisted Language Learning

Jungae Lee

April 03, 2002

Dr. Wu ESLM 587

What is CALL? Computer Assisted Language Learning may be defined as the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning.



  • CAI - Computer Assisted Instruction suggests only one role of the computer, exemplified

in drill-and -practice and tutorial materials and computer as a tutor.

  • CALL - a general term to cover all roles of computer in language learning and computer as

a tool, tutor.

Advantages of CALL environments :

1. Learners can have opportunities to interact and negotiate meaning.

- supplementing software with external document.

- using software with built-in interactivity.

- teaching learners with computer networks for a communication with others

inside and outside the classroom.


2. Learners can be involved in authentic tasks with authentic audiences.

- using E-mail.

- involving in electronic discussion.

- finding keypals.

- participating in on-line projects on the World Wide Web.


3. Learners autonomy can be supported.

- authorable software - programs that can be customized by adding data to fit specific

learners' needs.

- authoring software - tools within the software to make it of what learner want it to.


4. Learners can be exposed to and encouraged to produce varied and creative language.

- using multimedia ( texts, pictures, graphics,animation, video,sound as well as scrolled,

highlightened texts)

focus on Input - listening ,vocabulary, reading hollistically.

focus on Output - writing, conversation.


5. Language teachers can address learners' various learning styles.



CALL Activities:

receptive activities

Reading electronic documents.

Using search engines and downloading files.

Listening on-line.

Receiving simulcasts.

Lurking on a list.

Active activities

Producing formulaic, short writings.

Producing short answers on electronic quizzes.

Commentating on other students' writing.

Playing simulation games on-line.

Telephoning in to satellite broadcasts.

Creating a World Wide Web page.

Interactive activites

Holding asynchronous text-based conversations.

Holding synchronous text-based conversations.

Participating in audio exchanges.


Talking a distance-learning courses.


Miky Levy. (1997), Computer-Assisted Language Learning : Context and Conceptualization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Joy Egbert, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith. (1999), CALL Environment : Research, Practice, and Critical Issues. Alexandria, VA : TESOL.