Advantages of CALL

Advantages of CALL
[edit] Motivation

Generally speaking, the use of technology inside or outside the classroom tends to make the class more interesting. However, certain design issues affect just how interesting the particular tool creates motivation. [4] One way a program or activity can promote motivation in students is by personalizing information, for example by integrating the student’s name or familiar contexts as part of the program or task. Others include having animate objects on the screen, providing practice activities that incorporate challenges and curiosity and providing a context (real-world or fantasy) that is not directly language-oriented.

For example, a study comparing students who used “CornerStone” (a language arts development program) showed a significant increase in learning (compared to students not using the program) between two classes of English-immersion middle-school students in language arts. This is because CornerStone incorporate personalized information and challenging and imaginative exercises in a fantasy context. [13] Also, using a variety of multimedia components in one program or course has been shown to increase student interest and motivation. [4]

One quantifiable benefit to increased motivation is that students tend to spend more time on tasks when on the computer. More time is frequently cited as a factor in achievement. [4]
[edit] Adapting learning to the student

Computers can give a new role to teaching materials. Without computers, students cannot really influence the linear progression of the class content but computers can adapt to the student. [3] Adapting to the student usually means that the student controls the pace of the learning but also means that students can make choices in what and how to learn, skipping unnecessary items or doing remedial work on difficult concepts. Such control makes students feel more competent in their learning. [13] Students tend to prefer exercises where they have control over content, such as branching stories, adventures, puzzles or logic problems. With these, the computer has the role of providing attractive context for the use of language rather than directly providing the language the student needs. [3]
[edit] Authenticity

“Authenticity” in language learning means the opportunity to interact in one or more of the four skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) by using or producing texts meant for an audience in the target language, not the classroom. With real communication acts, rather than teacher-contrived ones, students feel empowered and less afraid to contact others. Students believe they learn faster and better with computer-mediated communication. [3] Also, students learn more about culture in such an environment. [4] In networked computer environments, students have a conscious feeling of being members of a real community. In situations where all are learners of a foreign language, there is also a feeling of equality. In these situations students feel less stressed and more confident in a language learning situation, in part because surface errors do not matter so much. This works best with synchronous CMC (e.g. chats) as there is immediate feedback but email exchanges have been shown to provide most of the same benefits in motivation and student affect. [3]
[edit] Critical thinking skills

Use of computer technology in classrooms is generally reported to improve self-concept and mastery of basic skills, more student-centered learning and engagement in the learning process, more active processing resulting in higher-order thinking skills and better recall, gain confidence in directing their own learning. This is true for both language and non-language classrooms. [4]

~ by jeanehistoria on December 29, 2009.

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