Computer-Assisted Language Learning for Supporting English Classes
Кобзева Н. А. Computer-Assisted Language Learning for Supporting English Classes // Молодой ученый. 2011. №5. Т.2. С. 144-146.
Abstract: This article provides a brief overview of how CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) within ICT (Information and Communication Technology) are being used for language teaching and aims to focus not on a technical description, but rather on the pedagogical questions that teachers have considered in using ICT to develop students’ communicative competence, to stimulate students' creativity and critical thinking
Key words: behavioristic, communicative, integrative Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Professional activity in modern society makes new demands on the modern engineers’ professional competencies. Nowadays, English Foreign Language (EFL) is among of the top priorities in engineering education. In order to be required as professional engineers in a globalized multicultural world, graduates of polytechnic universities need to acquire EFL knowledge. Most of specialists recognized it as the passport for better professional career, better pay, advanced knowledge and cultural awareness because most of resource books, Internet resources, business correspondence, documents are written and printed in English. Furthermore, English is the dominant language for business writing correspondence with the entire world.
Thus, the higher education environment urgently requires developing new strategies that are supported by ICT. These strategies goal at preparing a new generation of qualified engineers to the modern society needs. The ICT usage as an effective teaching tool has contributed to raise the quality and efficiency of academic EFL Classes in Technical University.
As a result, the university must not only provide forming EFL competences in the educational process but at the same time must encompass the continuous EFL competences in the educational development with help of ICT usage as a teaching /learning device.
So as to prepare high technology engineers, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) defines up-to-date innovations in the field of the content of engineering education, chooses ICT technologies of educational activities, improves international cooperation with help of Intensive EFL programs. Moreover, eight educational programs of specialist training have been worked out and implemented in English. The programs are based on Educational policies and initiatives of the European Union in its political and educational context allow the University graduate to have profound knowledge of English .
Realizing the mentioned objectives concerning EFL training, the Chair of English Language and Technical Communication of TPU tends to implement those contemporary and practically significant skills, namely, providing English language praxis closely related to future professional activities which, undoubtedly, assist professional EFL communicative forming during the process of getting higher engineering education. At a pragmatic level, curriculum developers and TPU’s language teachers are now faced with the methodological question of how to integrate ICT into EFL learning process to achieve maximum effect and results.
One the helpful strategy to encourage EFL acquisition may be using CALL as an effective approach. Teachers should also consider the advantages of CALL: the ability to capture students' attention; lower students' stress; “a powerful self-access facility .
Therefore, it may be challenging for teachers to add ICT in class activities in order to develop students' target language proficiency and provide motivation. These are the most significant issues that are forcing the higher education sector to develop new strategies supported by ICT.
ICT can contribute in several ways to the EFL learning process:
- it can provide instructional content in ways that better stimulate students’ motivation;
- it can ensure the independence of education from time and place; and
- it can be used to assure collaborative learning.
- it can contribute to better prepare students to the new needs and challenges of the knowledge society .
The CALL suggests that the computer can serve a variety of uses for language teaching. It can be a tutor which offers language drills or skill practice; a stimulus for interaction; a tool for writing and research, a source of limitless authentic materials
The current philosophy of CALL based on student-centered materials that allow learners to work on their own. CALL is essentially a tool that helps teachers to facilitate the language learning process. The design of CALL materials generally takes into consideration principles of language pedagogy and methodology, which may be derived from different learning theories (e.g. behaviourist, cognitive, constructivist) and second language learning theories such as Stephen Krashen’s hypothesis .
In this study we intend to give a brief review of the application of CALL programmers for both teaching language aspects and learning EFL. The use of the CALL and ICT does not constitute a method, it is a facility in which a variety of methods approaches, and pedagogical ideas may be implemented.
In behavioristic CALL the computer is used as a vehicle for delivering instructional materials to the learners. Computer is ideal for carrying out repeated drills, since the machine does not get bored with presenting the same material and since it can provide immediate non-judgmental feedback. Communicative CALL focuses more on using the target language exclusively and creates an environment in which using the target language feels natural, both on and off the screen. Integrative CALL is based on two important technological developments: multimedia computers and the Internet. Multimedia technology allows a variety of media (text, graphics, sound, animation, and video) to be accessed on a single machine. Multimedia technology as it currently exists thus only partially contributes to integrative CALL. Using multimedia may involve an integration of skills (e.g., listening with reading), but it too seldom involves a more important type of integration-integrating meaningful and authentic communication into all aspects of the language learning curriculum. Fortunately, though, another technological breakthrough is helping make that possible - electronic communication and the
Internet. The Internet. Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is probably the single computer application to date with the greatest impact on language teaching. This communication can be asynchronous through tools such as electronic mail (e-mail), which allows each participant to compose messages at their time and pace, or in can be synchronous. Computer-mediated communication allows users to share not only brief messages, but also lengthy documents-thus facilitating collaborative writing. Using the World Wide Web, students can search through millions of files around the world within minutes .
Behavioristic, communicative, integrative CALL represent computer as a tutor to form linguistic competence:
Grammar. CALL Programmes designed for teaching grammar include drill and practice on a single topic and programmes for test preparation. Pronunciation. Pronunciation programmers generally allow students to record and playback their own voice and compare it to a model. Vocabulary. This category includes drill and practice programs, multimedia tutorials, and games. Listening. This category includes programmers which are specifically designed to promote second-language listening. Reading. This category includes reading programmers designed for English learners. Text reconstruction programmers allow students to manipulate letters, words, sentences, or paragraphs in order to put texts together. They can be used to support reading, writing, or discussion activities. Popular examples include, Gapmaster, Super Cloze, Eclipse Text Tanglers, and Double Up.Writing. Most software for supporting writing falls under the Computer as Tool category. Exceptions include tutorials such as Sentence Combining, SentenceMaker, and Typing Tutor .
The computer as strong incentive category includes software which is used not so much as a tutorial in itself but to generate analysis, critical thinking, discussion and writing. The perspectives of CALL development are in creating technologies for the educational environment. But those who apply computer technology to pedagogy will undoubtedly find ways to enrich their educational programmer and the learning opportunities of their students.
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