T. C. ULUDAĞ UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATION ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING DEPARTMENT RESEARCH METHODS ING 2014 2008-2009 SPRING TERM RESEARCH PAPER SELİM CAN 060710601 2/Z COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING INTRODUCTION Scientific and technological developments began so quickly that they started a period called Information Age. Due to the changes in technology, individuals’ learning styles and the way to reach the information showed a significant transformation compared to traditional societies. In other words, these rapid changes in technology have affected teaching and learning processes deeply. As it is known that traditional methods are not always efficient and productive in education, new technology offers new tools for effective teaching and learning process. Computers are the principal technology support as a means for effective learning and teaching process. They provide significant promise for meeting the needs of the learners. They have taken their parts in our lives long since. The number of people learning to use computers are increasing day by day and new millenniums’ children are born and see computers after they see their mothers’ face. In developed countries computers are a main part of both business and education(Alyaz & Gürsoy, 2002, p.2). And in this paper educational aspect of computers will be explained. Primary functions of computers in education , advantages , disadvantages of computer aided instruction, teachers education in view of CALL, barriers slow down the usage of computers will be explained. FUNCTION In comparison with traditional methods through textbooks, lectures; computers provides many more techniques and activities effective for teaching and learning. For example, they present the simulations of complex natural events. They imitate the real world. They also process events as if they were representative of real. They present realistic school situations to administrators and teachers and ask them to solve daily problems of budget, adjustment of curriculum. With the aid of these simulations computers challenge the students to participate more actively(Bushnell & Allen, 1967, pp.60-61 ). “The technique of simulation is often used when practising a skill in its real context is too costly or dangerous to undertake. It provides an opportunity for experimentation, and builds realism and relevance into the learning situation”(Usun, 2003 , p.4). Usun also adds that “another commonly used technique is known as drill and practice.It provides opportunities for practice when mastery of a new skill or information is desired. It should be used after initial instruction and is used to provide motivating and engaging opportunities for practise after a skill or new information is taught”(2003). One of the most common, challenging technique used by computer assisted instruction is assesment. With a particular type of tests, students’ achievements and whether they have learned curriculum are determined. So according to results of assesment, appropriate objectives can be chosen.Then teachers are presented some kinds of teaching and learning units. The computer system is not only involves assesment, testing but also correlation and documentation. For instance, it can be difficult to keep track of the behavioural objectives of all students. It can exceed teacher’s capacity. But it is a trivial job for computers(Brudner, 1968, p. 974). Computers also provide new opportunities for instruction of the intellectualy and socially disadvantaged students. Their problem is motivation. These students can be discouraged by their teachers or peers. They seek approval from both of them. They also like to do what they want. They want to participate in situations which are related to their lives. So a particular kind of simulation which are called games can be suitable to solve this problem. These games can offer benefits to these disadvantaged students. For example, as games are simulations of their lives, they can see their own lives in these games. And these games enable cooperation thanks to the team play. They can have a therapeutic effect on students’ problematic areas. Then they can win their peers’ approval.(Bushnell & Allen, 1967, pp. 61-62-63). An important potential for CAI systems is to make instruction decentralized. Information can be transferred through data files from remote control resources into homes, faculties, libraries, language-lab services(Bushnell & Allen, 1967, p.67). One of the most assertive techniques used in CAI is problem solving. It helps students develop logical skills, solving problem, following directions and it is usually used to develop high order thinking skills(Usun, 2003, p.4). Finally,there are CALL activities appropriate to language classes such as program- controlled, learner-controlled activities. These activities are also called as magister and pedagogue. Magister activities control what the students learn. They take an instructor role. Pedagogue activities take the helper role. Students are responsible for their own learning(Higgins cited in Chapelle, 1990, p. 201). Additionally, there are also activities which emphasize the linguistic dimension. These are communicative and noncommunicative activities. Communicative activities focuses on the program. And lesson is predetermined. In noncommunicative activities students are in control. These focuses on the students(Underwood cited in Chapelle, 1990, p. 202). ADVANTAGES Like many technological tools, computers also bring some benefits with them. In language education, reading, listening, speaking, writing skills can be improved to a proficient level with these advances in computer technology.In this respect, some exercises can be solved after a listening passage. To develop reading skills some exercises such as fill in the blanks questions can be solved after a reading passage.Finding antonym or synonym of a word can be motivating for students and wrong answers can be corrected quickly. Computers also supplement the coursebooks with the aid of exercise programs and text programs. And with these text programs , computers undertake an important function. In this respect any changes made in the text can be corrected rapidly without spending time and energy. Furthermore we can cut or copy these texts and paste to anywhere we want.(Kartal, 2001). The role of CALL in education is not limited with these explained. Its contributions are so significant and numberless. The common advantages supplied by this method are as follows: It increases efficiency in education; it makes effectiveness easier in classroom. It makes educational instruction enjoyable and attractive. It motivates the students to the lesson by the help of sound-pictures and music. It makes it easier to repeat complicated problems, concepts and processes many times. It contributes to the student’s intelligence to develop. It gives the students concrete experiences similar to real life. It causes the students and researchers to reach rich information sources. Mistakes in texts written can be corrected easily, and some additions and omissions can be made easily too. It gives the students courage, ambition and excitement and in this way it makes development and success of students easier(Doğanay cited in Tosun , et.al, 2006, p. 2) Alyaz &Gürsoy also lists the advantages of CALL as a result of a study carried in private and government schools in Bursa. According to the analysis of study results; computers, Are inevitable in every field, including education, they are one of the Fundamentals of the new millenium, provide fruitful opportunuties to work, provide visual support, enable to reach knowledge fast and easy, have endless source of information, support democratic education, “partly” provide equal opportunities in education(because they are available to those who do not have financial restrictions), provide opportunities for individualized learning, enable efficient learning and teaching, enable the learner learn faster, provide opportunities for deeper understanding of a subject(2002, p.10). Providing opportunities for individualized instruction is one of the most important advantages of CALL in this list of Alyaz & Gürsoy. Individualization in CALL refers to the fact that computer gives opportunities students to work alone and at their own speed. Through the use of individualized instruction, students who lack the particular skills can obtain additional practise outside of the classroom so that teacher does not have to slow down the rest of the class. Individualization enables the teacher to carry on the interest of good students by presenting them with advanced materials( Chapelle & Jamieson,1986, p. 28). There are also three levels at which computers are used to individualize instruction. But for simple reasons of economics instruction can’t be individualized to a very deep extent in schools. Costs of providing this kind of information are a bit too great. Then one of the levels at which computers are used to individualize instruction is drill and practice systems. This system is supplementary to the curriculum taught by teacher. It relieves the teacher from burden and presents practices for all levels of students. In the drill and practice exercises, computers analyze and collect data that would be extremely difficult for a teacher. The most significant difference from traditional methods is that textbooks and materials in schools are prepared for a particular level of students . but in computer systems, exercises are designed according to various levels of difficulty. The other level is tutorial systems. This system is used to compensate for the main burden of teaching subjects. It replaces the interaction between teacher and student. The important point in tutorial system is that failure of culturally deprived children is avoided. The program avoids boring the clever children with repetitive exercises that he fully understands. The last level is dialogue systems. This system is computer programs that conduct dialogue between student and program. These programs recognize spoken language and they can answer more complex questions( Suppes cited in Bushnell & Allen, 1967). As a main advantage , individualized instruction helps the students solve his problems independently from teacher. So self direction helps a person live according to his goals, objectives and wishes( Brudner , 1968, p. 971). Another important opportunity CAI provides is that ınstructional programs of good quality and learning materials can be shared. As better instructional materials become available, sharing should become more widespread. It has an effect of reducing the cost of course preparation for the originators and sharing institutions on faculties(Ashby,1972,p.84) DISADVANTAGES Computer technology doesn’t come without costs . Types of expenses for implementing this technolgy into education are: “Capital cost of computer and network hardware and software, installation cost, including classroom and laboratory renovation,hardware and software upgrades,support personel for hardware and software installation,repair,maintenance, support personel and facilities for training and support for users/ instructers and students” (Tissue cited in Hashim, 2005, p. 2). Another drawback is resulted from the different utilization from institution to instution. Each institution is using the computer technology differently. Even institutions using the same media technology utilize it differently. There also considerable economic hindrances. There are significant differences between faculties with available technologies and faculties which use it rarely. And “ No allowances are made for decreases in certain costs as technology becomes more widely used”(Ashby, 1972, pp. 81-82). However, there are some concerns with the individualized instruction mentioned in the advantages. For example, self directed learning tends to keep students fairly dependent on the programs and in this respect, prevents them to solve problems autonomously. To solve this problem, programs should be developed to encourage self direction. And they should prepare students to solve problems independently and creatively by creating real life situations(Brudner, 1968, p. 971). Programs for teacher training, redefinition of teacher’s role in the classroom, preparation of proper behavioural objectives by programmers are another areas of concern(Brudner, 1968, p. 975). Ministry of education embarked on a Project of CAE in 1984. This Project found some negative aspects/ problems with the implementation of CAE. According to this Project, the major problem areas are:” the effective planning, the administration of CAEprojects, lack of enough financial sources, lack of adequate software and hardware, teacher training for CAE, the projects and experimental studies on the computer education and CAE(Usun,2006, p.4). TEACHER EDUCATION IN CALL Our survival depends on the ability to learn new things. But it depends on our ability to teach students how to learn these new things. And we no longer live in a world in which teacher’s role is only delivering the content to students. Old environment defined as classroom is replaced by global comlex independent systems that require creativity, imagination and flexibility. So teachers must be aware of the vital importance of CALL(Jacobsen, et.al, 2002, p. 364). We must not only teach technology to our students but also teach how to think with technology. However, While many school students and teachers are using the technology in their personal lives, they are not using computers to learn efficaciously subject areas in classrooms. So they are not infusing technology to their teaching and learning practices. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that computers are only available to students in computer laboratories. Using computers is depends on the convenience of timetable. After course hours, computer workstations are usually secured and locked down. Second observation is that tasks presented in CALL involve considerably low level of thinking. Third, there are a growing number of students who expect their school computers are old and suppose that their teachers’ technology knowledge is less than theirs and many claassroom teachers in teacher preparation program lack the ability to think extensively with technology. Third observation is that teachers lack the ability how to use technology for teaching and learning. They don’t know how to use techology in their teaching. Fourth observation is that preservice teachers don’t infuse technology into their own learning and teaching. The reasons for this are that computer courses are regarded as optional in preservice courses rather than crucial facilities to learn. And even if there are compulsory courses available, they emphasize software rather than infusion of technology to curriculum. Final concern is that many experienced teachers are leaving the profession. So beginning teachers can’t get so much support to develop new ways of teaching(Jacobsen, et. al , 2002 , pp.365,366,367). To integrate the technology into preservice teachers’ learning and teaching, the University of Calgary embarked on a course of action. This preparation program is Master of Teaching. With the aid of this program, university aimed to replace the conventional model of teaching. And this program offered two seminars which are field and Professional seminars in order to have the preservice students reflect on themselves. This program prepared energetic, creative teachers who are capable of solving problems. This program co-taught preservice teachers about the integration of technology into their learning and teaching(Jacobsen, et.al, 2002, pp. 368-369). Seminar was not about technology;but also it was about thinking with technology. In seminar it is taught that students must move from traditional classrooms to computer laboratories. Students were required to publish a web based portfolio that contain all of their coursework. And they have prepared a personal web site for their purposes. They have complained so much for this. Because new culture of technology was new for them. It seemed overwhelming. Then they are required to publish responses to the website they designed themselves.( Jacobsen, et. al, 2002, p. 371). At first initial sites were a little plain. But preservice teachers were proud and they were excited and deligted with learning a new skill. They rushed to see their own sites on the web. Thus publishing a web site became integral part of their thinking (Jacobsen, et.al, 2002,p. 373). Another requirement the seminar focused is that students must complete some kind of tasks to be able to gain experience in technology. These tasks are explained in seminar. Tasks were taken from Alberta Learning ICT Assesment Toolkit, from World Wide Web(WWW) and from teacher resources. Another way of understanding the series of issues that surround technology integration is to dig in and begin working with the kinds of tasks one might actually ask a student to perform. The task requirement provided a series of opportunities for preservice teachers to learn how to form and assess challenging and authentic tasks.(Jacobsen, et. al, 2002, p.375). “ A major requirement of the fourth semester in the MT program is that students engage in an inquiry project that can be a field oriented research project at a school or community work place site that integrates theory and practice(Jacobsen,et.al,2002, p.376).” To cope with the effects of computers on teachers’ role, a special CALLmethodology training can be taken as a help. And there are also some precautions to slower the effect. For instance; teacher sometimes can be threatened when they see hardware and software systems are different from they familiar with. So in this situation we must familiarize teachers with these systems. We must help them know how to start machine, to use keyboard and system. Apart from this we must teach them: “ how to teach together with computer, how to manipulate the available software and most importantly, how to handle students in this type of classes.”. Another factors that should be taken into consideration are: “ number of students ,sex , race, student’s attitude, student’s aptitute, the number of computers, the number of students, the type of software available, the type of hardware used(e.g. Networks versus stand-alones), the laboratory set-up, the kind of teaching materials available, the size of the class/ laboratory”. Another effect is that teaching practise also help teachers gain experience of controlling situations specific to CALL classes. Some teachers argue that CALL would only rob their precious hours. Because there is a need to finish the syllabus in time. But integration of CALL into curriculum is solely limited by teacher’s lack of creativity. But teachers can develop materials that are relevant to their courses with the aid of computerr(Daud,1992,pp.75, 76, 77) BARRIERS SLOW DOWN THE USAGE OF CALL Besides the factors contributes the growth of CALL, there are also some factors inhibit teachers to practice the CALL. With the study of Alyaz & Gürsoy which is investigated in private and government schools in Bursa, some barriers that can be hinder teachers are found. These are : High cost of hardware(65%), fast development in technology(55%), high cost of software(50%), not being aware of the opportunities that computers provide (50%), high cost of providing technical staff(35%), bureaucracy(35%), high cost of providing in-service training for teachers and teaching students the basic skills for using computers (25%), negative attitudes of administrators, teachers, students, and/or parents towards using computers in education(15%), the difficulty in providing software(10%), cultural factors(10%) (2002, p. 9). As seen from the list, the most important barriers are owing to the financial reasons. As the technology develops fast, it may be difficult to catch up with the new softwares and it may be difficult for schools to buy new computers and to pay the salary of additional staff who is responsible for taking care of technical problems of computers( Alyaz & Gürsoy, 2002, p.9). Financial barriers are one of the most frequently discussed barriers in the literature by language education practitioners. The cost of hardware, software, taking care (particular of the most advanced equipment), and extent to some staff development(Lee,2000, para.14) But it is recommended that the cost of computer will be so cheap that there will be enough computers in most schools and homes in the future( Hooper cited in Lee,2000, para. 14). Bureaucracy also constitutes an important barrier to the implementation of computer to education. It can take months to set up computers even if they are provided by ministry of education( Alyaz & Gürsoy, 2002, p. 10). CONCLUSION Scientific and technological developments brought both their benefits and harms with them. With the coming Information age, computers replaced the role of traditional methods. Individuals’ learning styles and strategies showed a significant transformation. And traditional educational tools were replaced by computers. So computers have brought deep changes in education , especially in language education. In this paper computers’ implementations to language education is explained and its’ advantages, disadvantages, functions, teachers’ infusion of technology to their teaching and lastly some barriers are explained in detail. As a suggestion for further research, computers’ direct and indirect effects on computers should be correctly understood. Duties of students, teachers, administrators, parents, and schools in view of CALL education must be emphasized. 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