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The connection between computers and language is nothing new. We
started seeing it in popular culture back in the 60� s with Star Trek� s
communicators. The idea of a universal instant translator of any
language into any other language is an extremely appealing problem to
techno-linguists. We� re still nowhere near to achieving that dream
despite great strides that have been made with automatic translation
services online.
There is no fear of losing the language classroom ...



Tags: CALL, Computer, language learning, esl, efl, learn english, language software,
pronunciation




The connection between computers and language is nothing new. We started seeing it
in popular culture back in the 60� s with Star Trek� s communicators. The idea of a
universal instant translator of any language into any other language is an extremely
appealing problem to techno-linguists. We� re still nowhere near to achieving that
dream despite great strides that have been made with automatic translation services
online.
There is no fear of losing the language classroom any time soon. More than any time in
the last 100 years, students are flocking to ESL and EFL classrooms around the world.
And more than ever, technology is becoming a core part of these classrooms. We are
now entering a time when both students and teachers are � tech savvy� and computers
and related technologies have been part of their daily life from the start.
They have a familiarity and comfort level with technology that people born say before
1980 or so just don� t have. As language students' lives become increasingly computer
based, the importance of integrating computers with language learning is growing. Not
only do students expect it, but it is also how many are most comfortable learning (for
better or worse).
Sadly, and maybe this is only for those of us who are slightly older, the growing
dependence on technology has resulted in a disturbing lack of familiarity and comfort
with traditional information sources - like books, libraries, and frighteningly person-to-
person communication.
So what should language teachers do? Should you integrate computers into your
language classes and lessons? Well that will always depend on what you are trying to
accomplish and why. By no means do you need to go 100% digital � however to
completely ignore the importance of technology in language learning would be a major
mistake in my estimation.
I know what I do in the classes I teach. I make use of computers in my classes when I
see an overall benefit, and I don't when I can't see the benefit. What will you do? Well,
that depends on you and your personal inclinations.
For now, keep in mind that while CALL, or computer assisted language learning, has
come a long way in the last 15 years or so, the word � assisted� is, and I think should
always remain, central in the relationship between computers and language learning.

				
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