January 31, 2009 aminudin241072
THE EFFECT OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING (CALL) ON ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (EFL) SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTITUDE
Submitted to fulfill the FINAL TEST of ICT in LANGUAGE TEACHING
By: Aminudin / 0808066002
Lecturer: Hartoyo, MA., Ph.D
Computer – Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is a technique for using technology in the field of language learning. Many studies worldwide have been conducted to investigate the developing self – assess computer – Assisted Language Learning (CALL). CALL is a form of computer – based accelerated learning which carries two important features: bi-directional learning and individualized learning. It is not a method. CALL material are tools for learning. The focus of CALL is learning, and not teaching. CALL materials are used in teaching to facilitate the language learning process. It is a student-centered accelerated learning material, which promotes self-paced accelerated learning.
Computers have been used for language teaching ever since the 1960s. Up to recent period computers as assisted for language learning can be divided into three main stages: Behaviorist CALL, Communicative CALL, and Integrated CALL. Each stage corresponds to a certain level of technology and certain pedagogical theories. The reasons for using Computer-assisted Language Learning include: (a) experiential learning (b) motivation, (c) enhance student achievement, (d) authentic materials for study, (e) greater interaction, (f), individualization, (g) independence from a single source of information, and (h) global understanding.
Meanwhile the barriers inhibiting the practice of Computer-assisted Language Learning can be classified in the following common categories: (a) financial barriers, (b) availability of computer hardware and software, (c) technical and theoretical knowledge, and (d) acceptance of the technology.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) on English as a foreign language (EFL) to students’ achievement and their attitude toward CALL use. What are the advantages and disadvantages of it.
3. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The topic to be discussed in this paper is “The Effect of CALL on students’ achievement of English as a foreign language (EFL) and their attitude toward CALL use”. For many years, foreign language teachers have used the computer to provide supplemental exercises. Recently, doe to technology advancement, teachers started to consider the use of computers as an essential part of daily foreign language teaching and learning. Technology has the potential to play a major role in foreign language teaching and learning. A lot of attention has been paid to the use of CALL in foreign languages teaching and learning. In other words, CALL gained considerable attention from different entities including researchers and writers. Peterson (1998) stated that CALL has developed from small beginnings into a major element in many university language programs in Japan. The number of individual educators incorporating CALL materials into their classes has increased markedly. This increase of interest in CALL, and educational technology in general, has also been manifested in the increase in the number of CALL facilities created within universities and schools.
In the year 1997, The computer Assisted Language Learning Journal devoted a special issue, “The virtual learning environment,” reviewed by Crosby (1997) wrote Computer Assisted Language Learning: Context and Conceptualization, a discussion of CALL including a historical review of CALL projects from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Attitude towards CALL and other types of technology have been investigated in most cases, positive attitudes towards CALL were documented. For example, Escalada & Zollman (1997) demonstrated in their study, the effects on student learning and attitudes of using interactive digital video in the physics classroom, showing that interactive video materials were appropriate for the activity-based effectiveness of a multimedia based English language learning program at a Hong Kong university. Results demonstrated positive attitudinal changes for the multimedia enhanced mode of learning. Similarly, Vrtacnik et al. (2000) stated that most of the studies reported about higher achievements and better attitudes towards science and computers when computer-based approaches were introduced in the classroom.
More recently, Ayres (2002) examined students’ attitudes towards the use of CALL and reported that the subjects’ attitudes towards English Learning increased significantly. The study also revealed that there was a link between pupils’ attitudes and their level of computer literacy, language level and age.
Likewise, Chikamatsu (2003) pointed out that CALL gains popularity and is becoming standard in foreign language classrooms. The researcher examined the effects of computers on writing efficiency and quality among intermediate learners of Japanese. One of the findings was that accuracy rates and number of kanji characters used were significantly different, indicating that learners benefited from computer writing.
Computer is a more interactive aid compared with others, such as tape recorder, film projectors, and such common equipment – marker and white board. Hartoyo ( 2005, p. 12 ) quotes Nelson, et al ( 1976 ) states that the unique property of the computer as a medium for education is its ability to interact with the student.` The computer can be a partner for the learner to play educational games with, or, less glamorously. It can be used to generate example, to illustrate certain operations, or to stimulate conversation.( Hartoyo, 2005 ). In addition to above statement, Hartoyo ( 2005, p. 22 ) quotes Ahmad, et al, (1985 ) said : It may communicate with the student visually by displaying text, graphics ( diagrams, graph, line drawings ) or video images on screen; it may also present sound, in the form of speech, music or other audio output.
From previous research, it can be concluded that the use of CALL is very beneficial for language learning and students’
attitudes toward CALL was positive, particularly if CALL applications were well-designed and used. For example, CALL effectiveness and students positive attitudes towards
it was documented in many research studies.
Use of CALL for the four skills
A number of studies have been done concerning how the use of CALL affects to the development of language learners’ four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Most report significant gains in reading and listening and most CALL programs are geared toward these receptive skills because of the current state of computer technology. However, most reading and listening software is based on drills. Gains in writing skills have not been as impressive as computers cannot assess this well.
However, using current CALL technology, even with it current limitations, for the development of speaking abilities has gained much attention. There has been some success in using CALL, in particular computer-mediated communication, to help speaking skills closely linked to “communicative competence” (ability to engage in meaningful conversation in the target language ) and provide controlled interactive speaking practice outside the classroom. Using chat has been shown to help students routines certain often-used expressions to promote the development of automatic structure that help develop speaking skills. This is true even if the chat is purely textual. The use of video conference give not only immediacy when communicating with a real person but also visual cues, such a facial expressions, making such communication more authentic.
However, when it comes to using the computer not as medium of communication (with other people) but as something to interact with verbally in a direct manner, the current computer technology’s limitations are their clearest. Right now, there are two fairly successful applications of automatic speech recognition or speech processing technology where the computer “understands” the spoken words of the learners. The fist is pronunciation training. Learners tread sentences on the screen and the computer gives feed back as to the accuracy of the utterance, usually in the form of visual sound waves. The second is software where the learner speak commands for the computer to do /. However, speakers in these programs are limited to predetermined texts so that the computer will “understand” them.
Advantages of CALL
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. One way 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 Corner Stone incorporate personalized information and challenging and imaginative exercises in a fantasy context. Also, using a variety of multimedia components in one program or course has been shown to increase student interest and motivation. On a quantifiable benefit to increased motivation is that students tend to spend more time on task when on the computer. More time is frequently cited a factor in achievement.
Adapting learning to the student
“Authenticity” in language learning means the opportunity to interact in one of 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. Student believe they learn faster and better with computer –mediated communication. Also, students learn more about culture in such an environment. In networked computer environments, students have a conscious feeling of being members of community. In situations where all are learners of a foreign language there is also a feeling of equality. In these situations students feel less stress and more confident in a language learning situation, in part because surface errors do not matter so much.
Critical thinking skills for teacher and students
Using 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 classroom. Computer (CALL) can help the teacher and the student do the task faster in the proper condition. For example when a teacher is going to make a quiz or task which is going to be given to the students, he is only write and print it in a few minute in well printed. Also when the student is going to make an assignment for his students, he is only open the computer and write it. After that it could be saved in computer when the teacher will check the task by computer or printed it. Beside that the users teacher and students may also arrange the text or the job as they want with the advantages of any setting which are available on the computer. Computer (CALL) encourages the students to develop a non sequential reading habit, which it is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional, printed material. It allows users to make their own decisions to develop a selective and critical reading habit which enables them to scan a large amount of information (topic) of their interest.
Freedom based on the aim of achievement
Computer (CALL) offers freedom for students to choose any topic of information available within the package. The table of contents denotes all topics available which can be selected by simply clicking on the box labeled for a particular topic. Tutorial package in CALL can also be used in pairs, it spurs the students to be able to collaborate very usefully in problem solving which in itself is considered to be a good skill to acquire, as it can be implemented in a wide range of different contexts. CALL’s flexibility of time allows the students to determine what particular topics and how long he wants to learn. Hence, students who miss the class because of some reasons, for instance illness., still have an opportunity to learn the particular topic taught in the classroom as far as the topic is available in the CALL program.
Problem and criticisms f CALL instruction
The impact of CALL in foreign language education has been modest. Several reasons can be attributed to this.
The first is the limitations of the technology, both in its ability and availability. First of all, there is the problem with cost and the simple availability of technological resources such as the internet (either non-existent as can be the case in many developing countries or lack of bandwidth, as can be the case just about anywhere. However, the limitations that current computer technology has can be problematic as well. While computer technology has improved greatly in the last three decades. Demand placed on CALL have grown even more so. One major goal is to have computers with which student can have true, human like interaction. Especially for speaking practice : however, the technology is far from that point. Not to mention that if the computer cannot evaluate a learner’s speech exactly, it is almost no use at all.
However, most of the problems that appear in the literature on CALL have more to do with teacher expectations and apprehensions about what computers can do for the language learner and teacher. Teachers and administrators tend to either think computers are worthless or even harmful, or can do far more than they are really capable of.
Reluctance on part of teachers can come from lack of understanding and even fear of technology. Often CALL is not implemented unless it is required even if training is offered to teachers. One reason for this is that from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Computer technology was limited mostly for the sciences, creating a real and psychological distance for language teaching. Language teachers can be more comfortable with textbooks because it is what they are used do, and there is the idea that the use of computers threatens traditional literacy skills since such are heavily tied to books. These stem in part because there is a significant generation gap between teachers ( many of whom did not grow up with computers ) and students ( who did grow up with them ).
Also, teachers may resist because CALL activities can be more difficult to evaluate than more traditional exercises. For example, most Mexican teachers feel strongly that a completed fill in textbook “proves” learning. While students seem may be motivated by exercises like branching stories, adventures, puzzles or logic, these activities provide little in the way of systematic evaluation of progress.
Even teachers who may otherwise see benefits to CAAL may be put off by the time and effort needed to implement it well. However “seductive” the power of computing systems may be. Like with the introduction of the audio language lab in the 1960’s, those who simply expect results by purchasing expensive equipment are likely to be disappointed. To begin with, there are the simple matters of sorting through the numerous resources that exist and getting students ready to use computer resources. With internet sites alone, it can be very difficult to know where to begin, and if students are unfamiliar with the resource to be used, the teacher must take to teach it. Also, there is a lack of unified theoretical framework for designing and evaluating CALL systems as well as absence of conclusive empirical evidence for the pedagogical benefits of computers in language. Most teachers lack the time or training to create CALL based assignments, leading to reliance on commercially published sources, whether such are pedagogically sound or not.
However, the most crucial factor that can lead to the failure of CALL, r the use of any technology in language education is not the failure of the technology’s flexibility. Graham Davies states that too often, technology is seen as a panacea, especially by administrators, and the human component necessary to make it beneficial is ignored. Under these circumstances, he argues, “ it is probably better o dispense with technology altogether “.
Rody Klein, Clint Rogers and Zhang Young (2006) studying the adoption of learning technologies in Chinese schools and colleges have also pointed out that spread of video games on electronic devices, including computers, dictionaries and mobile phones, is feared in most Chinese institutions. And yet every classroom is very well equipped with a desk imbedded computer. Internet connection, microphone, video projector and remote controlled screen to be used by the teacher for multimedia presentations. Very often the leaders prefer to ban completely Learning Technologies for students at the dismay of many foreign ESL and other languages in developing countries, it would be also crucial to teach students how to learn by themselves and develop the capacity to practice self evaluation and enhance intrinsic motivation. Tests and quizzes should be designed accordingly to encourage and enhance students autonomous practice. Teachers using CALL should be computer literate and trained continuously. Ideally each Foreign Language Department using CALL should hire an experienced Computer scientist who could assist teachers. That expert should demonstrate dual expertise both in Education and Learning Technologies.
Computer is a tool or medium to access the sources of knowledge from the wide world. It means that we can get many kind of information and knowledge from computer. As students that want to improve their knowledge and information are suggested to use computer. There are some knowledge that can get from the computer such as; art, science, technology, music, information, entertainment, game, quiz, even the students can communicate with other people in a long distance by using internet facilitation on computer.
Computer is flexible to anyone to study for. When the students can not come to the class because of illness or something, it is no problem is nothing for studying by computer. they are still able to study if the computer is available. Or the students can come any time, and spend as long as is needed to gain full benefit from the material. It is supported by Hiltz (1994:10) that students may participate at any time of the day or night that they have the time and the inclination. Opportunities for feedback from the instructor and interaction with other students are not limited to a few fixed times per week.
Computer can give encouragement and motivation to the students for learning. Hope, et al, (1984) claim that a well designed foreign language lesson on the computer can motivate students. This is due to the computer’s ability to present material in more diverse ways than either a book or video does. Computer is also has potential to develop the skill of communication in the second language. Ahmad, et al (1985:4) argued that computers can offer interactive learning. This implies that it is possible to conduct a two-way learning session, both the student and computer may interact with each other. This makes the computer power interaction than a programmed textbook. Besides that computer can give feedback in learning because it can give responds and the correct answers. Meanwhile when the students can’t answer the questions correctly, the computer will give a sign or respond directly. And the computer will give a chance to re answer the question.
Computer is suitable for the era of development of information and technology. Computer is one of the product of the development technology. It offers the students to taste and to use the modern tool. It is already a custom for every student is supposed to be able to operate the computer. Because of that when the student are not familiar with the computer they will be left behind. The last but not the least, it is easy to operate the computer as long as the students can follow the right procedure which is lead them to utilize it. The procedure is made as simply as possible in order the students can utilize the computer easily. When the students get difficulties to operate any program in learning the language, they can open the guide book to solve the problem.
To operate the computer needs electricity. It will cause the problems to the remote area which has no electricity. It may happen in the developing country or in suburb area whose no electricity. That’s why most of the students in the suburb which has no electricity is less of knowing the advantages in the usage of computer in educational field.
Computer can not be brought to any places the students like. They can’t enjoy learning in certain places in any kind of the situation. For example when they want to study while laying down on the bed, or on the bus because they can’t bring computer or risky to operate the computer there. Even more when the students want to study while doing something in bed, walking, or standing in line while waiting for the turn. It is not like a note book which can be brought to any places that we want because it is small enough to carry around and study wherever and whenever students wish, on a train, on a bus, at home, in the middle of the night, or in a dentist’s waiting room (Anzel et al, 1992)
Furthermore, at current time a part of students do not have a computer set at home; therefore, they just used computers available in their schools in which the opening hours are very restricted. Of course with this kind of condition the target language which is learnt meets the hindrance.
Besides that, CALL is costly enough for the programmers or teachers. A lot of funds have to be provided to buy some equipments, design programs, and for its maintenance. The school with limited budget will find some obstacles in funding the CALL program. To create a program of CALL must have at least forty computers for one class capacity. Of course, lots of money needed for building computer laboratory. A lot of money is also needed to train teachers, especially English teachers, since there are only a few of English teachers who can operate computers as well as its new software.
Computer (CALL) can help the teacher and the student do the task faster in the proper condition. For example when a teacher is going to make a quiz or task which is going to be given to the students, he is only write and print it in a few minute in well printed. Also when the student is going to make an assignment for his students, he is only open the computer and write it. After that it could be saved in computer when the teacher will check the task by computer or printed it. Beside that the users teacher and students may also arrange the text or the job as they want with the advantages of any setting which are available on the computer.
Computer (CALL) encourages the students to develop a non sequential reading habit, which it is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional, printed material. (Ansel, et al, 1992). It allows users to make their own decisions to develop a selective and critical reading habit which enabl4es them to scan a large amount of information (topic) of their interest.
Computer (CALL) offers freedom for students to choose any topic of information available within the package. The table of contents denotes all topics available which can be selected by simply clicking on the box labeled for a particular topic.
Tutorial package in CALL can also be used in pairs, it spurs the students to be able to collaborate very usefully in problem solving which in itself is considered to be a good skill to acquire, as it can be implemented in a wide range of different contexts.
Computer is a more interactive aid compared with others, such as tape recorder, film projectors, and such common equipment – marker and white board. Books and recording can tell a student what the rules are and what the right solutions are, but they cannot analyze the specific mistakes the student has made and react in a manner which leads him not only correct solution. Computer is an interactive instruction technique whereby a computer is used to present the instructional material and monitor the learning that take place. By using computer, students and computer can interact each other, and in which the student are given a freedom to choose any topic of information and even, to become a troubles – shooter of their own problems. Being involve in the process of distance education also means for students that they must be active all the time , they forced to do the exercises, comment certain ideas, everybody can and must take his turn, there no bell ringing to end the lesson, time does not run out for written , discussion and others. As an assertive technology, a handicapped individual might use to communicate verbally. Despite the fact that an individual may not be able to speak or write, they can still communicate with the general public and in traditional classroom setting with a computer system that speaks at the touch of a bottom. Without this availability of this kind of technology in the classroom, many physically disabled individuals would not be able to be part of a traditional classroom environment. Beside that teachers can have their students learn by exploring web tasks online.
Computer activities which involve rebuilding or rearranging texts have proved their value, not to mention the act of reading the instructions that are included in a CD game so that players know what to do in order to be able to play effectively. And even more effective intensive reading in the computer can be when the texts that students face are messages sent by the characters of an interactive computer program. The enormous amount of specific software that has been created for learning English includes the possibility of teaching and training the skill of speaking and listening. The problem is that, rather then being truly interactive, the activities designed for improving listening and speaking are mainly based on drills. Thus, learners have the possibility of enacting dialogues – generally of the question-answer type with characters belonging to the program, but these are indeed closed dialogues; that is, learners cannot ask or answer whatever they want, but they have to limit themselves to predetermined texts. Nevertheless, despite the lack of true/real interaction, this experience has been proved to be highly motivating, since many of the graphic environments that the programs offer turn out to be quite realistic.
Writing an essay on paper has not the same attractiveness for them than writing it with a word processor. To this, we have to add the advantages that the word processors attach to writing task. First of all, mistakes can be corrected much more easily. On the other hand, students do not have to give much importance to the order in which they write their ideas, since they can easily change text order, and thus rearrange ideas, as many times as they want. Beside the grammar and spelling correction devices that word processors incorporate can be active whenever teachers consider necessary. This way, students are made aware of the mistakes or errors they have made, and have the possibility of either checking or trying to guess the correct option. With Web-based instruction, they can work at home, at school, or anywhere there is a computer which internet connection used with a distance learning . It allows students with handicaps or learning disabilities the opportunity to learn in a less restrictive environment. Also students who enroll in courses via computer, including web-based which benefit them in many aspect of their life. Computer is programmed so that it adapts to student’s individual needs. It acquires information about the students current knowledge of a subject and his/her goals in learning the subject and then creates a user profile based on his knowledge. It can adjust itself to the individual student. Web-based instruction is unique in that students and/ or instructors can communicate with each other anywhere in the world within second via internet. There are specific activities of distance learning (conferencing, chatting, on line task) that can make the ordinary classes more interesting or give students the opportunity to learn and practice in a different way. Perhaps teacher who are involved in distance education change in ordinary classes a bit ; become tutors, don’t teach so much and explain everything, but guide the students to find the rules and explanation themselves. Besides allowing students and teachers more flexibility as far as time and place are concerned, there are other advantages off distance education when using computers, and internet tools. A great amount of information can be stored , updated, multiplied, transferred very quickly. On the other hand there is also disadvantage teaching English using computer as a teaching aid.
The disadvantage of utilizing computer as teaching aid in teaching English is the need to own or have access to a computer with the necessary RAM and operating system, physical problems such as carpal-tunnel syndrome and eye disorders ( caused by sitting in front of the computer screen for long periods of time without blinking ), prohibitive cost of education software, and the lack of human interaction in the learning process.
5. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION
Using computer in language learning is effective to encourage and develop students’ motivation toward the target language. It has shown by the previous experts or by projects of researches in some countries. It is supported by Thierry (1996) that there is indeed and advantaged in using computers in instruction. The same result also supported by Hartoyo (1993) “in recent studies pm the effectiveness of computer mediated language instruction in stimulating learners’ language outcomes in terms of conversational skills.
A computer gives individual attention to the learner and replies immediately to questions or commands. It acts as a tutor and guides the learner towards the correct answer while adapting the material to his/her performance. Another significant benefit obtained from computer is that it can be a very affective and efficient reference book. It can also be utilized to communicate visually with students. “ Acting as a tutor or teacher , providing material, guiding a student how to learn it, and giving more information and explanations. So it is imperative that the computer as a teaching aid be designed well from the start. Computer must bridge different learning styles to be fully effective; therefore, it should offer different types of examples and ways to solve the problems. Instructors and students using and web-based learning must be sure to give frequent feedback for teachers and students.
To generalize the effect of CALL on learning, the following recommendations for future research should be taken into consideration :
Research should be conducted to investigate the effect of CALL on learning English both in public or private, even higher education such as colleges and universities. Conducting such research might gibe better ideas on the effect of CALL on learning EFL, hence results will more generalizable.
Further research is needed to study the use of CALL comparing classroom use versus individual use. Conducting a research where the whole class is using CALL as a part of their daily lessons versus an independent use of CALL might give a better understanding of the best strategies to apply CALL in teaching and learning.
Further research is needed to study CALL taking gender into account. Comparing male versus female CALL use might shed some light on whether CALL effect on learning is affected by gender.
As this paper was written to investigate the effect of CALL on students’ achievement in English as Foreign language learning EFL, further research is needed to investigate the effect on CALL on non English.
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