Posted by: erienkoma | July 25, 2010



The advance of new technologies in learning process is always exciting. They add new dimensions to the class and spark students to higher level of motivation and achievement. CALL gives some impetus both to the teacher and to the student. For the former, it makes the course design easier, and for the latter it creates numerous possibilities for active interaction, and offers larger horizons for him or her to be directly involved in new concepts and way of thinking.
This paper focuses on the educational role of computer (CALL) in learning a Foreign Language and using of computer (CALL) in education as well as the new role of the teacher in the learning process. It continues by providing an overall aspect of the potential of authoring packages and ends up by introducing some of them to the readers as representatives of the types of commercially developed software available for the language teacher.

Today we have reached the stage where changes occur so rapidly that each of us has continuously to work out a practical code of behavior for a better adjustment. The nature and direction of changes taking place around the world, and more precisely within the educational system, reinforce the need for a new approach based mainly on the recent technologies of the century. Such an approach is CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) and describes the use of a computer as part of a language course.
The pressure towards a more media-based teaching methodology underlines the congruence which exists between society and the educational system. It also stresses the notion that the language teacher has to keep pace with the most recent technologies if he or she wants not only to interest his or her students in the learning process but also to help them overcome anxiety, frustration and apathy which always accompany any language acquisition as they create that sort of “Plateau” which makes the learner stagnate and consequently, unable to move to a higher level.

Computer: its educational role.

The computer has brought a revolution in education. Although it did not immediately get the right place among the language teachers, due to people’s prejudice against any technological device in education which derived from the failure of language laboratory to meet its expectation and enthusiasm when introduced in schools, finally it established itself as an important aspect in language teaching. Language teacher gradually became aware of the many ways in which the unique combination of tutorial, interactive, and visual capabilities enable computers to have a beneficial effect to learner motivation and recognized computers as a means which provided new possibilities for learning, thinking, and growing emotionally and cognitively.
The remarkable versatility of computers is the major cause for their growing popularity in schools. Unlike most machines that are capable of only a few tasks, computer can be programmed to perform a multitude of tasks and thus becomes a useful tool in the hand of teachers and learners helping them at any stage of learning process: presentation, learning, and practice including language use.
Linguists in the literature of computers recognized the dual role of computer. That of the computer as a tool and that as a tutor, Ahmad et al (1985) points out the auxiliary role of computer in education characterizing it as a medium applied by teacher to serve him in teaching and not to replace teacher in class. This role is apparent if we analyze some acronyms such as CALL and CAI (Computer assisted Language Learning or Computer aided/assisted instruction) where the letter A stands for the words “Assisted or Aided “indicative of the role of computers as a tool.
Freudenstein (1981:213) stressing out the role of teacher in relation to computer advocates the auxiliary role of computer when he writes that “the use of even the most sophisticated hardware does not automatically guarantee good learning results: It all depends on the most important ‘medium’ in any instructional process: the ‘teacher’. Success and failure of media use in the foreign or second language program are directly related to the way in which teachers have learned to handle machines, have experienced their use in the classroom and are/not willing to accept and work with them.”
The generally held view among the language teachers concerning the use of computer is that they are tools and as such should be used both by teachers and students to improve their work in the sense that it can augment human capabilities and provide limitless possibilities for language learning. What distinguishes computer as a tool from that as a tutor is that the latter, according to Taylor (1980), can be programmed to evaluate students’ responses and thus provide with actions to follow while the former cannot, and thus is not directive.
Levy (1997) supports that what is important in CALL as tool is how can computer facilitate teacher in his/her teaching job, that is how can teacher present the designing material more effectively and how can learners acquire most of the teaching process through practice and language use so that learning is succeeded.
Because of its novelty computers transform the “dullest task into an adventure” Geoffrion (1983:50) motivating learners to learn a language because the teacher who uses that “genius tool” in his class can use “different and more exciting modes than the course book to present new materials with text, sound video and hypertext facilities offering high-quality interactive feedback on vocabulary, grammar, language answers, culture issues, etc., whenever the student feels s/he needs it.” (Ypsilandis,1995)
In software where the computer acts as a tutor (e.g. Choice master) computer can be used in a variety of ways to create both tests with or without error messages, and tests which are linked to reading or listening skills. A latest version of this software provides the user with corrections or hints explaining at the same time why a certain selection was wrong. What is notable with software programs of this type is that the learner can learn without the presence of teacher and in privacy without being too concerned by possible errors whereas in the classroom they would hold back.” (Demaiziere 1983:11-12 in Ahmad et al 1985:115). Of course, as it is apparent, the traditional role of teacher shifts in this case from that of classroom operator to that of a language advisor whiles the students get used to autonomous learning.
Kenning and Kenning (1983:2) see the computer as a tutor “assessing the learner’s reply, recording it, pointing out mistakes, and giving explanations. In this way, they claim the learner is guided to find the correct answer and also to adapt the material to suit his/her needs and preference. The same linguist does not like seeing the computer simply as a tool for automating educational practices because, as he claims, the computer represents “both an opportunity and a tool for investigating the very practices which are being automated.” (pp.2)
The fact that the acquisition process is related to the effort to convey or interpret meanings and cannot flourish in activities which concentrate on forms has led several commentators on computer- assisted learning (notably van Campen 1980 and Odendall 1982) to state that the computer should be used for formal grammar drilling which favor learning, thus releasing the teacher to run the freer forms of activity which will enhance acquisition. This combination of teacher and computer sounds sensible. Teachers are good at conveying and interpreting meanings. Computers are good at processes which require patient repetition and attention to detail. The teacher, with established skills in communication, analysis and diagnosis, was depended on to assist and, when necessary, assess the learner.
Commenting on the two roles of computer we would agree with what Ypsylantis (1995) said that “the computer as tool unlike the computer as tutor does not make the teacher redundant, as does the computer as tutor nor does it suggest a clear- on line role of the teacher. In either case it seems to leave the freedom to the teacher for class-work with the computer.”

Computer and Language Learning

Recent developments in linguistics as well as in language teaching and learning theories and practice call for new approaches, strategies, techniques, equipment, methods and materials to facilitate learning.
Learner’s reaction to computers in education appears to be generally very favorable. Part of this fascination is undoubtedly due to the appeal of the visual effects allotted by modern microcomputer systems using TV display a success. As a result of this unique combination of tutorial, interactive, and visual capabilities, computers frequently have a beneficial effect on learner’s motivation.
The computer can do “far more in CALL than ‘silently ape’ the tutorial mode of question-and-answer instruction. There is now the medium-term prospect of what might be termed ‘total learning stations’, combining the features of language laboratory with a cassette recorder under full computer control, video viewing position, high¬ speed random access interactive video, a computer terminal for CALL work, and a wide variety of other functions.” (Last, 1984: 3) Thus within its limitations the computer has a very great potential for the teacher and the learner of languages.
Using the computer in the class, a teacher applies both the behaviorists and acquisition approaches to language learning. The first because historically the behaviorist approaches are based on the principle that a response, linguistic or otherwise, is a learned behavior resulting from associating that response with a given stimulus. Through positive reinforcement for incorrect behavior, these responses become over learned until they are automatic. The second because according to Krashen’s theory of second language learning and acquisition, the organizer and affective filter are central to the acquisition portion of the overall model, as they are involved in the learner’s unconscious analysis of strings of speech in the processing of speech input, the production of input, and the synthesis of new rules. (Phillips, 1986)
Looking at the above factors in term of computer courseware, and following Krashen’s theoretical model with the addition of some insights from communicative methods, CALL software is representative of an acquisition-oriented approach because it:
1. Promotes a communicative interaction between the learner and
the computer.
2. Provides comprehensible input at a level.
3. Promotes a positive self-image in the learner.
4. Provides a challenge but does not produce frustration or anxiety.
5. Does not include overt error correction.
6. Allows the learner the opportunity to produce comprehensible
7. Promotes effectively, acting as a catalyst, the learner – learner
interaction in the target language.

Traditional CALL software lent itself effectively for developing mainly reading skills, through vocabulary and grammar exercises and secondly writing skills. The use of computer to practice grammar will comfort especially an ESP/T teacher who usually has to teach students, with insufficient linguistic competence. Exercises can range from simple ones as filling with the right article to practicing reported speech which is a fairly difficult area of grammar. This is the case in the SMK 2 plus Bogor where the students are taught mainly reading skills and secondly listening and writing in the class, and then they are sent to Language Self Access Centre for further practice with the assistance of the language computer programs.
In some cases a technological attribute distinguishes one medium from others in terms of the learning experiences it affords. The technology of computer based instruction allows the kind of individualization and interaction not permitted by other media (e.g. video). This situation facilitates learning by presenting the learner with a stimulus and evoking a response. Such a situation is often overlooked in the case of books.
Curricular Suggestions for CALL course for teachers include familiarity with the history of microcomputers, with technology, and with educational concerns touching the use of CALL. Consideration is given to learner’s needs and professional objectives in the use of the new medium. An additional area of consideration in judging the probable effectiveness of foreign language software is the degree to which the materials may directly or indirectly promote the use of particular strategies in the learner. There are several types of strategies that seem particularly well-suited to, being introduced and practiced on the computer. In reading, for example, psycholinguistic research pointed to the importance of skimming exercises. In writing, there are production strategies such as writing dialogues, brain storming, list making and flexible outlining that many second-language learners are either unaware of or ignore.
Simulations vial CAI/CALL are limited only by the scope and imagination of teachers and students. Students can interact with computer programs on a background of illustrations with the simulation itself or they can build screen displays to show their growing control of the L2. Ahmad et al(1985:6) sees the computer “ to stimulate group discussion on a specific theme in the foreign language.”
Time that followed the establishment of computer in Language Learning brought many hardware and software developments. Multimedia programs can display text, high quality sound, animation and video. There are CD-ROM programs like “Longman English Works, for example, which help the learner practice his/her skills in listening and speaking and develop his/her pronunciation. The learner has the ability to listen to the dialogues and passages with or without the written text. He/She can record his voice on the hard disk and incorporate photos through the use of a scanner. So, the emphasis is extended from reading or writing skills to spoken language and listening skills. Using the numerous activity options, the learner can decide at any time how easy or how challenging he/she wants the exercise to be. Multimedia offer great opportunities for differentiation, especially in mixed-ability classes, as it is the case in the SMK 2 plus.
According to Ypsilandis (1995) “Multimedia CALa software is more learner-centered as it is incumbent upon the learner/user to decide how to travel through the program and how much time to spend on every item.” Computer flexibility regarding time makes it ideal for “distance teaching/learning” since the distance users (learners) can be given access to database of the teaching material and the opportunity to copy the material on their hard disk or alternatively offers learners the possibility of sending and receiving electronic mail messages for real natural communication with e-mail.
E-mail is a tool for intercultural communication around the world. It “provides students {with) an excellent opportunity for real, natural communication” and “empowers students for independent learning” ( Warschauer, 1995:2). The pedagogical principles lying behind the use of e-mail is to motivate student teachers providing them with opportunities to improve their second or third language skills working with authentic materials. The advantage of learning projects established via-e-mail is that they put students in contact with native speakers or learners of English or other language around the world and thus offer an authentic context motivating at the same time the learner for communication.
In the field of CALL there is a considerable shift of interest from static, stand-alone materials towards potentially dynamic internet-based resources for language learning. “The internet provides not only vast and diverse information resources, including authentic target language materials, but also a range of synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration solution .” (Breffni &Schwienhorst, 2000). These technological developments can be of considerable benefit particularly to ESP students who are learners who demand resources that can be customized and extended for and by them.
Multimedia is a means of promoting collaboration and the teacher who uses them in class should recognize and exploit the range of modes of collaboration the computer offers. Furthermore, computer has the potential of generating dynamic types of interactions, not only between the computer and the student but with other students and teachers as well. In other words it generates cooperative learning, learning accompanied by the instructor and autonomous learning. In the light of these changes, it becomes necessary for the teacher to accept the changes the use of multimedia in class brought and adapt his/her new role in class as well as the new physical space of classroom in the new teaching and learning conditions in order to accommodate different kinds of interaction: small group, student to student and student to computer. Warschauer (1995:93) supports that “ electronic communication can help foster a new teacher-student relationship in which the students become more autonomous and the teacher becomes more a facilitator.”
Authoring packages
For the teacher who wishes to design CALL programs there are more than one choice. There is always the possibility of developing a program or learning a programming language or try an authoring package. Authoring packages allow the teacher to write programs with minimal computing knowledge. According to Higgins(1986:59) “An authoring package designed specifically for creating CALL software enables the non-programmer to create usable materials for his or her students exceptionally quickly.” An authoring package opens the door to do-it- yourself software, shielding the user the complexities of the logic programming and offering a simple framework into which the CALL material can be slotted.
Wyatt (1984) refers to Authoring package as “authoring system” and describes it as ready- made computer programs that constitute precast formats into which the course writer (teacher) can insert his own pedagogical material. The emphasis to systems like this is always on ease of use. In the introduction to one such system we read “Neither the teacher nor the learner needs to be familiar with anything more technical in relation to the computer than the ability to switch the machine on and the knowledge of which way round to insert a floppy disk into the disk driver – the ‘package’ does the rest” (Wyattl984:7). Although so far working with an authoring package seems an easy job for the teacher, however, we think it is important to mention here the significance of the teacher being able to choose the right program to meet his/her need in relation always to the syllabus objectives in which such programs have to be integrated.
Wanting to give an overall aspect of the potential of the authoring packages we cannot but refer to limitations mentioned by Ahmad et al (1985:30) that although they are an easy way to start, however, the package necessarily restricts the form of what the teacher can produce even more than do author languages. The teacher cannot use his imagination to exploit productively the text and develop different form of exercises which he thinks will help students’ four skills because authoring packages are “usually confined to the question-answer type of exercise and are generally linear, with no branching facilities.”(Ahmad et al 1985:30).
The activities described below are not exhaustive. They can be taken, however, as representative of the types of commercially developed software available for the language teacher.


Storyboard is an early CALL authoring course aware which virtually demands no knowledge of programming whatsoever on the part of the teacher or learner:
The program was developed by John Higgins. It enables the teacher to create a short text, which is displayed on the Computer screen and after a time the text is reduced to dashes indicating the length of the missing words. The student’s job is to try to reconstruct the text. The student may follow different strategies. He may begin with low frequency content words, he remembers from the first reading, or high-frequency words such as articles, common verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns. He may even try collocation skills something which seems more appropriate for an ESP student.
Storyboard offers a tremendous flexibility. The student has the option of reading the text first, if the student gets stuck, it is possible to call up the first letter of the word, a whole word itself or to read the text again.
The facility to provide the students with instant feedback sustains student’s interest. Moreover, it enables students to feel a sense of accomplishment and progress and the teacher to know whatever the students did to arrive at such an answer. The teacher has access to detailed information concerning his students, strengths, weaknesses and progress which help him to assess individual learners.
Other recent authoring packages are:
Longman Interactive English Dictionary (LIED). It is an exciting learning tool which combines a computer database with sound, video and pictures. The user has the access to many different kinds of information contained on the database( about grammar, the meanings of words, pronunciation, famous people and places, etc.) and can see, hear and read through the use of the compact disk and video. The drawings and photographs it contains help the user to understand the meanings of the words, and there are short films which show how English is used in real -life situations.
It is ideal for practicing pronunciation and listening comprehension. Learners can get help with the pronunciation of individual words by calling up the entries from the Longman pronunciation Dictionary and listening to them. In addition the video mini-dramas provide examples of natural dialogue. The user can have the text of the video dialogues in a separate window on screen while the video is playing.
Business Challenges Interactive. It is for learners of business English at false beginners and elementary level who want the freedom and flexibility of interactive learning. It provides over 60 hours of materials including video footage, audio clips, photographs, graphics and exercises to practice English for work and social situations. Tests allow learners to check progress at any time. Records monitor learner’s scores in exercises and tests, and show how much of the program has been completed.
The Grammar ROM. The program is designed to help the student revise and practice his English grammar in a new and exciting way. It includes exercises and tasks on all the main grammar points at intermediate level. Student can use The Grammar ROM by him/herself as part of a course of study, or to supplement any intermediate level English language study.
The Electronic Business Letter Writer (BLW). It is a software package for people who need help in writing business letters. It is also a learning tool for intermediate to advanced students of business English. BLW contains over 200 model texts. These example documents are classified according to Typesetter, fax, memorandum etc.), subject area (banking, Insurance, Credit etc.), purpose( Advice, complaints Enquiries etc.) There is also an Info Bank which contains on-line help in two main areas:
1. How to perform any task in BLW
2. More general topics related to business letter writing.
This section contains:
 Structure and Layout
 Content and Style
 Type of Document
 Subject Area
 Purpose of writing

Here you can find: Information about specific topics, such as Documentary Credit Advice on how to produce effective business letters, faxes etc.
BBC English Expressions. It is an English language course on CD ROM. BBC English Expressions is designed to teach you the spoken language required to deal with some of the most common situations you are likely to meet if you visit a foreign country such as: Eating out, Travelling by train, Asking for information etc. The user can select activities for each dialogue from the activity bank. The dialogue starts by clicking at Story. When you need individual words and phrases for the topic the student may click at the Useful words. Speaking Test is a role play exercise : the student speaks in place of one of the characters.
Useful Words + provides student with extra words and phrases for the topic he/she has chosen.
In Speaking Test + the student will be presented with unexpected responses and tasks. When clicking at Listening Test the student is given a comprehension test and finally by clicking at Text Exercises the student is given exercises which test both the ability to understand the language he/she has learned and his/her ability to assemble correct text sentences.
Welcome to English for Business. These CDs are for people who wish to improve their English language skills as used within the English speaking business environment. The series aim to enable the user to understand real business English. They use between 25-30 minutes video, which forms the centre of the learning activities. All the scenes contain authentic business people talking about their own situations. By looking at the subtitles while watching the video the student gains a better understanding of the relationship between the spoken and written forms.
The main learning features of these CDs are:
 ease of use
• real authentic business language
• develops listening comprehension
• uses modem methodology
• gives instant feedback on learning tasks
• contains over 250 screens of learning tasks
• develops business grammar, business language functions and
business vocabulary.


It seems that the computer was introduced in class to stay. The establishment of the computer in education is not without appeal, it is the kind of challenges to which one feels drawn to respond to it. The new conditions created by the advent of multimedia in teaching and learning makes it necessary for both teachers and students to understand that their roles have to change since electronic communication can help foster a new teacher -student relationship in which the student becomes more autonomous and teacher more a facilitator. Computers and teachers should not be seen as rivals but as complements to each other and students should view the computer as an
an allay willing to help them in their learning process.
One of the optimal ways to intensify and increase the relevance of foreign language learning and teaching is to integrate the use of media technologies and the internet in the teaching and learning process. Integrating CALL in teaching a foreign language seems to be now the present and future progress in education. The many authoring packages available in the market make it feasible.
In conclusion, despite the various criticisms against the usefulness of CALL, the future of foreign language teaching will we think be endowed with that little spark capable of setting great motivation and interest in the most apathetic class. In short, the computer, which presents the teacher with a clear challenge and a unique opportunity for change, should, we think, be part and parcel of any teaching program.

Based on analysis of study result and data that are expressed above, so can give the following suggestions:
(1) Instruction with use CALL has succeeded to increase the student language learning ability. Therefore, the study result can be recommendation to the head master to give opportunity to a teacher to perform the instruction with use CALL, such as, in case the regulation time is more flexible, supplying the means of computers, reference books, supplying of study means, development of study media both electronic or printed, development and growing in all of instruction aspects simultaneously.
(2) In the perform language instruction with use CALL the teacher needs to arrange the instruction design more organized because performance of language instruction with use CALL is different with performance of regular instruction as that is ever done before. Arrangement the instruction design concludes the components: (1) Designing CALL, such as, determining objectives, choosing type of the program, selecting materials, choosing software, determining tasks, and designing structure of the program. (2) Designing Testing.


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