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The Development and History of CALL

Posted by Trapaz Blog

Computer Assisted as Language Learning (CALL) is succinctly defined in a seminal work by Levy (1997: p. 1) as "the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning". CALL embraces a wide range of information and technology applications and approaches to teaching and learning foreign languages, from the "traditional" drill-and-practice programs that characterised CALL in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent manifestations of CALL, e.g. as used in a virtual learning experience and Web-based distance learning.

The term CALI (computer-assisted language instruction) was in use before CALL, reflecting its origins as a subset of the general term CAI (computer-assisted instruction). CALI fell out of favour among language teachers, however, as it appeared to imply a teacher-centred approach (instructional), whereas language teachers are more inclined to prefer a student-centred approach, focusing on learning rather than instruction.

CALL dates back to the 1960s, when it was first introduced on university mainframe computers. The PLATO project, initiated at the University of Illinois in 1960, is an important landmark in the early development of CALL. The advent of the microcomputer in the late 1970s brought computing within the range of a wider audience, resulting in a boom in the development of CALL programs and a flurry of publications of books on CALL in the early 1980s.
Dozens of CALL programs are currently available on the internet, at prices ranging from free to expensive, and other programs are available only through university language courses.

In short, this is the complete history of CALL shaped in a form of timeline. You can see my timeline in the portfolio menu. See you next post. 


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