Posted by: Admin | January 7, 2011

IMPLEMENTING THE CALL (COMPUTER-ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING) IN AN ENGLISH COURSE

ARTICLE OF MID-TEST

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

LECTURER: HARTOYO, MA, PHD

IMPLEMENTING THE CALL (COMPUTER-ASSISTED LANGUAGE LEARNING) IN AN ENGLISH COURSE

 

Written by: Mobit

Student of Post Graduate UHAMKA Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Introduction

English has been an important language through out the world, especially regarding to the means of  international communication. It is used by people on the world as a mean of communication with people who come from other countries and as language science which helps non-native to reach the meaning of many literatures or references which are written in English.  English is as mean of technology development due to most researcher come from the west and writes their publicity only in English. Therefore, many countries which care of the technology development tend to set English as not only as the foreign language but also as second language. They used English in various activities such as education (school) instruction, the way of daily communication, etc.  The government spurs the student or some educational institutions to use English as secondary language or even the primary language.  That is why people who live in the country have wide chances to use English as their daily language as well as their mother language.

Indonesia, unfortunately, has different policy in regard to the English. It set English as foreign language rather than second language. It means that English is as a language that is learned as an additional science. People have limited areas to build a conversation in English. English has been considered as tools of comprehending science and technology which is generally generated in English.

These facts are general phenomenon in Indonesia. Students are insufficiently facilitated by under standardized condition to elaborate their language skill around school. These facts often influence students to go out of school to obtain comprehensivelly the language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing), taking course at a certain English course. There, they can fulfill their curiousity on language simultanously.

The trend of the student who are not satisfied with the chances of elaborating English at school has been an opportunity for those who care on student language competence and has ability on English education to create an English course.  Their ability of establishing English course will be an alternative for student to learn English.

The challenges of them are how to make an English course which makes the student become good on English score but also be familiar with an English atmosphere. In other word, an English course has to create the interesting and reachable breakthrough. It should develop the course concept which is compatible with the people demand. People tend to like a course which facilitates student with a variety learning and teaching ways. Students want to be good at both the related subject at school and their communication skill, which is including listening, reading, speaking and writing. One that can be implemented to support the dream at the recent time which is supported by the development of technology is utilization of hypertext which is commonly known as the CAL (Computer Assisted Learning). It is specifically CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) in the term of language learning.

To implement CALL in a course, it needs a comprehensive imagination of the owner. The owner will costly invest much money to purchase many kinds of devices to support the process of learning and teaching, such as computer, screen, and some supporting devices.

What is a course?

In Indonesia course has developed rapidly. There are many kinds of part of education which is approach through course such as language (English, China, Japanese, Arabic, etc), computer, accountancies, management, sewing, and so on. They become the choices of a lot of students in Indonesia who want to enrich the knowledge related to the certain subject.

Course belongs to the non formal education. Belle quoted Coombs and Ahmad (1974) defined non formal education as any organized, systematic, educational activity carry on outside the framework of the formal system to provide selected types of learning to particular subgroups in the population, adult as well as children. The non formal education deliberates instructional and pragmatic emphases, which does not belong to in the informal education.

It also educates the student with short time to pass some particular level. The students have to face the examination after the learning process. It will measure the competence of the students which is studied during the allotment time.

Why CALL?

A course is designed not similar with formal education like school. It is specifically designed to deeply learning related to the subject, such as English. An English course ideally most skillful in educating the student associated with the English than school. The specific curriculum should be designed to master the student in English. The time allotted should be managed in order to be effective to teach student and enable students speak better.

To stimulate student to ease comprehending some material, it needs the device which can elaborate the material by using computer.

The CAL program refers to the learning involving the utilization of the computer, usually by means of an interactive-computer system (Hartoyo 2008:21). Then, CALL means CAL which is implemented to language.

Students, actually can explore their English by themself when they would try to rehearse at home. They can check their grammar competence, enrinch vocabularies, recheck whether their pronunciations are correct or not, or even they can record their voice of pronucing each words supplied by the CD. According to Hartoyo (2008), the self access computer-mediated language learning program is usually designed on the five principle.

The five principles should be provided to designed the CALL program, namely Interactivity, usability (flexibility) content appropriateness, effectiveness and performance. Interactiveness means that the program should stimulate the interaction, especially between the computer and the user. Besides, regarding to the instrudtion and feedback. Usability refers to the flexibility, ease and inherent interest and the easy of navigating within the program. Content appropriateness is in reagard to the amount of material presented in the program. It means how easily the material is learned and understood, and how far the material meets the studens’ demand. Effectiveness correlates with how effectivelly the language learners are assisted by the program to improve their mastery of grammar or other material. Then, the performance refers to the presentation, layout of the screen, the color, and the ilustration (picture, diagram, charts, etc.) used the program.

The advantages of implementing CALL at course

Unlike the number of meeting at school which is inserted with other subject, the activities in course will focus on the material of English. In other word, if the material is presented by using the computer, it will be efficient procedure either time or energy.

Hartoyo proposed some advantages of using CALL, that is CALL encourages users (student) to develop a non-sequential reading habit which it is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional, printed material.

CALL also offers freedom for users to choose any topic of information available within the package.

CALL spurs the user (student) 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 will be flexibility of time allows the student to determine what particular topics and how long he wants to learn.

CALL program is different from other due to its interaction with the user or learner. The interaction of CALL is more interesting than the laboratory used by some English institution. English laboratory is only one way communication because the learner will get no response with the answer given. It means that laboratory could not serve the user with the interaction. Students in answering the question will only look the score without given the correction or comment whether the answer which is given true or false.

Ariew and Frommer, for instance, give an illustration about the CALL program. He give “They are arguing” sentence to be transformed from the affirmative sentence to the negative one. Student will answer with various answer based on their mind or knowledge the have. Then student will answer with “They no are arguing”. After clicking the student would know immediately not only that a mistake had been made, but also why the answer was wrong. The student, later, would get some response from the system with appropriate explanation. The right answer would appear on the screen.

There are some advantages can be presented by using the CALL in an English course, namely;

Interaction. It means that the student transmit a message and would received one in turn.

Immediately feedback; There will be an immediate notification that a mistake has been made.

Then student will get “Error analysis’ that is specific error are identified and explained, then “self correction’. It is clear error messages help most students to achieve the satisfaction of reaching the correct answer in the end. The student would get reinforcement. They are encouraged by congratulatory message for correct answer.

The following is sample of English Drill (Ariew and Frommer:1987)

No Posibility students answer Responses of CALL program
1 They no are arguing. “No” is not the right word and is not in the right place. Try again.
2 They are arguing not. “Not” is in the wrong place. Try again!
3 They are not arguing. Excellent!
4 Not they are arguing. “Not” should be placed between “are” and “arguing”. 

The Correct answer is “They are not arguing.”

The previous feature does not exist on the similar written such as on the printed paper or directly written on the whiteboard. Student will get nothing by using some model exercise, because student tent to look only the score not the correcting process.

CALL program consist of some activities at several level of difficulty or related grammar point. It provides more individualization of learning. They would actually have no time to chat other, because it does not follow a predetermined sequence, but allow student to control their own progress, selecting option from a menu as to what they will practice according to their interest or perceived level of proficiency.

The disadvantages of implementing CALL at course

The use of CALL in English course beside has advantages, it has also disadvantages. The CALL is much less handy than some traditional printed book due to the devices. Because CALL can be operated by using some computerized devices.

It is also tiring and more difficult to display long reading material. Because, according to Gould and Grischowsky (1984) which is quoted by Hartoyo (2008), people read 20 – 30 % slower from low resolution screen. The high resolution will help student to solve this problem. The CALL is different from the traditional book, its program is rather costly than one. The use of the program takes a lot of money to facilitate the tool with hardware and software.

What type of CALL program can be implemented in English course?

There are four type of CALL program that can be implemented in some English course. Each English course has their own syllabus or material which is supposed to implement in the learning process. These types of CALL program can be considered as the additional learning. It means that the learning program that use CALL program is implemented in non regular program. If the course has ready to make CALL program, it can be the supplementary program that supposed to enrich the fixed curriculum that has been taught so far.

Drill and practice programs

It is kinds of mechanical manipulations of words or sentences, using the same types of exercise as one uses in class, such as transformation and substitution drill (or, like multiple choices and fill in the blank for in text book).

Contextualized Activities

It require more involvement of student than occurs in drill and practice exercises.

Tutorial

It is different from the previous types. It present new material to student and then questions them about the information or examples. The computer can present dynamic illustration such as animation, graphic in color, or  words that change visually on the screen to demonstrate the effect of a grammar rule.

Then as a follow up activity, computer can check on the student’s comprehension by proposing exercise or question.

Simulation

The student, in this type, will take a role based on the shown play in the screen. They should pretend as well as the picture is doing on the screen.

Games

Game is the most interactive methods in language learning, especially English. Student frequently do like doing the game during the learning process. It can be done as ways of teaching or just as fun reviewing of certain material.

Games involving vocabularies or culture may be played in the target language. Many materials can be adopted through computer for finally implemented in games.

Computer and oral interaction

The CALL programs has exposed the way of teaching and exercising about grammar, vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension, writing skill but are all silent, except for computer-produced non-verbal signal or music.

The interaction associated with computer can be established by interfacing a tape recorder with a microcomputer. It can provide stimulating, interactive aural comprehension exercises for student (Wyaat:1983).

Inserting the syllabus of CALL in course

Courses, specifically English course in Indonesia, has their own curriculum or syllabus. Since the establishing of the course, they have prepared what materials are going to teach to the student. They have not only prepared the sylabus but also the methodology will be performed during the learning process. The style of management, what students or people are targetted to be the student of the course.

The plans ideally has been arranged since the beginning of the course established. The level, the material alloted to each level, what kinds of book will be used (use the exist book or create the own book), what sort of examination is planned and some targets of competence of the students will be achieved.

To consider facilitating curriculum with CALL program since the beginning of the course program is better rather than the program has run. It means that the CALL program is prepared since the designing of the curriculum will match with the curriculum itself. But, if the CALL program is implemented in the middle of learning process, it will be better that the CALL is considered as supplementary material.

A suplementary material should be adopted from the material which is probably has printed as a hand out of learning. It is probably there are a lot of materials can be adopted through the CALL program. Of course, this is the challange of the owner or stake holders to create the interactive learning in their institution.

Conclusion

In the recent time, English has been fun material taught not only at school which it is considered as primary subject but also in a language course which focus on expanding language skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing). The appoach  and the methodology of teaching are the fascinating things that shoul be payed attention more by the owner or stake holder. That is why, they should follow the technology development associated with the teaching methodology.

CALL program which works completed by hypertext as the breaktrough way to do so. It can facilitate teacher and student to comprehend any material of course. Hypertext is the newest system that can be implemented in education, including an English course which is specifically focusing on English learning. By the development of technology which enable the user to expand the material and facilitate the student in English learning. It has been an evitable for English course to enable the student be more familiar associated with English mastering.

The implementing of CALL in an English course will be an added values for owner, teacher or student. The owner can promote the system confidently rather than still stand behind the traditional methods. For teacher, they can elaborate the material deeply by using the CD prepared. They can rehearse the material to confince the student in all skill. Student will enable themselves to restudy, repeat, repractice the material at home within the control of parents.

The obsession of being the best course is an important thing that should be had by the stakeholder (owner, administration, teacher, and investor. This will spur to try to achieve the rest of things implemented in its course. The unity of spirit and facilities finally willl be back to itself due to the willingness to develop its program namely enabling the student to master in English.

Refference

  1. Hartoyo (2008). Individual Differences in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Pelita Insani Semarang
  2. Rivers, Wilga M. 1987. Interactive Language teaching, Cambridge Language Leaching Library
  3. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u77m5272327kn121

Responses

  1. nice to know about his article.

  2. wow, what a good article it is ! Congratulation Friend, you deserve to be an expert!

    • Thanks a lot, friend. It will be a rubbish without the reader. So do you.


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