Posted by: Admin | January 31, 2011

CALL(Computer-Assisted Language Learning)-based Interactive Language Learning

Written by: Mobit

Student of Post Graduate UHAMKA Jakarta, Indonesia


Human beings have developed gradually in science and technology. Time by time, step by step, first thing first they have developed simultaneously not only as the user of technology but also as the creator one.

As a proof of enhancing of technology are the development of a great deal of both devices or hardware and software. The hardware has developed rapidly and out of control that caused streams thousand products surrounding society. All aspect of human lives have affected by the output of technology such as computer, internet, mobile phone, iPOD etc. The technology almost touches on many aspect of human life.

The use of technology in many fields of human life, e.g. social, politics, economy, law, even education, indirectly stimulates the education stakeholders to take role in both using and improving the products of technology.

In education field, either teaching or learning aspect have involved and utilized as the medium of delivering or accepting the knowledge. In delivering or transferring knowledge from teacher to student can be used the technology devices to teaching facilities.  Student can also facilitate themselves to ease the comprehension process. In sum, technology has been important thing in teaching and learning strategy. Teaching by using film, TV, video and the last hypertext is as the result of technology development.


The use of technology (e.g. computer, TV, CD player) in education case is an evitable. At the recent time teaching and learning facilitated by computer has been the demand. This essay proposes description to help the institution, teacher and student that the role of technology is being used to ease them to achieve the objective of education. Besides, it is aimed to introduce teacher and learner about the effect of technology in language teaching and learning.

At the latest decades, technology becomes the most important things in which many people regard technology as the result of science. By the technology people are eased to accomplish the complicated and sophisticated problem. Since, actually the objective of science is making the difficult to be the easy done, people are helped to solve their problem.


The Role of Computer in Language Teaching

The roles of technology in modern time have primary involvement especially in teaching and learning process. Teaching and learning all subject will directly and indirectly need technology. It will develop depends on how far the subject need the technology.  Moreover when the roles of technology are associated with the language learning, it will have an important one, not only in the preparation but also in process and assessment. Many activities can be supported by using the devices in which the result of technology.

According to Harmer (2001) computer has some beneficial role related to  the language teaching and learning. Computer can be as reference that can be connected to the teaching activities such as the general fact of the world. Student will directly watch other activities that happen on the world. In the context of language, student can watch the video, article, picture corresponds to the language activity.

Computer can be as teaching and testing program. Harmer desribes “ language teaching software package, often suppl;ied on CD-ROM, offer students the chance to study conversation and text, to do grammar and vocabulary exercise, and even to listen to texts and record their own voices” (Harmer;2001). These role of computer inline with the CALL program will be discussed later.

There are some products which is considered as the highly supporting devices, especially related to the teaching and learning. Price (1987:155) pointed out some technologies in which possible for language teacher to present language.  in more forms than just speech and print. They are tape recorder, slide projector, overhead projector, video tape recorders (VTRs), as well as drawings, pictures and the ever-trustworthy chalk board (p.155). At the recent time, the most comprehensive and interactive technology devices that is considered as the latest device is computer. Since, it is the essentially an interactive device for language learning (Ariew & Frommer 177).

Regarding to the computer that have functions to assts the teaching and learning process, it will help teacher and student to elaborate the material attractively and continuously. Ariew and Frommer stated that ‘although not yet capable of carrying on a natural conversation with a user, the computer does have a responsive capacity that endows computer-assisted language learning (CALL) with certain advantages.

Definition of CALL

The learning which is assisted by computer is called CAL (computer-assisted learning). It can be implemented in various subjects such as mathematic, chemistry, ect. In language learning case, the learning that is assisted by computer is called CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning). It means that the utilization of computer is primarily directed to make provisions to a language learning tutorial program (hartoyo:2008).

The advantages and disadvantages of CALL

CALL has given some beneficial in the process of learning not only for the teacher but also the student. Hartoyo quoted Ansel, that it can encourage the user (students) to develop a non sequential reading habit which it is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional, printed material. By the aids of CALL the student can choose the material based on the theme want to focus. Student has the freedom to take the most important topic in the package. Frommer and Ariew pointed that it posses’ common characteristic related to interaction.

Besides, CALL can be operated in pairs. The user can work together with other to solve problem the have. In this case, they can discuss together to solve the problem found in the process of using CALL. Student, by using CALL will be more flexible to choose the particular topics and the time is going to allocate to learn.

Unluckily the CALL can not be easy to bring any where like traditional book. Hence, the students will not freely to learn every where they want due to they need computer. Though, at the times most students have got a note book, but they are permitted to bring any where. In the case of reading, if the reading materials are very long, the students are difficult to access it because on the screen is slower, more difficult and tiring. CALL also costly enough for teacher or student. (Hartoyo: 2008)

Moreover Ariew and Frommer described some other advantages regarding to the CALL program. There are some special characteristic that make CALL being different compared with other namely interaction, immediate feedback, error analysis, self-correction and reinforcement.

Computer has important role in learning due to it has some technological facilities that enable the learner to study anything. It is considered as medium that facilitates people in learning, such as learning language. (Hartoyo: 11) Besides, computer is facilitated many supporting facilities that are able to work fast. It is now not as an expensive equipment because many people of Indonesian.

In the teaching and learning process, computer will give the simple ways compared with other traditional devices such as chalk or printed media. The traditional teaching aids commonly need energy more to use in the teaching process, because they tend to generate by using traditional resources.

Language teaching and learning become very interesting as long as they are respected with the attractive methodology and aids of teaching. The process of teaching and learning will more inspirative for the student that commonly like the colorful and interactiveness. A great deal of technology permit us to see and hear language in cultural context as well as observe the impact on language meaning  of things like a real time, word stress, and gestures. (Price:155)

Interactive Language Learning

While discussing interactive, we will think what the interaction is. In teaching and learning context, interaction can be described that between teacher and student act together to discuss, stimulate or respond each other. Teachers teach the material, students pay attention more and sometimes interrupted by comments or questions. This happen not only within the process of transferring knowledge from teachers to students but also in the post of teaching.

Language interaction is a collaborative activity’ involving “the establishment of triangular relationship between the sender, the receiver and the context of situation” Wells 1981, 46-7) (Wilga River; 4). The senders (teacher) who transfer the knowledge will stimulate the receiver (students) to respond what material. The situations become important impacts of the relationship between teacher and student.

The participation of student and enthusiastic atmosphere is the essential in to successful of language learning. Teacher has role make the class white and black and where the class with the student brought. Interaction involves not just expression of ones’ own idea but comprehensions of those of other. Through the interaction, student can increase their language store as they listen to or read authentic material or even the output of their fellow students in discussion, skits, join problem-solving tasks or dialog journal.

In the interactive classroom ideally will be produced some activities that describes the stimulation has been made. Here are some possible things happen in the interactive classroom:

1.     There will be much listening to authentic material, such as the teacher talks, audio and videotape, newspaper, magazines, cartoon books, letters, instructions of products, menus, maps and so on (Melvin and Stout, Price)

2.     There will be listen and speak form the beginning of the classroom to react the pictures and objects, in role play, through acting out, and in discussion, they create the talk show; they conduct class flea market with personally selected artifact (buying, selling, negotiating, explaining, persuading, retracting)

3.     Students are involved in joint tasks; purposeful activities.

4.     Students watch film and video tape of native speaker interacting.

5.     Pronunciation may be improved interactively not only while listening and speaking conversationally, but also in poetry reading and creation.

6.     Cross cultural interaction is important in language use in the real world.

7.     If reading is the activity, there should be lively interaction of reader and text-interpretation, expansion, discussing alternative possibilities or other conclusion.

8.     What is written should be something that will be read by somebody as with a group composition (Russo) or an item in a class newspaper or on a bulletin board.

9.     Interaction does not preclude the learning of the grammatical system of language.

10. Testing too should be interactive and proficiency-oriented, rather than a sterile, taxonomic process

11. We must not forget interesting with the community that speak the language

12. Special-purpose language classes can so be interactive

The previous alternative to perform an interactive activities that can be considered for teacher and student in teaching and learning language. Those are the inspirating note that ideally can be as objective in running the  interactive classroom.


Language teaching and learning become interesting activities as long as fulfills some certain methodology. The ways of teaching which is guided by the clear steps will ease the teacher to deliver the material to student. In contrast, student commonly will enjoy the learning process while the teaching or learning process facilitated the interesting material. Besides, the interesting of medium is very important to elaborate students’ curiosity and motivations.

To enhance the teaching and learning process and to elaborate student motivation in regard to language learning should be involved some supporting technology devices. Technology devices, at the recent time have supported many fields of human life, including in the educational field, especially language teaching and learning. Before the computer age, the activities at the classroom have also facilitated by some technology that has supported the teaching and learning process.

Many available technologies that have supported the teaching and learning process like mentioned by Price are tape recorders, slide projectors, overhead projector, video tape recorder (VTRs). It is completed by some available material that supports the teaching and learning process such as audiotapes and radio broadcasts, television program, commercially produced video, newspapers, magazines, cartoon book.

The previous mediums will be very helpful for the language teaching and learning process. The mediums are considered as the important one regarding to create the interactive classrooms in the language learning context. Moreover, the existing of computer in the era has been the breakthrough in facilitating educational field, especially in the language teaching and learning.

Regarding to the language learning, Well (1981) has proposed the interactive language learning which is called linguistics interaction. In this case, the learning is built with the collaborative activity which involves the establishment of triangular relationship between the sender, the receiver, and the context of situation. In the context of interactive in which computer has dominantly inserted in the human life, sender can be interpreted either teacher of computer.

Computer as a medium has developed rapidly within the decades. Bush, as the grandfather of hypertext has pioneered the system that in the future gives many beneficial breakthroughs for the user of technology. He wrote in his article that the Memex (memory extender) as “a sort of mechanized private file and library” and as” a device in which an individual stores his book, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” (Hartoyo: 2008).

Memex is as the pioneer of enhancing the role of computer that education field has affected by its rapid development. It leads the use of hypertext that links much information together. Lucarella has defined that hypertext as a system to manage a collection of information that can be assessed no sequently.

It consists of a network of chunk of information (nodes) and cross-references (logical links) between them. The hypertext system enables users to explore or open any information available in any document without starting from the first document sequentially; he, on the other hand, may choose any information of their interest non-sequentially. (Hartoyo: 2008)

The computer has also facilitated in language learning. It helps teacher and student during the teaching and learning process. The program that uses computer as a medium process in language learning is known as CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning).

It can be considered to create the interaction in either in the classroom or outside of the classroom. In the classroom, student can join together with their friends or teachers. Students by themselves can also study out of the classroom as long as they have computer to play the program.

The interaction of the teacher and learner or between the learners can be built by using of the program. Since the program was designed based on the principle of CALL, the learning activities will be more interesting.



The role of technology, especially computer in language education is very important in the latest decades. It is not only very beneficial in the term of material preparation but also in the process of learning and learning assessment.

In the case of language learning, the role of technology is proved by the existence of CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) which is considered as the medium of teaching and learning language, especially English. Student will study, recheck, and enhance their ability of English both at school and at home.

At school the student will learn interactively with teacher and classmate. Facilitated by some devices for instance CD, CPU, monitor, and speaker, student can elaborate the material inside by clicking the keyboard of computer, note book or even netbook. They even can record their own voices regarding the voice are imitated or repeated word or phrase. In sum, the roles of computer in language learning are very challenging for the teacher and the student activity either in the classroom or outside the classroom by implementing the CALL program. Since the interactive atmosphere can be built, consequently the student will be easer to enhance the language skill.


The CALL program will be beneficial and probably be alternative choice to run the teaching and learning program in the classroom. Some institution has challenges for the learning program by implemented the CALL program due to it is more interactive ways of teaching and learning English.


Harmer, Jeremi (2001). The Practice of English Language Teaching. England: Longman

Hartoyo (2008). Individual Differences in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Semarang: Pelita Insani Semarang

Hartoyo (2008) Enhancing Foreign Language Learning Via Self Access Computer Assisted Language Learning Edu-Lingua Jurnal Pendidikan Bahasa. Vol 1 No. 1-31

River, Wilga M. (Ed) (1987). Interactive Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


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