Implementing computer-assisted language learning in the EFL classroom: Teachers’ perceptions and perspectives

Abstract

The aims of the study reported in this article are to investigate factors affecting English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' use of computers in their classrooms and to find out EFL teachers' perceptions of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and ways to improve CALL practice in school settings. Participants in the study were twelve Korean in-service teachers of EFL working at secondary schools in Korea. A questionnaire and follow-up in-depth interviews were employed to collect data.

The results of the study indicate that the teachers have positive and favourable attitudes toward the use of the computers. They consider computer technology as a useful teaching tool that can enhance ways of teaching by offering students a variety of language inputs and expanding students' learning experiences in real and authentic contexts. It is also reported that external factors such as lack of time, insufficient computer facilities, rigid school curricula and textbooks and lack of administrative support negatively influence the implementation of CALL in the classroom. Internal factors such as teachers' limited computer skills, knowledge about computers and beliefs and perceptions of CALL also seem to significantly affect teachers' decisions on the use of CALL. Based on the findings of the study, implications are made for the effective implementation of CALL in EFL contexts.

Authors

Chan Nim Park
Gaewon Middle School, Korea

Jeong-Bae Son
Faculty of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba

References

Albirini A (2006) Teacher's attitudes toward information and communication technologies: the case of Syrian EFL teachers. Computer & Education 47(4), 373-398.

Arnold N, Ducate L, Lomicka L and Lord G (2005) Using computer-mediated communication to establish social and supportive environments in teacher education. CALICO Journal 22(3), 537-566.

Atkins NE and Vasu ES (2000) Measuring knowledge of technology usage and stages of concern about computing: A study of middle school teachers. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 8(4), 279-302.

Bancheri S (2006) A language teacher's perspective on effective courseware. In Randall PD and Margaret AH (Eds) Changing Language Education through CALL (pp.31-47). New York: Routledge.

Bax S (2003) CALL-past, present and future. System 31, 13-28.

Brown HD (1991) TESOL at twenty-five: What are the issues? TESOL Quarterly 25, 245-260.

Choi E (2006) 'Korean educational policies and current issues'. Paper presented at the AEF Professional Development Workshop, The Chungbuk National University, Chongju.

Cunningham K (2000) Integrating CALL into the writing curriculum. The Internet TESL Journal 6(5), retrieved March 26 2008 from http://iteslj.org/Articles/Cunningham-CALLWriting/.

Egbert JL, Paulus TM and Nakamichi Y (2002) The impact of CALL instruction on classroom computer use: A foundation for rethinking technology in teacher education. Language Learning and Technology 6, 108-126. Retrieved May 17 2008 from http://llt.msu.edu/vol6num3/egbert/.

Han M (2006) Interaction through Web-based discussions in teacher education. English Language Teaching 18(2), 25-48.

Jeong K-O (2006) Promoting communicative language teaching in EFL context: An English writing course mediated through the Web. English Language Teaching 18(3), 47-68.

Johnson EM (2002) The role of computer-supported discussion for language teacher education: What do the students say? CALICO Journal 20(1), 59-79.

Jung YS (2001) Toward an effective EFL teacher development program focusing on multimedia and the Internet. English Teaching 56(4), 141-162.

Kim H (2002) Teachers as a barrier to technology-integrated language teaching. English Teaching 57(2), 35-64.

Kwon O (2000) Korea's English education policy changes in the 1990s: Innovations to gear the nation for the 21st century. English Teaching 55(1), 47-91.

Lam Y (2000) Technophilia vs. technophobia: A preliminary look at why second-language teachers do or do not use technology in their classrooms. Canadian Modern Language Review 56(3), 389-420.

Lam Y and Lawrence G (2002) Teacher-student role redefinition during a computer-based second language project: Are computers catalysts for empowering change? Computer Assisted Language Learning 15(3), 295-315.

Lee S and Son J-M (2006) The use of ICT in Korean middle school English classrooms: Practices and challenges. English Language Teaching 18(1), 49-73.

Liu Y, Theodore P and Lavelle E (2004) Experimental effects of online instruction on teachers' concerns about technology integration. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning 1(1), retrieved October 17 2008 from http://www.itdl.org/journal/Jan_04/article03.htm.

Luke C and Britten JS (2007) The expanding role of technology in foreign language teacher education programs. CALICO Journal 24(2), 253-267.

Oh E and French R (2007) Preservice teachers' perceptions of an introductory instructional technology course. CALICO Journal 24(2), 253-267.

Rakes GC and Casey HB (2000) An analysis of teacher concerns toward instructional technology. International Journal of Educational Technology 3(1), retrieved May 17 2008 from http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/IJET/v3n1/rakes/index.html.

Redmond P, Albion PR and Maroulis J (2005, March) 'Intentions v Reality: Pre-service teachers' ICT Integration during Professional Experience'. Paper presented at the 16th International Conference of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE 2005), Phoenix USA.

Rilling S, Dahlman A, Dodson S, Boyles C and Pazvant O (2005) Connecting CALL theory and practice in pre-service teacher education and beyond: Processes and Products. CALICO Journal 22(2), 213-235.

Savignon SJ (1997) Communicative competence: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Shin H-J and Son J-B (2007) EFL teachers' perceptions and perspectives on Internet-assisted language teaching. CALL-EJ Online 8(2), retrieved July 17 2008 from http://www.tell.is.ritsumei.ac.jp/callejonline/journal/8-2/h-js_j-bs.html.

Smerdon B, Cronen S, Lanahan L, Anderson J, Iannotti N and Angeles J (2000) Teachers' tool for the 21st century: A report on teachers' use of technology. Washington DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Son J-B (2002) Computers, learners and teachers: Teamwork in the CALL classroom. English Language Teaching 14(2), 239-252.

Son J-B (2004) Teacher development in e-learning environments. In J-B Son (Ed.) Computer-assisted language learning: Concepts, contexts and practices (pp.107-122). Lincoln NE: iUniverse.

Suh S (2004) Technology training and English language teacher education in Korea. Proceedings of CLaSIC 2004, Singapore, 1040-1048.

Toprakci E (2002) Obstacles at integration of schools into information and communication technologies by taking into consideration the opinions of the teachers and principles of secondary schools in Turkey. E-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology 9(1), retrieved December 17 2008 from http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/docs/vol9_no1/papers/commentary/toprakci.htm.

Yildirim S (2000) Effect of an educational computing course on preservice and inservice teachers: A discussion and analysis of attitudes and use. Journal of Research on Computing in Education 32(4), 479-95.

Keywords

computer-assisted language learning (CALL), implementation, EFL, secondary school, Korean language education

Meta

PP: 080 - 101

Introduction

In recent years, the rapid evolution of information and communication technology (ICT) has made great changes in societies and education. The Internet, particularly, has become a useful tool for communication, a venue for experiencing different cultures and a mediator in diverse political, social and economical situations. Along with the impact of the Internet worldwide, the extensive use of computers at schools has had a critical influence on educational environments. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MOE & HRD) in Korea, for example, has implemented several Educational Reform Plans since 1997 to meet the challenges in an era of high-technology. At the governmental level, the Education Ministry implemented 'The Comprehensive Plan for Education in the Information Age' aimed at building the infrastructure for education between 1997 and 2000. It included ICT equipped classrooms, computer labs and digital libraries with computers connected to the Internet to provide schools with technology-enhanced learning environments. On the basis of the plans, the Korean government has provided every school with multimedia computers, software programs and high-speed broadband Internet connections to cope with an information technology society and to integrate ICT into everyday educational practices.

In terms of teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), the paradigm of English education in Korea has moved to the communicative language teaching (CLT) approach along with the Seventh Educational Reform in 1997 (Choi, 2006; Kwon, 2000). The underlying theoretical concept of CLT is communicative competence, which refers to the ability for language learners to use socially, contextually and culturally appropriate language in communicative contexts (Savignon, 1997). However, most Korean learners of EFL have difficulties to develop their communicative competence beyond the classroom mainly because they do not have a supportive learning environment where they can hear and speak English for communicative purposes (Jeong, 2006). Therefore, some special efforts are needed to help Korean students expand their language learning experiences and practice the target language outside the classroom. This need can be found in the Korean government's special emphasis on English language proficiency and computer literacy in the spirit of globalization. English language proficiency and computer literacy are currently essential elements in the Korean society in looking for a job, obtaining promotion and entering into a school of higher education (Kwon, 2000). In these circumstances, the Internet, combined with a variety of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) programs, is on its way to restructuring the concept of the language classroom and the roles of the learner and the teacher in foreign language learning and teaching in Korea. The appropriate integration of Internet-connected computers into the language curriculum is a key issue to consider when examining the effective use of computer technologies for educational purposes in Korea.

... continues ...


Sign Me Up for latest release updates

*  Email Address:
    First Name:
    Last Name:
*  I am interested in:





 

Web Feed

Latest Articles

Special Issues

Pedagogy and language planning
Volume /


Explorations of pedagogy in Australian contexts
Volume 8/3
Summary | Contents


Quality pedagogies for quality learning in contemporary higher education
Volume 8/2
Summary | Contents


Creativity and collaboration in the education sector
Volume 8/1
Summary | Contents


Cross-cultural pedagogies: The interface between Islamic and Western pedagogies and epistemologies
Volume 7/3
Summary | Contents


Diverse dimensions of computer-assisted language learning
Volume 7/2
Contents


Online Pedagogy in Practice
Volume 5/3
Contents


Working with computer-assisted language learning
Volume 5/2
Summary | Contents


Language testing
Volume 5/1
Summary | Contents


Pedagogical meanings emerging in practice (Part 2)
Volume 4/5
Summary | Contents


Contextualizing CALL locally and globally
Volume 4/4
Summary | Contents


Pedagogical meanings emerging in practice (Part 1)
Volume 4/3
Contents


Doctoral designers: Challenges and opportunities in planning and conducting educational research
Volume 4/2
Summary | Contents


Evaluating value(s): Issues in and implications of educational research significance and researcher identity
Volume 4/1
Summary | Contents


Meanings emerging in practice (Part 3)
Volume 3/3
Summary | Contents


Meanings emerging in practice (Part 2)
Volume 3/2
Summary | Contents


Meanings emerging in practice (Part 1)
Volume 3/1
Contents


Educating for tomorrow: Considering theories for Learning Futures
Volume 2/3
Summary | Contents


'Town and gown' in the bush: Contemporary regional universities and transforming communities
Volume 2/2
Summary | Contents


Meanings under the microscope (Part 4)
Volume 2/1
Summary | Contents


Meanings under the microscope (Part 3)
Volume 1/3
Contents


Meanings under the microscope (Part 2)
Volume 1/2
Contents


Meanings under the microscope (Part 1)
Volume 1/1
Summary | Contents


crossref.org - The citation linking backbone



Website by Arrowsmith Websites. Website Design Sunshine Coast, Australia.