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Applied Linguistics & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Applied Linguistics & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

In the Department of Arts & Humanities

Apple Lecture > Apple Lecture 2005

Apple Lecture 2005

2005 Carol A. Chapelle

CALL Pedagogy: Suggestions from Research

Interview in TC Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, Vol 5, No 1 (2005)
TESOL/AL Times Newsletter Article

APPLE 2005 Enhanced input aside, Applied Linguistics and TESOL were very fortunate to be able to coax Dr. Chapelle away from her obligations as Professor in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Iowa State University and as Second Vice-President of the American Association of Applied Linguistics long enough to deliver the fifth annual APPLE (Applied Linguistics and Language Education) lecture, “CALL Pedagogy: Suggestions from Research”, April 22, 2005. It was attended by over 100 faculty, students, alumni and staff drawn from the greater TC community.

In a follow-up to a more theory-oriented lecture that she had delivered earlier that afternoon, Dr. Chapelle enumerated six ways in which computerassisted language learning (CALL) can facilitate second language acquisition  (SLA).

The more modes, the better.

Among the great advantages of CALL is its ability to deliver aural as well as visual stimulation, making for a multimedia, multisensory experience. Hyperlinks in a reading passage, for example, permit access to the pronunciation, definition or graphic representation of words whose meaning may not be clear from their context.

Help helps.

When CALL users are given extra help in the course of task fulfillment, they tend to outperform the control group on post-test; i.e., short-term at least, this extra help would appear to give them the advantage. This was true of learners who were allowed to watch a video accompanied by subtitles in the target language.

Teachers need to help learners help themselves to help.

Having extra help at their fingertips does not necessarily translate to learners knowing enough about CALL to take advantage of it. Rather, it is incumbent on educators to act as the go-between, that learners might be able to make informed decisions about the role it ought to play in their CALL and in their SLA in general.

Explicit is better for learning grammar.

What this suggestion amounts to is drawing learners’ attention to ways in which their grammar diverges from the norm.

Dr. Chapelle gave as an example the Korean equivalent of the verb happen, which leads ELL speakers of that first language to overuse the passive in English. She argued that explicitly drawing those learners’ attention to that error is more efficacious in helping them to overcome it than more implicit means of instruction could be.

Plan for good computermediated communication (CMC) experiences.

In other words, the first assumption of educators should be that chatting online can provide valuable opportunities for learning; the challenge then is for educators to make it so. Dr. Chapelle went on to describe a chatroom task in which learners were found to self-correct. This is in line with the view that, because interaction forces learners to take the needs of their interlocutors into account, it demands a focus on form as a means to promoting the production of comprehensible output.

Think pragmatic competence.

Because CMC expands the classroom to encompass the world, it provides a variety of contexts in which learners can test their grasp of pragmatics. For example, the use distinction between the French pronouns ‘tu’/‘vous’ (translated as the English ‘you’) is difficult for native speakers of English to master. This was a verbal tic of which a certain learner's peers grew progressively less tolerant; with the use of CALL, we are to assume, the form was eventually acquired in a native-like way.