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"The Future of CALL"

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  • Sophie and Yiannis
    I would like to welcome Stephen Bax to our discussion on The Future of CALL and thank him for accepting our invitation. His article on this topic is
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 1 11:01 AM
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      I would like to welcome Stephen Bax to our discussion on "The Future of CALL" and thank him for accepting our invitation.

      His article on this topic is available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website: http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall

      Another interesting bit of reading is the Warschauer & Healey article also available on the website.

      Both articles try to look back at the past, take stock and look forward to the future. I'm sure you'll find them an interesting read.

      What do you hope the future will bring for CALL?

      Looking forward to hearing what you have to say
      Sophie



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Geoff Taylor
      Hi ... I am embarrassed to say that I hadn t read it before. I read through the article, and made a few notes and comments. In this email, (1) I summarise the
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 2 4:26 PM
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        Hi

        With reference to Stephen Bax's article:

        > available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
        > http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall

        I am embarrassed to say that I hadn't read it before. I read through the
        article, and made a few notes and comments.

        In this email, (1) I summarise the article a little, (2) I relate the
        article to the arguments of Donald A. Norman, (3) I comment on the lack of
        advocates for language systems oriented CALL, and lastly (4, losing the
        thread slightly at this late hour...) I suggest that violent computer games
        don't make people violent.

        To summarise the argument, as I see it:

        Bax looks at Warschauer and Healey's well-known 3-phase (historical) model
        of CALL - Behaviouristic/Structural, Communicative and Integrative - and
        goes on to advocate a new taxonomy encapsulating three distinct (not
        essentially historical) approaches to CALL: Restricted, Open and Integrated.

        Restricted CALL is essentially the old accuracy-oriented language systems
        CALL, where the computer stood in for the teacher.

        Open CALL is the new communicative CALL, using CMC technologies. Both of
        these are mainly limited to infrequent, discreet sessions in designated
        computer rooms.

        By contrast, Integrated CALL integrates language, skills and communicative
        work, and occupies a small part of every lesson, using ubiquitous unremarked
        computing resources.

        Bax suggests that most of us are currently using Open CALL, but our aim
        should be to attain Integrated CALL, a state of 'normalisation', in which
        the technology is invisible and truly integrated. It "does not yet exist to
        any significant degree, but represents instead an aim towards which we
        should be working" (Bax 2003:22)

        I would comment that this view of the normalisation of technology is very
        much echoed - in the wider context of all technology users - by the thesis
        of Donald A. Norman (The Invisible Computer, 1998) chapter 2 of which is
        accessible online at
        http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/NORVH/chapter2.html?isbn=0262140659

        Bax (2003:19) disagrees with Warschauer that the 'once a week' model has
        already been superceded, claiming that it "still prevails in most
        institutions throughout the world". In the case of teachers at my school, St
        Clare's, at least, he is pretty much right. It is currently the norm,
        institutionally imposed through timetabling, and because of nature of the
        existing resources: many classes, and one computer lab full of non-portable
        computers (only enough for one class at a time).

        On a related but slightly different topic:

        I'm cheered to see that Bax doesn't chuck out the (Restricted CALL) baby
        with the (Integrated CALL) bath water. He says (2003:22) that Restricted
        CALL activities are "still valuable in their place".

        As someone involved in the running of one of these computer labs, and who
        has developed and/or authored a lot of 'Restricted CALL' material, I have
        long felt that too much emphasis has been put on Open CALL (CMC-oriented
        CALL), perhaps as a reaction to previous trends, that the pendulum has swung
        too far in the other direction.

        Maybe it's partly a learning styles thing. Without wanting to cause offence,
        could it be that the more prominent, more vocal advocates in CALL nowadays
        are 'people' people, and the more geeky software guys have fallen largely
        silent?

        When I think of my colleagues, for example, some of them always like to work
        on developing teaching materials, etc, in tandem with other people. They
        don't like to work alone. They resist learning systems on their own via
        trial and error, but always want to be shown and talked through everything
        by someone else. By contrast, I like to try and hack things myself, or look
        things up in discussion forums, etc, and only if I get really stuck, I'll
        ask for help directly. (My wife hates this tendency when we get lost out in
        the car, of course!)

        In language learning, with so many generally agreed language 'systems' in
        whatever language you're focussing on, surely a lot can be done using
        'pre-recorded' voices, as it were, in material like software programmes.

        When I use the equivalent of 'Restricted CALL' resources myself, e.g.
        learning to use Macromedia Flash from a training CD-ROM, the mind(s) of the
        writers or developers are exposed to me, or I inhabit their minds, and that
        is a resource I can benefit from. I use their explanations and closed
        quizzes to my own ends. Their quizzes put me up against myself - my own
        grasp of the system.

        So I think lots can be done using 'virtual' people giving pre-recorded
        messages (for example, EFL materials writers talking through their books,
        CALL developers talking through their software, etc), without needing to
        collaborate or chat about it all the time with 'real' people. Of course,
        collaboration and checking the viability of more controversial items via
        teamwork and Communities of Practice, etc, is a vital resource, but only as
        a part of the learning package.

        And that's why I don't agree that apparently violent computer games engender
        violence in players. When I play a first person shooter, for example, I'm up
        against the game programmers and finding out about the systems they've
        imposed. The outward appearance and sounds of the virtual entities I'm
        battling is just eye and ear candy. What I'm inhabiting is a rule-based
        environment created by a programmer, where survival and success depend on my
        becoming adept with those systems. In my opinion, that's not an experience
        that makes people violent.

        Multi-player environments, with real people trying to kill me, via their
        computer character, are a lot scarier. But what's scary is the other PEOPLE,
        not the game itself.

        Anyway, so I guess in summary, I welcome Bax's Integrated CALL. But I'll
        miss the geekier aspects of computing. People like us will have to move on
        to something else for our technology kicks...

        Thanks for listening.

        --
        Geoff Taylor
        gjtaylor@...
        CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
        http://www.stclaresoxfordonline.fsworld.co.uk
      • Stephen Bax
        Thanks for Geoff s comments. Just to pick up one point, I agree with him about the place of Restricted CALL software, as I feel that many students like, and
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 3 1:27 AM
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          Thanks for Geoff's comments.

          Just to pick up one point, I agree with him about the place of
          Restricted CALL software, as I feel that many students like, and can
          benefit from, relatively old-style activities such as grammar
          multiple choice quizzes at carious stages in their learning. These
          are part of the mix, and as long as the learner is getting chances
          elsewhere to communicate, then that is fine.

          I am against the strain of dogmatism which seems to accompany CLT and
          which implies that every single thing we do must fit a mould - e.g.
          everything must be 'authentic', everything must involve pairwork,
          everything must involve communication. All of these can be
          beneficial, but learners are all different and they need other things
          too - when I am at a certain point in my learning, a grammar exercise
          can clarify something, for example.

          So too with CALL - the danger of seeing things in rigid stages (e.g.
          that Restricted CALL activities need to be thrown out because we are
          now beyond that stage) is that we risk losing activities which can
          help some learners at some stage. So we need to have a more eclectic
          and open-minded approach to CALL materials and their possible
          benefits.

          Stephen


          In IATEFLComputerSig@yahoogroups.com, Geoff Taylor <gjtaylor@b...>
          wrote:
          > Hi
          >
          > With reference to Stephen Bax's article:
          >
          > > available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
          > > http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall
          >
          > I am embarrassed to say that I hadn't read it before. I read
          through the
          > article, and made a few notes and comments.
          >
          > In this email, (1) I summarise the article a little, (2) I relate
          the
          > article to the arguments of Donald A. Norman, (3) I comment on the
          lack of
          > advocates for language systems oriented CALL, and lastly (4, losing
          the
          > thread slightly at this late hour...) I suggest that violent
          computer games
          > don't make people violent.
          >
          > To summarise the argument, as I see it:
          >
          > Bax looks at Warschauer and Healey's well-known 3-phase
          (historical) model
          > of CALL - Behaviouristic/Structural, Communicative and Integrative -
          and
          > goes on to advocate a new taxonomy encapsulating three distinct (not
          > essentially historical) approaches to CALL: Restricted, Open and
          Integrated.
          >
          > Restricted CALL is essentially the old accuracy-oriented language
          systems
          > CALL, where the computer stood in for the teacher.
          >
          > Open CALL is the new communicative CALL, using CMC technologies.
          Both of
          > these are mainly limited to infrequent, discreet sessions in
          designated
          > computer rooms.
          >
          > By contrast, Integrated CALL integrates language, skills and
          communicative
          > work, and occupies a small part of every lesson, using ubiquitous
          unremarked
          > computing resources.
          >
          > Bax suggests that most of us are currently using Open CALL, but our
          aim
          > should be to attain Integrated CALL, a state of 'normalisation', in
          which
          > the technology is invisible and truly integrated. It "does not yet
          exist to
          > any significant degree, but represents instead an aim towards which
          we
          > should be working" (Bax 2003:22)
          >
          > I would comment that this view of the normalisation of technology
          is very
          > much echoed - in the wider context of all technology users - by the
          thesis
          > of Donald A. Norman (The Invisible Computer, 1998) chapter 2 of
          which is
          > accessible online at
          > http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/NORVH/chapter2.html?isbn=0262140659
          >
          > Bax (2003:19) disagrees with Warschauer that the 'once a week'
          model has
          > already been superceded, claiming that it "still prevails in most
          > institutions throughout the world". In the case of teachers at my
          school, St
          > Clare's, at least, he is pretty much right. It is currently the
          norm,
          > institutionally imposed through timetabling, and because of nature
          of the
          > existing resources: many classes, and one computer lab full of non-
          portable
          > computers (only enough for one class at a time).
          >
          > On a related but slightly different topic:
          >
          > I'm cheered to see that Bax doesn't chuck out the (Restricted CALL)
          baby
          > with the (Integrated CALL) bath water. He says (2003:22) that
          Restricted
          > CALL activities are "still valuable in their place".
          >
          > As someone involved in the running of one of these computer labs,
          and who
          > has developed and/or authored a lot of 'Restricted CALL' material,
          I have
          > long felt that too much emphasis has been put on Open CALL (CMC-
          oriented
          > CALL), perhaps as a reaction to previous trends, that the pendulum
          has swung
          > too far in the other direction.
          >
          > Maybe it's partly a learning styles thing. Without wanting to cause
          offence,
          > could it be that the more prominent, more vocal advocates in CALL
          nowadays
          > are 'people' people, and the more geeky software guys have fallen
          largely
          > silent?
          >
          > When I think of my colleagues, for example, some of them always
          like to work
          > on developing teaching materials, etc, in tandem with other people.
          They
          > don't like to work alone. They resist learning systems on their own
          via
          > trial and error, but always want to be shown and talked through
          everything
          > by someone else. By contrast, I like to try and hack things myself,
          or look
          > things up in discussion forums, etc, and only if I get really
          stuck, I'll
          > ask for help directly. (My wife hates this tendency when we get
          lost out in
          > the car, of course!)
          >
          > In language learning, with so many generally agreed
          language 'systems' in
          > whatever language you're focussing on, surely a lot can be done
          using
          > 'pre-recorded' voices, as it were, in material like software
          programmes.
          >
          > When I use the equivalent of 'Restricted CALL' resources myself,
          e.g.
          > learning to use Macromedia Flash from a training CD-ROM, the mind
          (s) of the
          > writers or developers are exposed to me, or I inhabit their minds,
          and that
          > is a resource I can benefit from. I use their explanations and
          closed
          > quizzes to my own ends. Their quizzes put me up against myself - my
          own
          > grasp of the system.
          >
          > So I think lots can be done using 'virtual' people giving pre-
          recorded
          > messages (for example, EFL materials writers talking through their
          books,
          > CALL developers talking through their software, etc), without
          needing to
          > collaborate or chat about it all the time with 'real' people. Of
          course,
          > collaboration and checking the viability of more controversial
          items via
          > teamwork and Communities of Practice, etc, is a vital resource, but
          only as
          > a part of the learning package.
          >
          > And that's why I don't agree that apparently violent computer games
          engender
          > violence in players. When I play a first person shooter, for
          example, I'm up
          > against the game programmers and finding out about the systems
          they've
          > imposed. The outward appearance and sounds of the virtual entities
          I'm
          > battling is just eye and ear candy. What I'm inhabiting is a rule-
          based
          > environment created by a programmer, where survival and success
          depend on my
          > becoming adept with those systems. In my opinion, that's not an
          experience
          > that makes people violent.
          >
          > Multi-player environments, with real people trying to kill me, via
          their
          > computer character, are a lot scarier. But what's scary is the
          other PEOPLE,
          > not the game itself.
          >
          > Anyway, so I guess in summary, I welcome Bax's Integrated CALL. But
          I'll
          > miss the geekier aspects of computing. People like us will have to
          move on
          > to something else for our technology kicks...
          >
          > Thanks for listening.
          >
          > --
          > Geoff Taylor
          > gjtaylor@b...
          > CALL Coordinator, St Clare's, Oxford, UK
          > http://www.stclaresoxfordonline.fsworld.co.uk
        • Sophie and Yiannis
          In response to Geoff s comments on Integrated versus Restricted CALL, I d like to add that his preferences might be just representing his learning styles. As
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 3 12:19 PM
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            In response to Geoff's comments on Integrated versus Restricted CALL, I'd
            like to add that his preferences might be just representing his learning
            styles.

            As we now try to cater both for intrapersonal and interpersonal multiple
            intelligences, different styles of CALL might work for different learners.

            That's why I also agree with Stephen not to 'trash' restricted CALL. In the
            same way that we we have developed FL methodology trying to built on the
            past, we should proceed with CALL.

            Everything has a role to play if we know how to use it - that's where
            training comes in.

            Sophie
          • Phil Brabbs
            Hi ... I went to this site, got redirected, but cannot find the actual article. Geoff, do you know where it is? Thanks a lot Phil Brabbs
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 27, 2005
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              Hi

              Can anyone tell me where I can find Stephen Bax's article:

              >> available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
              >> http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall

              I went to this site, got redirected, but cannot find the actual article.
              Geoff, do you know where it is?

              Thanks a lot
              Phil Brabbs
            • Stephen Bax
              Hello there. The full reference is: System 31 (2003) 13–28 For a short time the publishers made it available to IATEFL for the January discussion forum, but
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 28, 2005
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                Hello there. The full reference is:

                System 31 (2003) 13–28

                For a short time the publishers made it available to IATEFL for the
                January discussion forum, but I see that now it is not available on
                the IATEFL site, as you say.

                If you contact me directly on s.bax @ cant.ac.uk I think I can help.

                Stephen Bax

                --------

                --- In IATEFLComputerSig@yahoogroups.com, "Phil Brabbs" <brabbs@v...>
                wrote:
                > Hi
                >
                > Can anyone tell me where I can find Stephen Bax's article:
                >
                > >> available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
                > >> http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall
                >
                > I went to this site, got redirected, but cannot find the actual
                article.
                > Geoff, do you know where it is?
                >
                > Thanks a lot
                > Phil Brabbs
              • Geoff Taylor
                Hi Phil ... Sorry, I ve accidentally deleted the download link to it! Will put it back on the website this evening. Until then, here s a direct download link:
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 28, 2005
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                  Hi Phil

                  on 27/4/05 9:55 pm, Phil Brabbs at brabbs@... wrote:

                  > Can anyone tell me where I can find Stephen Bax's article:
                  >
                  >>> available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
                  >>> http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall
                  >
                  > I went to this site, got redirected, but cannot find the actual article.
                  > Geoff, do you know where it is?

                  Sorry, I've accidentally deleted the download link to it! Will put it back
                  on the website this evening.

                  Until then, here's a direct download link:
                  http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/media/callpresentpastandfuture.pdf

                  Sorry for the inconvenience.

                  --
                  Geoff Taylor
                  IATEFL Learning Technology SIG Webmaster
                  http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk
                • Geoff Taylor
                  ... Update: I ve put up a new link on the Report page on the Online Discussion event. The report is at this address:
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 28, 2005
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                    on 27/4/05 9:55 pm, Phil Brabbs at brabbs@... wrote:

                    > Can anyone tell me where I can find Stephen Bax's article:
                    >>> available at the IATEFL COMP-SIG website:
                    >>> http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/future.htm#thefutureofcall
                    > I went to this site, got redirected, but cannot find the actual article.

                    Update:

                    I've put up a new link on the Report page on the Online Discussion event. The report is at
                    this address:
                    http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/onlineevent-feb05.htm

                    Here again is a direct download link to the pdf file of the article:
                    http://www.iateflcompsig.org.uk/media/callpresentpastandfuture.pdf

                    Best wishes

                    Geoff Taylor
                  • Phil Brabbs
                    Hi Stephen and Geoff Have now got the article. Thanks very much for your (very prompt) help. Phil
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 29, 2005
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                      Hi Stephen and Geoff

                      Have now got the article. Thanks very much for your (very prompt) help.

                      Phil
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