Faculty of Arts


Computer Assisted Language Learning


LANGTCHG 752 is a distance course in the Masters in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (MTESOL).

This course on CALL or TELL (Technology-Enhanced Language Learning) or WELL (Web-Enhanced Language Learning) or MALL (Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) covers the theoretical and practical aspects of using technology to promote language learning. The lack of a single suitable acronym reflects the diffuse nature of the use of technology in language learning. We all live in a digital world and we no longer wheel in a particular piece of software to do a specific task in an otherwise technology-free environment. How many times do you use technology (computers or phones) within one hour? The issue is not whether students are using technology or not, it is how to best use technology. Despite the ubiquity of enabling technology, we still need to investigate the ways in which technology can be used to facilitate interaction, provide tools, or deliver content and feedback.

The general aim of the course is to provide the background that will help you make informed decisions about the use of technology over the next decade. As a teacher or administrator, you may want to supplement your classroom teaching with online materials; evaluate courseware; design a combined face-to-face/technology-based course (blended learning); and author materials using systems such as Moodle. (Or you may want to run a internet-based language school.)

How can technology be used to enhance language learning? Where does technology fit best in the complex process of learning a language? These questions will be explored in this course and at the same time we will use technology (fairly gently) throughout the course in order to increase your knowledge of technology use and also to foster some reflection on the manner in which content, interaction and feedback may be handled by computer-based systems. We will conduct the course in the online realm and make use of online resources as much as possible.

The application of technology in language learning adds an extra dimension to an already complex phenomenon involving learners, teachers, materials and institutions. During the course, you will gain knowledge of the nuts and bolts of technology use as well as the ability to critically assess particular technologies in specific situations.

The objectives are to allow students to:

  • Become familiar with a wide range of CALL applications
  • Understand how particular technologies can be used to support learning in different situations
  • Increase knowledge and confidence in using technology in teaching/learning
  • Become aware of the social and cultural aspects of CALL
  • Evaluate technologies and implementations
  • Create language courseware

As this is an online course, there is a considerable responsibility placed on the student to manage their own learning and make suitable progress through the course. We have designed the course activities to suit the constraints and the advantages of an online learning environment. As part of this structure, you will be asked to maintain a learning journal in which you give your considered responses to questions posed in the worksheets and readings. This is also the location for you to include your reflections on your learning: your understanding of language as a result of corpus analysis; and your reaction to the articles, software and exercises, and so on.

The learning journal is a very important part of the course. You will use it to record your own thoughts and questions as well as your answers to the questions posed in each unit. As your knowledge increases through corpus analyses and readings, you will modify the contents of your learning journal. In addition, you will be asked to post responses to a class discussion board and to participate in discussion of issues that arise. I will be checking on the learning journals regularly and I will also post comments to the discussion board.

Each unit will consist of readings and a practical data analysis section in addition to online postings. Thus typically students taking the course will do the following:

  • Read the assigned articles and answer some questions
  • Perform one or more analysis tasks as part of the lab session
  • Make notes and answer questions in the learning journal
  • Contribute to the discussion board
  • Maintain email contact with me when appropriate
  • Take part in a video-chat

Students are expected to work on the readings and analyse data individually and then contribute to the online discussions.

Availability 2021

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Michael Barlow


Recommended Reading


LANGTCHG 752: 15.0 points

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