How to make CAll effective in middle school teaching?

<b> Forum for the discussion on how to use computers and technology in the ESL/EFL classroom </b>

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How to make CAll effective in middle school teaching?

Post by ginny » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:41 am

As we all know, computers have played a very important role in english teaching. But how to make it effectively in middle school teaching is still a hot topic.
Recently, I am searching for my paper, so who can give me some suggestions?

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That's a good topic.

Post by shaodantracy » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:21 am

That's a good topic.
I think many teachers now can not use computers in English class efficiently. Many of them can not attract students' interest, even some of them can not use computer smoothly.
CAI's another name is CALL( computer assisted language learning). So I think we should center on students.
On one hand, we can not put a lots of pictures on our PPT or anything else. They attract a lot of attention of students and then students will not participate in class.
On the other hand, I think we should consider that students' interest. For example, if some students like cartoon, we may add some photos about famous cartoon charactors.
What's more, the style of the computer-using should be varied. If we always use one method, who will be interested in that?
That's my opinion. I wish it can help you.

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My ideas about CALL

Post by Patrice » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:28 pm

I totally agree with you that computer plays an important role for language teaching and learning. However, we, as language teachers, should always remember that computer is only an assisted tool. It cannot replace teachers and classmates.

In the traditional classroom, students can still learn a second language; teachers can still instruct language as well. Thus, when we’re talking about CALL, we should firstly consider the differences and possibilities which could make by using computer.

Using PPT to replace flashcards, actually, means nothing to students. In other words, CALL is not only a fancy term for teachers. If we want computer to play an “effective” role on language teaching and learning, the course should be designed carefully.

In my opinion, many possibilities can be created by using computer. For example, if students can learn English via playing a computer game, they will feel language learning is easy and happy. If students can have a chance to interact with foreigner, their learning motivation will be increased undoubtedly. Furthermore, if students have an authentic learning environment by searching pictures on-line, watching videos on youtube, etc., language learning will be more meaningful for them.

Once again, drills on books and tests on paper have no different meaning from drills or tests on computers. Computer is an assisted tool, but we can’t integrate it into our class just because it is a symbol of fashion and new method.

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Post by birdy » Sun May 27, 2012 3:51 am

That is true. If the computer is used as an efficient tool, I think the students can really benefit. I noticed that it very helpful and motivating to use for example entertaining or informing videos. But I actually only use the computer when I directly instruct the whole class or the class needs it to fulfill an own project. I find it very difficult to teach a class that has access to the computer and internet, because the computer offers so many distractions. I like your idea that students can interact with native speakers or other language learners.

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Using CALL with middle school students

Post by ginawirth » Sun May 27, 2012 7:48 pm

With the vast array of web sites and programs available today, I think it is almost impossible to have an interesting class without at least some computer interaction for students. I have found that the students are extremely motivated and universally interested (regardless of L1) in computers and computer use. Even the most simple game can quickly elicit interest in a student (regardless of age, in many cases). Instruction can be differentiated , in most cases, for many types of learners too. It took me a while to warm up to all the new and changing technology available today. Even though I still believe in many of the "old fashion" methods of teaching the advent of technology and its assets can not be ignored.

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Benefits of CALL

Post by TeacherScrev » Mon May 28, 2012 2:57 am

I believe that CALL can be beneficial for students of all ages. I actually took a course called "Games as Learning Tools" where we became the ESL student for the entire 15 weeks. I saw first hand how the use of Games can make two dimensional materials in a textbook come to life. However, one of the most important things I realized in that class was that the games must be used as TOOLS for learning and not in place of actual teacher/student interaction and instruction.

The benefits of CALL include opportunities for students to practice using visual, auditory, and written practice. Students can practice listening, reading, and writing skills all in one activity. Students set the pace for their own learning throughout the game. The game itself offers a private space for them to make mistakes. Assigning different games or games with multilevels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) can allow the teacher to provide differentiated instruction and individualization.

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Post by Donnetta » Tue May 29, 2012 4:28 am

I agree with you. Your response was dead on. CALL has numerous benefits. To elaborate on your answer even more. It is an excellent means of providing optimal modified input to learners, great multimodal practice, immediate, personalized feeback, individualization in a large class, self-pacing, a private space to make mistakes, a convenient venue for language practice and an awesome mode for offering variety in the resources available and learning styles used. These benefits are wonderful, but for a teacher there are numerous practical applications. It can be used for collaborative projects, peer-editing of compositions, epals, email dialogue journals, blogging, web-page design, videoconferencing, podcasting, multimedia presentations, speech recognition software, computer-adaptive testing and of course games. These are just a few of the ways that electronic technology can enhance the teaching of ESL.

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