CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning)

The term CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) became established in language education in the early 1980s. It is a form of computer-based learning and it is not a method. The focus of CALL is learning and not teaching. CALL materials are used in teaching to facilitate the language learning process, promoting self-paced learning.

There are various programs designed for language learners, involving plenty of activities (flexible variations on standard pen-and-paper exercises) that the students can do individually, working on their own, but which also work well as class activities.

Jim Scrivener (2005) provided several activities in his book Learning Teaching as it follows:

a) Word processors
● Writing texts: when pupils have a text to produce, they should be allowed to work on it using the computer. It encourages them to spell-check, use the built-in thesaurus, experiment with layouts or fonts.
● Marking students’ work: students can submit their homework, project, presentations on email or computer disk;
● Marking the teacher: the teacher prepares a text including spelling and grammar errors and gets the students to work together and correct the text given;
● Simple gap-fills: the teacher writes a text but with spaces, that the students must fill in;
● Edit source texts: the teacher provides a number of sources texts and sets students a task that requires them to copy, paste and edit to make a short text answering a specific question.

b) Presentation software
Computer presentation programs (Power Point) are a good way of storing and showing images and texts in slide shows.
● Flash pictures: for one second each. Students meet up afterwards, recall them and make up a story using them.
● Flash lexis: the activity is the same, but instead of pictures, the teacher shows them recently studied words and students try to recall them.

c) The Internet
Internet-based lessons involve research to find information for some specific purpose. Scrivener (2005) provided several activities that can be used in the classroom or at home:
● live communication (using Messenger);
● delayed-response text communication (emails, forums, message boards);
● reading web-based text (newspapers, magazines, articles, catalogues, entertainment etc);
● downloading or using web-based content (language exercises, films, music);
● designing their own web pages and websites.

d) Tasks and projects
● find real writing projects online, making contributions to collection of stories or opinions;
● students design and start up their own website on a topic of interest.

We should keep in mind the fact that technology itself is not the goal. It is an ongoing process that requires time, attention and dedication of all the people using it. It should not be used for the sake of doing something new. If the teachers use the technology to prepare the lesson materials and they use it in the classroom, it means that the goal has been achieved. Despite the big list of methods (traditional and modern ones), the reality is that few teachers have used only one method in its entirety. Each teacher chooses what is effective in his classrooms, the methods they feel more comfortable with, what he considers to be the most appropriate of what he has learned about.


Eshelman Ramey, Traci. (2017). Game Based Learning (GBL) Impact on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning. 10.13140/RG.2.2.32197.14568.

Scrivener, J. (2005). Learning Teaching. Oxford: MacMillan.


prof. Laura-Emilia Bamiopol

Școala Gimnazială Sfântul Andrei, Brăila (Brăila) , România
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