Is Computer Language Learning Suitable For Me?

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Computer-assisted language learning (CALL), often known simply as computer language learning, is a form of computer-based assisted learning.
The first thing to be said is that it is not a method, but a tool to facilitate learning - under whatever method is being used.
Perhaps one of the most useful things about computer language learning is that it is student-centered and allows each user to progress at their own speed.
Moreover, it can be programmed to be interactive and, as a result, individualized.
Finally, it can form a stand-alone course, and be used on its own, or it can be used as a reinforcement of class learning.
Where computer language learning is used in the latter role, as learning reinforcement, it has often led to a revision of both the teacher's and student's role in the language learning process.
For example, when it is used as a major component of a foreign language course, the teacher must get used to the fact that they are no longer simply the provider of knowledge, but must now guide the student in their interaction with the computer.
The student, for their part, must become accustomed to taking on greater responsibility for their own learning.
It is often said that computer language learning, even when used to provide a stand-alone course, does not entirely eliminate the need for an instructor, or teacher.
While this may be true in certain circumstances, the latest CALL courses, usually available for self-study in stores or on internet, incorporate many advances that enable a motivated learner to take almost complete control of their learning experience.
Speech-recognition software allows them to compare their pronunciation to the computer's model, and access to an instructor, either by phone or via an internet forum, gives them the support necessary at crucial moment in the learning process.
Indeed, for many students, computer language learning can create a much more stimulating environment than a classroom.
Although some students learn better in a classic teaching setting, with instructor and peers, others may find it intimidating.
This is obviously true for shy students, who can feel freer in their own self-created learning environment.
However, the advantages are not limited to shy students.
The use of technology tends to make learning more interesting for many people.
Personalizing information, by integrating the student's name or familiar contexts within the instruction, can promote motivation.
Another very successful way to do this is to use much more realistic contexts (real-world or fantasy) that are not directly related to language learning per se.
One way a program or activity can promote motivation in students is by personalizing information, for example by integrating the student's name or familiar contexts as part of the program or task.
Others include having animate objects on the screen, providing practice activities that incorporate challenges and curiosity and providing a context (real-world or fantasy) that is not directly language-oriented.
Finally, computer language learning gives the student the ability to control not only the pace of their learning, but also, in many cases, the actual content.
This is because they can choose what to learn, in what order, they can omit lessons they think are unnecessary and do extra work - or devote more time - to their perceived problem areas.
This makes them feel more competent in their learning.
Moreover, students tend to prefer the type of exercise where they can control the content and direction of their learning, such as branching stories, puzzles, logic problems or adventures.
All in all, if you're not too worried about not being able to learn in a classroom environment, with permanent access to an instructor, computer language learning could be just the thing you're looking for to bring greater motivation to your language learning experience.
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