LIT2T Leadership Guide

46 TO: TABLE OF CONTENTS New terms such as E-learning, hybrid learning, mobile learning and pervasive learning are appearing in parallel with the proliferation of Information Communications Technology (ICT). Philip Hubbard’s publication, Computer Assisted Language Learning: Critical Concepts in Linguistics, expresses the dichotomy of CALL. In the introduction to this four-volume set, Hubbard suggests that CALL is an exciting field due to its complex, dynamic and quickly changing nature. He then expresses frustration with the field for the same reasons, “Technology changes so rapidly that CALL knowledge and skills must be constantly renewed to stay apace of the field” (Hubbard, 2009, p. 1) Since 1998, when LINC centres across Ontario were offered computer labs to encourage software-focused CALL at their centres, there has been a convergence of audio-visual, telephone and computer networks. This union is generally designated as Information and Communications Technology or ICT. There has been a shift away from software-based CALL installed on local computers or local area networks to web-based CALL that makes use of new communication and sharing tools. The combination of established CALL approaches with ICT is resulting in new learning opportunities for learners of all disciplines. A little more than a decade after the release of the LINC Software Guide in 2000, the majority of CALL opportunities already originated from Internet sources. Blogging, micro blogging, forums, wikis, social networking, podcasting, Web applications, and virtual worlds are now central to electronic learning. While there is still a role for behaviourist, or drill activities in the adult learning cycle, this type of software has been largely superseded by social constructivist learning opportunities offered through the World Wide Web. 10.2 From CALL To TELL The impact of Web on life and learning is hard to overstate. Information technology is now threaded through life, work and study in ways that were unanticipated just two decades ago. The current or emerging reality for language teaching professionals and learners is that “…digital technologies bring the real world into the classroom and take the classroom into the world” (WALKER & WHITE, 2013, P. 179) . Can extending the walls of the classroom through learning technology address shortcomings identified in settlement language training programs? Flexible delivery models that incorporate more independent study online lessen the need to attend class in person and help newcomers balance language learning with work or family responsibilities. When mobile learning is enabled, it will add even greater flexibility. Will increased program flexibility lead to higher participation rates? Probably. Concurrent with the early days of personal computing and the Internet, Warschauer published influential thinking on the relationship between technology and language learning. The first phase of technology integration he described was ‘structured CALL’, based on a view that language is a system of structures that can be broken down into discrete lessons for drill and practice to build competency and accuracy (WALKER & WHITE, 2013, P. 2) . Warshauer’s second phase was labelled ‘communicative CALL’ and based on the premise that language learning is constructed in the learner’s mind, and the best use of technology was to assist communicative language learning based on developing a learner’s understanding rather than drill and practice towards an internalization of sets of grammar, syntax and other external rules (WALKER & WHITE, 2013, P. 2).