Computer Assisted Writing Learning: Applied Linguistics Term Paper

Pages: 20 (6823 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 40  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Communication - Language

Computer Assisted Writing Learning: Applied Linguistics

In the work entitled: "Introduction to Computational Linguistics: Computer-Assisted Language Learning" it is related that there are "variables such as the learner's proficiency level and goals, whether the language is being learned in a foreign-language or second-language setting; aspects of the language that are often taught with the assistance of books; and books are and are not useful for..." that must be considered in book-learning. In language learning or computer-assisted language learning it is observed that "to make good use of the computer as a tool in language learning" that it is extremely critical to know about: (1) Language acquisition theory; (2) Learning theory; and (3) Applications and design of computer programs."(Introduction to Computational Linguistics: Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 2006)

KEY TERMS:

CALL (Computer-Assisted-Language-Learning) Much of what comprises CALL is "the transfer of book technology and traditional methods of language teaching to the computer." (Ibid) Simple combinations of sound and text via computer applications is the 'audio-dictionary'. CD-ROMs are used generally because of the potential size of digital files making the CD-ROM more practical for storage. It is possible greatly enhance the reading experience of the learner through use of hypertext and hypermedia. Programming concerns related to CALL are divided into two unique areas which are those of: (1) handling the user interface; and (2) processing user input and other data" (Ibid)

APPLIED LINGUISTICS is known "to denote analytic and empirical linguistic approaches for investigating topics related to a second language acquisition and language use." (Ibid)

The following literature review must make as its' focus a rendering of a vast review of available literature not only relating to learning theory, language acquisition theory and the applications and design initiatives used for computer applications that are created and developed with a vision of enabling the language learning of the user of these theory- and language-learning-based programs. Applied Linguistics is known "to denote analytic and empirical linguistic approaches for investigating topics related to a second language acquisition and language use." (Ibid)

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

The work entitled: "Computer Assisted Text Scaffolding for Curriculum Access and Language Learning/Acquisition" states that the system is based on the following premises: (1) "Virtually all applied linguists agree that access to sufficient comprehensible in put in the target language is a necessary condition for language acquisition; most applied linguists, however also assign a role to (1) a focus on formal feature of the target language, (b) development of effective learning strategies and - actual use of the target language." (Cummins, 2003) Secondly, stated is that (2) Formal second language teaching is relatively unsuccessful for a significant number of learners primarily as a result of impoverished input in the target language, both with respect to quality and quantity; (3) Target language text has the potential to provide a virtually inexhaustible supply of authentic comprehensible input for language learning if rapid access to meaning could be ensured." (Cummins, 2003) Fourth is stated that "Current CD-ROM technology can supply the necessary supports or 'scaffolds' to make a wide range of target language text comprehensible to learners, thereby fuelling the language learning process the more learners read in the target language, the more access they get to its vocabulary, grammar, idioms, etc., and the more language they learn." (Cummins, 2003) Cummins (2003) holds that the system that is proposed: "Could, in principle, be applied in any language learning context." (2003) Furthermore, Cummins holds that "The proposed system would serve the academic development and language learning needs of this type of students in the following manner: "When the student came to a world of phrase he/she did not understanding, he/she could click on the word and obtain any or all of the following supports: (a) a dictionary definition in English; (b) a first language translation equivalent; - the English pronunciation of the word; (d) grammatical information related to the word or phrased (e) idiomatic expressions, (f) cognates between the first language and English when they exist." (2003) This system, according to Cummins (2003) "Would be totally self-regulated insofar as students themselves would choose the level and type of support they require." Stated as well is that "The theory underlying this system differs from (but also complements) current approaches to both conventional language teaching and multimedia design for language learning." (Cummins, 2003) The system proposed by Cummins is one that draws on "research and theory in a multitude of areas..." As follows: (1) language learning and teaching; (2) Academic achievement of ESL or minority language students; (3) appropriate ways of teaching literacy; (4) Critical language awareness; (5) cognitive strategy instruction; and (6) computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and multimedia design." (2003)

The work of Lusnia entitled: "Teaching Teachers Long-Distance: A Paradigm-Shift for the Teacher-Planner in Mexico" relates the current process as being that the center for teaching of foreign languages at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is "undergoing changes to provide some teacher education courses by means of distance learning.' (Lusnia, 1999) Stated is that "Few distance programs currently existing the area of applied linguistics." (Ibid) Further stated is that "Practical considerations for planning include: (1) the development and design of a didactic model; (2) the setting of long and short-term goals for the project and its teacher courses; (3) two examples of courses in progress; and (4) what positive and concrete results we expect this project will attain." (Lusnia, 1999) The Center for Teaching of Foreign Languages is stated to be "the oldest of the language departments of the six campuses" of UNAM and has two main functions which are: (1) to provide language classes to about 10,000 university students in 14 different languages; and (2) to carry out research in the Department of Applied Linguistics." (Lusnia, 1999) Related is the fact that distance programs have been a need for some time now at UNAM because Mexico "has a shortage of prepared language teachers which means that more often than not teachers who are proficient in a foreign language and who have little or no formal language in teacher training, give classes both in the public and private sector." (Lusnia, 1999) Another factor is that "The number of students receiving degrees is quite low compared to the number enrolled and could indicate a need for flexible programs such as distance or open programs." (Lusnia, 1999) Lusnia states as well that "This scarcity of qualified language teachers with some sort of official credential has prompted teacher trainers at the CELE to propose and plan courses for language teachers to be given via distance learning." (1999) There are presently six online courses being planned and developed as follows: (1) How can I learn Applied Linguistics at a Distance?: An Introductory Course; (2) Linguistics Aspects for Communicative Approaches; (3) Reading Comprehension; (4) Introduction to Applied Linguistics and (6) Writing for English Teachers." (Lusnia, 1999) Lusnia relates that an integral part of the planning is "the construction of a didactic model for distance education. A didactic model essentially involves the way in which all the different participants establish communication in order to reach the proposed objectives of a program or course, for example: the sending and reception of course materials or the organization of tutorials." (Lusnia, 1999) The following labeled Figure 1 illustrates the "Conditions which make possible didactic communication at a distance" as proposed by Lusnia (1999)

Conditions Which Make Possible Didactic Communication at a Distance

Selection of media which Production of diverse

Conforms to available materials with activities

Resources and to the specific which promote

Necessities of the participants independent learning

Other ways of evaluating in The form and frequency of Which Learners, tutors and tutorials at a distance or on- advisors participate site as well as the participation of on-site advisors

Accessibility to bibliographic and journal resources,

Information networks such as Internet, and communication with other participants.

Source: Lusnia (1999)

The model as proposed by Lusnia (1999) is stated to be under construction in a collaborative manner "with the multi-disciplinary participation of the CELE teachers who are planning the courses, a librarian, the on-site advisors, a graphic designer, and a computer specialist." Inclusion of these "different types of experts is done in hopes of creating a model which includes many perspectives and considers different proposals." (Lusnia, 1999) Lusnia states however that it is "clear to us that every institution and its context determine that characteristics of the model." (1999)

In the work entitled: "ESL Students' Computer-Mediated Communication Practices: Context Configuration" it is stated that: "Research studies of computer-mediated communication (CMC) use in language education have addressed overall aspects of context in language learning and teaching, including technologies, linguistic features, pedagogy, curriculum, social materials and social discourses on CMC (Belz 2003; Belz & Muller-Hartmann, 2003); Chun, 1994; Kern 1995, 2000; Kinginger, Gourves-Hayworth & Simpson, 1999; Kramsch & Thorne, 2002; Meskill & Anthony, 2005; Meskill & Ranglova, 2000; 2003; Ware, 2005) These layers of context show that the occurrence of social interactions in language learning needs to be understood in relation to not only immediate situational contexts but… [END OF PREVIEW]

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