Using computer-assisted language learning (CALL) tools to enhance output practice

Halenko, Nicola orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9906-6418 (2018) Using computer-assisted language learning (CALL) tools to enhance output practice. In: Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107131224

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Following trends to enhance learning and teaching environments with computer-assisted language learning (CALL) tools, this chapter aims to determine the efficacy of an interactive animation tool, known as a Computer Animated Production Task (CAPT) for assessing and improving the spoken communication skills of English as a Second Language (ESL) students during their UK study abroad experience. Since many ESL students do not take advantage of the opportunities for language practice with native speakers in an ESL environment, focussed language practice in the classroom is still required. Given the trends for many learners to be involved in virtual worlds as a social activity outside of the classroom and calls for practitioners to embrace digital technologies inside it, the aim of the CAPT materials was to enhance learner engagement which focused on the productive practice of apologies. The data were captured from 40 undergraduate Chinese learners of English studying at a British Higher Education institution and linguistically analysed to determine instructional effects. A pre-, post- and delayed post-test-test design was employed to evaluate the CAPT as a learning tool to facilitate productive practice, measured against a control group who received no instruction. Results show that explicit instruction which included productive practice was effective and the CAPT was viewed as a positive and motivating learning tool by the students on the post-instruction questionnaire.

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