REAL helps to define Quality Indicators in EU CALL projects
The EACEA brought together some of the key stakeholders to discuss the relationship between growing IT solutions and the language teaching classroom. Participants agreed that the ultimate success of CALL initiatives depends mainly on the degree of motivation and engagement of users, both teachers and students alike. To this end, attractiveness and acceptance are a priority to garner motivation and engagement. Usability – readiness and ease of use – and cultural appropriateness in terms of content and technology level are also critical.
Participants stressed the importance of two-way feedback and interaction between teachers and students for the acceptance of CALL methods as it empowers both users. To maximize the impact of CALL strategies on learners’ skills, specific attention has to be paid to learner autonomy, particularly by developing learners’ ‘learning to learn’ competences. Experts' experience shows that those initiatives which allow for learners to choose their own language learning paths work best.
Interconnectivity with additional resources on the model of social media, as well as flexibility and transferability of tools are key to ensuring their sustainability and compliance with the users’ expectations. The required level of digital literacy will depend upon the method used. Simple guidelines and reasonable learning timeframes will always be needed if proper engagement and reduced drop-out rates are to be attained. To this aim, the role of teachers and trainers is crucial. Teachers, however, do not need to be experts on ICT. Rather, they should guide learners within a clear pedagogical framework.
EUROCALL is the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning. EUROCALL aims to provide a European focus for the promulgation of innovative research, development and practice relating to the use of technologies for language learning: www.eurocall-languages.org.
A EUROCALL conference is held annually in a European country. This year conference was organised in Bordeaux (France) by the University of Bordeaux and steered by the University of Bordeaux IV – IUFM, under the auspices of ALSIC and ACEDLE, two associations of researchers involved in ICT and language teaching http://eurocall2010.u-bordeaux4.fr.
EACEA is the European Union executive agency for the management of Community action in the fields of education, audiovisual and culture http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/index_en.php