Considering the ubiquity of computers in this technological age, it is only natural that they would effect the language learning process. Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is the implementation of software and web-based programs to facilitate the learning of English.
Contrary to the fears of some instructors, CALL does not eliminate the need for TESOL teachers. CALL is not a replacement of traditional face-to-face instruction, but can be a useful supplementary tool. Computer-based activities may be suitable for writing exercises and reading comprehension, but teacher-student interaction may be better for listening comprehension, oral expression and pronunciation. Such a mix of learning environments is referred to as “blended learning,” and allows both students and instructors to have a more fulfilling classroom experience.
Though Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) does not replace TESOL teachers, it does redefine their function: Rather than being the sole focus of a student’s attention, a teacher must sometimes become more of a guide, choosing appropriate computer-based activities, assisting students complete their tasks, fielding students’ more complex questions, delivering positive reinforcement and dealing with technical problems, should they arise. Computers have been used to teach language since the 1960s and because technology is rapidly advancing, TESOL teachers must stay abreast of new developments in the field.