final test ICT

The Using of CALL in Teaching and Learning Process


The development of information technology that has followed the development of computer technology has stimulated people especially those who work in the field of education, such as teachers, curriculum planners and media designers, to endeavor to carry out experiments and studies on the possibilities of utilizing computers for educational purposes.

Based on the explanation above, it tells us that computer is the best partner to help the teachers to teach their lesson materials, especially in teaching English grammar. The unique properties of the computer as a medium for education are its ability to interact with students (Nelson, 1980) and its flexsibility that enables students to move in whatever direction interets them and navigate through both texts and graphical information (Smith, 1988), as well as video clip with the choice of live sound or narration on the topic they choose (Ahmad, 1985).        Moreover, the computer can be utilized to enhance language learning, and can also be used to generate examples to illustrate certain operations or to stimulate conversation (Kenning, 1984). This integrated combination of features can help students with clear explanations and descriptions, as well as illustrations. It is not easy being a teacher because it has double functions. Furthermore, She or He is not only being an educator but also being a motivator for his or her students. The most important thing of considerations of being a teacher is that he or she has to motivate and encourage students in learning the lesson materials. That’s why the teacher must make the lesson interestingly to the students.

As we usually know, English has four fundamental skills, and they are reading, writing, listening and speaking. Moreover, the most difficult thing to be taught is reading because in reading lesson is included the grammar focus lessons such us tenses, gerund, passive voice, clauses and sentence structures which is more complicated to be understood by the students. To make it easier to be taught, the teachers must have interesting multimedia or tools when they want to teach their students. For examples, when the teachers want to teach about part of speech, they will use the computer which has been programmed interestingly and easier to be studied by the students. Perhaps, they will use some pictures, video clip, or instruments which are directed to the lesson materials itself.

Besides using the CALL program for teaching grammar lesson, actually, the teachers can make or create their own CALL using the PowerPoint program. They can write or create the more specific explanation and information about grammar lesson with many clip arts, pictures, written text, and even using the native sound of how to spell the things, verbs, nouns, adjectives and the others words correctly. We have also known that the using of CALL (computer assisted language learning) can motivate the students in learning English grammar, and it is easier the teaching and learning process in the class. Teachers do not have to bring a lot of compulsory and supplementary books because they just can save the lesson materials in flash disk or CD, and just plug those kinds of saving materials in the computer; moreover, they can do their teaching responsibilities without encountering the obstacles during the class. This paper will examine the advantages and the disadvantages of using the CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) in teaching English grammar structures for students nurse and midwifery in Medika Health Scince Instutite, Cikarang, Bekasi.

  1. B. The Advantages and The Disadvantages of Using CALL in Teaching English Grammar Structures

According to Kuang-wu Lee (English Teachers’ Barriers to the Use of Computer-assisted Language Learning, states that why we have to use ICT in teaching and learning process because based on the some research and practice suggest that, appropriately implemented, network-based technology can contribute significantly to:

  1. Experiential Learning

The World Wide Web makes it possible for students to tackle a huge amount of human experience. In such a way, they can learn by doing things themselves. They become the creators not just the receivers of knowledge. As the way information is presented is not linear, users develop thinking skills and choose what to explore.

  1. Motivation

Computers are most popular among students either because they are associated with fun and games or because they are considered to be fashionable. Student motivation is therefore increased, especially whenever a variety of activities are offered, which make them feel more independent.

  1. Enhanced Student Achievement

Network-based instruction can help pupils strengthen their linguistic skills by positively affecting their learning attitude and by helping them build self-instruction strategies and promote their self-confidence.

  1. Authentic Materials for Study

All students can use various resources of authentic reading materials either at school or from their home. Those materials can be accessed 24 hours a day at a relatively low cost.

  1. Greater Interaction

Random access to Web pages breaks the linear flow of instruction. By sending E-mail and joining newsgroups, EFL students can communicate with people they have never met. They can also interact with their own classmates. Furthermore, some Internet activities give students positive and negative feedback by automatically correcting their on-line exercises.

  1. Individualization

Shy or inhibited students can be greatly benefited by individualized, student-centered collaborative learning. High fliers can also realize their full potential without preventing their peers from working at their own pace.

  1. Independence from a Single Source of Information

Although students can still use their books, they are given the chance to escape from canned knowledge and discover thousands of information sources. As a result, their education fulfils the need for interdisciplinary learning in a multicultural world.

  1. Global Understanding

A foreign language is studied in a cultural context. In a world where the use of the Internet becomes more and more widespread, an English Language teacher’s duty is to facilitate students’ access to the web and make them feel citizens of a global classroom, practicing communication on a global level.

According to Hartoyo (Individual Differences, 2005), there are some advantages and disadvantages of using CALL in teaching English grammar structures.

1).  The Advantages

  • As far as reading habits are concerned, CALL encourages users (students) to develop a non sequential reading habit, which it is hoped will carry over to reading tasks with traditional, printed material. (Ansel, et all, 1992). It allows users to make their own decisions to develop a selective and critical habit which enables them to scan a large amount of information (topic) of their interest.
  • CALL offers freedom for users to choose any topic of information available within the package. The table of contents denotes all topics available which can be selected by simply clicking on the box labeled for a particular topic.
  • Since the CALL tutorial package can also be used in pairs, it spurs the user (student) to be able to collaborate very usefully in problem solving which in itself is considered in a wide range of different contexts.
  • CALL’s flexibility of time allows the students to determine what particular topics and how long he wants to learn.

2). The Disadvantages

  • Compared with “traditional” books, the “electric” book – the CAL program – is considered to be much less handy. It is much different from traditional books that are small enough to be carried around and studied wherever and whenever students wish, on the train, at home, in the middle of the night, or in the dentist’s waiting room. (Ansel, et al, 1992). Moreover, at the present time most students do not posses their own computers at home. Hence, they usually can only used computers available in their schools in which the opening hours are very restricted.
  • In general, reading a text, especially the long ones, on the screen is slower, more difficult and tiring. Gould and Grischowsky (1984) have shown that people read 20 – 30 % slower from low resolution screens. It may, sometimes, account for the eye irritation and pain. Therefore, those who are concerned with the design and programming of CAL should take into account the use of high resolution screens, and should refer to the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulation (e.g. in the U.K. : The Health and Safety (DSE) Regulation 1992).
  • Viewing from the financial point, CAL is costly enough for the programmer or teacher, let alone students. A lot of funds have to be provided to purchase equipment, design, programs, and for the maintained.

According to Davies G. (How effective is the use of ICT in language learning and teaching? A small-scale investigation, 2008) states that there are also some benefits and the downsides of using CALL in teaching English grammar structures.

1).   The Benefits of using ICT

Most of the feedback I received pointed to the benefits of using ICT. All of the evidence was anecdotal, but this is not to dismiss it out of hand. Some very interesting and useful points were made.

  • The following comments were made by teachers who use interactive whiteboards:
  1. “I couldn’t live without my IWB now. The problem is that I have no tangible evidence [of its benefits], just classes full of enthusiastic pupils and good uptake at each options stage.”
  2. “I spend half my lessons with an IWB and the other half in a room with an OHP. I feel that the option of an IWB adds a great deal to the tools of my trade, adds to students’ motivation and often offers a way to present a new topic in an exciting way. It leads to my spending both more and less time on my preparation for lessons; more to put together exciting materials and less in that I can use them for more than one group. Whilst not believing that an IWB is the answer to all problems I would rather have the option to use one than not.”
  3. “I’d say that the IWB is a device that’s made teaching more fun therefore learning more fun in the process. The current generation have an attention span of less than 10 minutes and have to be entertained to stay focused. The IWB keeps the students focused so I guess they’d be learning more, but I can’t measure it. In my school the MFL department did not use ICT before I joined, and behaviour and attainment were poor. Everything’s improved now, but is it as a result of using ICT or the appointment of better teachers? Or maybe a combination of both?”
  4. “As well as enhancing language learning I believe ICT can help improve behaviour in the classroom. Having a range of applications open, whereby you can easily switch tasks or, for instance, action buttons within presentations that link to other activities, can really aid lesson delivery. Boredom can often lead to undesired behaviour. I always have a plan B, C and D with my most challenging classes and it is definitely a bonus that activities can be quickly prepared using ICT.”
  5. “The IWB has dulled my senses and I am going to ration myself. Don’t get me wrong, I do love it but what’ll we do when all the electrickery runs out? What about headaches generated from a diet of IWB all day?”
  • Another benefits of using CALL program are:
  1. Choosing software carefully is a priority, as one teacher put it: “sensible and realistic software, preferably programs for which we can author materials that tie in 100% with the units that the pupils are studying”.
  2. Integrating ICT materials into the curriculum and frequency of exposure of pupils to ICT were mentioned as keys to success.
  3. Staff must be familiar with using ICT and confident and interested in using it.
  4. One teacher wrote: “I have used ICT enthusiastically since the early 90s and it can engage better and motivate more effectively”. He modified his comment, however, by adding: “Deep down, though, I know I’d rather have classes of 12 pupils and no equipment rather than 25-30 pupils in a class and a load of PCs.”
  5. The advantages of ICT in delivering repetition and memorisation activities was pointed out. As one teacher put it: “What would be boring in class can become obsessive with an ICT style game or challenge. Plus the idea of spot-on accuracy becomes much more important in this situation.”
  6. ICT was perceived as having a beneficial effect on pupil’s grammar skills and listening skills. One teacher wrote: “I am convinced that working with well-designed Hot Potatoes tasks improves pupils’ skill with grammar and is more engaging than a worksheet”. Another teacher wrote: “It would be hard to imagine that practising listening on a one-to-one basis with computer would not yield good results”.
  7. It was pointed out that ICT can go beyond drill-and-practice, offering access to authentic materials on the Web and the opportunity for authentic communication.
  8. An interesting observation was made regarding the use of Voki, a tool that enables users to create and customise their own speaking cartoon characters. One teacher who uses Voki’s text-to-speech facility wrote: “I use Voki with pupils of all abilities. If they’re shy they can type in what they want to say, which is also a good way of practising writing skills as they have to get their spelling right for the Voki output to sound right.”
  9. A project involving the outreach work of Monkseaton High School to local primary schools was mentioned. Results of a research study conducted by Durham University showed that the primary school pupils progressed up to 80% faster when taught French with the aid of a set of ICT resources (Word worksheets, IWB PowerPoint presentations, audio files, etc) compared to those who learned using traditional methods. 1000 pupils were split into two groups for the purposes of the research study. Paul Kelly, headteacher of Monkseaton High School, is reported as saying: “The pupils who used computers improved by between 0.5 and 0.8 of a level more than those who used books. That can be translated into an improvement of up to an 80% cent with computers. They almost doubled the speed at which they were learning”.
  10. One teacher made use of Excel to produce target sheets for her pupils. She wrote: “Generally, the Excel documents have lots of lookup tables etc behind them and lead to direct targets as a result of their input and/or understanding. The feedback I have had from the students tells me how to improve on the work that I have done, and we have reached a system which, the students tell me, is really beneficial to them and of huge help to their linguistic progress and development. Obviously I wouldn’t use such documents every time that I am in my classroom. However, I find that it is a way of me being able to give the students direct targeted feedback, which I know the children then go on to use in order to help them to improve their own work. Often, we may do a piece of work in class and print the target sheets. The children’s homework is to try and improve their mark (using their targets) by 10 points – or to full marks if this is a smaller amount. The children I teach really relish this challenge. I know that I would be unable to do this if it were not for the option of the ICT available to me.

2.)   The Downside of using ICT

Relatively few negative comments were made about using ICT in MFL (modern foreign language) teaching. The following points were made:

  1. Access and technical support in some schools still appear to fall short of what is necessary for using ICT effectively.

One teacher wrote: “Lack of access to computer rooms is a major problem. The ICT rooms in every school I’ve worked in are used by the ICT staff first, and our current LRC has five computers – barely enough for a small SEN group let alone the 32 or so in my Year-9 groups. Consequently, I have access to the LRC one lesson every four weeks. I have access to somebody’s IWB almost every lesson, but I will use it perhaps twice a week. Reasons? I am only in that classroom for one lesson and so it is a real nuisance to have to unplug the teacher’s laptop each time, turn the projector on (where is the remote kept?) and connect my laptop – and vice versa at the end of the lesson – especially when I then have to dash to the other side of the school for another lesson, taking everything with me. So I only use the IWB if I happen to be teaching a class before break or lunch, and only then if I am willing to spend my time in the classroom setting everything up instead of having a proper break in the staffroom.

The “absent” technician was mentioned: “Our technical support comes from a technician who leaves bang on the dot of 2.55 pm, before any teachers can get from their rooms to his room at the end of the day”.

  1. The Web was mentioned twice as a distraction rather than a benefit:

One teacher wrote: “When I take pupils to the computer room, I invariably spend most of my time monitoring their devious access to sites unrelated to MFL. I find that half the class just use the Web as another means of messing around, which is a pity because there are some brilliant sites out there.”

Another teacher wrote: “I have observed too many ICT lessons in schools, perhaps fabulously equipped, where students browse aimlessly for half an hour and get up from their PC having learned absolutely nothing. Unless we are careful, we simply get sucked into an arms race of gimmicks. It’s the content not the form that’s important, but we all know that.” The same teacher was not in favour of using the Internet in class time, which he thought was time-wasting. As he put it: “They can surf in their own free time at home and I don’t need to worry about what they’re looking at”. But he was in favour of accessing the Internet for whole-class activities that he could control.

  1. The question of the high costs of maintaining ICT facilities in schools was raised, especially in an age when children are surrounded by ICT and are no longer impressed by it.

One teacher wrote: “There are lessons in the school where every conceivable gadget is wheeled out in a vain attempt to engage pupils. This counts for nothing with kids, humans being social creatures. We are paying megabucks for a couple of staff to service the systems that pupils take for granted.”

  1. Videoconferencing was briefly mentioned as a means of making contact with partner schools in other countries, but even though costs are much lower than they used to be there are still practical issues that need to be considered and there appears to be a shortage of ideas on making the best use of videoconferencing.

As one teacher put it: “Even after we had overcome the technical hassles and the time-shift difficulties (the French students were on their way home before the end of our day), there was still the issue of tongue-tied teenagers staring at each other with little to say. The visuals seemed to add nothing of merit – they might as well have been on the phone which would also have been a lot more convenient and very much cheaper. We abandoned the idea very quickly as it was obvious that too little of merit came out of too much time. All that was also before we had concerns about what they might actually be saying and whether it was appropriate. It all seemed to be a classic case of technology actually making things more difficult”.

  1. It was pointed out that ICT may not necessary to achieve good results:

One teacher wrote: “There is a colleague who eschews any technology in her classroom, except an audiocassette recorder, and who regularly delivers lessons which are truly outstanding. Her results are better than the kids’ targets in MFL and in child development.”

A British teacher working in Germany wrote: “Here the students actively want to learn English but teachers do not seem to need the gimmicks that we sometimes need to use in the UK to motivate students”. She modified her comment by adding, “However, I think they are also missing out on a whole series of opportunities that the ICT in the classroom can offer”, and mentioned that she aimed to show local teachers some of the possibilities offered by IWBs.

  1. C. Conclusion

To conclude, the most important thing is that we, as the teacher and the learner, must be diligent enough to motivate and encourage ourselves and our students to be more sophisticated and never be lazy to improve and develop our horizons and our students’ knowledge about English with the utilization of ICT in teaching and learning process. Furthermore, actually, teaching and learning English with ICT is easier to be used and done by the people who understand well about ICT program, but for the people who are not accustomed to use ICT, they will encounter some obstacles or temptations when operating or using it. That’s why every teacher or student must be accustomed to use ICT started from themselves to improve their ability in operating the computer in order to help them in teaching and learning process.

  1. D. References

Lewis, Michael, ed., “Teaching Collocation: Further Developments in the Lexical Approach,” TESL-EJ 4, no. 4 (December 2000). http: //www-writing berkelay.sdu/tesl-ej16/r12.html (accessed March 20, 2009).

Hartoyo (Individual Differences, 2005)

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 7:09 am  Leave a Comment  

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