The Relationship Between SecondLanguage Acquisition Theory andComputer-Assisted LanguageLearning Chapelle, C. A. (2009). The Relationship Between Second Language Acquisition Theory and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. The Modern Language Journal, 93, 741-753. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2009.00970.x
Four general approaches ofSLA • Cognitive linguistic (Universal Grammar, autonomous induction theory, and the concept-oriented approach); • psycholinguistic (processibility theory, input processing theory, interactionist theory); • human learning (associative–cognitive CREED, skill acquisition theory); and • language in social context (sociocultural, language socialization, conversation analysis, systemic–functional, complexity theory)
SLA • Generative linguistics and Universal Grammar (White, 1989) and autonomous induction theory (Carroll, 2006) • focused on natural rather than instructed SLA. • focus on explaining how innate mental structures are responsible for a learners’ development of language
Connections between SLA and CALL • language as “a dynamic interactive system for conveying meaning,” • language learning as “the acquisition of the ability to construct communicative meaning in a new system” • “since so complex an ability can hardly be ‘taught,’ the implication for instruction is to create an environment—in class or in our materials—in which students can work on acquiring that ability” • (Garrett, 1991, p. 92). Garrett, N. (1991). Technology in the service of language learning: Trends and issues. Modern Language Journal, 75, 74–101.
Communicative CALL • “aim at acquisition practice rather than learning practice,” • “not try to judge and evaluate everything the student does,” • “use the target language exclusively” (Underwood, 1984, pp. 52–53). Underwood, J. H. (1984). Linguistics, computers, and the language teacher: A communicative approach. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Instructional design • CALL designers, users, and researchers need to be able to theorize not only the “normal” process of acquisition but also how to modify this normal process in hopes of helping students to learn faster and better.
TABLE 1 Theoretical Approaches to Second Language Acquisition, Their Focus, and Example Implications for Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Theoretical Approach to SLA Focus of Theory Example Implications for CAL Cognitive Linguistic Approaches
Theoretical Approach to SLA Focus of Theory Example Implications for CAL Psycholinguistic Approaches
Theoretical Approach to SLA Focus of Theory Example Implications for CAL General Human Learning
Theoretical Approach to SLA Focus of Theory Example Implications for CAL Approaches to Language in Social Context
TABLE 2 Example of CALL Instructional Strategies Interpreted Through Interactionist SLA From a Psycholinguistic Perspective
If technology-based materials and tasks are to be evaluated in terms of the opportunities they provide learners for SLA, then frameworks and guidelines are needed for conducting such evaluations.
A framework and principles for evaluation of CALL (Chapelle, 2001) six characteristics of • language learning potential • meaning focus • learner fit • Authenticity • Positive impact • Practicality Chapelle, C. (2001). Computer applications in second language acquisition: Foundations for teaching, testing,andresearch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
THE RELEVANCE OF TECHNOLOGYFOR SLA THEORY Communicative Competence Contexts, Input, and Interaction in SLA
Communicative Competence Because learners communicate through technology, communicative competence needs to include the ability to communicate using readily accessible L2 technology aids (such as online bilingual dictionaries and tools that check grammar), the ability to make appropriate linguistic choices in face-to-face, remote, written, and oral modes, and the ability to choose appropriate technologies for communication and language learning.
Contexts, Input, and Interaction in SLA • All approaches to SLA that theorize a role for linguistic input need to consider the way that technology changes linguistic input and how learners’ access to new forms of input might affect acquisition. • Specific features of technology are relevant to important aspects of interaction, such as timing, directing attention, multimodality and access to help, and feedback (Chapelle, 2003, ch. 5). Chapelle, C. A. (2003). English language learning and technology: Lectures on applied linguistics in the age of information and communication technology. Amsterdam: Benjamins.