Technology on CALL: improving English language learning in a Spanish context

Beatrice Segura-Harvey, Susan Greener

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

The acquisition of English as a second language remains a vital necessity for business in a globalized environment. Once a particularly early pioneer of e-learning, second language acquisition has not moved with current thinking on learning and rapid technological advances in terms of platforms and devices. The focus of this paper is a much needed review of “computer assisted language learning (CALL)” with recommendations for continued research and development applied to a Spanish context. With the recent economic crisis in the Spanish economy, due to global economic pressures from 2008, there has been a dramatic drop in employment, which consequently has forced Spanish citizens to leave the country looking for work. However, the variable quality of language teaching and learning in schools has produced a deficit in skilled workers and professionals with a suitable level of working English. These two areas of change, CALL and Spain’s employability issues, mean that businesses and language academies have to tackle the deficit. This paper describes research into the potential benefits and difficulties faced by businesses and individual learners in improving English language acquisition and aims to determine whether improved use of technology could help. The global use of CALL was investigated and, within this context, research was conducted in Spain with learners of English and language academy directors to analyse the environment of computer-assisted language learning within Spain. This was a cross-sectional study using mixed methods for the purposes of triangulation of data: following a review of relevant literature, the results of a student survey and a management survey were analysed and used to develop realistic online lessons with Spanish students to test out the concepts identified in the research. The outcomes of this case study are also presented in the paper, although at this stage of the research only a very limited test has been possible. The study has focused attention on a holistic view of the environment and attitudes towards CALL from the perspective of students and managers of language academies. These issues include self-directed learning, feedback automation, English proficiency, computer competency and attitudes towards CALL. The findings are of particular importance for businesses needing a good level of English proficiency and learners and teachers using CALL. The report concludes with recommended areas of further research into the country’s potential further development and distribution of CALL. Also, it draws together the economic impact of improved English language acquisition and how Computer Assisted Language Learning could promote this positive change and attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th European Conference on e-Learning
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Pages0-0
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Event13th European Conference on e-Learning - Copenhagen, 30-31 October, 2014
Duration: 1 Nov 2014 → …

Conference

Conference13th European Conference on e-Learning
Period1/11/14 → …

Bibliographical note

© The Authors, 2014

Keywords

  • Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • Employability
  • attitudes towards technology
  • Spain

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    Segura-Harvey, B., & Greener, S. (2014). Technology on CALL: improving English language learning in a Spanish context. In 13th European Conference on e-Learning (pp. 0-0).