Designing CALL Program for Language Learning Activities: Some Basic Concepts*
A Brief Summary
By: Herri Mulyono
Design of CALL has to meet condition where the computer can be utilized individually as media to assist the language learning. The design of CALL has also to cover the three main process of learning; namely lesson plan, practice of implementation and finally evaluation where students are assessed to measure how particular lessons are successfully learnt. There are some procedures that one has to complete the effort of designing CALL (computer assisted language learning) for particular classroom purposes, they are determining objective, choosing types of the programs, selecting materials, choosing software, determining task and designing structure of the program.
Determining objective of CALL is the first task to accomplish. It is generally known that the objective of CALL would be the main issue that all CALL activities would cover and or to discuss. By knowing the objective, the CALL designer would be at his ease to choose appropriate materials to serve along CALL activities.
Choosing types of program might be the second requirements in designing CALL for language teaching and learning purpose. Selecting particular type of program would determine further sort of procedure or learning steps students likely would run along the program of CALL. There are some CALL program type a designer may select such as drill and practice, games, tutorials, simulations problem solving, and demonstrations. Concerning to the type of tutorial program, Criswell (1989:9) figures out two typical flows of activities namely linear and branching program. Linear program offers strict learning procedure by which students are allowed to pursue their further lessons only if they have passed successfully their previous lessons. In contrast, branching program provides more learning flexibility that students could access their learning regarding to either their pre-test result or even their personal interest of particular learning subject. In spite of differences of the two types CALL program, a designer of CALL program has to be aware of improvement they have to afford to make the program more interesting, flexible, interactive and handy to use.
Selecting materials seems to be the main issue to cover. In the effort of determining particular materials to convey in CALL program, a designer has to reevaluate their particular objective and type of the program which of those types would carry out the learning materials appropriately.
The next step is to choose software that is going to use to design the CALL program. In this case, knowledge and understanding of particular computer software might provide beneficial support for designing CALL program. Hartoyo’s book of his CALL tutorial program explains a lot regarding to the use of ToolBox 3.0. Yet, the use of newest and up-to-dated software of Macromedia Flash 9.0 might also be possible to undertake concerning its handy-to-use menu for beginner computer programmer.
Determining tasks might be a follow up of the selected program. The presence of learning tasks has to constitute active interaction between the language learning and the CALL program.
In addition, the structure of program has to be established to give clear line students are pursuing their learning. The structure of program generally comprises of three rooms. Firstly, introduction room gives information or explanation of the CALL program. The introduction room provides general picture of overall students learning and what they would master after having number of learning steps. Secondly, the content presents number learning activities while the third, self-exercise room tries to evaluate what students have already understood after learning particular lessons.
To sum up, it is important for a CALL designer to pay more attention to the procedure in designing CALL program. Designing CALL program by covering up those procedure, starting from determining the objective, choosing type of the program, selecting learning materials, choosing software, determining tasks and structure of program would provide value of the CALL program such as effectiveness and efficiency besides the program would diminish the confusion in learning.
*This article is a brief summary of Chapter 4: Designing Call, Written by Hartoyo (2008)
Hartoyo, M.A., Ph.D. 2008. Individual Difference in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Semarang: Pelita Insani Semarang.