There is a brilliant book entitled ‘Teacher Education in CALL’ (Hubbard and Levy eds. 2006) which details the current state of CALL teacher education – some of the predominant findings are that there is not enough CALL Teacher Education going on as part of INSET or PRESET training, and even when CALL is part of Teacher Education programs it is often considered unsatisfactory in terms of preparing teachers to actually use CALL applications in class.
In the TESLCA-LList-Serv I started a post about CALL and Autonomy and was soon contacted through the list by Greg Kessler, a researcher and CALL Teacher Education Specialist who contributed to the ‘Teacher Education in CALL’ book. The post took on a slightly new purpose then, focusing on CALL Teacher Education and how this can feed into Autonomy Training.
I decided I would expand the idea by adding a post here. By joining the free mailing list TESLCA-L you can read the archived postings and also add to them, or alternatively leave a comment here on this blog about the subject.
We are particularly interested in:
any CALL preparation courses you have taken
your attitudes towards CALL use and CALL Teacher Education
any experiences you have had while trying to integrate CALL into your classes
There are some amazing resources emerging regarding the use of Second Life for Language Learning. There are in world virtual schools dedicated to a range of languages, most notably English, Spanish and French. There are also groups which are dedicated to language learning.
EDUNATION – This is the island set up by the Consultants-e. It’s a great place and there is a lot going on.
CALICO – This is a Ning Social network for the CALICO/EUROCALL groups’ Virtual Worlds Special Interest Group
To name just a few. If you are not already in Second Life then I would recommend that you go in and have a look for yourself. Flying around in the virtual world can be quite demanding on your computer if you don’t have a good graphics card, but I would recommend it nonetheless. It might be some time before the computer labs in schools catch up enough to fully support entire classes using SL, but to be honest that’s not how I see it going. For example, I went in last night and found an island where Japanese people hang out. I went up to a couple of guys and introduced myself, then tried as hard as I could to follow the conversation and join in using VOIP. This is a great way to practice authentic communication with real speakers. The value of this is particularly apparent if you are learning a language in a Foreign Language context (ie. there aren’t many speakers of the target language in your country).
Has anyone else had any experiences in Second Life? How did you feel when you were in there? Can you recommend any good places or groups?
For anyone interested my Avatar’s name is Richard Spiritor.
How many of us are now using VLEs to provide students with access to supplementary resources, lecture notes, additional or useful information and links to other repositories?
Many university level lecturing jobs and teaching posts are asking for experience with eLearning. This page aims to provide a forum for discussions about how best to use these resources for Language Teaching.