Influence of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) in the Acquisition of English as a Second Language by Polytechnic Students of Sri Lanka

H. P. T. S. Jayawardena

Abstract


Levy, M. (1997) explains Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) as“the search for and the study of applications of the computer in language teaching andlearning.” This research investigates the effectiveness of CALL in conducting Englishcourses for polytechnic students in Sri Lanka with special reference to studentsfollowing Higher National Diploma in Engineering, Management and English at SriLanka Institute Advanced Technological Education.

The hypothesis that CALL made a positive impact on the polytechnic studentsthat learnt English as a second language was supported on the objectives that motivationof the students to follow the course was sustained, that their level of attendanceincreased and that their performance in the language tests improved. Data used in thiswork was collected via questionnaires forwarded to the members of the sample selectedas well as observations of the instructors/lecturers that represented the three courses.

At the end of data analysis this research found noticeable improvement in theperformance of students in English since the incorporation of CALL in English languageprogrammes followed by them. The student autonomy, authenticity of material andtechnological paraphernalia that CALL involves seemed to take their appeal resulting inthe development of their language skills. Advantages of using CALL in languageprogrammes of polytechnic students led this research to advocate the incorporation ofInternet and other language software into second language courses and at the same timeit emphasizes adequate training and awareness building initiatives for the staffconducting these courses, for enabling them to handle the technical interruptions andtrouble shooting promptly for delivering and ensuring a satisfactory learningexperience/environment for students learning English as their second language.

Key words: Polytechnic, Appeal, Authenticity, Impact, Training


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