EUROCALL: European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning

Teacher Development in Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching

Reviewed by Ismail Yaman
Ondokuz Mayis University, Turkey

https://doi.org/10.4995/eurocall.2019.11473

 

Teacher Development in Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching

Jeong-Bae Son

Palgrave Macmillan

2018

ISBN 978-3-319-75710-0

ISBN 978-3-319-75711-7 (eBook)

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75711-7

233 pages

This book explores language teacher development in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) environments and discusses approaches, tasks and resources that can guide language teachers to develop their skills and strategies for Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching (TELT). It looks at key aspects of CALL in terms of pedagogy and technology and proposes a model of CALL teacher development which incorporates essential elements of teacher learning in CALL. Further, the author presents practical tasks and tips on how to develop knowledge and skills for the use of digital technologies in language teaching and suggests ideas to improve language teacher training and development.

The book consists of three main parts and five appendices. Part 1 focuses on issues concerning language teachers in CALL environments and covers four main chapters concerning TELT. Chapter 1 discusses the historical development of CALL and presents a review of the relevant literature in view of aspects like content, process, effectiveness of teacher training, transfer of coursework to classroom practice, factors affecting technology integration, continuous professional development, and future directions. Chapter 2 concentrates on the six roles teachers are expected to undertake in the CALL classroom: teacher as CALL observer, CALL designer, CALL implementer, CALL evaluator, CALL manager, and CALL researcher. Chapter 3 discusses the features of CALL-competent language teachers with reference to detailed data from the relevant literature. Chapter 4 focuses on CALL teacher development and introduces a four-phase ECCR (Exploration, Communication, Collaboration, Reflection) framework for teachers.

Part 2 consists of four chapters each of which is devoted to a specific approach to CALL teacher learning: role-based approach, language skill-based approach, tool-based approach, and activity-based approach. Chapter 5 covers details on the role-based approach which is based on the roles discussed in Chapter 2. Each role is explained through a specific task; for instance, the implementer role is elaborated through a task asking teachers to make a CALL lesson plan. Chapter 6 is devoted to the language skill-based approach that covers reading, writing, listening, and speaking as main skills; and pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and culture as further areas. The implementation of the approach is clarified through tasks including teaching reading with a word cloud, teaching writing with a wiki, and teaching culture with authentic videos. Chapter 7 is on the tool-based approach and introduces specific tasks concerning the application of learning/content management systems, communication tools, live and virtual worlds, social networking and bookmarking tools, blogs and wikis, presentation tools, resource sharing tools, website creation tools, web exercise creation tools, web search engines, dictionaries and concordancers, and utilities. Chapter 8 is about the activity-based approach and covers to-the-point tasks that ask language teachers to practice collaboration, communication, concordancing, creation, exploration, games, mapping, presentation, reflection, simulation, storytelling, surveys, tests, and tutorials.

Part 3 consists of three chapters that provide context-specific ideas and selected CALL-related resources for language teachers. Chapter 9 advances the idea that real situations involve diverse variables and an eclectic approach (based on the approaches discussed in Part 2) should be taken in accordance with the specific context at hand. Four different scenarios and the possibly ideal blend of approaches to be adopted by language teachers are discussed in detail. Scenario 4, for instance, is as follows: “You are an experienced teacher. You use digital tools in your classroom when possible. You want to improve your CALL knowledge and skills and learn more about online language learning activities and tools so that you can enhance your teaching methods. How can you do it?” (p. 165). Chapter 10 presents a vast bibliography of outstanding CALL-related books, chapters, and journal articles with a special focus on the involvement of teachers in CALL practices. Lastly, Chapter 11 provides important CALL-related teacher development resources including professional organisations, academic journals, websites, mobile apps, online tools, and online activities (all with direct links to the relevant websites).

The book possesses a notable value considering its to-the-point contribution to the teacher-related dimension of the integration of technology into language learning and teaching. It covers a practice-oriented content that is based on a huge body of up-to-date research. Accordingly, both ELT researchers and practitioners can benefit greatly from this work. Part 2 especially is based mainly on specific guiding tasks that aim to help language teachers develop practical awareness concerning the ways to implement TELT effectively. In addition, Part 3, with the useful scenarios and valuable resources covered, constitutes a real body of reference information on TELT. One possible drawback about the book is its omission of the rising MALL trend. MALL tools are mentioned just a few times under the CALL framework. Nevertheless, the use of portable devices in ELT is evolving to become an indispensable way for language learners. Therefore, language teachers who constitute the major target readership of the book should also be equipped with knowledge and skills to make use of MALL tools effectively. At least, the inclusion of some MALL-oriented tasks in Part 2 would render the work stronger. Overall, with its reader-friendly organization and rich content, the book can be added to the list of must-have resources in ELT.

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Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 1695-2618    http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/eurocall