As I mentioned elsewhere, some of my main interests in CALL are in its use for the development of learner autonomy and its use for the provision of language support in out-of-class settings. At the University of Auckland we successfully used CALL to support language learning of very large numbers of students (nearly 15,000 students at the university are estimated to have English as an additional language). To do this, we developed an electronic learning environment which can be accessed both from within the Centre and through the internet. The programme helps learners to analyse their needs, plan their learning, monitors progress, prompts learners for mismatches between the materials they use and their goals (e.g. if a resource is not designed to improve the skills they have chosen to work on), and provides a range of additional pedagogic interventions.
The programme helps students to identify appropriate materials among the approximately 1,100 available resources and lets them directly access them as all materials have been digitised.
More recently I designed an online language support program called ‘My English’ for King Mongkut University in Thailand. This programme offers support to Thai students learning English at the tertiary level. It allows staff to monitor students’ progress and give feedback, and it encourages the development of metacognitive learner strategies among learners. You can view a video presentation about the program here.You can read about it here: Darasawang, P. & Reinders, H. 2010 ‘Encouraging autonomy with an online language support system’, CALL-EJ, 11:2. You will also soon be able to read an article about this program here: Reinders, H. & Darasawang, P. 2011 ‘Diversity in Language Support’. In: Stockwell, G. (Ed) Computer-assisted language learning: Diversity in research and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).
“Educational disadvantage cannot be cured by relying on education within the school” – Illich, 1973, p.13.