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Marisela Salinas

September 15, 2010


Making call work: towards normalisation by Andrea Chambers and Stephen Bax.

Summary:

The aim of CALL (Computer Assisted Language) learning according to Stephen


Bax’s point of view, is to work towards a situation where computers are fully
integrated into pedagogy in a state of “normalisation”. Normalisation refers to the
situation in which computers form an integral part of every lesson, so as a pen,
notebook or books do. The purpose is not that computers become the center of
any lesson but become an integral natural part of it.

The advantages that normalization of CALL brings into the classroom are many
and varied. For instance they connect us with the wider literature on educational
changes the wider research an innovation and change and it offers CALL
practitioners a clear aim and a clear agenda.

Stephen Bax and Andrea Chambers tell us that vast research has been conducted
to identify the factors impacting the normalisation of CALL positively or negatively.
The main factors obstructing normalization are cost and fear. Secondly, training
development. Cost and fear mean that technology equipment is expensive and not
all schools can afford the disbursement. Fear means that not all teachers feel
comfortable about using computers and least of all intelligent white boards. The
third main impediment for normalization is lack of training. Teachers are expected
to be wizards but the honest truth is that many teachers are reluctant to use
technology simply because they are traditional teachers.

Research found other impediments for CALL normalisation. One of them is the
extra time teachers need to prepare and plan additional syllabus material. They
also said they were afraid to lose face because students know more about
technology than they do. On the other hand, there are students slow with
technology use which is class time consuming to instruct them. Teachers think
that in the end it would all be about teaching computing and not English.
One proposal according to the authors, for normalization in CALL is to fully
support teachers with proper technology training in a regular basis so the may feel
comfortable and at ease when maneuvering technology. On this point, it is
imperative that collaboration be overemphasized in the sense that trainers as well
as trainees come to an agreement on empathy, tolerating each other’s
shortcomings.

The ideal situation for CALL to become fully effective would be to have the school
facilities integrated in such a way that classroom layout may allow to move easily
from CALL activities to non-CALL activities. Altogether, integration of activities,
training, good will from teachers, support and encouragement from stakeholders,
will undoubtedly lead to successful normalization in ELT school programs.

Bibliography:

Chambers, Andrea and Bax, Stephen. (2006). Making call work: towards
normalisation.