EUROCALL 2014

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Integrating CALL in ESOL Classrooms: Understanding Teachers’ Perspectives and Meeting Students’ Needs

In line with the needs of the 21st century learners and the dramatic improvement in schools’ technological infrastructures, it is expected that the integration of digital tools into language learning courses would take a quicker pace and a smoother path. However, the current research indicates that although this might be the case for foreign language learning courses, the situation differs for second language learning (ESOL) classes in New Zealand schools. Despite the availability of various technologies, there is not much tendency for the integration of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) tools into ESOL classrooms. Hence, this study explores the factors that contribute to the foregoing situation from ESOL teachers’ perspectives in the context of New Zealand. The research falls within the domain of inductive research and utilizes a phenomenological approach so as to come to a holistic understanding of ESOL teachers’ IT technology integration experiences in their schools. A series of semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with a group of teachers teaching ESOL in secondary schools and their students. The initial thematic analysis of the data suggested that the picture is more complex and multifaceted when it comes to integrating CALL into ESOL context of the schools. Although both teachers and students value the integration of ICT into their syllabus, it is not one of their top priorities, due, largely, to various problems they face, that are unique to their environment. The results suggested that the implementation of CALL into ESOL context in schools is a process which involves active involvement of students, teachers and policy makers. Such factors as students’ demography as well as their emotional and educational needs in terms of understanding the pedagogy and overcoming the cultural load, teachers’ professional identity, teacher education and professional development programs, and school and ministry policies influence ESOL teachers’ implementation of CALL tools into their syllabi. Therefore, a more specialized focus on such challenging situations should be taken into consideration when educating ESOL teachers on the integration of CALL. The findings of this study have significant implications for teachers, teacher educators, and policy makers alike.

Author(s):

Sara Farshad Nia    
College of Education
University of Canterbury
New Zealand

Sara Farshad Nia did her Master’s degree in TEFL in Alzahra University-Tehran. She started her PhD in Education at the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand in which she was awarded the University's Doctoral Scholarship. Her main interests include Computer Assisted Language Learning, Teacher Education, and computer mediated communication.

 

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