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Research at EUROCALL: 21 Years of Progress? Part 2

Research at EUROCALL: 21 Years of Progress? Part 2
This paper is the second part of an examination of all the abstracts of all the papers delivered at EUROCALL since the first formal conference at Hull in 1993. The first paper dealt with the following research questions: What areas of CALL research have been studied? Have the research areas studied changed? How have research priorities changed? To what extent has research in CALL matured? The author has been present at each conference and is in a position to evaluate the papers in the light of the prevailing intellectual climate and the current technological developments of the time.
To answer these questions a quantitative analysis charted the range of research areas covered, the relative progression of these areas of research to each other, the disappearance of some areas and the arrival of others and those areas that have remained a continuous preoccupation. One valuable indicator was the conference titles and the target themes headlined for each year.
Part 1 also assessed the development of more precise categories for research investigations such as research, research development and reflective practice papers, the use of workshops and show and tell sessions, and reflected on the significance of these categorisations.
Given the amount of material involved, and the volume of analysis required and the time available to deliver it, the paper was unable to fulfil its promise to It will comment qualitatively on the abstracts, (including those of the Plenary speakers), on research values and rigour, and on innovation. In most cases it will not be possible to have access to the papers as delivered, but the abstracts should enable us to establish trends. However those papers that have appeared in RECALL or conference proceedings (after first being presented at the conference) will be considered.
On the basis of this analysis a critical overview of the quality of CALL research at EUROCALL will be provided, not only recognising trends, but assessing the success of the vast amount of effort represented by the conferences, and passing a judgement on the maturity of this area of Applied Linguistics with a view to suggesting possible opportunities and directions for future research. Taken with part 1, it will therefore constitute, in a small way, a contribution to the intellectual history of CALL.

Keywords: research; trends; evaluation; quality; rigour; development; values; maturity; future directions

Author(s):

John Gillespie    
School of Modern Languages
University of Ulster
United Kingdom

 

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