Dorothy Chun, a Professor at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, was the featured keynote speaker at the JALTCALL (Japan Association for Language Teaching Computer-Assisted Language Learning) 2013 Conference held at Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Japan. Chun delivered the talk “Fad or Fundamental? Keeping Up with CALL Technology.”
Chun addressed the theme of “Best Practices in CALL” by sharing some of her experiences as a CALL developer and researcher and as the Editor of the journal Language Learning and Technology for the last 13 years. As a CALL developer, Chun has started with fundamental principles of second language acquisition and pedagogy in first determining her goals for a given CALL project and then trying to use technology to achieve those goals. Sometimes the project used the latest technologies, sometimes not. As a researcher and editor, she has sought to study and publish research on actual language learning outcomes of her own and others’ CALL projects. Early stages of research on a given technology often involve teachers following a new fad and using new technologies with their students, inquiring about their students’ reactions to and perceptions about these new tools. Later stages of research reveal actual effectiveness of these new technologies for L2 learning, confirming underlying SLA theories and what is fundamental to learning. While it is difficult to keep up with rapidly changing technologies, best practices are determined following systematic inquiry and research into fundamental learning principles.
The Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the improvement of language teaching and learning. JALT promotes excellence in language learning, teaching, and research by providing opportunities for those involved in language education to meet, share, and collaborate. It has nearly 3,000 members in chapters and affiliates across Japan, as well as members abroad. Computer-Assisted Language Learning is one of many special interest groups available within JALT.
Dorothy Chun is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education at UC Santa Barbara. Her research areas include: L2 phonology and intonation, L2 reading and vocabulary acquisition, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and telecollaboration for intercultural learning. She has conducted studies on cognitive process in learning with multimedia and has authored courseware for language and culture acquisition. She edits the journal Language Learning & Technology.