Embraces a wide range of information and

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embraces a wide range of information and communications technology applications and approaches to teaching and learning foreign languages, from the "traditional" drill-and-practice programs that characterised CALL in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent manifestations of CALL, e.g. as used in a virtual learning environment and Web-based distance learning.
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238 Proliferation of CALL Technology In the early 90's education started being affected by the introduction of word processors in schools, colleges and universities. This mainly had to do with written assignments. The development of the Internet brought about a revolution in the teachers' perspective, as the teaching tools offered through the Internet were gradually becoming more reliable. Nowadays, the Internet is gaining immense popularity in foreign language teaching and more and more educators and learners are embracing it. In the last few years the number of teachers using Computer- assisted Language Learning (CALL) has increased markedly and numerous articles have been written about the role of technology in education in the 21st century. The reasons for using Computer-assisted Language Learning include: experiential learning motivation enhance student achievement authentic materials for study greater interaction individualization independence from a single source of information and global understanding. The barriers inhibiting the practice of Computer-assisted Language Learning can be classified in the following common categories: financial barriers availability of computer hardware and software technical and theoretical knowledge and acceptance of the technology. The term CALI (computer-assisted language instruction) was in use before CALL, reflecting its origins as a subset of the general term CAI (computer-assisted instruction). CALI fell out of favour among language teachers, however, as it appeared to imply a teacher-centred approach (instructional), whereas language teachers are more inclined to prefer a student-centred approach, focusing on learning rather than instruction. CALL began to replace CALI in the early 1980s (Davies & Higgins 1982: p. 3) and it is now incorporated into the names of the growing number of professional associations worldwide. The current philosophy of CALL puts a strong emphasis on student-centred materials that allow learners to work on their own. Such materials may be structured or unstructured, but they normally embody two important features: interactive learning and individualised learning.
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239 CALL is essentially a tool that helps teachers to facilitate the language learning process. It can be used to reinforce what has already been learned in the classroom or as a remedial tool to help learners who require additional support.
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