How Can We Make Language Learning Effective and Sustainable Outside the ClassroomUsing Self-accessCALL withBlogging?
This paper investigates how and to what extent learners utilize the computer assisted language learning (CALL) system outside the classroom. A pretest and post-test design was carried out and the test scores evaluating learners’ English proficiency were logged for the quantitative analysis. Throughout the six-month course, the participants were given three types of assignment every week: Assignment (1) to complete compulsory tasks, Assignment (2) to complete optional tasks, and Assignment (3) to report the optional tasks completed and to post some comments concerning their learning on CALL. Their protocols within Assignment (3) were analyzed in terms of cognitive process of learning. For Assignment (3), there were two conditions: for Condition (a) students had to send reports and comments to the instructor via e-mail individually, and for Condition (b) students posted them on the blog launched for the participants. The result of the quantitative analysis showed that both learning time and the number the tasks increased throughout the training period on Condition (b), sharing students’ comments on the blog, whereas for Condition (a), few students completed many more tasks on CALL than the weekly obligatory assignment. There were also some differences in the variety of tasks completed; the students in Condition (b) tackled a much greater variety of tasks, and made a greater variety of comments than students in Condition (a). As a result of analysis for report comments, comments from Condition (b) showed the progress of the students’ cognitive stages whereas most of the comments from Condition (a) were superficial, just their impression to tasks. The results derived through these comparisons suggest that creation of a learning community outside the classroom would be a key for the effective and sustainable use of self-study-fashioned CALL materials, and would be enhanced by the implementation of a social networking service such as a blog.