Claims on Web-based Language Learning

The advancement of information and technology has invited many researchers from all over the world to conduct academic research studies on web-based language learning.The most common term that is especially used to refer to the utilization of technology in language learning is known as CALL which stands for "computer-assisted language learning". CALL simply refers to the utilization of electronic media such as computer or laptop in language learning.

The massive use of technology in education is caused not by its existence, but because real and added value they have (Tschirner, 2001, p. 317). By considering real and added value of technology, thus, it is important to integrate CALL into curriculum (Ayres, 2002, p. 248). However, students’ and teachers' perceptions of IT and behaviors do not always match (Wiebe & Kabata, 2010, p.232).Therefore, synergies between 3 interlocking factors – institution, teachers,and students – are needed (Mumtaz, 2000, p. 335).

Despite its appeal and promising assistance, CALL is seen as supplementary tool to enhance learning, to replace neither classroom-based learning (Ayres, 2002, p. 248) nor teacher/lecturer in classroom (Noni, 2004, p. 106).

The potentials of technology to be integrated into educational domain have been discussed over years. In terms of social-interactive side it is found that CALL offers possibility to extend opportunities for fostering learner-teacher rapport (Jiang & Ramsay, 2005, p.58).In terms of achievement in learning English, it is claimed that CALL contributes to students’ learning achievement (Noni, 2004, p. 105) more than conventional English language instruction (Olibie, 2010). In affective domain, interest and motivation can also be enhanced through CALL (Talebi & Teimoury, 2013).

Historically, CALL became phenomenal since 1990s and it continued to be so (Ayres, 2002). For language learning purpose, CALL has been explored in many research studies both quantitatively and qualitatively such as CALL in learning Runyakitara – language spoken in western Uganda (Katushemererwe & Nerbonne,2015), CALL in learning Chinese (Jiang & Ramsay, 2005), and CALL in learning Arabic (Cushion & Hemard, 2002).

Especially for English learning, CALL was historically introduced in English grammar learning in early 21st century (AbuSeileek, 2009). CAELL (computer-assisted English language learning) (Mahmoudi, Samad, & Razak,2012) is a specific term to refer to English language learning with the help of computer device. Since the emergence of web, the educational practitioners started considering the use of web in education. A survey conducted in 2013 revealed that 5 from 13 most frequently utilized internet technologies in language learning are web-based resources are Facebook, Youtube, Moodle, Blogs, and Wikipedia (Celik, 2013).

On the internet, there are abundant primary resources such as theses, dissertation, and journal articles uploaded that discuss web-based learning. Results generated are varied depend on language skills/aspects examined. This post synthesizes and elaborates research findings on web/internet technology that are especially addressed to ESL/EFL learning.