Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 4. July 2018 Pp. 2-3
Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) is pleased to launch its 4th special issue on Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) (July 2018). As a guest editor, I do believe that this CALL will be a success as it is well-known for its impact on technological education and research.
Technological tools are essential to literacy in the twenty first century. Many university and school teachers are taking constructive steps in this field to utilize technology themselves and to enhance the learning process. Though there are some teachers who have resistance to using technology, for various factors such as age, facilities, subjects, many opt to use technological applications to motivate their students and help them meet the demand of the language and higher critical thinking skills.
This issue on CALL is very rich theoretically and practically. The authors of this issue contributed to the theoretical grounding with some useful practical applications. Actually, I perceived various influential themes carefully interwoven within this especial issue, because most of the contributors to this issue are researchers and educators.
Most of the articles explored and investigated the impact of the technological devices on language learning, learner autonomy and autonomous learning practices, and having positive attitudes in the achievement of learners in the reading, writing, and promoting higher critical thinking.
Almost all authors demonstrated how learners can easily learn to use several available technologies in the EFL classroom. They demonstrated how technologies motivate and engage learners in the learning process to better achieve the intended learning outcomes. Accordingly, this issue shows the results of the most current research issues and tools (mobile applications and instgram). The aim is to motivate learners to be better readers, writers, critical thinkers.
For example, the article “Using CALL in Teaching Writing: An Explicatory Study on its Efficacy for ESL/EFL Learners”, the author demonstrated that most teachers and students have found that CALL has helped them in a positive way towards using technology, motivated them to learn ESL/EFL writing, and improved their knowledge and capability in writing English effortlessly. Furthermore, the article on “Teaching Reading Comprehension by Using Computer-Based Reading” demonstrated that there is a significant difference on students’ achievement in reading comprehension in favor of the experimental group. The authors also recommended that teachers need to make sure that the learners have sufficient training and readiness use the technological devices. Similar results were revealed in the achievement of learners through an Educational Software System (Desire2Learn) in a grammar course.
In the domain of critical thinking, the article “The Implementation of Hybrid Computer Mediated Collaborative Learning (HCMCL…)” addressed how HCMCL is utilized for promoting students’ critical thinking in communication, reasoning, and self-reflection. However, the authors emphasized that some points needed to be improved by the learners in the aspects of linguistics conventions. As learners work and communicate with their peers and other members of group to complete the tasks, this requires other sets of complex skills; students needed to manage interdependence with others and to reconcile differences for mutual benefit.
Other articles of this issue investigated the impact of social media, mobile applications, student-produced video, teaching aids, youtube live streaming and Instagram on language learning. Finally, this issue included articles that tackled integrating technology in literature and translation courses, and constructing online identities.
It should be noted that the bulk of the articles in this special issue on CALL have been conducted on EFL classes. The success of integrating technology in the EFL classes depends on the learners and teachers training and the availability of the technological resources and infrastructure.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the researchers for their endeavour in carrying out their substantial research. I am confident that their recommendation will help EFL educators and future researchers. Moreover, I would like to thank all the reviewers who helped in reviewing the articles of this especial issue.
Mohammed A. A. Farrah, associate professor of English Language Studies, graduated with a BA from Hebron University in 1994 in English Language and Literature, MA in TESOL from International Islamic University in Malaysia in 1999, and Ph.D. in English Language Studies in 2006 from International Islamic University in Malaysia. There are a number of publications in the field of online learning and online communication and collaborative learning and peer feedback in writing and types of feedback. Administrative positions included Chair of the English Department in Hebron University from 2009 until 2013, Editorial Secretary of Hebron University Research Journal from 2007 until the present time, and he presented a number of papers in local and international conferences. He is on the Advisory Board of Arab World English Journal and an active member in the APETAU Association.