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Effectiveness of CALL generally and software and Internet sites specifically  

Background: Schacter & Fagnano's (1999) survey of 12 meta-analyses of research on computer-based instruction shows that students engaged in CBI performed better than those who did not. In contrast, we are told that this research is worthless (Oppenheimer, 1997), that there is "no significant difference" (Russell, 1999), and that the statistical analysis used in most studies has no scientific foundation (Mitchell, 2000). Can we say anything about the effectiveness of CALL?  

Research question: The most important question for CALL researchers is CALL's effectiveness, in two senses: 1) effectiveness as a method/technology/medium for learning; to what extent do learners achieve their objectives with CALL, to what degree is that achievement attributable to the "CALLness" of their learning experience, and could they have achieved the same goal more easily or inexpensively with some other method/technology/medium? 2) effectiveness of CALL software and Internet sites as technology; to what extent are they effective in terms of instructional design, promotion of language acquisition, and technical sophistication?  

Suggested methodology/comments:  

Contact: Bernard Susser  bsusser@dwc.doshisha.ac.jp

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