Exploring the potential to use Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

Thushara Ari Gamage, Philip Chappell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introducing communicative competence to classrooms in Sri Lanka has often been difficult due to the mismatch between the curriculums and tasks used (Canagarajah, 2001). While Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) projects have often promoted communicative competence in classrooms where English is taught as a second or foreign language (Chitanana, 2010), they have failed due to a lack of common conditions between the participating classrooms (O'Dowd & Ritter, 2006). This case study explores the potential to promote communicative competence in primary classrooms in Sri Lanka. It addresses (i) if two sample primary school classrooms in Sri Lanka and Australia have the classroom and socio-institutional conditions required to participate in a collaborative project and (ii) if it can be integrated into the existing primary school curriculum in Sri Lanka. Data were gathered using questionnaires and face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 12 participants from Sri Lanka and Australia, and online data from the websites of the participants' institutions for triangulation purposes. Results indicated common classroom and socio-institutional conditions between two sample schools and a positive attitude towards the challenging conditions. The International School Award Project facilitated by the British Council (n.d.b) proved to be the most effective means of integrating a telecollaborative project into the current Sri Lankan primary school curriculum. Benefits to the Australian primary school were also revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-98
Number of pages42
JournalUniversity of Sydney papers in TESOL
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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