Foundations of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
31 March 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module acquaints students with the fundamental principles and practices associated with new technologies in second language learning and teaching. It helps students explore the connection between second language acquisition theories and implementing different technologies in second language learning, teaching and socialization. The module will also provide students with opportunities to examine how technology can support the development of linguistic and communicative competencies as learners engage in acquiring another language in and/or beyond institutionalized educational settings. In this module, students will also develop some basic skills in selecting, creating, evaluating, and using technological resources/tools for second language teaching, with an understanding of how technology can be integrated into the language curriculum in theoretically and pedagogically sound ways.

Module aims

• to familiarise students with the history and current state of CALL
• to enable students to assess the potential of new technologies in language learning and teaching
• to provide students with principles for using technologies in teaching and learning activities effectively
• to explore with students a range of issues concerning the use of new technologies in language teaching
• to equip students with theoretical/conceptual knowledge to argue for or against using CALL in language classroom
• to familiarise students with recent research into the applications of technology in language learning and teaching
• to provide hands-on experience of using CALL resources and creating CALL tasks

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:
1. provide meaningful links among second language pedagogy and learning, second language learning theories, and implementing technology
2. explain the role and evaluate the potential usefulness of technology in second language learning and teaching
3. select effective technology-based teaching methods considering the target group of learners, learning objectives, and expected outcomes
4. design and develop CALL activities, using some basic tools such as MS Word, Sharepoint Designer, PowerPoint, HotPotatoes, and Kahoot
5. locate appropriate CALL resources to use in the classroom to develop various language-related skills and subskills

Module information

This module aims to familiarize students with some key concepts in computer assisted language learning and pedagogy. It is also designed to help students develop the skills for designing, developing, and evaluating CALL resources. Lecture and seminar activities in class will provide students with several opportunities to understand applications of technology in language learning and teaching and make links between theory and practice. The outline of weekly sessions is as follows:
SESSION 1: Introduction: The History of CALL & tools overview
SESSION 2: Principles of L2 learning & CALL
SESSION 3: Vocabulary
SESSION 4: Grammar
SESSION 5: Listening
SESSION 6: Focusing on CALL portfolios with lecturer's assistance
SESSION 7: Reading
SESSION 8: Writing
SESSION 9: Speaking
SESSION 10: Evaluating CALL materials

Learning and teaching methods

There will be a two-hour class/zoom meeting per week for ten weeks. Each session will comprise an hour of lecture-style and an hour of seminar-style teaching and learning activities. In the lecture part, students will be introduced to key themes and concepts of CALL and their implications for L2 learning and teaching. During seminars, the class will focus on student-centred activities through pair/group-work and discussions. The success of this module relies heavily on class interactions and active participation in discussions and activities. Given the interactive nature of the module format, class participation and regular attendance are essential for students to benefit from what this module offers. The weekly readings listed on Moodle and the syllabus are compulsory as preparation for the lecture and seminar sessions. All materials for the module will be uploaded in advance on Moodle, and all sessions will be recorded and made available through Listen Again portal.


  • Farr, F. and Murray, L. (eds) (2016) Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Technology. 1st edn. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315657899.
  • Chapelle, C.A. and Sauro, S. (eds) (2017) Handbook of Technology and Second Language Teaching and Learning. Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118914069.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   A portfolio of CALL materials  27/11/2023  40% 
Coursework   Essay  08/01/2024  60% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nasser Jabbari, email: n.jabbari@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Nasser Jabbari



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Language and Linguistics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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