Teachers’ technology-related self-images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity

Shafiee, Z., Marandi, S. S., & Mirzaeian, V. R. Teachers’ technology-related self images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–20.

This article describes a small, preliminary study examining the professional identity of language instructors who actively integrate technology with language instruction. and are described as CALL teachers. The goal of the study is to extend understanding of what the authors describe as CALLTPI, (CALL teachers’ professional identity).

The study is based on an extensive review of literature exploring teacher identity, defined as “teachers’ self images and perceptions that “determine the way teachers teach, the way they develop as teachers, and their attitudes towards educational changes”(p.3)and the use of  a semi-structured interview methodology in which 24 CALL teacher educators, academics who taught CALL courses and used technology to teach language-related subjects, and classroom language instructors who used digital technology in virtual, blended or technology enhanced learning environments. The interview questions were designed to explore CALL teachers’ “perceived teaching roles, self-image, confidence, sense of self-efficacy, skills, and knowledge that contribute to enacting their teaching roles, solving pedagogical and technical problems, dealing with ethical challenges, and making decisions in technology-enhanced teaching environments.

Based on these interviews the authors identify three major themes related to teacher identity. These are individual identity, classroom-based identity, and agentive identity. Individual identity is understood as their roles as professionals who use technology, classroom-based identity as their roles as teachers who integrate technology in their classrooms and agentive identity as playing an active role in the integration and use of technology, in supporting and influencing students in the effective use of technology for learning and serving as role models for students and colleagues.

The authors note the need for further research on teacher professional identity related to computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and to help inform the work of curriculum designers and material developers in the area language instruction.

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Did We Forget Someone? Students’ Computer Access and Literacy for CALL.

Winke, P., & Goertler, S. (2008). Did We Forget Someone? Students’ Computer Access and Literacy for CALL. CALICO Journal, 25(3), 482–509.

The authors address the commonly held notion that because of their age, students coming into post-secondary language programs will be able to access computers readily, be computer literate, and have positive attitudes about learning with technology. They state that there is a shortage of research data to support this and that before programs are modified to incorporate technology, for example in a blended language program, learners should be surveyed to determine their access to the appropriate technology and to their interest in using it for language learning. Although some of the age-related assumptions are not relevant to adults in settlement language programs, issues of access to equipment, including hardware like headsets, microphones, web cams, and the Internet as well as the ability to carry out computer tasks, use software and a course management system are nonetheless extremely important. The study reports on findings from the responses of 911 university students’ in EFL classes. The technology survey questions are provided in the appendix and would be an important jumping off point for anyone considering implementing a blended learning settlement language program for adults.

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