Interactive Patterns in an English Audio-Video Speaking Class in CALL EnvironmentsPart A:The research article, Interactive Patterns in an English Audio-Video Speaking Class in CALLEnvironments (2009) by Zhihong Lu, Ping Li and Peifeng Du suggested that the world today isin need of modern education updates. Particularly in College English education, both its teachingobjectives and practical approaches have gone through tremendous change. In China, the presentobjectives of the College Education focuses on improving students’ communication skillsthrough increased listening and speaking practice. The department has adopted the method ofcommunicative language teaching (CLT) in computer-assisted language learning (CALL)environments. With this method, students have more chances to participate and practice throughinteractive patterns which improve their language and communicative skills. Research hasproved that the use of computer in classrooms to facilitate the students is certainly a necessity.Lu, Li and Du have reviewed literary works by various writers which have relations withcommunicative language ability, interaction and interactive patterns and group work. All thosekey components are based on the research done by Lu, Li and Du. They reviewed an article fromBachman, entitled Communicative Language Ability (CLA) model. The article explained aboutthe communicative language ability. It clarified that language competence, strategic competenceand psycho physiological mechanism are what determine an individual’s facility with alanguage. Bachman said that English audio-video speaking class’s main purpose is to create asmany opportunities as possible for students to communicate with one another in the targetlanguage in a nearly authentic environment. Lu, Li and Ding also reviewed an article by Ellis(1985) on Interaction and interactive patterns. Ellis defined the term ‘Interaction’ as the
discourse jointly constructed by the learner and his interlocutors. She said that interaction isessential to one’s language acquisition. Other articles reviewed by them are by Krashen (1985)and Vygotsky. The method used in this research paper is through research question. In theresearch question the author will analyze the correlated data from the author’s own classes atBeijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT). This study used quantitative andqualitative approaches and lasted from September 2007 to January 2008. The subjects of thestudy consist of 30 non-English majors in their junior year of college, randomly chosen to thosewho scored above 545 of 710. The classes were conducted with the aid of the CALLenvironment with the help from the CD of the course book Learning English Through Culture:Viewing, Listening, Speaking (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2007). Theauthor supervised and monitored the students’ performance through a touch screen LCD controlpanel. The instruments used in this research were questionnaire and exams. A questionnaire wasdistributed at the end of every semester to evaluate the effects of learning and teaching. Therewere 34 questions covering the teaching materials, in-class activities, teaching approaches, theteacher’s roles, and effects of learning and teaching. Meanwhile the exams were done at everybeginning of the semester, a pre-test was conducted through a pair-work dialogues and threeperson group discussions on certain topic in order to access the students’ spoken Englishproficiency. The findings are categorized into a few sub-categories which are favored interactivepatterns and students’ speaking ability, the use of CALL to improve students’ English, thechange of teacher’s roles and the organization of group work. The result shows that a total of96.61% of the students chose that pair-work dialogue and small group discussion, of not morethan 5 people), as the optimal speaking activities in English audio-video speaking class. Besidesthat, 96.61% of the students acknowledged that communicative activities and oral presentations
are helpful in improving their speaking ability. In addition, a total of 93.22% agree thatcomputer-assisted language learning environment is helpful in increasing their oral production.Furthermore, the result shows that teacher’s roles are expected to change from the role as aninstructor to multiple roles such as activity organizer, coordinator and facilitator. To sum it up,small group discussion consists of 3 to 5 people on a group, in a CALL environment can betterfacilitate students’ English learning and communicative abilities. The findings of the study havea few implications for teachers in language learning such as the center of EAVSC should beshifted from the teacher to students, the teacher should play multiple roles to facilitate student’slearning and improve their communicative abilities, the teacher should be capable of utilizing theCALL environment to optimize teaching effects and lastly, the teacher should continue furtherresearch on better interactive patterns in different contexts.Part B: One of the theoretical approaches of the Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)is the integrative approach. In general, “integrative approach is the idea of integrating orcombining all or some aspects of several different schools of thought to promote wellness”(Wisegeek.com). However in CALL, integrative approach is integrating the use of technologywith language learning. The two main ideas propagated by integrative approach are computer asa tool and authentic use of language. These ideas are present in the research article that we havechosen to analyze. The idea of computer as a tool is used to facilitate the language learningprocess of students in class. For example, the use of the CD of the course book Learning EnglishThrough Culture: Viewing, Listening, Speaking (Foreign Language Teaching and ResearchPress, 2007) written by the first author and an American educator. This course book discussesthe daily lives of American as experienced by Chinese international students. This method
improves learners’ English competency and communicative skills, as well as broadening theircultural horizon. Besides that, the teacher uses a touch screen LCD control panel to supervise and monitorstudents’ performance. Another focus of the integrative approach is the authentic use oflanguage. This approach includes task-based, content-based and project-based method. In thisresearch it can be seen how the teacher has conducted the interactive activities through oralpresentations, pair work dialogues and discussion within the group of 3 to 5 students, to makesure the students take part in the activities mentioned. These activities are carried out with theaim of developing students’ communicative language ability. Their oral responses in theinteractive activities were recorded for evaluation by the teacher. Another evaluation is made bythe teacher by carrying out a pre-test at the beginning of the semester to assess the students’spoken English proficiency. The test was done through pair-work dialogues and 3 people groupdiscussion on certain topics. A post-test on similar topics was given to the students at the end ofthe semester to assess the students’ achievements and the impact of the teacher’s teaching. In our opinion, the benefit of integrative approach would be the fact that learner is beingput at the centre stage of language learning (LL). Besides the use of computer and technology asa tool, students are encouraged to interact with one another as computer is used for interactivecommunication. The interactive communication between students contributes to theimprovement of the students’ speaking ability. However, the integrative approach demands a lotfrom the teacher as the teacher is required to change from a single role instructor to multipleroles. This may affect the performance of the teacher and leads to the slow progress on the partof the students.
Based on our experiences of learning using computer and technology, we are given thechance to enhance our language skills such as through presentations, group work andassignments. CALL environment encourages interactive communication between students, grabsthe attention of the students through visual presentations or audio-video materials. As thestudents are required to participate in the interactive activities, they become active participants inthe class. Therefore, the students are able to improve their language skills and communicationskills. With the help of computer and technology, students are given more room to show theircreativity, such as through visual presentation and at the same time making learning fun andinteresting. One suggestion on how the integrative approach can be applied in the process of teachingand learning language is through the application of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC).CMC is the process by which people interact through computer networks in online environments.People can create exchange and perceive information through email, video, audio, chat, bulletinboards and etc. The consistent use of CM supplies teachers with more effective and enjoyableteaching experience and cater students with more opportunities for communication, collaborationand information. CMC promotes freedom in communication and language practice. Teachers andstudents can discuss and communicate with each other anytime or anywhere that is convenientfor everybody. Students gain more opportunities to practice their English language as thefreedom in the communication motivates students to communicate with a high amount ofwriting. Besides that, the application of CMC does not limit the teachers and students to thetraditional classroom experience. They are exposed to the experience of discovery andexploration of more topics and language functions outside the classroom.
ReferencesLi Xiao, Cao Ru-Hua. (2006). Integrating Computer-Mediated Communication into and EAP Course. ProQuest Educational Journal. Retrieved fromWhat Is An Integrative Approach (n.d). Retrived on 16th January 2011 from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-integrativeapproach.htmZhihong Lu, Ping Li, Peifeng Du. (2009). Interactive Patterns in An English Audio-Video Speaking Class in CALL Environments. Proquest Education Journal. Retreived from