Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)
It is defined as an interaction between a student, a computer controlled display and a response entry device for the purpose of achieving educational outcomes. It is essentially learning with computers and not about computers.
- Learning is individualized.
- Increases the teacher’s resources.
- Less time is needed to understand difficult concepts.
- Offers a wide range of experiences especially through simulation programs.
- Offers accurate feedback and can be used diagnostically.
- Can handle large volumes of date.
- Active participation of each student.
- It is expensive.
- Lack of human interaction may cause boredom.
- The computer cannot appreciate the emotions and feelings of students.
- The role of the student is that of responder rather than initiator.
Linguists today have come to acknowledge the fact that computers will play a major role in language learning in the near future. The characteristics of the computer that can be made use of in language learning are:
- Computers can store vast amounts of data. Language is concerned with words and sentences. So computers can be used to store any kind of data related to a language.
- The computers can interact with the learners through its monitor. Thus the learner can improve his vocabulary, translate words, answer multiple choice questions, etc.
- Computer graphics and animation can bring to life many things and ideas which may be otherwise difficult to explain in the classroom.
- Pronouncing dictionaries nowadays provide interactive pronouncing dictionary CD- ROMs that can be played on the computer.
- Computer programs focusing on phonetics and phonology can be useful.
- Animations on the speech mechanism can be both interesting and illuminating.
- The computer can develop an appreciation of real language situations and enhance the learner’s imagination and linguistic capabilities.
Copyright © Manu Mangattu, Assistant Professor, Department of English, SGC Aruvithura
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