Diversity in Modalities

Lamy, Marie-Noelle (2012). Diversity in Modalities. In: Stockwell, Glenn ed. Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Diversity in Research and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 109–126.

URL: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item659...


CALL practitioners do not generally use the word ‘modality’ when instructing their students (for instance they don’t say ‘make sure you carry out this interview using the audio modality’, or ‘share your thoughts on your partner’s ideas using the commenting modality’). On the other hand many researchers do use this word, yet all too often fail to define what they mean by it (or by similar terms such as ‘mode’, ‘tool’ or ‘affordance’) which they also, confusingly, bring into play. The idea of ‘diversity’ in such a context comes close to taking on overtones of ‘mix’ or even ‘mess’. It is the author's intention, in subjecting the notion of ‘modality’ to a critical examination, to show how lack of clarity in published research and lack of familiarity among the CALL practitioner community are deleterious to the future of technology-mediated language learning. The author also hopes to suggest how ‘modality’ can be reconceptualised so as to facilitate our understanding of the benefits to be expected from CALL, however much ‘technology’ changes, in its current dynamic state of development

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