Editorial: Teacher education research in CALL and CMC: more in demand than ever

Guichon, Nicolas and Hauck, Mirjam (2011). Editorial: Teacher education research in CALL and CMC: more in demand than ever. ReCALL, 23(3) pp. 187–199.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344011000139


At the EUROCALL conference 2009 in Gandia we, the editors of this special issue decided to blow a breath of fresh air into the Special Interest Group for Teacher Education and were overwhelmed by the response we received during the initial meeting. One of the outcomes was the decision to organise a smaller, in between type of research seminar for those among us who are involved – both as practitioners as well as researchers – in CALL and CMC-based language teaching. Another decision was that the event should have a narrower focus than the much wider themes of the annual EUROCALL conferences. In May 2010, then, the “European workshop on teacher education in CALL: towards a research agenda”, a 2 ½ day event, took place at the Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique (INRP) in Lyon. It provided the opportunity to exchange experiences and catch up with developments in the field in a convivial atmosphere and served as a springboard for setting up new research partnerships among participants. The workshop was followed by a call for contributions to an issue of ReCALL on “CALL and CMC Teacher Education research: enduring questions, emerging methodologies”. Four out of the six contributions in this issue are from colleagues who gave presentations in Lyon, and two were selected from other submissions that were received. We hope that you will find the articles as insightful and thought-provoking as the reviewers and we did and would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the scientific committee for their support. Most of them also served as reviewers for this special issue.
While the use of digital technologies in language education has been growing over the last 15 years, pedagogical developments and methodological reflection have hardly kept pace. Unsurprisingly, teacher training continues to feature high on the CALL research agenda and there is increasing interest in dedicated events such as the Lyon workshop, or the one held this year in collaboration with EUROCALL’s CMC SIG at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The ensuing publications such as this collection as well as other recent volumes and articles (see, for example, Dooly, 2009; Guichon, 2009; Hampel, 2009; Hauck & Stickler 2006; Hong 2010; Hubbard & Levy, 2006; Kassen et al. 2008; Stockwell, 2009) bear witness to this development.
As Stockwell (2009: 1) observes and Cutrim Schmid (this issue) quite rightly reminds us “[t]his attention is indicative of greater recognition of the importance of CALL practitioners having sufficient grounding in CALL theory and practice, as well as knowledge of what technologies are available to them in order to be able to effectively implement CALL in their specific language learning environments”.
In what follows we attempt to address enduring questions in research on teacher education for CALL and CMC-based language learning and a variety of methodological approaches, both traditional and emerging. The contributions explore issues relevant for both novice and experienced colleagues when embarking on teaching languages with information and communication technologies (ICTs) both in more traditional classroom settings as well as in online only contexts. We believe that insights gained from both these perspectives can inform and enrich current and future research endeavours and teaching practice. For the sake of clarity, we will use teacher to refer to classroom teaching and tutor to refer to online teaching even though this distinction poses epistemological issues.

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