ITSICALL: investigating teaching strategies in computer assisted language learning

Manning, Patricia Eveline (1995). ITSICALL: investigating teaching strategies in computer assisted language learning. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis evaluates the effect on the learning and teaching of gender and gender agreement in French for English speakers of various teaching strategies Implicit, Explicit and Exploratory, implemented as a CALL program, 'Itsicall' (Investigating Teaching Strategies in Computer Assisted Language Learning).

It is an original piece of research with school children in London which uses a variety of L2 research methods, i.e..error analysis, contrastive analysis and learner interviews, to inspire the design of the computer program , which teaches the concepts of Gender and Gender Agreement in French in the three modes selected, Implicit, Explicit and Exploratory.

The design of the gender teaching program was motivated by a series of preliminary investigations, which lead to the accumulation of a rich source of data on the way school children perform and acquire concepts prominent in another language and provides many insights into the difficulties encountered by children Vying to grapple with the concept of Gender, under represented in the English language and primordial in French.

The program was then tested and evaluated in an exercise which provided further invaluable data for Second Language Acquisition Research, Second Language Teaching and Computer Assisted Instruction, taking into account the answer to the original research questions and the opinions of the children who tried out the program.

The account of this empirical work, which reveals the potential of exploratory computer environments is then followed by an analysis which incorporates all the findings of the previous experiments into a critical evaluation of the merits of Implicit, Explicit and Exploratory teaching of grammar rules in a CALL environment.

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