Current and emerging theories in CALL

Hampel, Regine and Lee, Helen (2023). Current and emerging theories in CALL. In: Stockwell, Glenn and Wang, Yijen eds. The Cambridge Handbook of Technology in Language Teaching and Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (In Press).


This chapter focuses on why researchers and teachers who are involved in technology-enhanced language learning and teaching might find theorical approaches useful and provides an overview of more established as well as emergent theories. In order to identify the more recent approaches used to conceptualize CALL today we reviewed studies from leading CALL journals. Key theories and approaches identified from studies were Socioculturalism, Mediated learning theory, Activity theory, Social presence, Social justice education, Maker culture, Design thinking, Rewilding, Social semiotics/multimodality, Multimodal interaction analysis, Multiliteracies, Geosemiotics, Gesture studies, Dual-coding theory, Second Language Acquisition, Dynamic systems theory, Translanguaging, Connectivism, Willingness to communicate, Self-determination, Sports psychology, and Identity and investment. The chapter demonstrates the increasing influence of concepts, theories and methodologies which originate from other disciplines, resulting in what Colpaert (2018) describes as ‘transdisciplinarity.’ Many of the theories deployed highlight the transformative nature of language learning and teaching via an increasingly diverse range of tools and contexts, offering considerable scope for further methodological and pedagogical innovation.

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