ERIC Number: ED332545
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Instrumental and Agentive CALL in Learning French as a Foreign Language.
This report presents the statistical results of two pre- and post-test measures of learning arising out of two different second language computer assisted language learning (CALL) contexts. Current uses of the computer in foreign language learning reflect two distinct sets of assumptions about the object of learning and the processes of learning and teaching. One of these sets is labeled instrumental, the other is called agentive. In the agentive mode, the computer is anthropomorphized. Designed as a tutor, taskmaster or drillmaster, the computer offers a decontextualized language object for the learner to manipulate. It is an agent in the learning process that determines the learning content, the learning paths as well as what counts as correct or incorrect language use. In the instrumental mode, the computer designed as a word processor, a database or a communications program supports and depends for its design in a dialectical mode on the collaborative activity of a language learning community. No longer an instructional agent, the computer supports open ended language use. Participants (N=13) were engaged in a newspaper producing activity system mediated by an instrumental mode computer technology, using the computer to write, revise, and comment on articles, or to communicate with others using electronic mail. A control group (N=11) studied the same subject matter (in a university-level French language and literature course), but used used the computer in an agentive mode (a weekly fill-in-the blank exercise). Comparison of the two modes indicates that the instrumental mode of computer use and the newspaper production activity system should be considered as an alternative to the traditional agentive mode. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the New England Educational Research Organization (1991).