Three modes of CALL communication

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Richard Watson Todd


One aspect of CALL which has received little attention in both research into and design of multimedia language learning software is the mode of CALL communication. By this I mean who the software user is interacting with and how they are interacting. Most multimedia software is designed for a one learner – one computer mode of communication. However, modes where learners interact with each other either face-to-face with two learners sitting at one computer or over a network could be integrated relatively easily into most software. This study compares three modes of CALL communication, namely, one learner to one computer, competitive face-to-face pairs, and networked pairs. To conduct the comparison, a program involving a noughts-and-crosses (tic-tac-toe) game and multiple-choice questions on collocation was designed. Findings show that, in the two paired modes, learner-learner communication was impoverished, but that learners preferred these modes and were more involved in learning.


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Watson Todd, R. (2005). Three modes of CALL communication. REFLections, 7, 1–12. Retrieved from
Research articles