CALL for Bridges between School and Academia

by Anna Turula (Volume editor) Maria Chojnacka (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 189 Pages


This volume looks at different ways in which research and educational practice in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can be linked. The chapters, contributed by academics and teachers of English, explore teacher training, material writing and sharing, course design and Open Educational Resources (OER).

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Going Open? – a pilot study on teachers’ attitudes to openness
  • Metalinguistic expressions in research articles written by Polish and English native-speakers: A corpus-based study
  • Why are there so few collections of business and official email templates? On the changing principles and tools in teaching business correspondence
  • EIL and World Englishes in the language classroom – using CALL to expand the sociocultural context of language teaching
  • Digital TEFL training programmes – in search of a bridge well-balanced
  • The development of an online course in Irish: Adapting academic materials to the needs of secondary-school students
  • Willingness to communicate in English in Active Worlds
  • Video annotation and delayed oral corrective feedback
  • Using videoconferencing software to maintain classroom presence for absent students
  • How I stopped worrying and loved… Moodle (from the practice of an e-(nglish)-learning teacher)

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Considering their purpose, communication and collaboration between school and academia should be constant. School ought to eagerly broadcast and put into practice the results of research carried out at universities as well as reach out to university mavens in search of expertise and training. Academia, in turn, could get valuable feedback on how its intellectual outputs serve the society and help to build communities of knowledge at any of the K-12 levels. In reality, however, the state of symbiosis is rare. Universities are sometimes called ebony towers for a reason: it happens that research is carried out for its own sake with little attention being paid to the utility of its outcomes. Schools, on the other hand, tend to treat academia with reserve – if not hostility – distrustful of the potential collaboration rather than eager to promote it.

The latter sentiment is reinforced by the dissatisfaction of ongoing pedagogues with teacher training courses offered by different university faculties. Usually highly academic, purely theoretical and detached from classroom reality, such classes only deepen the gap instead of being one of the mainstays of a potential bridge between the two sides of the knowledge equation.

This volume is an attempt to show that it is possible to bridge research and pedagogy in the area of Language Studies, with special regard to Computer Assisted Language Learning. CALL is a very good context for building bridges because of its focus on openness: of resources, which are shared online; of practices, requiring different new literacies out of which capacity for participatory action is mandatory; to new people with whom CALLers telecollaborate; and to new ideas encountered across different borders which are easier to cross in the virtual world.

Openness is the topic of the first chapter in this volume. Małgorzata Kurek and Anna Skowron depart from Open Educational Resources (OER), to discuss open practices and teachers’ attitudes to them. Their study sheds light upon the question of the readiness with which Polish teachers approach the concept of opening up education, collaborative practice and peer-to-peer educational initiatives. It shows that in Polish schools there is a tradition of small-circle sharing, but a larger scale good practice in this area has yet to be developed. As a result, Kurek and Skowron argue that in order for there to be sustained and long-term professional development to assist teachers in what they, after (Atenas – Havermann 2014) call “a cultural shift” – a substantial change of mind is required for authentic openness in education. ← 7 | 8 →

The next two chapters show how bridges can be built between school and academia based on research informing good educational practice. In both cases the academic input comes from the field of linguistics. Katarzyna Hryniuk uses the research apparatus of corpus linguistics to determine effective ways of teaching academic writing. With the help of a concordance program she analyses metadiscourse features of academic articles, by both Polish and native speakers of English. The differences in writing conventions that she discovers are then discussed as useful implications for the construction of academic writing programmes at universities. In doing so, Hryniuk’s main objective is to raise awareness to form and to improve the novice scholars’ and students’ writing skills in view of their future dissertation writing and publication prospects. In turn, Joanna Podhorodecka and Elżbieta Gajewska argue for a coherent theory which, by helping to interpret the changes taking place in written communication, would offer guidelines on the construction of effective e-tools for the teaching of business correspondence. In search of such theoretical foundations of good pedagogy, they peruse the realm of cognitive linguistics, with particular regard to genre theory. Based on this theoretical excursion and a careful examination of what is currently used in the LSP class, the authors opt for teaching aids which train the learner in flexible strategies of text production, rather than offering templates relying on conventionalized rhetorical structures.

The following two chapters concentrate on building bridges where they seem to be the most needed and the most neglected – in the area of language teacher training. Jarosław Krajka reflects on English as an International Language (EIL) and World Englishes (WE) in language teacher education, proposing ways in which teacher training can be informed by linguistic and socio-cultural research. In moving from theory to practice himself, Krajka examines different CALL-based training models which, by exposing language teachers to linguistic and cultural diversity, increase their awareness of the multi-cultural context of teaching English as a Foreign Language. In this way, as the author concludes, these teachers enter schools better prepared for resolving various issues involved in teaching multicultural and multilingual classes. In the other chapter that focuses on language teacher training, Anna Turula describes the preparation, implementation and evaluation of a study programme called Digital Teacher of English. The author argues for CALL teacher training which is balanced in the sense that it rests on three mainstays: good knowledge of the theory and practice of CALL; ample hands-on experience; and room for reflection. Based on her study of student feedback on one of the courses taught in the programme, Turula concludes that a balanced course is created at both the design stage and the implementation stage. ← 8 | 9 →

Then, in a series of four chapters, various innovative CALL course designs informed by academic expertise of their authors are presented. All of these contributions to the volume describe the innovations together with the results of action research undertaken to determine their pedagogical effectiveness. Wojciech Malec presents the development of an online crash course in elementary Irish. Based on the final test results of course participants, Malec proves the effectiveness of bridge building between school and academia in the form of the adaptation of academic materials to be used by secondary-school students. Mariusz Kruk uses the virtual world Active Worlds and investigates the effects of such activities on the participants’ willingness to communicate in English. His study shows that the Active Worlds environment is effective in developing student speaking skills and has a positive impact on learner motivation. Krzysztof Kotuła looks at technology-enhanced delayed corrective feedback in language learning and argues that tools such as YouTube annotation can be valuable in the hands of the teacher as they allow the use of remedial techniques based on student reflection and self-correction, both known for their effectiveness. Finally, Mariusz Marczak investigates ways of using video conferencing for the benefit of absentees. Based on a case study, he offers pedagogical and technical guidelines as to the successful implementation of the idea.

The volume, containing various academic contributions, closes with a teacher’s voice. Ewa Zarzycka-Piskorz, based on her first-hand pedagogical experience, analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of using the Moodle e-learning platform for supplementing language courses at the university level. In addition to insights into her own practice, Zarzycka-Piskorz reflects on ways of building bridges between academia and school as well as establishing connections between what students learn at universities today and what they will be required to do as novice employees tomorrow.

The need for building bridges between school and academia is unquestionable. There are different ways of doing this, some of which are described in this volume. We hope they can serve as inspiration and encouragement to our readers.

Volume editors

Anna Turula

Maria Chojnacka

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Małgorzata Kurek


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2015 (October)
teachers of English computer assisted language learning course design teacher training
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 189 pp., 20 tables, 31 graphs

Biographical notes

Anna Turula (Volume editor) Maria Chojnacka (Volume editor)

Anna Turula is Professor for English Studies at the Pedagogical University in Cracow, Poland. Her research interests include CALL, cognitive and affective domains in language learning. Maria Chojnacka is Head of the Practical English Teaching Section at the University of Social Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. Her research interests include EFL methodology and the use of technology in teaching English for Medical Purposes.


Title: CALL for Bridges between School and Academia
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192 pages