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CALL for Bridges between School and Academia


Anna Turula and Maria Chojnacka

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).
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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...

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