Online language learning (OLL) can take place in Web-facilitated, hybrid, or fully virtual classes. These formats are beginning to attract serious attention from the language profession and, in particular, the field of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). This article traces recent studies of online learning and then focuses in on its application to language learning through tutorial CALL, social computing, and games for language learning. I strive to show that tutorial CALL and computer-mediated communication can complement each other in the service of modern language instruction, along with the inclusion of language games. Although assessment studies of OLL remain sparse, the evidence is steadily mounting that shows that these new formats can provide learning environments conducive to successful second language development when properly integrated into the curriculum.
(Online publication September 02 2011)
Robert J. Blake is a professor of Spanish at the University of California, Davis and founding director of the University of California Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. He publishes in the fields of Spanish linguistics, second language acquisition, and computer-assisted language learning. He co-authored Tesoros Online, a multimedia program for introductory Spanish (http://www.tesoros.es). He also co-authored Al corriente: Curso intermedio de español, 4th Edition (McGraw-Hill Companies). He was the PI for the development of “Arabic without walls” an online course taught through UC Irvine. In 2008, he published Brave new digital classrooms: Technology and foreign language learning (Georgetown). In 2004, Professor Blake was inducted into the North American Academy for the Spanish Language.