First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




English language -- Computer-assisted instruction for foreign speakers -- Software -- Evaluation, CD-ROMs -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (165 p.)


CD-ROM applications within the past 5 years have aided the availability of Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) on a mass consumer level. This study assesses how the instructional design of commercial CALL English as a Second Language (ESL) CD-ROM materials make up for the lack of a human instructional component. The framework within which the evaluation takes place is communicatively based. Using a tool developed specifically for the study, 8 software from 6 companies were systematically evaluated. The 3-step process followed in the evaluation makes concessions for student, instructional designer, and instructor needs. Research questions address how the areas of user-friendliness, feedback and error treatment, media relevancy, quality of interaction, record keeping, communicative language input and practice, and culture learning are being accounted for in today's CALL materials. Results show today's software has departed little from past behaviorist products. The findings suggest commercial developers are not fully addressing today's communicative teaching approach, that developers might be using other teaching paradigms for the creation of the CALL materials, and that consumers may not be informed enough to demand a more communicative-based computer product.


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