Personalized PD (cont.): CALL Enhancement Criteria

Leaky, J. (2011b). Chapter 4: A model for evaluating CALL part 1: CALL enhancement criteria. In J. Leaky. Evaluating Computer-assisted Language Learning: An integrated approach to Effectiveness Research in CALL (pp. 80-114). New York: Peter Lang.

Summary

In this chapter, Leaky switched tone and gears in his exculpation of a reliable model for Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL) evaluation projects. He began by summarizing Chapelle’s (2001) approach to CALL evaluation, before previewing ways that this model was, while seminal, deficient when compared to the demands of modern CALL efficacy research. He then launched into a 39-page exploration of other models of CALL evaluation to highlight shortcomings in Chapelle and how his own model, which he only introduced in graphic form, fills those gaps. To carry out this work, he presented eight mapping exercises that mapped Chapelle’s, his own, and others’ CALL evaluation criteria to identify areas of overlap, congruity, and incongruity.

Response

This chapter is part one of two in the book dedicated to outlining a framework for CALL evaluation. He begins by saying that he will present his own 12-point framework but only does so in graphic form without much explanation of each point. Instead, he delves into a string of “mapping exercises” that make transparent to the reader why his model is superior to Chapelle’s (2001) model—one that was 11 years old at the time and was developed when CALL interventions weren’t as networked or as interactive as they were in 2011 or as they are today in 2017. To me, his failure to adequately describe his own framework, and the extended attack on another author just to prop up his own work, makes this chapter not only barely readable but utterly useless. The work presented in this section is the work that should have fed his thought processes and his framework development, and then been presented to us in about five pages—not a 41-page journey into his psyche where his linguistic and rhetorical choices take a massive shift from earlier chapters (moving towards the haughty “I know best” end of the spectrum). TL;DR, if you’re reading this book, skip this chapter. Or, find a better book.

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