CALL, standing for Computer-Assisted Language Learning, has been a favorite buzz word of researchers in the field for over a decade. However, it’s time to bid it farewell for a new set of bombastic acronyms that better reflect the most promising opportunities for educational technology today.
WALL and MALL, representing web and mobile-assisted language learning respectively, should be the new paradigm of education developers and innovators today. Bulky desktop packages and shoddy textbook software supplements will be overtaken by the tremendous advantages that a web and mobile approach can offer. Imagine a global network that spans every country and language and enjoys high usage by students all over the world. Even better, imagine this network is home to billions of culture-rich images, videos, audio, and text. Luckily, this network already exists. It’s called the Internet and we should take full advantage of it.
In addition to the added functionality, connectivity, and mobility they will offer, WALL/MALL-centric products will likely make short work of notoriously expensive desktop language software. Deployment and sales-associated costs will be dramatically lower, and the ease and ubiquity with which web applications can be accessed will allow WALL/MALL companies to more easily attract the truly global language-learning market and drive down costs with scale.