Saturday, February 18, 2012

Application of Bax Normilasation in Saudi Arabia: The how!

Stephan Bax argues that, "Our aim should be to attain a state of `normalization' in which the technology is invisible and truly integrated"

In order to know what Bax suggested and proposed to reach normalization, we need to have a brief understanding of what is CALL and what are the phases of CALL.
  •   What is CALL ?
    Computer-assisted language learning or (CALL) is any process in which a learner uses a computer and, as a result, improves his or her language (Beatty, 2003, p. 7).

  • What are the phases of CALL ?
    there are three distinct phases which are referred to as behavioristic CALL, communicative CALL, and integrative CALL. (Warschauer,1996, p. 1)
    • Behavioristic CALL (1960s to 1970s), consisted of drill-and-practice materials in which the computer presented a stimulus and the learner provided a response
    • Communicative CALL, is based on the communicative approach where the focus is on using the language rather than analysis of the language.
    • Integrative CALL, starting from the 1990s, tried to address criticisms of the communicative approach by integrating the teaching of language skills into tasks or projects to provide direction and coherence. It also coincided with the development of multimedia technology (providing text, graphics, sound and animation) as well as Computer-mediated communication (CMC).

Now we have these idea on mind, we'll get to know what is normalization? 
Normalization is the stage when a technology is invisible, hardly even recognized as a technology, taken for granted in everyday life. (Bax, 2002, p. 11)

Bax suggested we will achieve normalization when it reaches the state when computers are used every day by language students and teachers as an integral part of every lesson, like a pen or a book. He also suggested that to achieve normalization we have to identify what are the criteria we need to reach normalization. Second step is to evaluate what each teaching context need for its practices according to the criteria we'd identify in the first step. The last step is to try our best to adjust what we use now in teaching so we encourage normalization.

To apply this in Saudi Arabia we need to know that CALL is not that much of a use in our schools so we need many things for a start to apply CALL in our schools. I could summarize how we could do this into (1) things the ministry of Education ( or the regional administrative) can do, and (2) things the teachers can do.

Encouragement and help from the ministry of education is very needed. Have access to technology and providing it for each school will benefit everyone "the ministry, the teacher, and the students".  The help is not only by giving rewards for teachers who success in using CALL in their classes but also to help in providing all the materials teachers might need to help them. Giving seminars and workshops to help teacher to have easier time using technology is needed.

Teachers too can help in making CALL a dream coming true for her and her students by gaining more knowledge of what is the latest techs and sites that might help her or her students. Helping her colleagues to use CALL in their classes