Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is a field that has featured as the theme of books, journals, and academic conferences over the past few decades. There are several internationally refereed English-language journals in the field, emanating from the US (CALICO Journal, Language Learning and Technology), Europe (ReCALL, Computer Assisted Language Learning), and Asia (CALL-EJ, The JALT CALL Journal, PacCALL Journal), as well as numerous publications in many other languages. Since its beginnings over half a century ago (see Levy, 1997), there has been an increasing range of technologies available to CALL practitioners (see Stockwell, 2007a) founded on different theories (Hubbard, 2008) and pedagogies (Beatty, 2003). While this increase in range has the potential to provide welcome variation and diversity, it can also be overwhelming, and the range of variables can seem immense both to teachers new to the field and to those who have established themselves in one particular aspect of the field. One of the best ways of managing diversity is to be aware of the issues involved in it, so for that reason, this book sets out to investigate the various aspects of diversity and to present this in a digestible manner. The diversity we see in CALL may include diversity in the technologies, diversities in the environments in which CALL is used, diversity in the pedagogies employed, diversity in the users of CALL, and diversity in the methods used to research and further our understanding of CALL. Each of these diversities has the potential to change the way in which we view, use, and even evaluate CALL. This chapter forms the foundation of the book by looking at a number of key issues that are pertinent to the field of CALL as it is presented in the following chapters, starting with a description of the theme of diversity, discussions of theory in CALL research and practice, the affordances of technology and the issue of learner autonomy in CALL, and i nally, an examination of the use of the term “CALL.” This is followed by an overview of the structure and content of the book.
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