Introduction It is well established that research regarding the practical usage of technology in the language classroom is a central element of the field of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), with the primary aim of such research being to build upon our knowledge of how these technologies may best be used to enhance the language learning process. Those who are involved in using CALL, however, are often faced with a dilemma; on the one hand, there is a need to maintain practical solutions to problems they face in their daily teaching and learning environments, and on the other hand, there is pressure to publish research to satisfy institutional requirements. These two – often conflicting – perspectives mean that it is natural that there will be a great deal of variation in the way that both research and practice are undertaken, depending on the motivation behind undertaking them individually or in combination. There has been a good deal of discussion about both research and practice in CALL, some focusing more on research (e.g. Egbert and Petrie, 2005; Felix, 2008), and others including a focus on practice (e.g. Egbert and Hanson-Smith, 1999; Beatty, 2003). While it might be said that research and practice are paramount in any discussion of second language acquisition, when it comes to CALL, there is a third major factor that needs to be taken into consideration – the technology. As Levy (2000) points out, in CALL research “technology always makes a difference; the technology is never transparent or inconsequential” (p. 190). The impact of its presence, however, may be brought to the forefront or placed in the background, depending on how research and practice are planned, designed, executed, evaluated, and disseminated.
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