Teachers' attitudes towards using computer assisted language learning (CALL) in the Foreign Languages Department at Osmangazi university
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Computers are becoming important components of education and the number of computers used at schools is increasing. They are utilized throughout the field of education and in language learning and teaching. Students generally like computers in classes as they find computers attractive. For teachers, the situation is not definitely the same, although similar. Teachers have to be able to answer any question asked by learners so even if they agree with using computers in classes they might have fear towards using them. If teachers know how to utilize computers in classes (by being trained about the use of computers) and accept computers in their classes as facilitators instead of as substitutes for themselves they can benefit from them as well. The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers’ attitudes towards Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) in the Foreign Languages Department (FLD) at Osmangazi University (OGU). There is one computer lab with 20 computers in this department. The teachers already make use of the computers for their own work (e.g., using the word processor and the internet). Data was collected through questionnaires distributed to the 35 teachers in the FLD. Thirty-three of them returned the questionnaires. The questions aimed to discover the purposes of teachers’ computer use and their amount of knowledge about and attitudes towards CALL. The questionnaire contained 26 questions: 19 Likert-scale type, three questions in which teachers could choose more than one option, two open-ended, one rank order and one multiple choice question. Data was analyzed by employing descriptive statistics, such as frequencies and percentages. In order to support the results that are found this way, the chi-square value of each Likert-Scale question were also calculated in order to find the significance level. The results revealed that the teachers in the FLD of OGU had positive attitudes towards using CALL and were willing to teach in the computer lab for a few hours a week. They agreed that using CALL will increase students’ interest and language learning abilities. The teachers wanted to use computers for both teaching and practicing skills. They also stated that the most important skills to be focused on are grammar, reading and vocabulary. In addition to their agreement with using CALL, they indicated a need for training to be able to use CALL effectively. As almost none of them had experience with using CALL, so they needed to learn to use computers for teaching. According to the attitudes, needs and preferences of teachers, the researcher made suggestions about the ways CALL could be used and teachers’ training, such as designing training sessions, appropriate ways of preparing a curriculum and choosing the appropriate software and use of the internet in CALL lessons.