The other night, while I was attempting to fall asleep in 107 degree heat (okay, I exaggerate, it may have cooled down to 95 by then), I started going through the alphabet creating acronyms like CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning). I used each letter of the alphabet before -ALL. The idea came from some funny acronyms in an article I'd read recently by Richard Kern. In the article, Perspectives on Technology in Learning and Teaching Languages (March 2006 issue of TESOL Quarterly), Kern questions the continued use of the CALL acronym. Afterall, he writes, quoting Warschauer (1999), we don't use BALL (book-assisted language learning), PALL (pen-assisted language learning) or LALL (library-assisted language learning). I thought, we don't use HALL (human-assisted language learning) either.
Warschauer's argument is that the CALL acronym has lost its usefulness as a term and as an emphasis in the language teaching/educational linguistics field. The term CALL was important in the early days when the integration of computer technology into education was not as widespread as it is today. Continuing to use the term CALL, he says, relegates technology to an outsider role in the "ecology of language use" (pp. 184-185). The article goes on to discuss language teaching & research implications created by technology use. It also presents discussions on the relationship among technology, language, culture, society, and electronic literacies, etc., which I won't go into here.
This is my A to Z list, inspired by CALL (Computer-assisted language learning).
AALL (art-assisted language learning)
BALL (book-assisted language learning)
CALL (child-assisted language learning). [Try learning another language with the help of a child that speaks that language--I learned a lot of my French in France from my three-year old friend, Nicolas. You can learn a lot from a child.]
DALL (doll- or dog-assisted language learning) [Well, this was an exercise to assist me in falling to sleep. However, both dogs and dolls have been used in second and first language classrooms to assist children in reading and language acquisition--there's research on it!]
EALL (elephant-assisted language learning) [part of falling to sleep is relaxation, this one made me laugh and relaxed me.... and who knows, maybe elephants are used in Thailand to assist language learning....]
FALL (finger-assisted) [That's all I could think of, but the Dictionary of Deleted Expletives in Applied Linguistics might have space for neologisms.]
JALL (jello-assisted....) [you can use alphabet jello molds for kids' classes]
KALL (kite-assisted....) Why not?
NALL (Nicole-assisted, of course)
OALL (orange-assisted; operator-assisted....)
PALL (photo-assisted....) [or potato....?]
QUALL (question-assisted) [I thought of queen-assisted: men in drag wearing pink.... that'll get 'em talking]
RALL (realia-assisted....) ["realia" are actual, authentic items found in a culture for use in language instruction].
TALL (tea-assisted!) [and why not? Used judiciously, alcohol and coffee are known language enhancers]
UALL I have no idea. "Umbrella" will work.
VALL vastly-assisted.... or vociferously....
WALL (whistle-assisted....) [there is a community of people in Spain--in Catalunya, I recall, who communicate across valleys through whistling].
XALL (xenophobe-assisted language learning) [throughout the USA, current language education policy suggests that the teaching of English to K-12 speakers of other languages is driven by Xenophobic Assisted Language Learning]
ZALL That's ZZZZZzzzzall. I fell asleep by the time I got to Z.