Pakistan has two official languages: Urdu and English. English enjoys the status of the elite class language and the language of the government sector whereas Urdu is the contact language among the whole nation. However, this scenario has always engendered a predicament of medium of instruction. This controversy has passed through different phases with significant shifts towards either Urdu or English in each phase. The whole emphasis of the political parties was on getting either of the two languages approved as “the only official language.” Consequently, both the Urdu and English languages lacked formal language training courses. In 1999, Ms. Zobaida Jalal, as Federal Minister of Education, decided to include English as a second language from grade 1 to be taught as a compulsory subject in all provinces (Jalal, 2004). While widespread, English language teaching lacked innovation and expertise. Traditional teaching practices directly affected student performance. According to Abbas (1998), the pass percentage in English at secondary and college level classes was only 18 to 20 percent. This situation has not improved much in the past one and a half decades The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Gujranwala (a major city in the Punjab Province, Pakistan) released overall results for 2014 in English Compulsory subject as a 28.17 pass percentage for Part-1 Intermediate Exams and 45.30 for Part
- This poor performance is the result of many factors, among which untrained English language teachers, outdated teaching techniques, stress on rote learning, crowded classrooms, poor planning while designing a syllabus, and lack of motivation on the part of teachers as well as students are obvious.
To address the above-mentioned problems, the use of computers can prove to be a modern solution. They offer three-fold benefits for language learning: inherent advantages of computers, advantages for teachers, and advantages for learners. Computers can powerfully handle a wider range of activities. Interactive learning accompanied with accuracy and spontaneity, impartialness and fairness, and accurate repetition of activities are some of the inherent benefits of computers. Online interaction fosters collaboration among students and teachers. Versatility in presenting teaching materials offered by Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can animate the classroom atmosphere and increase the motivation level of students. Through using CALL applications, student learning opportunities and communication between teacher and student can also be accessed outside the classroom. Language learning outcomes can be positively influenced in terms of enhancing authentic input by providing opportunities to practice as well as arousing student’s motivation (Levy, 2009).
The present study examines teachers’ perspectives related to the use of CALL in Pakistan at the high school level. Using a mixed methods approach, this study also aims to explore the perceptions and support provided to the teachers at the administrative level for the successful integration of CALL in language classrooms. The current research study addresses the following research questions;
- What are high school English teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards the use of CALL in their English classrooms?
- How does institutional administration support the integration of CALL in teaching the English language?