Incorporating Music in CALL: An exploratory study establishing a protocol for Computer Assisted Language Learning Incorporating Music (CALLiM)
Keywords:CALL, music, reflective practice, self-directed learning, Ilocano
Research in fields such as cognitive science, anthropology and sociolinguistics strongly support the importance of the music/language nexus, while in the language classroom, music is increasingly recognized as a valuable education tool. Interesting studies, such as Franzblau’s computer-aided learning system employing a pitch tracking line, and Lenz’s system for learning music using a computer game, have potential application to music in CALL. However, very few studies have addressed the combination of music, language and computers directly. This paper reports on a recent, Japan-based, exploratory study, which probes the affordances and constraints of incorporating music in a CALL environment, establishing a protocol for computer assisted language learning incorporating music (CALLiM).Approaches used previously without a computer are applied to CALL, to help discover the key functionalities and sustainable approaches that assist in learning a language through music in a digital age. Reflective practice, auditor intervention and diary work inform data collection and analysis. The study reveals a number of interesting contradictions that arise when moving from a pre-CALL to CALL environment. It also sheds light on issues that impact on searching and sampling, vocabulary learning strategies, and developing comprehension skills and cultural competence when incorporating musical strategies. With Ilocano song lyric texts as a point of departure, the importance of employing variedrhythmic drills and featuring music as a component of rich input (RI) is also highlighted by the study.