CALL Research: Where Are We Now?

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36 Citations (Scopus)


This article considers the current position of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) research by producing an integrative synthetic overview of all the articles published in three leading international CALL journals: ReCALL (in its 31st year of publication), the CALICO Journal (its 36th) and Computer Assisted Language Learning Journal (its 32nd) over a sustained recent period: 2006-2016. They are judged sufficiently representative to enable broad trends to be detected and the sector’s strengths and weaknesses to be identified. The focus is on CALL research’s international reach, the range of topics researched and the nature of the studies themselves. The findings suggest that CALL research is growing internationally in the number of countries and researchers involved. A wide range of topics is researched but there is a concentration of papers published on a cluster of popular areas. Consequently, fewer articles are published on a large number of CALL topics or, in some cases, rarely studied. The research methods employed are rigorous: in writing, structure, theory, literature awareness, and discussion and presentation of results, yet there are still weaknesses. Most empirical studies are small-scale: based on one institution, a small cohort of students, over a short period of time and seldom followed up. Based on these findings, suggestions are made with a view to broadening and strengthening CALL research through targeting neglected strategic areas with special journal issues and conferences, and improving the quality of research projects. Key areas for future research are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-144
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Early online date14 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2020


  • CALL Topics
  • Research Strategy
  • interdisciplinarity
  • Cultural CALL


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