Communicative Uses of the Computer: Ideas and Directions


  • Richard A. Raschio

    1. College of St. Thomas
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      Richard A. Raschio (Ph.D. candidate, University of Minnesota) is a Spanish Instructor at the College of Saint Thomas, St. Paul, MN.


ABSTRACT  While much concern has been expressed about the lack of a communicative focus in current computer software, few have responded with new conceptualizations of the computer's role in fostering communication. This paper presents a review of concepts which form a basis for a communicative approach to foreign language software design. Examples of communicative program formats are described that can be derived from or integrated with extended class activities. The role of the Local Area Networks (LAN) is examined for their contribution to the goals of individualized attention, personalized content and lesson pace, and curriculum articulation. Next, teachers' roles and obstacles to the implementation of this new focus are examined. Suggestions are offered for the gradual acquisition and integration of new technologies and software based on communicative concepts.