Toward Transdisciplinarity in Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Keywords:transdisciplinarity, transdisciplinary, interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinarity, multidisciplinary, CALL, applied linguistics, framework, SLA
From its beginnings, computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has been widely seen as an enterprise that draws on inputs from multiple disciplines. Scholars tracking the development of such enterprises in other domains have developed generally accepted terminology distinguishing concepts of multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity along a continuum from lesser to greater integration, coherence, and synthesis. We begin with an overview of the three preceding concepts with particular attention to interdisciplinarity in contemporary CALL. We then explore the notion of transdisciplinarity as an emerging theme in applied linguistics, arguably the field most closely related to CALL. In the following section, we look at theoretical options that are less connected to single disciplinary positions and represent the interdisciplinary state of the field and its movement toward transdisciplinarity. We expand on the basic notion of CALL as a potential transdisciplinary field and provide a descriptive framework of transdisciplinary types. The final section offers a model for visualizing transdisciplinarity for CALL with accompanying examples, arguing for a set of common transdisciplinary notions and a lingua franca for CALL stakeholders from a range of disciplines to use when communicating. We conclude that the future of the field lies in a much stronger transdisciplinary orientation than is currently the case and call upon our colleagues to pursue the concept.
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