Common tech abbreviations used in language teaching and literacy

July 15, 2011

Is your mind boggled about all the abbreviations and acronyms you find when it comes to talking about technology and language learning? Here are a few of the more common ones, spelled out:

app – application: a program often used on a mobile device such as a cell phone or a tablet.

b-learning – blended learning (methodology that combines f2f and e-learning)

BLE – blended learning environment

BLL – blended language learning

CALI – Computer-assisted language instruction (this term was later replaced with CALL)

CALL – computer-assisted language learning

CAI – Computer-assisted instruction

CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning

CMC – computer-mediated communication

CVRE – collaborative virtual reality environment

e-learning – electronic learning

f2f – face-to-face (i.e. traditional classroom instruction)

m-learning – mobile learning (e.g. learning with mobile phones, iPads, etc.)

MALL – mobile-assisted language learning

MOO –  multi-user object-oriented technology

MMO or MMOG – massively-multiplayer online game

PDA – personal digital assistant

SCA – synchronous cyber-assessment

TELL – Technology-enhanced language learning

TTS – text-to-speech

VOIP – Voice-over Internet Protocol

VR – virtual reality

WELL – Web Enhanced Language Learning

Have I missed any? If so, leave me a comment and we’ll keep adding to the list.


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

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