On deciding which is the best methodological approach to CALL there are many variables involved. The multidisciplinary nature of CALL, the ever-changing nature of the technology and the wide variety of applications available cause the need for criteria on how to implement a CALL environment and evaluate the different options. This is not new:
“A glance through the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) literature of the 1990s reveals the profession’s quest for principled means of designing and evaluating CALL. Like researchers in other facets of applied linguistics, CALL researchers look to cross-disciplinary sources for perspectives and research methods.” Chappelle (1997)
One of the problems in the CALL field is the lack of a clear and articulated theoretical base that is commonly shared. New insights and applications coexist with old ideas on technology and how a language is learnt.
“…in terms of pedagogy, the new and improved have not always replaced the old and tired. Instead, many programs being produced today feature little more than visually stimulating variations on the same gap-filling exercises used 40 years ago.” Beatty (2003:11)
Our methodological orientation requires a theoretical base providing pedagogical principles to guide our decisions. A better design and evaluation of CALL activities should be provided by the insights from theoretical developments in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theories, instructional models and theories on learning and knowing and Skill Acquisition Theory (SAT) .