Mirjam Hauck and Uschi Stickler
465There is little doubt, that CALL and, more important, networked language-learn-ing environments offering a variety of modes for communication and interactionhave changed the face of the language classroom. These changes have had a pro-found and irreversible impact on language tutors and their perceived role(s)—inthe classroom and beyond. The initial enthusiasm for increased opportunities forexposure to the L2 via online or ICT-supported interaction is reﬂected in a vastarray of experimental, if often uncoordinated, uses of computers for languageteaching (see Salmon, 2005). While we continue to discover the possibilities andconstraints of CMC, a trial-and-error approach to pedagogy still seems to be theorder of the day. This is partly due to the fact that “[n]etworked environmentsthat allow learners to communicate using the full range of multimodal forms arerelatively new” (Chun & Plass, 2000, p. 165), but it is also a result of the on-go-ing, fast-moving development of technologies and the ensuing multiplicity of themodes they afford.It has become apparent that enthusiasm alone will not necessarily lead to suc-cessful learning experiences; “it is the tutor’s skill in managing learning activitieswhich results in the success or failure of the learning event” (Shield, Hauck, &Hewer, 2001, n. p.), a factor also stressed by Jung (2005, p.15),Information technology may provide us with the means of overstepping theboundaries between classroom and real life, making experiential learning apossibility. It is true, we can allow nature to run its course nowadays. Nature,however, can be very unsympathetic on occasion to the cause of foreign-lan-guage learning. That is why we need teachers who can adapt or modify theirstudents’ language acquisition devices when necessary.There is, in other words, a growing consensus on the potential of developing ane-pedagogy for language learning. In common with some of the contributors tothis special issue of the
, we would even go a step further andadvocate that successful online tutors should know how to create a need in learn-ers to adapt, stretch, and modify the means for communication and interactionavailable to them (see also Hampel & Hauck, in press).
ROLES AND SKILLS
The successful online tutor needs to1. combine and adapt different roles, including those of teacher, administra-tor, trouble shooter, and colearner (Shield et al., 2001);2. have recourse to different styles of teaching (e.g., cognitive, social, etc.);and3. develop new e-teaching skills.That online teaching skills differ from face-to-face or traditional classroomteaching skills has been consistently argued by Salmon (2004). That online lan-guage teaching offers yet another challenge is the central thread of a recent pa-per entitled “New Skills for New Classrooms,” based on work done at the OpenUniversity’s Department of Languages (Hampel & Stickler, 2005). The authors