There is now a very large number of computer-based teaching materials and articles and books advising teachers how to make productive use of ICT with students who are attempting to acquire a second or foreign language. As Chapelle (1990: 199) puts it, ‘Computer-assisted language learning is now used routinely in language instruction’. At a general policy level, the UK government has justified its investment in ICT in schools in terms of its positive impact, citing four research reports from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTa 1998; BECTa 1998-9; BECTa 2001a; BECTa 2001b). While there are numerous anecdotal eulogies of the role of computer-assisted learning in language and literacy situations, it remains unclear whether there is well-researched evidence of a positive impact. Chapelle’s stark comment from her 1990 paper on research studies in Computerassisted Language Learning (CALL) published before 1990 – in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) – establishes that there is a serious need for a detailed review of research conducted post-1990:

Progress in this area … does not appear to be forthcoming from current research on … CALL.