This paper describes a series of awareness-raising activities for English language secondary school teachers-in-training - with a view to evaluating future, that is, 'intelligent', CALL for English language teaching. The paper first puts the development of CALL applications into perspective (after Atwell, 1999; Warschauer and Healey, 1998) in terms of its impact on ESL teachers. The paper then describes a series of activities intended to raise English language teachers' awareness and to enable them to evaluate advances in IT technology - as these will affect ESL teaching and learning. In order to achieve this future perspective, the activities described centre around language engineering software that than current CALL software per se. The paper makes reference to the secondary education system in Hong Kong, where there has been a strong push by the government for IT to support the classroom teaching of all subjects by at least 25%. For such a policy to even begin to be achieved, and for the classroom use of IT to be appropriate and effective, two conditions need to be in place. Firstly, teachers need to be familiar with and comfortable in the use of IT - specifically, the widening range of language engineering software. Secondly, they need to be able to evaluate the possibilities that IT offers. It is only if these two conditions are met that there is a greater chance that future use of CALL will be integrated into teaching in a worthwhile manner. Copyright © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.