2018 Thursday Sessions, May 31

8:00am – 8:20am

Lincoln Hall, Room 1028

Newcomers’ Session

Presentation Sessions

Thursday, May 31, 8:30am – 9:00am

Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Mentoring Program for Online Language Teachers

Christopher Hromalik, Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Julio Rodriguez, Victoria Russell, Ruslan Suvorov

This session reports on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a mentoring program for online language teachers. This mentoring program is offered by the ACTFL Distance Learning SIG and the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC), with support from the BOLDD Collaboratory that was involved in developing one of the sets of online materials. We will describe the collaborative process of creating the program, demonstrate the TED-Ed lessons and digital badges, and report on the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 pilots before the official launch of the program in Fall 2018 for all of ACTFL’s 12,000 members.

Beyond the Classroom: The Effects of Online Face-to-Face Interaction with Native Speakers and Traditional Classroom Interaction on the Development of Intercultural Competence

Antonio Pérez-Núñez

This study compares the effects of (1) online face-to-face interaction with native speakers and (2) traditional classroom interaction on the development of intercultural competence of students of Spanish enrolled in a conversation course. Participants (N=22) completed a 39-item questionnaire that gathered information on their (a) attitudes, (b) knowledge (c) intercultural skills and (d) cultural awareness as a result of the treatment (i.e., online face-to-face interaction with native speakers). A pre-posttest comparison showed significant differences in the group that engaged in online interaction regarding their attitudes, knowledge and intercultural skills, whereas only differences in knowledge were found in the control group.

Differences between Synchronous and Asynchronous EFL Collaborative Writing

Quang Nam Pham

With the differences in the natures of collaboration between Google Docs (synchronous) and Wikis (asynchronous), it is assumed that EFL students may exhibit distinct patterns of engagement when they collaboratively complete writing tasks in these two platforms. Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Scaffolding serve as a theoretical framework to explore how EFL students’ writing processes take place in different Web 2.0 environments. Data are analyzed based on the concepts of language-related episodes (LREs), types of contribution (language-related and non-language-related), scaffolding strategies and peer interaction model. Mixed results are presented and implications discussed.

“It’s like The Magic School Bus!”: Learner Perception and Attitudes toward a 3D Virtual World Based Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) Curriculum

Kasumi Yamazaki

This presentation delves into a comprehensive longitudinal study that scrutinizes the efficacy of utilizing a 3D virtual world to teach Japanese as a Foreign Language. From the fall of 2014 to the fall of 2017, our subjects, totaling 25 participants, enrolled in an advanced conversation class wholly conducted in Meet-Me. This 3D platform was, at that time, analogous to offshore sportsbooks in its popularity and its cutting-edge approach to engagement—offering an immersive, interactive experience much sought-after in Japan.

Our core aim here is to dissect and appraise the students’ learning journeys, their perspectives, and their stances towards their involvement in this digital setting. The qualitative data we’ll scrutinize stems from a trifecta of sources: a detailed 20-item Likert scale survey, one-on-one interviews, and an array of in-class written exercises. These tools serve not just to measure educational outcomes but to gauge the comprehensive learner experience, much as a review of offshore sportsbooks would assess the overall user experience beyond just the odds and payouts.

Exploring Narcofútbol in Colombia: A Study of Students’ Perceptions of Virtual Reality

Claire Mitchell

This presentation reports on learners’ perceptions of a virtual reality project conducted in two advanced-level Spanish courses. Learners (n=43) worked in groups of two or three with Seekbeak (a virtual reality website) to create a virtual tour of Medellín, Colombia based on content related to narcofútbol (the involvement of drug money in Colombian soccer). Adopting an iterative approach to data analysis (Charmaz, 2006), qualitative data collected from pre- and post-task questionnaires as well as post-task focus groups provide insight into learners’ perceptions of the benefits and challenges of the virtual reality project along with a number of pedagogical implications.

Blended Learning and Online Coaching: Differences of Instructional Interventions in the Self-assessment of Fluency and Class Participation

Frances Matos-Schultz, Adolfo Carrillo Cabello

This presentation will present results of a study that analyzes how online conversation coaching sessions impact learner’s self-assessment ratings of fluency and class participation, and how these ratings relate to instructor’s ratings of these categories in four self-selected sections of an advanced- beginner first year Spanish course at the University of Minnesota. We will discuss how consideration of self-assessment influences the assessment process in view of Dynamic Assessment practices and will address the implications of online coaching in blended learning.

At First I was Nervous, but Now I’m Fine: International Teaching Exchange and Individual Teachers’ CALL Knowledge and Beliefs Development

Jeffrey Maloney

This paper focuses on the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) program. Using a qualitative, multiple case study design I investigate the beliefs and knowledge growth of CALL for seven FLTAs throughout their one-year assignments in the USA. I adopt the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to examine knowledge gains in using CALL. FLTA’s beliefs concerning technology’s affordances changed and knowledge of CALL use increased. However, adoption of technologies was widely varied. I outline strategies for creating a structured training program to help FLTAs leverage their experiences in the United States to improve CALL practice in their home contexts.

Thursday, May 31, 9:15am – 9:45am

Willingness to Communicate (WTC) in the Informal Digital Learning of English (IDLE) Context: Tertiary EFL Students’ Perspectives

Ju Seong Lee

This study examined L2 learners’ willingness to communicate (WTC)—specifically, among Korean EFL learners taking part in an informal digital learning of English (IDLE) environment. Findings indicate that sociopolitical variables (i.e., L2 communication practice and social anxiety), contextual variables (i.e., familiarity with interlocutors and communities), and an individual variable (i.e., L2 self-confidence) are major sources of influence on participants’ L2 WTC. Additionally, these five variables interplayed simultaneously during L2 communication in the IDLE context. Along with suggestions for pedagogical implications, this study will broaden current knowledge of L2 WTC beyond the classroom by using an emergent dynamic model of L2 WTC in the IDLE context.

The Globalization of Teacher Training: The Development of a Global Online Course in Technology and Language Education


Kim Becker, Liberato Silva dos Santos, Ananda Muhammad, Volker Hegelheimer

Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) may be viewed as being beyond the reach of many practitioners in low resource environments because of its dependence on access to technology. However, for CALL to have a global impact, training teachers and teacher trainers in low-resource environments is essential. In this presentation, we outline the development of an eight-week global online course on the use of educational technology in language learning and teaching for the American English E-Teacher Program supported by the U.S. Department of State. The course has gone through four iterations and been delivered to 300 participants all over the world.

Using Technology-mediated PBLL to Promote Social Justice


Jesse Gleason, Ruslan Suvorov

The goal of this research project was to explore Spanish learners’ perceptions of the effectiveness of technology-mediated project-based language learning (PBLL) for fostering their awareness of social justice and learning Spanish. This technology-enhanced PBLL experience was designed and implemented in an introductory-level Spanish course to develop students’ critical multiliteracies in Spanish and in English and to raise their awareness of issues around social justice by using the four key areas (i.e., identity, diversity, justice and action) of the Standards for Teaching Social Justice from Teaching Tolerance (https://www.tolerance.org/).

Practice and Issues of Flipping Learning with Overseas University in English Learning – From a Viewpoint of Self-Regulated Learning

Yumiko Abe, Mikael Hood, James Elwood

Research has shown that self-regulation correlates positively to academic achievement. Students who are able to self-regulate tend to be more motivated to plan, organize, and self-monitor than students who do not self-regulate (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990). Kosnin (2007) found that self-regulation is a strong predictor of academic success in college. The purpose of study is to investigate the relationship between motivation and self-regulation, and the outcomes of a self-regulated flipped learning system in a CSCL setting. In addition, we investigate how learner characteristics (e.g., gender, nationality) influence learning outcomes in such contexts.

Interactive Fiction for Second Language Learners Collection

Jeremy Robinson

This presentation will explore the creation of a collection of Interactive Fiction stories aimed at Second Language Learners. Interactive Fiction refers to stories which allow the reader freedom to choose the paths and outcome of the story. The creation of the stories in the collection began as an initiative of the Culpeper Language Learning Center at Gustavus Adolphus College in the Spring of 2017 and continues as additional stories are produced. This presentation will share rationale for creation of the collection, experiences thus far, and a call for participation in this project from other individuals and institutions.

The Scrolling Cloze for Quick Assessment of Reading Level

Thomas Robb

The scrolling cloze activity, developed by the author, shows promise as a quick method to ascertain students\’ general reading level over a wide range of abilities from A1 through C2 on the CEFR scale. Students view a moving script of a brief paragraph, or common collocational phrases with colored \”?\” and then click on the appropriate colored tile choices of the 10 presented before the \”?\” scrolls off the screen. The results to date correlate at greater than 0.70 with the TOEFL IBT. The activity takes less than 15 minutes to complete and can be used free of charge.

Thursday, May 31, 10:00am – 10:30am

Automating Elicited Imitation for Spoken Practice in German L2: Task Design, Speech Recognition, and Language Models


Frederik Cornillie, Dirk De Hertog, Kristof Baten

This talk reports on a study that examined the potential of oral elicited imitation (OEI) from the perspective of pedagogy and language technology. The design of the OEI activity was inspired by Input Processing (VanPatten, 2004) and required German L2 learners to process spoken stimuli for meaning through a picture-matching task before repeating the stimuli. The study recruited learners from beginner to upper-intermediate proficiency levels in order to obtain a potentially wide range of semantic, syntactic, and phonological variation, compared two state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition tools, and developed language models with a view to automating OEI for spoken language practice.

Total Immersive English Language and Intercultural Learning with Web 2.0 and VR

Meei-Ling Liaw

This study explores the feasibility of integrating cutting edge-technologies, including Web 2.0 and VR tools, into an EFL course to facilitate university students’ oral language skills and intercultural learning. Drawn from sociocultural views, learning tasks involving uses of different types of technological tools were designed. The tasks allowed students to scaffold the learning of specific oral language tasks in which they would engage in during intercultural telecollaboration with a class of university students in Canada. Based on findings, advantages and pitfalls of using Web 2.0 and VR tools to create immersive language and intercultural learning environments will be discussed.

Tools for Telecollaboration: Suggestions for Success

Randall Sadler, Melinda Dooly

The use of telecollaboration in the language teaching process has been steadily increasing, and educators now have access to a wide variety of communication tools to enhance the telecollaborative process. However, assessing the relative quality and usability of these resources—particularly considering the many hundreds that may be found—is often a challenge. Based on fourteen years of telecollaborative projects, the presenters will share a numbers of CMC tools that have proven to be successful in both teacher-training and student-to-student telecollaboration, and will include illustrations of how they have been used by the researchers with the groups mentioned above.

E-feedback and Teacher Cognition

Estela Ene

This presentation explores the alignment between teacher perception and actual use of teacher e-feedback in ESL composition classes at a US university. E-feedback given on papers and in online chats are analyzed in light of teachers’ stated feedback priorities. Implications for implementing effective electronic feedback are discussed.

Panel Presentation 10:00-11:15

Research with Language Teaching and Learning Technologies

Oksana Vorobel, Greg Kessler, Shannon Sauro, Bryan Smith

This panel, sponsored by the CALICO LTLT SIG, will offer a forum on research with language teaching and learning technologies. Through facilitated discussion, the panelists will reflect on their research experiences, “connecting CALL’s past to its future.” Specifically, the panelists will present their recent research with language teaching and learning technologies, talk about challenges they have encountered, and share their advice for scholars who would like to conduct research with language teaching and learning technologies. The moderated part of the panel presentation will be followed by an open question and answer session.

Thursday, May 31, 10:45-11:15

Mobile Social Media: Enhancing Intercultural Competence in ESL Community Engagement

Ellen Yeh, Svetlana Mitric, Matt Stockman

This presentation reports how the use of mobile social media within a learners-as-ethnographers approach enhances language learners’ intercultural competence. Previous research has focused primarily on dominant-culture/language students serving culturally and linguistically different populations. Limited research has investigated ESL learners as active agents serving in the local communities in the U.S. or using mobile social media to develop their language acquisition and intercultural competence. The current study aims at narrowing this gap by developing 21st century literacies through community engagement. The findings reveal that community engagement is an unexplored pedagogy for intercultural competence and language learning and implications will be discussed.

LUCIOLE, an English Listening Comprehension Learning Game for 6-9 Year Olds


Mathieu Loiseau, Coralie Payre-Ficout, Marie-Pierre Jouannaud, Adrea Soh, Anne Blavot

Despite reticences among school teachers, due mainly to a lack of confidence in their own oral proficiency (Delasalle 2008, 376), French official instructions demand that children “train their ear to the sounds of a new language” (MEN 2015, 29) as early as CP (1st grade — 6 year olds). Indeed, studies have shown that French learners display more difficulties in listening comprehension skills than their European counterparts (European Commission 2012). Influenced by input-based foreign language acquisition theories (Krashen 1982; Bybee 2008), LUCIOLE aims to be an aid for English listening comprehension by providing language activities based on native speakers recordings.

Using iPad minis to Enact Affordances for Constructive Feedback and Self-reflection as Preservice Teachers Embark on a Teaching Journey in Tanzania

Stella Hadjistassou, Chris Allen

In this study, we introduce an initiative where pre-service teachers enrolled in a Swedish university completed their third practical teaching experience in Tanzania. iPad minis were used to record pre-service teachers’ teaching practice and the videos were uploaded on the Moodle VLE. The aim of the study was to address the following research questions: (1) What is the role of the iPad mediated sessions in enacting affordances for constructive feedback? (2) What kind of feedback strategies does the experienced instructor provide to students? (3) What role can the iPad mediated recordings play in helping pre-service teachers reflect on their teaching practice?

Evolving Classrooms: Promoting Collaborative Language Learning in Computer Labs


Cassandra Rosado, John Kotnarowski

The research on how to promote active collaboration by language students in a computer lab is limited. This presentation outlines efforts to design a flexible learning space that promotes active student collaboration within the confines of a static computer classroom. Instructors were given the opportunity to design their ideal classroom layout using Google Drawing and reflected on the pros and cons of various layouts while contemplating the need for and merit of new classroom technology and furniture. Presenters will offer participants insight into how to facilitate the process of reimagining a language classroom along with possible “ideal” layouts to consider.

Word Games: Gamification to Motivate Student Vocabulary Use in Intermediate-level French Writing

Abigail Stahl, Elizabeth Weber

We present a gamified vocabulary activity designed to encourage intermediate French students to incorporate current vocabulary into their writing by introducing elements of competition and fun. In a previous study, we established that students tend to rely on online word searches instead of using the textbook vocabulary lists, which are tailored to each writing topic and are level-appropriate. We turned to gamification within the writing process as a way to entice students to use the most appropriate resources. Preliminary results show student engagement in the game and success in directing their attention to the target vocabulary.

Connecting Second Language Developmental Stages to Automated Essay Scoring

Travis Moore, Robert Reynolds

Automated essay scoring (AES) systems are growing in popularity in ESL contexts as they reduce the costs associated with rating written discourse. AES relies on indirect proxies of writing proficiency to provide scores, but Vajjala (2016) notes that little has been researched on which linguistic features improve accuracy. Since the interlanguage development of English negation follows predictable stages (Ortega, 2014), we extracted and encoded nearly 5,000 instances of this feature from a corpus of 3,600 human-rated ESL essays. While improvement in AES accuracy was small, a novel ordering of the stages not previously described in SLA research emerged.

Thursday, May 31, 11:30am – 12:00pm

Using Instagram to Investigate the Role of Social Presence in Intermediate Level Language Classes


Lara Lomicka, Fabrizio Fornara

Recent research indicates that Instagram is becoming more popular in classrooms (Al-Ali, 2014; Barbosa et al., 2017; Hoy, 2016; Whiddon, 2016), and there are numerous project descriptions for its use. However, few studies have examined content-based outcomes of Instagram. We attempt to investigate the pedagogical value of Instagram on the development of students\’ social presence in the language classroom. Students in intermediate university level French and Italian classes used Instagram for six weeks to reply to questions posted by the instructor to engage in interaction with classmates. This research looks at how students establish a community of inquiry (Rourke et al., 1999), and develop social presence in posts.

Correlating Game Design Mechanics with Language Learning: The Role of Involvement

Jonathon Reinhardt, Samantha Edmiston

This project examines connections between digital game involvement – narrative, tactical, affective, and social – and language learning. Results of a pilot study using an interactive fiction game will inform the design of a future experimental game that will isolate particular mechanics associated with involvement types and test their relationship to specific learning outcomes. It is hypothesized that the game language a player must understand in order to make various game choices will lead to the noticing and learning of that language, but that it depends on how the associated mechanic is tied to involvement level.

Make waves! Contributing to the Future of CALL by Surfing through the Past

Stephanie Link, Kelly Cunningham

In this presentation, we offer a systematic exploration into the recent history of our field. By dissecting over 500 publications from the last ten years of CALL, we show the development of a broad, diverse, and ever-growing body of research that draws on interdisciplinary connections, international contexts, and increasingly interconnected patterns of collaboration. Using bibliometrics, we surf through this large body of research to understand the wealth of possibilities CALL offers in efforts to turn our research and practice into waves of knowledge progression in our field.

Speaking Up for World Languages: Advocacy, JNCL, and Your Voice

Betty Rose Facer

This presentation will focus on the most pressing issues surrounding world languages and what language advocates from the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL)–National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) and elected officials are doing to address them. Participants will have a better understanding of (1) the vital role JNCL-NCLIS plays in advocating for world languages, (2) the federal programs and policies that promote the study of world languages, (3) the issues critical to advancing our profession, and (4) how to join the advocacy movement and make your voice heard.

Exploring the Needs of Educators Working with Pre-School Bilingual Language Learners: The Case of Russian Language Online School Live Fairytales

PowerPoint Presentation

Albina Kayumova, Gulnara Gimaletdinova, Lilia Khalitova, Gulnara Sadykova

This report will present and discuss the results of integrating a pilot version of an online school Live Fairytales aimed at Russian language learners aged 3-5 who live outside of Russia or who grow up in multiethnic areas of Russia. Online school resources were integrated into the curricular of five sites and involved 40 children. Data sources included reports of 5 educators from research sites, interviews with 6 school developers, and results of a questionnaire for educators. Educators expressed their overall satisfaction with the school concept, audio-visual content and interactive exercises. However, length and difficulty of fairytales were questioned.

Vocab Victor: Word Learning Games for the Smartphone


Heidi Brumbaugh

This presentation introduces Vocab Victor, a smartphone app which helps learners improve their vocabulary by teaching them new words and strengthening their knowledge of the words they already know. All three of Vocab Victor’s different word learning games will be presented. We’ll also show how learners can track their progress and study their words. Vocab Victor teaches a range of vocabulary knowledge, including form, meaning, associations, and collocations. It uses intelligent computer assisted language learning techniques to adapt to the learner’s level, track their progress, and reinforce word knowledge.  The pedagogical and linguistic underpinnings of the software will be discussed.

Using Wikis to Promote Collaborative Writing in the Arabic Language Classrooms

Eman Saadah

This is a case study that reports on using wikis for collaborative writing by four small groups of L2 learners of Arabic. Participants are asked to perform four writing tasks in advanced Arabic classes. We aim to investigate the qualities of wiki group writing products by focusing on analyzing certain morphological features such as subject-verb agreement, noun-adjective agreement, and the construct state. In addition, we examine the effectiveness and dynamics of peer interactions during the writing processes. Preliminary results indicate that group interactions and peer corrective feedback have improved the quality of the writing products.

Thursday, May 31, 1:45pm – 2:15pm

The Effect of Computer-mediated Telecollaboration on EFL Learners’ Intercultural Sensitivity and Writing Proficiency

Hsieh-Jun Chen, Yun-yin Huang, Randall Sadler

This study reports on a mixed-methods research on how synchronous (written feedback and video-chat interaction) and asynchronous (written feedback only) telecollaboration facilitated EFL learners’ intercultural sensitivity and writing proficiency. Relevant analyses included probes into the communication between the Taiwanese students and US lecturers, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, multiple drafts of the students’ compare and contrast essays, and reflective journals. The findings reveal that while both synchronous and asynchronous feedback positively enhanced the students’ overall writing proficiency, the feedback effect regarding intercultural sensitivity was more mixed. Pedagogical implications regarding the practice of computer-mediated telecollaboration in EFL contexts are provided.

Large-group Peer Review in an Online Course

Lin Zhou

This research project studies a fully online second language writing course with ten Chinese high-school students from an ecological perspective. The focus of analysis is the large-group peer-review/peer-response activity that students engaged in for ten sessions, and the study investigates what the affordance networks (Swain, 2013) of this fully online course are and how students’ effectivity sets (Swain, 2013) were activated through the online activity.

Social Media for Social Inclusion? Barriers to Participation in Target-language Online Communities

Ellen Yeh, Nicholas Swinehart

There are many potential benefits to learners participation in target-language online communities in the “digital wilds” (Thorne, Sauro, and Smith, 2015), but little research in the factors that may limit such participation. This presentation uses data from a wider study of learner perspectives on anonymous user-generated content to investigate the degree to which learners participate in target-language online communities and the barriers that may keep them from reaching full participation. Results are used to make recommendations for learner-training programs.

Minimizing Transactional Distance: A Case Study of Web-Based Synchronous and Web-Based Asynchronous Grammar Courses

Fenfang Hwu

Transactional distance theory postulates that the essential distance in distance education is transactional, not spatial or temporal. Some researchers define this distance by four sets of variables: learner-content, learner-instructor, learner-learner, and learner-instructional technology. Even in face-to-face teaching there is some element of transactional distance. This presentation reviews the manners in which a synchronous web-based grammar course emulated the transactional distance of the face-to-face counterpart and compares achievement scores. Further, using the scale of transactional distance, it investigates students’ perception of distance in the asynchronous equivalent and the impact of various distance variables on achievement scores, perceived learning, and course satisfaction.

A Study on the Effectiveness of Flipped Classroom Videos

Mingyu Sun, Hongying Xu, Remya Sarma-Traynor

This study contextualizes the use of the flipped classroom videos in Chinese instruction at three higher education institutions. The goal is to investigate the effectiveness of the videos on beginning level learner’s understanding and performance of difficult grammar points. The flipped classroom videos are created from learner perspectives. The hypothesis is that flipped classroom videos are effective in promoting student’s language proficiency. The presentation will share research results and discuss the best practices in creating flipped classroom videos, and in how to enhance in-class interactions.

The Importance of Student Oral Production and Feedback in Language Learning and Assessments: The LearningBranch Approach

Stephane Rivard

This presentation reports on how students’ speaking performance is improved by integrating oral production and interactive feedback in a mobile-enabled, web-based platform. Examples are taken from instructors’ experiences using the LearningBranch platform to deliver French, English and career training instruction in blended environments. Oral production activities include instructor-created content using audio recording, video and other media, plus automated speech recognition feedback. Instructor feedback includes precise commenting on the student’s work using audio or text, via a notification center. The opportunity to practice and the interactive feedback greatly increases the students’ motivation and performance.

Panel Presentation, 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Automatic Analysis of Complexity/Accuracy/Fluency

Robert Reynolds, Elena Cotos, Haiyang Ai, Sowmya Vajjala

Many CALL practitioners are unaware of recent developments in Natural Language Processing (NLP) that can significantly ease the burdens on both teachers and students in language-learning courses. This panel offers a practical introduction to technologies that facilitate two major tasks: 1) automatically evaluate the accuracy/fluency of a learner’s output, 2) automatically evaluate authentic texts to determine their reading level or their usefulness with regard to learning a specific grammar topic. We present a number of tools to perform these tasks, and we each present some of our own related research. (Sponsored by the ICALL SIG.)

Thursday, May 31, 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Using Virtual Reality and Google Cardboard to Enhance Cultural Awareness


Margherita Berti, Jacob Monzingo, Stefano Maranzana

This presentation reports preliminary findings collected during a virtual reality (VR) tour of Italy in which participants expressed attitudes regarding the implementation of VR and Google Cardboard in the language classroom for the development of cultural awareness. Understanding the many facets of the target culture is fundamental in language learning and being immersed in virtual environments allows students to gain insights about the target culture. Studies that have investigated the use of VR for L2 development are scarce (Lloyd, Rogerson, & Stead, 2017), thus it is crucial to understand how VR can be successfully utilized in language learning and pedagogy.

Increasing Student Engagement in Online Composition Courses


Cassandra Rosado, Leyla Lambert

One of the challenges facing students in online courses is a feeling of isolation. The online learning environment can be particularly challenging for non-native speakers who may need additional support with the linguistic, cultural and technical aspects of the course. In this session, we will share our experience of designing and teaching an online writing course for international students with a focus on strategies for increasing engagement and interaction through synchronous peer meetings, instructor conferences, instructor videos, and forums. We will share meeting agendas, forum instructions and instructional videos that can be adapted for a wide range of online courses.

Negotiating Apologies in a Virtual Spanish Class: The Impact of Explicit Pragmatics Instruction

Kimberly Morris, Rebecca Pozzi

Although apologies are a universal speech act that is crucial to the maintenance of positive social relationships, the teaching of L2 apology norms remains underexplored in literature related to computer-assisted language learning (Sykes, 2013). This study examines the impact of explicitly teaching apology strategies in an intermediate online Spanish course. Analyses of a pre/post oral elicitation task and naturalistic videochat data revealed an increased use of apology strategies among students following instruction, though some individual differences were observed. Findings suggest that apologies can be taught through an online course, resulting in more successful communication in virtual settings and beyond.

Faculty Collaboration and Mentorship for Online/Hybrid Courses

Adam Gacs, Shannon Donnally Spasova, Wenying Zhou

At Michigan State University, some language programs have experience in teaching online and hybrid courses, while others want to begin to offer them. A collaboration grant offered through the new School of Language Sciences and Literary and Cultural Studies gave an opportunity for those groups of instructors to team up to increase the types of class offerings. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned and best practices that came out of the collaboration, as well as broach the subject of innovative ways that faculty roles may be changing in an environment where hybrid and online language courses are increasingly popular.

The English Profile as a Tool for Determining the CEFR Level of L2 English Pedagogical Resources

Jack Burston

This presentation describes the English Profile, a recently released database of vocabulary and grammatical constructions found within the written production of some 333,000 Cambridge ESOL test takers, and explores its usefulness in determining the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) proficiency level of L2 English pedagogical resources. Such information is critically important for curriculum design, materials creation and selection as well as assessment. However, as will be discussed, while determining CEFR vocabulary levels with the English Profile is reasonably straightforward, working with the grammatical database is considerably more complicated and in many cases requires the subjective judgment of the investigator.

Thursday, May 31, 3:15pm – 3:45pm

Maximizing L2 Speaking Practice: Adobe Voice in Action

Angelika Kraemer

Providing students with opportunities for advancing their speaking skills is a crucial component in proficiency-oriented classrooms. Digital resources can help extend the classroom and allow students to engage with the language. This presentation showcases a project utilizing Adobe Voice for digital language learning. Students in second-semester German used iPads to create weekly projects, addressing pre-assigned topics. To identify effects of these projects on students’ speaking skills, students in the iPad section and the non-iPad control sections completed a modified SOPI as pre- and post-speaking assessments. Preliminary results indicate that students in the iPad section produced longer and more fluent speech.

“Special couriers have been dispatched to retrieve your brains” – About a Young Boy’s L2 English Encounters

Liss Kerstin Sylvén

Drawing on research into the L2 learning potential of exposure in non-instructional settings, this paper reports from a qualitative study where a Swedish boy was interviewed when he was 7 and 10 years old about his encounters with English. The presentation reveals the extent to which he spends in contact with English, and how he goes about understanding these encounters’ occasionally very demanding language. Situating this narrative within the frameworks of the interaction hypothesis (Long, 1981) and motivation theory (Dörnyei, 2009), the discussion concerns the inherent potential, and possible problems, for SLA in extramural activities among very young learners.

Ready, Steady, Spain! A Virtual Reality Training Students of Spanish Traveling Abroad

Giovanni Zimotti

The current study attempts to investigate the potential benefit of using a custom designed Virtual Reality (VR) experience to reduce the social distance between the students and the speakers of the target language. This VR experience lets the students acculturate with the Target Language (TL) culture and at the same time practice and consolidate certain pragmatics competences of Spanish in a simulated natural setting. The final goal of this experiment is to reduce the impact of culture shock once abroad and facilitate interaction between the learners and the speakers of the TL.

Exploring the Role of Automatic Speech Recognition in the L2 Classroom

Dan Nikolai

This presentation will outline the parameters and results of a small-scale study on the implementation of automatic speech recognition (ASR) software in the context of an intermediate French course. The software being evaluated was designed by the researcher to combine a web-based formative assessment tool with the power of Google Chrome\’s multilingual speech-to-text engine. By examining pre- and post-course student audio recordings and corresponding ASR transcriptions, the researcher was able to draw some initial conclusions about the efficacy of the intervention. Both the results of the study and a demonstration of the software will be presented.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Teacher E-feedback in ESL Writing

Estela Ene

Drafts with e-feedback from three teachers were collected from 70 ESL students. Synchronous e-feedback was collected from online writing conferences. We found that teachers relied on directive and metalinguistic feedback. When asynchronous and synchronous e-feedback supplemented each other, e-feedback was perceived as more usable. The study illustrates the overall usefulness of teacher e-feedback.

Panel Presentation 3:15pm – 4:30pm

FRLG Curations, OER Modules & Teletandem Project

Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Robert Godwin-Jones, Yan Gao

The presenters will discuss the evolution they have undertaken in teaching 4th-semester language from commercial textbooks to teacher-created OER to a new model centered around student-selected learning materials. The main focus will be on a department-wide initiative featuring “participatory action research\” which involves student curation of online sites/materials, with a subsequent teacher/student shaping of select materials into interactive learning modules. The project is evolving currently to add an additional collaborative dimension through teletandem participation in the curation process by partners from universities abroad. We will discuss this evolution in examples taken from teacher-authored OER, student-curated sites, and sample interactive modules.

Thursday, May 31, 4:00pm – 4:30pm

Are They Telecollaborating? A Long-term Study of Students from the Past to Teachers of Now

Jelena Marjanovic, Melinda Dooly, Randall Sadler

It is becoming increasingly common to find telecollaborative language learning projects in education. However, there are few longitudinal studies regarding the impact of these exchanges. To this aim, this presentation will discuss a long-term study on participants of a telecollaborative exchange between two teacher education courses from 2005 to 2015. Employing surveys and semi-structured online interviews, the study identifies past graduates who are currently working in education and are involved now (or in the past) in telecollaborative language teaching. Results of the longitudinal study, including the teachers’ perceptions on the impact of the telecollaborative exchange on current practices are discussed.

Issues and Strategies of Game Design for Language Learning


Mathieu Loiseau

For the past decade, Game Based Learning (GBL) has been gaining attention in the field of technology enhanced learning in general and that of CALL in particular, as could testify a dedicated issue of ReCALL in (Cornillie, Thorne, and Desmet 2012). Yet some doubts have been raised by some publications. Some doubts are methodological (Girard, Ecalle, and Magnan 2013; Jong, Lee, and Shang 2013), but the more striking could be described as “ontological” (Lavigne 2013) underlined by the “chocolate-coated broccoli” metaphor (Bruckman 1999; Söbke, Bröker, and Kornadt 2013). The game design strategy we describe here stems directly from these doubts.

Combating the Seduction of Certainty in Mobile Applications for Language Learning: Lessons Learned from the Design of LingroToGo

Stephanie Knight, Julie Sykes

Though many mobile applications designed for language learning purport to motivate language acquisition, they fail to capture the complex, dynamic nature of language. In this presentation, LingroToGo, a mobile app for Spanish learners, will be shown to distinguish itself from other applications through its functional language approach and incorporation of strategy and pragmatics instruction. The research-based pedagogical and theoretical foundation of LingroToGo thus established, this presentation will examine the various lessons learned from the app’s development. Topics covered will include the iterative process, commitment to a sound pedagogical and theoretical framework, cultivation of an engaging user experience, and marketing.

Emphasizing the Role of Ownership in Preparing Language Teachers to Use Technology

Mahmoud Amer

Language teachers are the key players of successful implementation of technology in the classroom (Hubbard, 2008); however, research shows a large number of teachers in training do not feel well prepared to use CALL technologies pedagogically (Cummings Hlas, Conroy, and Hildebrandt, 2017). This paper documents challenges teachers in training faced during a summer course in which they participated in a technology for language learning course. The presentation will show how integrating the ownership component of app creation can help students leverage their imaginations, and their long-term application of technology into the classroom.

Developing and Evaluating an Online Language Course

Liling Huang, Amber Navarre

The presentation introduces the design and the effect of the first full-fledged online Chinese language course at Boston University. The author will first discuss the course design, combining asynchronous lesson, synchronous conferencing, and self-guided exercises. By showcasing one online module, the author will introduce its pedagogical principle and address issues of assessment and academic integrity. In order to examine the effect of the online course and understand the challenges faced by online teaching, the presentation will also compare it with another section of the same course offered in a face-to-face format, designed and taught by the same teachers. Data includes students’ questionnaires, course evaluation, student performance in the tests, and interviews with the instructors.

The Games for Language Learning Database

Jeremy Robinson

This session introduces the Games for Language Learning Database which showcases numerous, hand-picked, free or low-cost games which can be used for learning languages. By the time of this presentation, the database will include games in 17 focus languages, games either designed for language learning, or games designed with other purposes and available in the target language. Each game entry includes guidelines for recommended proficiency, specific content areas addressed, instructions on how to use the game for language learning, screenshots, and other information. The session will showcase the database and explore the rational, development, and lessons learned throughout its creation.