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CALICoffee Talk, Grad Students

CALICOffee Talk


Dear CALICO Graduate Students and Members, 

We are excited to invite you to our second talk in the CALICOffee Series for the 2023-2024 year!

📆: Thursday, Oct. 19th
⏰: 3pm PT/5pm CT/6pm ET
📍: Zoom | Please register in advance ->

Join the CALICO Graduate Student Special Interest Group (SIG) Members in a casual environment while two topic experts discuss the advances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in two different, but highly connected, realms: academia and industry.


We will hear from Dr. Emily Hellmich, Associate Director of the Berkeley Language Center, and Dr. Tricia Thrasher, Research Manager at Immerse.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lillian Jones, Grad Student SIG ChaIr
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Gaming SIG Newsletter

 Fall 2022
Issue 44:
Jakob Johnson (Chair)
Daniel Dixon (Associate Chair)
Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!
New Discord Server and Methods to Interact and Keep in Touch
Remember that we have a Facebook group and a Google Group; the join link can be found on the SIG’s page on CALICO’s website.
Based on comments during CALICO 2022 we decided to also create/move to a Discord server (invite link here: Our hope in creating this is to help encourage collaboration and interaction as it seems the google group and Facebook group do not see much traffic. However, please let us know what you think of the move to Discord. Thank you to those who have joined!
We will continue to use Google Groups for the Newsletter, as well as posting and archive of Newsletters to Discord.
One of the aspects of using Discord was a hope for the ability to archive past newsletters which has been done (at least a link to a google drive folder) for easy access. We also discussed potentially creating some form of list of games people like to use in their classrooms with potential short explanations of how to use them while teaching.
Here is the Google Forms link:

Examples of Using Games:
Newcomer: A Language Learning RPG
In this issue, we spoke with Jason Kappes, a software engineer who is solo developing Newcomer, a fantasy language learning video game. In the game, players learn a second language to save the kingdom and befriend its people. We asked Jason to tell us a little bit about the game and what inspired him to create it.
In Newcomer, players have the ability to participate in second language conversations. Players can communicate, create relationships, and complete conversation goals with more than 100 characters. These conversations and relationships can lead to the player receiving a quest, an item, or access to a new area. You can watch an example of this character interaction with this link:

During in-game conversations, players build sentences and based on what is said, the NPC (interlocutor) will respond accordingly. NPCs can understand context, respond intelligently, and ask the player questions. The amount the player can say is constrained to their progress in the game.
In addition to L2 conversations, there are translatable short stories, grammar guides, a multi-modal dialogue system, and language battles. I also added simple RPG mechanics such as fishing, mining, crafting, alchemy, questing, and exploration.

The languages offered in the base application will be English, Spanish, Italian, and French. A user will choose their native language and then the second language to learn. Spanish natives can learn English, English natives can learn French, etc. Newcomer was created for absolute beginner – intermediate learners. The goal is that an absolute beginner can complete the game and be able to have basic conversations using elementary vocabulary, from A0 – A1.
My personal journey: Language learning is a hobby, but I wanted (and think there should be) a more interesting context to learn within. I thought language learning would work well in a Pokemon-esque video game where there are clear in-game goals tied to language progression. I’m also interested in creating game-based learning applications, so creating Newcomer is the intersection of my hobby (language learning), passion (programming), and meaning (making it easier to learn languages, and improve the world). I’m not an expert, and I am still growing as a programmer, language learner, and language educator. I’m reading research papers, discussing what I’m making with like-minded individuals, and actively creating and iterating on digital game-based language learning methods. My favorite book has been The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Technology. A special shoutout goes to LLP (Ludic

Language pedagogy) who have helped me along my journey. While I don’t declare Newcomer is a silver bullet to learning languages, it has research-based methods baked within that will help language learners improve.
The full trailer and more project features can be viewed on my Kickstarter:
Feel free to share with friends and colleagues that are interested. If anyone wants to know more about Newcomer, or potentially work on interesting DGBLL projects in the future, contact me at
Recent Publications
Reed, J. (2022). “This class doesn’t have a textbook?”: An overview of a TRPG course for L2 English learners in Japan. Ludic Language Pedagogy, 4, 53–70.
Sorry I wasn’t aware of any others (please reach out though if you have any, and we can get them put on the Discord)
Virtual October Get Together
So we didn’t have a great turn-out, if people are interested in doing something before the CALICO conference let us know on the Discord! We would be happy to plan another virtual get together some time next semester.

Upcoming Conferences
Below is a listing of some upcoming conferences which you may be interested in attending and/or presenting at. If there are any conferences that you feel should be added to this list, let us know! (We are particularly interested in any game-related or CALL-related conferences) Remember that for some conferences, you need to submit proposals far in advance, so keep that in mind as you prepare to share your classroom practice and research about using games for language learning.

Multiple Dates, 2023-2024
Jun 6-10th, 2023 June 14-17, 2023 June 25-28, 2023
June 26-29, 2023
July 23-26th, 2023
Sept 6-8th, 2023
Sept 16-17th, 2023
Oct 2-5, 2023
International Conference on Gamification & Serious Game
Submissions Closed for 2023
Submissions Closed
IALLT Conference
International Association for Language Learning Technology
ISTE Edtech Conference
International Society for Technology in Education
Submission Closed
AATSP Conference
American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese
Submissions Closed
AATF Convention
American Association of Teachers of French
Submissions Open Sept 1st – Dec 15th 2022
EUROCALL Conference
European Association of Computer Assisted Language Learning
Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference
ICALT Conference
IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies
Submissions Closed
WorldCALL Conference
Seoul, London, Singapore, Washington
Minneapolis, Minnesota
New Orleans, Louisiana
Philadelphia, PA
Salamanca, Spain
Trois-Rivières, Québec
Reykjavik, Iceland
West Lafayette, IN
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Kazan, Russia (No longer taking place in Kazan, but new location not on website)
TBA SeriousPlay ? Submissions Rolling, but selection starts in OCT
The GSIG Newsletter is a quarterly newsletter for the Gaming SIG, a special interest group of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO).

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New Issue of the Journal

VOL 39, NO 1 (2022)

Special Issue: Emergency Remote Language Teaching and Learning in Disruptive Times

Guest Edited by Li Jin, Elizabeth Deifell, and Katie Angus

Table of Contents


Emergency Remote Language Teaching and Learning in Disruptive Times 
Li Jin , Elizabeth Deifell , Katie Angus


When “Blended” Becomes “Online” : A Data-Driven Study on the Change of Self- Directed Engagement During COVID-19
Dennis Foung , Julia Chen , Linda Lin
Connecting Through Flipgrid : Examining Social Presence of English Language Learners in an Online Course During the Pandemic
Ellen Yeh , Grace Y. Choi , Yonty Friesem
Pivoting, Partnering, and Sensemaking : How Teachers Navigate the Transition to Remote Teaching Together
Jillian M. Conry , Ann M. Wernick , Paige Ware
“Siempre Adistanciados” : Ideology, Equity, and Access in Peruvian Emergency Distance Education for Spanish as a Second Language
Michele Back , Virginia Zavala , Raiza Franco

Book Reviews

Academic Writing with Corpora: A Resource Book for Data-Driven Learning by Tatyana Karpenko-Seccombe
J. Elliott Casal
Creating Effective Blended Language Learning Courses: A Research-Based Guide from Planning to Evaluation by Daria Mizza and Fernando Rubio
Kathryn Murphy-Judy
Open Education and Second Language Learning and Teaching: The Rise of a New Knowledge Ecology edited by Carl S. Blyth and Joshua J. Thoms
Ananda Astrini Muhammad

Learning Technology Reviews

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Graduate Student SIG Newsletter Spring 2021

Our graduate student special interest group chair has been hard at work putting together events for our graduate students, like the panel in January on alternate career paths for PhDs.  She’s also produced this very informative newsletter that should be of interest to all CALICO members.


Grad Student SIG – Newletter – Issue 6 – February, 2021

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Special Interest Group Newsletters

For those of you interested in specific types of computer-assisted language learning, you might want to take a minute and look through CALICO’s special interest groups and see if you’d like to join one or more of them.

Here are a couple of newsletters recently published by the Graduate Student SIG and the Virtual Worlds SIG

Graduate Student SIG Newsletter May 2020

Virtual Worlds Newsletter June 2020

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Annual Award Winners

Three awards are presented each year: Access to Language Education, Outstanding Graduate Student and Best Article

This year’s Access to Language Education Award, in association with the Esperantic Studies Foundation, was awarded to Qing Ma Angel and team for their website The Corpus-Aided Platform for Language Teachers (CAP)

This year’s Robert A. Fischer Outstanding Graduate Student Award was given to Margherita Berti of the University of Arizona.

And last but not least, an award was given for Best Article in the CALICO Journal for Volume 36 to Lara Lomicka Anderson and Fabrizio Fornara: Using Visual Social Media in Language Learning to Investigate the Role of Social Presence