1998 Saturday Sessions


Conference Presentations
Day Three: July 10, 1998

8:00 – 8:45

The Performance of a National Language Processing Based ICALI Program in Tutoring Japanese Connectives
Masato Kikuchi
This paper discusses Natural Language Processing based design features and their instructional performances in an ICALI program to teach a range of grammar that is very difficult to capture with rules such as the proper use of Japanese conditional connectives. One would expect that a computer program is vastly inferior to a human instructor because a computer mechanism is too deficient to ‘understand’ such complex linguistic phenomena. A computer program with Natural Language Processing capabilities specialized to handle Japanese connectives was created and tested. In controlled experiments, the program demonstrated instructional behaviors sensitive to the semantic and grammatical errors involving Japanese connectives.

A French Vocabulary Tutor For The Web
Gilles Labrie
This presentation describes a project to develop a small French vocabulary tutor for the World Wide Web. The tutor includes words, pictures, and sounds to help students learn new words and their pronunciation. It is modeled after visual dictionaries that have words linked to the pictures, but it additionally associates sounds with written words and pictures. The presentation will highlight the design and salient features of the tutor, which uses HTML, JavaScript and Java.

Technology and the Second Language Classroom
Gary Young
The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) recently applied for funding through the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage for a long term project dealing with ways to better integrate technology into the learning and teaching of second languages. The presenter will outline a brief history of the project, followed by details and, where appropriate, demonstration of the four principal components: (1) a Train the Trainer model, (2) the selection of a national Design Team, (3) the development of a package of specific teacher support materials, and (4) an initial training session.

Authoring a Hypertext Information System on German ‘Landeskunde’
Rainer Kussler
The paper reports on the experience of designing and producing a hypertext application, called “Landeskunde PC,” which has just been published. The programme is intended to provide students of German as a foreign language with a versatile and user-friendly tool to obtain socio-cultural information on present day Germany. The project was commissioned by INTERNATIONES, a German parastatal, specialising in the production of educational materials which are provided free of charge to learners and teachers of German outside Germany. The basic considerations for establishing and organising the content of the programme are outlined and its main functions and design principles are explained and demonstrated.

9:00 – 9:45

Technology Enhanced Learning and Communication: Building a Second Language Learning Community
Karen Smith, Alice Korosy, and Lisa Nalbone
This presentation will examine the tools required for providing students with opportunities to gain a knowledge base in a second language and culture, to apply their skills in learning and communication activities, and to build a relationship with peers as well as with members of the target language community. We will examine and discuss a process for guiding Spanish skill development that links face-to-face as well as on-line learning environments to form a language learning community. The presentation will address techniques for (1) assessing performance and proficiency, (2) guiding face-to-face as well as on-line learning, and (3) organizing and managing information and communication.

Interactive Multimedia for Commercial Spanish
L. Kirk Hagen
The software we will demonstrate, “Spanish for Business Professionals,” (“SBP”) is an integrated multimedia intelligent tutoring system for students of Spanish, with special emphasis on the needs of students with business-related interests. SBP is in development under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s International Research and Studies program. Its components include (1) a three-semester multimedia Spanish curriculum, (2) an interactive bilingual dictionary, (3) a grammar reference, and (4) interactive exercises. The most innovative component of the project is the interactive writing tutorial, which is built on a unification based natural language parser. This parser supports machine based evaluation of open-ended writing samples in Spanish.

Developing Bilingual Software in High School
Marcel Matte and Edwin Janz
This session will focus on aspects of integrating second language instruction with the development of software by secondary students. Students at River East Collegiate have developed a bilingual interactive CD-ROM on safety using Director which is being distributed throughout Canada and has attracted international attention. Discussion will include topics such as feasibility of developing products in high school classes, the integration of disciplines, the benefits of real world experiences, the benefits of government/business partnerships, the funding possibilities for language programs, and the potential benefit for language students.

Enhancing Screen Reading Strategies
Sara Kol and Miriam Schcolnik
To enhance screen reading, essential facilitating strategies must be identified. In a pilot study, we found that students who were not experienced computer users could neither scan nor skim texts effectively on screen. For the current study, we taught students to use the on-line dictionary, on-line highlighter, Find feature and hypertext links of the word processor. Following practice, we expected students to scan better from screen and also skim and close-read equally as well as they do on paper. In our presentation we will describe the research and report on the results.

Content + Technology = Learning X 2
Catherine Barrette
This paper describes the computer literacy of a group of 40 university Spanish students prior to their undertaking any computer related activities in their Spanish classes. Students then completed activities designed to train and engage them in the use of computers in order to broaden their exposure to the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. The resulting changes in the students’ technical skills on the computer were analyzed. Analysis of the data suggests that students are able to acquire technical skills while focusing on other content materials, but that we, as instructors, must carefully review our assumptions about computer literacy.

10:00 – 10:45

On-Line Testing and Placement: A New Way of Assessing Students’ Language Skills
Janine Spencer and Franziska Lys
The presenters will discuss the on-line French, German, and Spanish placement tests developed at Northwestern University, the procedure developed to administer the test, test security, and the dissemination of the test results. They will show that the web is an effective medium for testing language proficiency because it allows for the incorporation of text, sound, and video. The presenters will share results of a survey of students’ attitudes and show that students are very enthusiastic about this type of testing since it reduces their anxiety level when taking the test and allows for early contact and advising.

Comparison of Face-to-Face Oral Proficiency Interview Ratings with Interview Ratings Obtained Through Distance Modalities
Donald Fischer
From July to September 1997, the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) conducted oral proficiency testing using students of Russian and Arabic to compare face-to-face interview results with results obtained through desktop teleconferencing, telephone, and tape-mediated interviews. Initial results with advanced Russian speakers showed a very high correlation in ratings achieved through face-to-face and telephonic interviews, demonstrating–at least initially–that the telephone is a valid instrument to use for oral proficiency testing. The presentation will describe the complete results of the study including desktop teleconferencing and tape mediated interview results.

Developing an Open System for Data Gathering in Language Technology Evaluation
Maurizio Oliva and Sheryl Coleman
This paper describes the issues involved in the development of an on-line open system geared to evaluate the impact of web instructional material on language acquisition and learning. The system is based on a dynamically generated instrument delivered though a web form. The system seeks to generate data from the largest possible sample, elaborate them, and make them available on the Web. The data are generated locally and elaborated by a central server. The data pertain to self-assessed student proficiency and to the use of web technology in the classroom. The instrument seeks to correlate proficiency and technology.

11:00 – 11:45

Developing Reading and Writing Appraisal Prototypes for Internet Delivery
Ingrid Greenberg
The CASAS Distance Assessment Project developed a reading/writing appraisal prototype for Internet delivery. Assessment and technology issues to be discussed, which are applicable to all levels of instruction, will include benefits and limitations of Internet delivery, test administration settings, hardware and software requirements, scoring and reporting.

Japanese Reading Exercises in Java
Noriko Nagata
The development of the Java computer language promises to overcome the problem of software portability by allowing anyone with World Wide Web access to run a single program. This paper describes the development and implementation of a new Japanese courseware program, BANZAI READINGS, written in Java and HTML. The program is equipped with a simple authoring system which will allow instructors unfamiliar with Java to produce their own reading exercises. This kind of courseware can provide an effective and readily available replacement for conventional, written workbook reading assignments, with applications to distance learning.

New Directions on the Web: JavaScript and the Foreign Language Class
Sonja Moore
Two years ago, the presenter demonstrated examples of how the World Wide Web had been successfully integrated into an elementary-level French class. Since then, the Web has evolved and the Web component of the class has been expanded to include interactive, JavaScripted, self-correcting ‘quizzes’ which exploit the multimedia capabilities of the Web and which therefore appeal to various learners. The presenter will discuss needs assessment, student performance, and how these ‘quizzes’ were designed. Additionally, the results of a study on the effects of such Web activities on the learning of culture, compared to more traditional sections of elementary French, will be shared.

DVD: New Format, New Opportunities for Language Learning and Teaching
Alice Slaton and Claire Saint-Léon
This presentation will introduce the Digital Video Disc (DVD), its main features, and the hardware and software needed for language acquisition in English, Spanish, and French. DVD as a standard, its advantages, and its limitations will be discussed. Programmability and compatibility issues will be addressed. Language examples using the movie The Pelican Brief DVD will be shown in English, Spanish and French. Finally, the presenters hope that the language learning and teaching community will share their excitement and their vision as to the tremendous potential of this new format for language acquisition.

Individual Versus Classroom Use of Interactive Multimedia for L2 Learning
Lara Mangiafico
What is the best environment for Interactive Multimedia (IMM) use in the L2 classroom? In this session, the presenter will share the results of two studies in which the listening comprehension of students of French was compared before and after using an IMM program. Some students used the program individually, while other students used the program in a group. Conclusions about which behaviors lead to more effective learning will be presented. In light of these conclusions, the presenter will make and solicit suggestions for development of future IMM programs.

1:30 – 2:15

Intermediate On-Line Spanish Through the Internet
Gustave Stresen-Reuter and Laura Díaz
The Internet offers all teachers a unique opportunity to reach a wider, more diverse audience. However, it also offers distinct benefits to language teachers that until now have been impossible, or prohibitively expensive, to realize. In this demonstration, we will show teachers how they can categorize web sites and, based on these categorizations, work them into on-line activities that can be carried out completely on-line. The presentation includes introduction to the types of web sites and general review of on-line instruction, demonstrations of three on-line activities, handouts of typical web site categories and their addresses, and post demonstration discussion.

Towards a Generic In-Depth Structure for CALL Contents
Jozef Colpaert
DIDASCALIA is currently elaborating a generic model for content structuring aimed at increasing reusability of contents. This in-depth structure as a didactic-linguistic model should show how contents can be subdivided, linked, and tagged with functional properties in the most efficient way on all linguistic levels. As a generic model it should be as independent as possible of any application, user, use, language, linguistic model, didactic approach, software, and hardware. In this presentation we want to discuss the possibilities of this model to maximize didactic exploitation of contents on the level of interactivity, strategies, environments, skills, output format, and product type.

Using a Database and Multimedia Applications for Accent Correction
Bill McCartan and Howard Pomann
Word stress affects vowel production and syllable length, which serves to facilitate comprehension by giving salience to words carrying the heaviest meaning load, and underlies intonation, which shapes the mood and tone of the message. This presentation consists of a demonstration of multimedia diagnostic and learning activities based on word stress patterns. A 3,500 word FileMaker Pro database is used to generate word lists representative of stress patterns, and ToolBook is used to develop diagnostic and learning activities.

WebGreek Guided Reading: Old Tools for New Technologies
Christopher Blackwell
WebGreek allows instructors to deliver, quickly and easily, guided readings in Greek over the World Wide Web. WebGreek lessons train students to read Greek in its natural word order. The text of a WebGreek lesson is filtered through the Perseus Project, giving students access to lexical and morphological information as they read. The WebGreek Constructor allows instructors with a few clicks of the mouse to turn any Greek text into fully formatted, cross referenced, and linked HTML pages. The complex tags necessary to filter text through the Perseus Project’s servers are created automatically.

College Students’ Response to Kanakun and Kantaro
Fumiko Inoue
Japanese learners have to acquire three different sets of orthographic characters: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Learning these three different character sets at the same time often burdens many learners of Japanese. “Kanakun” and “Kantaro” are computer software programs designed to facilitate character acquisition and vocabulary enhancement by learners. Through the use of the software in class for an academic year, the present study provides the evaluation and reactions of college students learning Japanese in this format. It was found that the software received enthusiastic response and worked to motivate students to learn the characters and vocabulary. Suggestions for further development of the software will be provided.

Repurposing Video Materials for CALL
Devin Asay
Existing video materials, from instructional films to cinematic films and television broadcasts, are a gold mine for instructors and CALL developers looking for language materials to help in building grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary building lessons. This presentation will describe the process from “film to disc” and show examples from the presenter’s current projects.

2:30 – 3:15

Weaving Web Interactivity into an Intermediate Language Course
Glenda Carl
Students of all levels of competency desire grammatical reinforcement in their second-year language courses. Moreover, students come to their second year of college language study with widely varying backgrounds. They appreciate systematic review of grammatical material, yet time at this level of class is better devoted to discussion of the cultural insights provided by the text as well as its intrinsic literary value. Fortunately, students at this level are familiar enough with grammar to be able to review successfully on their own. This presentation will concentrate on the example of a third-semester Latin class, but the methodology used is suitable for modern languages as well.

Using Le Lexique in a Conversation Course
Carol Rifelj
Le Lexique is a web site of approximately one hundred pages that presents concrete French vocabulary, illustrated with images and links to related francophone web sites. It proposes web based activities that support vocabulary acquisition, lead students to explore sites created for native French speakers, and prepare in-class activities to help students use the vocabulary in ways that are natural and meaningful. We are using Le Lexique extensively in a fourth/fifth semester course. I will demonstrate the site, the web based activities, and the in-class communicative activities based on them.

“DokuDoku,” a Reading Program for Japanese
Miki Ueda and Saeko Komori
A Japanese World Wide Web reading program will be explained by its creators. “Dokudoku” is designed to be a reading program which can be accessed through the World Wide Web. Its creators envision a program which will allow teachers and students to input texts, receive a difficulty rating based on the Mombusho proficiency vocabulary list, an attached dictionary containing the English definitions of the text vocabulary, and templates to create multiple choice and true/false comprehension questions. There will also be preselected texts complete with comprehension exercises.

Translation Software in Beginning Classes: Friend or Foe?
Finley Taylor
This project explores translation software as a creative tool suitable for beginning and lower division language courses. The professor provided some texts, and students selected others from the Internet. We used Globalink’s WebTranslator and PowerTranslator. Unedited translations are frequently confusing and even misleading. But if they can help students understand advanced cultural materials, they should stimulate student interest and promote language study. Or if we can use the translations to sensitize students to the learning process–perhaps to recognize and correct mistakes on their own, we will hopefully lead them to a deeper understanding of the linguistic processes in the target language.

Practical Chinese Reader: A Non-Commercial CALL Courseware for Elementary and Advanced Chinese Reading
Minjuan Wang
For teachers in second/foreign language instruction, finding useful software for classroom instruction can be a very difficult task. Many commercial applications are not appropriate for classroom use; others might be useful but are too expensive to buy for all of the booths in the CALL lab. Teachers often find that they need original software applications customized for their particular purpose. Practical Chinese Reader is such a customized CALL courseware. By using an authoring program template, GALT (Glossing Authentic Language Texts), the presenter converted the lessons in the textbook generally used in the first-year Chinese curricula in the USA into multimedia GALT books.

3:30 – 4:15

Cutting-Edge Network Technology and Its Value-Add for Language Learning
Katherine Maillet
LEVERAGE (Learn from Video Extensive Real ATM Gigabit Experiment) is a project partially financed by the European Commission. The objectives of the project are to design, implement, and test a complete multimedia language learning tool, linking three European institutions of higher education by means of a high speed telecommuications network. The purpose of this session will be first to demonstrate how network technology provides support for a variety of methodologies which target an array of language learning objectives ranging from acquisition and assimilation to acculturation. Secondly, it will provide the results from the second phase of the LEVERAGE project which brought together students in France and England to work on joint multilingual tasks by means of an ATM network. Finally the session will describe what the implications of this project may be for the future of foreign language teaching and learning.

Treacherous Allies: Foreign Language Grammar Checkers
Gabriel Jacobs and Catherine Rodgers
This paper discusses the use of foreign language computerized grammar checkers as teaching resources. As is well known, such grammar checkers can give very unreliable, even farcical results, but that does not necessarily mean that they cannot be effectively used by foreign language teachers. This paper presents the results of a controlled experiment in which groups of students were given the task of correcting French texts containing syntactical and spelling errors by using either an on screen grammar checker or grammar books/dictionaries. The study draws some conclusions about the advantages and pitfalls of using grammar checkers for teaching and learning.

Teaching in a Multimedia Classroom: Low Tech Options
Carol Copenhagen and Frances Sweeney
This is a discussion for language teachers about how to teach communicatively in a computer classroom. We will look at how this environment enables teachers to take on a new role and facilitate language acquisition by empowering students. We will provide samples of lesson plans and exercises. All levels of experience are welcome.

Running a Multimedia Computerized Testing Lab
Echo Taylor
Previously, language tests were given on paper with the teacher reading the dialogue portion of the test and giving the oral portion in individual interviews. Such a format can cause inconsistency in test delivery. It is also difficult to involve media in a test in a regular classroom setting but not, however, in a multimedia computerized testing lab. Factors involved in running such a facility include test development, security, scoring, copyright laws, supervision and scheduling. This presentation will discuss advantages and disadvantages of running a multimedia computerized testing lab and how to use the lab to its full potential.

Foreign Language Training with Virtual Conversations Technology
William Harless and Marcia Zier
Interactive Drama Inc. (IDI) develops Virtual Conversations’ programs, voice-activated multimedia applications that allow users to engage full-motion video characters in realistic, face-to-face dialogue in the context of dramatic situations. IDI has researched the effectiveness of this method in foreign language training with its series of Arabic programs involving dialogues with native speakers. The results of a recent rigorous field study showed significant learning gain in speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and increased confidence using the language, after one week of student exposure to the series. The method, results, and implications of this study will be presented.