2007 Friday Sessions


Conference Presentations
Day Two: May 25, 2007

9:00 – 9:45

Using Instant Messenger Bots and Unsupervised Learning Techniques to Promote Vocabulary Acquisition
J. Scott Payne
Michael Lipschultz
Instant messaging (IM) has emerged as the communicative tool of choice for high school and college students. We report findings from an on-going research project that uses an IM bot as an intelligent, language reference agent to provide learners with translation equivalents, examples of contextual language use, level-appropriate readings, and vocabulary quizzes. All queries, quiz results, and interactions with the IM bot are logged and combined with self-report data to generate learner models and chart vocabulary development over time.

Teacher Moves in the Physical and Virtual Environment During Intermediate German CMC Activities
Senta Goertler
While much research has focused on the role of the learner during CMC, little research has been done on the teacher’s role, particularly in the physical environment. In this multiple-case study three classes taught by two different teachers were investigated to identify teacher moves in both the physical and in the virtual environment. It was found that each teacher had a different style in each of the environments. Students’ attitudes in response to the styles were also measured through surveys and classroom observations. The differences in teachers’ styles resulted only in minimal differences in student attitudes.

The Language Lab That Never Closes: Accessing Specialized Lab Software Virtually
Jarom McDonald
Harold Hendricks
Recently, students started wondering why the Humanities Learning Resource Center at Brigham Young University could not stay open 24 hours a day. After all, they reasoned, other labs on campus were open beyond our 9 pm closing, and they can visit websites anytime they wish. For us to not accommodate their desires, so they said, would be tantamount to grade sabotage, as ours are the only labs on campus to have foreign-language-enabled word processing and CALL courseware that their professors require them to use. Our solution? Anytime access to the HLRC through machine virtualization.

Teaching, Learning and Collaborating: A Foreign Language Teacher Wiki Community
Lara Lomicka
Gillian Lord
Lara Ducate
Nike Arnold
Wikis are gaining popularity among foreign language educators due to the degree to which they promote collaboration and their ease of use. In order to take advantage of these benefits, the presenters joined four methodology classes from three different universities to create a wiki community on foreign language learning topics. We report on an end of the semester survey and an analysis of the conversations that took place on the discussion boards to show if and how groups planned the task, negotiated roles and responsibilities, and formed a community.

Integrating Podcasts into the Language Classroom
Anne O’Bryan
Volker Hegelheimer
While educational podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, there is little empirical investigation into how they can be used with language learners to help foster language acquisition. This paper presents the findings of a primarily qualitative investigation into the integration and impact of podcasts in a university-level ESL listening course.

TeLL me More®, Delivering Language Mastery
Brooke Sawyers
The focal point of this session will be a detailed demonstration of TeLL me More®, as well as the tools that come with it, demonstrating the pedagogical values of the solution. Participants will benefit from the presenter’s expertise in the field of language-learning technology. At the conclusion of the presentation, each participant will receive free trial access to the solution in order to properly evaluate how well TeLL me More® would work in each individual’s academic environment.

Language Blogs for a University Community
Claire Bartlett
Hajime Kumahata
The Rice Language Resource Center created a language blog site where students, faculty, and staff of the Rice community can express themselves in a language other than English. Rice students abroad are especially encouraged to contribute. The language blogs are open to the public to read and comment on, but only members of the Rice community can post. All languages taught at Rice are supported including non-Western languages. The blogs include podcasting using a variety of audio recording programs such as Wimba or Audacity. We will present these blogs, discuss their usage, and technical requirements.

10:00 – 10:20

Designing a Computer-assisted Writing Assessment System to Support Advanced Discipline-specific Writing Instruction
Bradley Horn
Which features of language should a computer-assisted writing assessment (CAWA) system be designed to measure? In many past automated essay scoring projects (e.g., Elliot, 2003; Page, 2003), specific linguistic features were selected primarily because they were statistically significant predictors of scores assigned by human raters, rather than because they had a strong theoretical connection to a construct of writing ability. In contrast, the current system is being designed to measure features that were identified as important for chemistry writing by chemistry faculty (Stoller, Horn, Grabe, & Robinson, 2005). Implications of this approach to CAWA system design will be discussed.

What Can Teachers and Students Achieve in a Ubiquitous Hospitality English Learning Platform
Mei-jung Sebrina Wang
This study aimed to report the implementation of a ubiquitous hospitality English learning platform (U-HELP), which incorporates technology to enrich the instructional variety, promote interaction among the students, and to investigate students’ attitudes toward the process-oriented activities conducted in U-HELP in National Kaohsiung Hospitality College in Taiwan. U-HELP provides teachers with an easy-to-use system, and the learning processes recorded can assist teachers in conducting in-depth research. In addition, an online survey is used to collect the data. Hopefully, such a new model of a standardized instructional platform will shed new light on alternative applications of web-based instruction.

Everybody Wins: Uses of Web-based Electronic Teaching Portfolios for LCTL Instructors
Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret
In order to enhance the teacher development process, instructors in the LCTLs program at Wesleyan University have started using a web-based Electronic Teaching Portfolio. Instructors are given a professionally designed web template and, in collaboration with their supervisor, develop content and receive technical help to produce supporting materials such as video clips of their teaching. This presentation will briefly describe the background of the LCTLs program at Wesleyan University and demonstrate the Electronic Teaching Portfolio while discussing the development process as well as the results of its implementation. This presentation is applicable to the LCTLs or other language programs.

A Model for DVD-based Implementation of Multiple-episode Video Programs
Bernd Conrad
The main objective of this presentation is to present a model for implementing a comprehensive authentic video program across intermediate and advanced college level German courses. Specifically, this model advocates the use of the popular TV series “Berlin Berlin” as a medium for conveying peer-group perspectives of contemporary German culture. The approach relies on DVD technology not simply as a device for presenting multisensory input but rather on its capacity for making such input more comprehensible. The use of authentic video has been found to promote incidental vocabulary learning, listening comprehension skills, language-learning motivation, and cultural knowledge.

CMC and the Development of Sociolinguistic Competence
Mathy Ritchie
This presentation describes the preliminary results of a study which investigated the development of the sociolinguistic competence of non-native speakers of French interacting through electronic discussions with native speakers of French. It has been suggested that this competence develops through face-to-face interactions with native speakers. This study suggested a pedagogical approach that uses computer-mediated communication (CMC) as an alternative to face-to-face interaction to develop the learners’ sociolinguistic competence.

Electronic Feedback Options for Writing Students
Ulugbek Nurmukhamedov
ESL writing teachers traditionally use pen and paper and oral feedback. However, Microsoft Word offers electronic options like “insert comments” and “insert audio” feedback types to writing classrooms. The presenter discusses these and other feedback options, including the pros and cons of each, based on classroom research conducted in Introduction to Academic Writing course.

Teaching Foreign Languages with XClass
Fuqiang Zhuo
This presentation will start with a brief overview of the key features of XClass, a virtual listening lab system or computer lab management system. Next will be classroom observations and analysis of the survey responses from instructors who have used XClass for foreign language instruction, testing, and research data collection. The analysis results will show which features are more important and more frequently used, as well as which features are less frequently used in classroom teaching and learning activities. The instructors’ feedback may help both trainers to organize and plan training and developers to improve the product.

10:30 – 10:50

Effectiveness of the Global Language Online Support System (GLOSS): A Case Study in Intermediate Korean
Si Yen Lee
Youngsook Kim
Sun-Kwang Bae
We will present research results that tested the effectiveness of Korean GLOSS lessons. SCORM-conformant GLOSS learning objects, developed by the Defense Language Institute (DLI), were taught to two graduating classes at DLI in two waves, with each class serving alternately as a control group for each series of 2-week modules on different topics. During the first wave, one class was taught the lessons of the module while the other was left as a control group, and, during the second wave, the roles were reversed. Summative unit test scores for each module and tracking records of behaviors are then compared.

Using Web-based Speech Recognition Technologies to Improve English Pronunciation
Howard Chen
Oral communication ability has become increasingly important. Several commercial CALL programs claim that they can provide high-quality pronunciation training with the help of automatic speech recognition technologies. Although these commercial programs can be useful, many EFL students cannot afford these expensive programs. In this paper, we introduce how we can make good use of Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK), a free but very powerful tool, to develop a pronunciation training website. This website offers six different types of online exercises which allow EFL students to practice their English pronunciation and obtain immediate feedback on their performance.

Implementing Video iPods in Intensive Pashto and Persian Language Programs
Gregory E. Menke
Sarah Springer
This presentation highlights efforts to utilize video iPods as a standard tool for delivering listening materials to students in our school’s Pashto and Persian intensive language programs involving over 200 students and approximately 30 teachers. We will discuss what steps we have taken to train teachers and students, what features of the iPod and iTunes we have found to be most useful, and the challenges we have encountered in the process. We will also share information gathered from surveys and personal interviews conducted with teachers and students as a means of monitoring the implementation process.

The Development, Use, and Effect of Multiple Applications of CALL
Gi-Zen Liu
Innovative Internet-based technologies have opened the door for exploring culture-rich language-learning materials, practicing receptive and productive language abilities and promoting frequent language uses in two-way communication. Rushby (2005) observes that a new paradigm of various uses of Internet-based learning technologies and environments is rising. The NCKU Internet-based English Learning & Testing Project (http://english.ncku.edu.tw) has been in use since 2006 to improve the English ability of all university students, adopting a bilingual (English and Chinese) learning platform, a system of English standardized testing, and online multimedia interactive lessons. Proficiency in English and information technology helps raise students’ international competitiveness and self-learning.

The “I” in CALL: A Question of Design in Foreign Language Classes
Moira DiMauro-Jackson
As a foreign language educator who uses computers generally, I can postulate that personal computers provide powerful tools for students to learn languages and appreciate cultures, only if used correctly. This paper looks beyond the system and offers a solution within the notion of interfacing. I show how an interface of technology and pedagogy, converging Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence (MI) and CALL, along with specific pedagogical goals, can promote what Laurence M. Dryden calls, “the individualization of learning and the promotion of education for deep understanding” (p. 61). I believe that identifying the students’ various abilities and developing a theory that supports the many factors of intelligence, interface design, and CALL would be a significant contribution to the field.

When Good Projects Go Bad: Examining Failure to Foster Success
Sharon Scinicariello
The needs for successful technology projects are often discussed: curriculur integration, faculty incentives, release time, technical support, and so on. This presentation examines a project which seems to have failed even though all these needs were addressed. Why are the faculty involved in the project so dissatisfied? What did the project designers fail to consider? What makes a project successful? Most important, can this project be saved? To explore these questions, the presenter will contrast this project with several smaller ones that, despite obstacles, have become integral parts of the language curriculum.

Assessment of Autonomous Language Learning through e-Portfolio
Elena Osinsky
This paper introduces e-Portfolio as an assessment tool in autonomous language learning settings for less commonly taught languages. The author is interested in how electronic portfolios might be useful for a professional development for autonomous language learners.

1:30 – 2:15

Project-based Language Learning in Virtual Learning Environments: What Learners’ Errors Can Tell Us about Their Language Development
Françoise Blin
Sylvie Thouesny
In the case of project-based language learning supported by a VLE, students’ actions are mediated by a variety of technologies presenting different affordances and constraints and, most important, by language itself. Starting from a sociocultural perspective, this presentation examines a small corpus of learner language produced in the context of a collaborative project supported by a VLE. Following a presentation of the taxonomy of errors used to encode the texts, error types are compared between text genres produced by students using different technologies available through the VLE. Implications for student assessment and the provision of feedback are then discussed.

Raising Global Language Proficiency: Technology and Eclectic Strategies for Teaching Foreign Languages
Linda L. Chang
How to put adult language learners in the driver’s seat? Eclectic strategies along with some easy-to-use technology tools were employed in a 6-week intensive Chinese refresher course for seven nonheritage Chinese foreign language (CFL) learners. This course provided the learners with ample opportunities to use the language creatively in all four modalities (previewing, reviewing, concept/skill reinforcing, and writing) with the help of several software applications. The pre/post gain scores clearly show that all seven CFL learners mastered the course materials presented. More important, the course went beyond the scope of the textbook in several major ways, in terms of the learners actively raising their global language proficiency. A live demo on the use of technology, along with the eclectic strategies and some learners’ sample works, will be part of the presentation.

Does My Learning Style Influence My Vision of Second Language Teaching and Learning?
Martine Peters
Jacques Chevrier
Ryamond Leblanc
Gilles Fortin
Student teachers (N = 18) had to reflect on their vision of learning and teaching a language and create a concept map to illustrate this vision. Our analysis examined the degree of complexity of concept maps created by student teachers and the link with their learning styles. Our conclusion will demonstrate how students with different learning styles view teaching and learning a language very differently.

From E-mail to Voice Chat: The Many Faces of Tandem Language Learning Using CMC
Peggy Patterson
I will summarize the progression of tandem language learning (TLL) projects using CMC that I have used in the past and present our most recent project using synchronous voice chats between my Spanish students and students of English in Argentina. With each project an increasing amount of asynchronous and synchronous communication was added to the basic e-mail exchange. For some projects, data were analyzed, and these data plus additional information from the learners’ self-report questionnaires indicated that the tandem projects were beneficial to language learning. Each project had advantages and disadvantages, which will be presented along with advice for those who wish to implement them in class.

In Your Face: On-demand Portability For Language Learning
John Vitaglione
Urmila Suryawanshi
Cell phones, iPods, and MP3-players enable on-demand portability for language learning at affordable rates with considerable memory capacity and connectivity. Given web access to language resources, we face challenges for good instructional use of mobile devices. This session addresses (a) the conspicuous need for pedagogical tools to customize digital media for learning and (b) compatible format conversion/use of resources for these devices. A QuickTime-based tool for customizing/repurposing video soundtracks, language subtitles, transcriptions, and chapter interactivity will be demonstrated. Procedures for converting digital media to mobile formats with Bluetooth, iTunes, and RSS will be shown with Blog, Moodle, and Podcasting examples.

French Collocations: Learner Errors and CALL Resources
Marie-Josée Hamel
Our analysis of lexical errors in an FSL learner corpus (s = ~50,000 w.) reveals serious problems with collocations, namely with the selection of collocates for given bases. Indeed, over 500 lexical errors related to collocations were found in our FSL learner corpus. FSL learners are underexposed to collocations and CALL resources are lacking which focus on French collocations. In our presentation, we will look at the erroneous uses of collocations by FSL learners, review some existing CALL resources focusing on French collocations, and present a CALL tutorial we are currently developing which exploits French collocations through a set of lexical functions.

2:30 – 3:15

Studying English with The SIMS: Investigating the Use of Computer Simulation Games for L2 Learning
Jim Ranalli
With their realistic animation and interactivity, computer simulation games can provide context-rich, cognitively engaging environments for language learning. However, simulation games designed for L2 learners are in short supply. Could mass market games be supplemented with support materials to allow learners to enter and explore these cyber worlds? This paper describes two studies that investigated whether the best selling game, The SIMs, could be made accessible for L2 learning by means of supplementary materials designed to meet Chapelle’s (2001) criteria for CALL task appropriateness. The studies evaluated vocabulary gains and learners’ attitudes toward the game as a tool for learning.

The Use of e-Portfolios in the Language Classroom: Rationale and Implementation
Peter Lafford
Barbara Lafford
Michelle Petersen
Language pedagogues are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of using e-portfolios for assessment purposes. A particularly attractive feature of e-portfolios in this context is their ability to contain audio and video files in addition to written documents to gauge students’ progress. Using examples from university-level Spanish classes, the presenters will address the rationale behind and implementation of e-Portfolios in the language classroom. They will also evaluate the use of three different environments for hosting these portfolios: a simple template-based html web page, a PowerPoint-based e-Portfolio, and an Open Source Portfolio (OSP) online portfolio hosted on a Sakai course management system.

Video iPods, Language, and Cultural Studies: A Case Study
Sharon Scinicariello
This presentation reports on the use of video iPods in an advanced undergraduate course on German political satire. An integral part of the course design, iPods were used both to immerse students in the course content–satirical images, songs, and commentary–and to promote student interaction with the content, with the target language, and with each other. After outlining the design and implementation of the course, the presenter will show examples of the iPod-based activities and address student and faculty assessment of the iPod project. She will conclude with notes on the possible expansion of this pilot project.

Text Normalization for Corpus Exploration
Hans Paulussen
Piet Desmet
There is a growing need for enriched annotations in corpora for CALL. Text normalization based on XML standards can augment corpus structure and thus enhance linguistic analysis and text rendition. Corpora very often lack the structure necessary for efficient exploration. The use of text formats in compliance with XML standards will produce more flexibly structured texts and form the basis for creating derived products useful for depicting corpus samples from different angles. In this talk we will illustrate the possible advantages of an XML-structured parallel corpus in the context of a CALL application. Samples are taken from DPC (Dutch Parallel Corpus), a multilingual corpus project which has recently been started and which aims at compiling a parallel corpus of English, French, and Dutch translated texts.

Individual Learner Differences in CALL
Trude Heift
Carol Chapelle
In the 2006 spring semester, we conducted a study with 50 learners of German to investigate the use of a new measure (Cárdenas-Claros, 2005) for research in the field of independent-dependent (FI/D) cognitive style and CALL use. After the measure was administered, students worked on a CALL program for German that logs interaction. We will report the reliability and item analysis of the FI/D-CALL measure in addition to its relationship with learners’ behaviors in the CALL program. With the goal of understanding how FI/D intersects with satisfaction and success in learning through CALL, we will suggest areas for future development of the measure.

Web-based Formative Assessment
Abdelfattah Boussalhi
Youngsook Kim
Sun-Kwang Bae
The Curriculum Development Division of DLIFLC has been involved in developing a web-based formative assessment system called Online Diagnostic Assessment (ODA). ODA enables learners to evaluate and manage their foreign language learning. ODA aims to provide the learners with individualized feedback on their accomplishments and needs in their chosen foreign language. This feedback will be based upon a systematic sampling of their abilities across a variety of levels and specific linguistic features. The presenters will briefly review the ODA development process, methodology, technological architecture, and showcase sample tests and the diagnostic profile generated by the system.

3:30 – 4:15

Focus on Form through Collaborative Scaffolding in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication
Lina Lee
This presentation reports on a study of peer-to-peer synchronous CMC to foster focus-on-form procedures delivered to 30 college students. The study aimed to examine the effectiveness of feedback negotiation through collaborative scaffolding in the novice-expert apprenticeship. Findings drawn from chat logs, questionnaires, and final oral interviews relate to form-focused feedback on lexical and syntactical errors including expert’s role, L1 use, self-repair, and take type. The findings suggest that CMC has great potential to bring a balanced approach to L2 instruction whereby communication is the primary focus while target forms are reinforced through a process of collaborative interaction in a social setting.

Implementation of Automatic Fluency Checking Using Freely Available Tool Kits
Garrett G. Molholt
John Morgan
Jinah Park
We are extending our work from CALICO 2006 with a pilot study that evaluates a real-time implementation of a fluency checker. The new work includes disfluency modeling of Korean student speech. The fluency checker will be implemented in the Python programming language using a Tkinter GUI, the SNACK audio and speech processing package, and HTK for speech recognition.

Written, Aural, and Visual Processing Strategies in a Multimedia Environment
Linda Jones
James Davis
Computer-based multimedia environments provide second language input in print, sound, and video modes. Few studies have focused upon the differing processing strategies these media require. The present research reports on nine students, native speakers of English, who were presented with written, aural, and video texts in French. Students were asked to “think aloud” as they attempted to understand the texts. They also filled out a questionnaire, completed immediate recall protocol tasks, and participated in an exit interview. This presentation reports on an analysis of the learners’ think aloud protocols and includes video-based segments of their reported strategy use.

Building the New French Online: The Challenges of Shared Infrastructure
Christopher M. Jones
Marc Siskin
French Online is a web-based hybrid course in use and continuing development at Carnegie Mellon University since 2000. Currently under redevelopment with NSF and Hewlett Foundation funding, the new course includes new exercise templates based on the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools, extensive logging, tracking and modeling, gated interactive progression, new communicative video shot in Nantes, and synthetic activities based on authentic materials. Unique challenges include sharing a proprietary delivery system with nonlanguage courses. This presentation will combine an outline of design principles and institutional context, a description of the technical infrastructure of the course, and a brief demonstration.

Using E-texts and Software to Improve Reading Comprehension in Chinese
Jing Wang
Facilitated by software, reading Chinese e-texts may be easier than reading printed texts because the software divides word boundaries and provides meaning of words in English if the cursor is put under characters. Twenty-two intermediate and advanced learners read an e-text in Chinese facilitated by the software, wrote down a summary in English, and then answered questions concerning the reading of the text. The author tried to identify strategies students used in the reading process, gauge the effectiveness of the software in aiding reading comprehension, and summarize students’ reactions to reading e-texts with the help of the software. Based on the findings, the author gives suggestions on the pedagogical use of e-texts and the software.

Automated Scoring of ESL Essays Using Linguistic Maturity Variables
Ronald P. Millett
Deryle Lonsdale
Only recently has research focused on the challenges of automatic holistic scoring of ESL essays. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of using statistical measures of linguistic maturity to predict holistic scores for ESL essays. Using customized algorithms based on multivariable regression analysis as well as memory-based machine learning, holistic scores were predicted from selected linguistic attributes on test essays within ±1.0 of the scoring level of human judges’ scores over 90% of the time. This level of prediction is an improvement over the 66% prediction level attained from a previous study.

The Many Interfaces of CALL Listening
Philip Hubbard
Although computer technologies offer a plethora of possibilities for developing second language listening proficiency, little has been done at the methodological level to produce and refine procedures for teachers and learners to use the affordances of these innovations effectively. This paper offers a first pass at a descriptive framework for CALL listening aimed at encouraging greater exploration in this domain. It recognizes the central role of the computer in enhancing listening through the foundational processes of transferring, transforming, archiving, indexing, and linking and delineates forms of developer, teacher, and learner control over a range of audio, video, and text parameters.