2007 Saturday Sessions


Conference Presentations
Day Three: May 26, 2007

9:00 – 9:45

Blogging Wiki-ly: Social and (Inter)cultural Effects of Communication and Community in Blended Online Learning Environments
Debra Hoven
This presentation examines the uses of blogs, wikis, and other social-networking software in the teaching of a Masters course in language teacher education. Since the use of blogs was a common characteristic across the three-semester study, these will be used to illustrate usage and communication patterns among culturally diverse students, focusing on electronically mediated mentoring which took place across semesters and across successive student cohorts, and postcourse reflections and interactions. Intercultural and personality factors will be examined to determine their role in the formation of a cohesive learning community mediated by a blend of f2f and electronic communication.

Increasing Motivation and Interest with Animated Pedagogical Agents in Computer-assisted Language Learning
Roberto Perez Galluccio
Animated pedagogical agents are visual interfaces that mediate between the computer and the learner in order to achieve more natural, human-like communication. Research has shown that a well developed, properly implemented animated agent can positively affect learner interest and motivation (Prendinger & Ishizuka, 2001; Moreno, 2001; Baylor, 2001). In a language learning environment, special importance should be assigned to the role of the agent (e.g., presenter, tutor, conversation partner), the type of task attempted (e.g., grammar lesson, communicative activity), and the pedagogical agent’s communicative style (e.g., oral or gestural). This presentation will discuss current research, issues of effective implementation, and available agent technologies.

Learning to Show You’re Listening: A Back-channel Trainer for Arabic
Rafael Escalante
Nigel Ward
Yaffa AlBayyar
Thamar Solorio
Good listeners generally produce back-channel feedback, and do so in a language appropriate way. Second language learners often lack this skill. This paper presents a training sequence which enables the acquisition of basic Arabic back-channel skill, namely, that of producing feedback immediately after the speaker produces a sharp pitch downslope. This training sequence includes software that provides feedback on learners’ attempts to produce the cue themselves and feedback on learners’ performance as they play the role of an attentive listener in response to one side of a prerecorded dialog. Preliminary experiments indicate that this is effective.

From Computer-based to Internet-based Oral Proficiency Assessment
Trevor Shanklin
At the San Diego State University Language Acquisition Resource Center, we are using a range of digital recording software to enhance the teaching and assessment of oral skills in the foreign language curriculum. With LARCStar 2.5.1, released in October 2006, an instructor can use any multimedia prompt to elicit a recorded answer that is saved on a server for assessment. Students can go back to their recording and see the instructors evaluation. We are also pilot testing Horzion Wimba with Blackboard and Speex on our Moodle site. We will report on the results of our pilot testing.

Personality and Learning: Designing CALL for Different Learners
Fenfang Hwu
This study explores how learners of different personality types can be accommodated by different designs of an input-enhancement application. To find designs to match different types of learners, the study examines existing instructional approaches and methodological options for input enhancement. It also examines the characteristics frequently associated with each personality type and the patterns of interests and motivations revealed by different personality preferences in learning situations. Additionally, it considers research reports on type differences in choices of tools, learning strategies, learning styles, and the interaction effects between personality and instructional approach. New instructional options will be proposed accordingly.

Using Wikis for a Collaborative Writing Project
Claudia Kost
This paper presents results from a pilot study investigating the use of Wikis for collaborative writing projects in intermediate German classes. Students wrote several of the regularly assigned essays during one semester in collaboration with another student using a Wiki. The research was guided by the following questions: What do students correct when they make changes to their common texts (e.g., grammar, vocabulary, stylistic expressions, etc.)? How do they change/add to the content? How do they perceive the use of the Wiki (via questionnaires)? Findings regarding students’ collaborative writing and error correction behavior will be reported.

Language Influence in Foreign Language Spelling
Anne Rimrott
Trude Heift
This presentation investigates the relationship between language influence and spelling. Forty-eight English-speaking learners of German participated in our study in which we analyzed 735 misspellings according to native and foreign language influence and their correction rate by a spell checker. As part of the analysis, we classified the misspellings into three groups: intralingual (L2 influence), interlingual (L1 influence), or nonlingual (no L1/L2 influence). Study results indicate that intralingual misspellings are the most frequent (61%) but have a low correction rate (59%). The presentation provides examples of misspellings and makes recommendations for improving the correction rate of language-influenced misspellings in CALL.

10:00 – 10:45

Neurocognitive Engagement in Web-based Learning
Antonio Gragera
I am presenting a web model of language learning that follows premises from cognitive sciences. It addresses the relationship between attention, long-term memory, and patterns of conceptualization from the perspective of developmental psychology and linguistics. The interface design is based on the works of Jacob Nielsen. The linguistic content and sequencing of activities follows a pragmatic approach to language learning. These environments reflect social interactions that are familiar to the students as a way to link lexical form and situational meaning. The method wants to include implicit association of structures and situations as much as possible.

Language Lab Unleashed!: Creating Virtual Professional Development Resources Every Thursday Night at 8 pm
Barbara Sawhill
Erin Brazell
Language Lab Unleashed! (http://www.languagelabunleashed.com) is an interactive webcast and blog created by and for language-learning technologists with the goal of creating conversations among and between language technologists and teachers around the world. Language Lab Unleashed! is a professional development tool created by and for the community it serves that strives to alleviate the relative isolation many members of our community feel on their respective campuses when funding for other means of professional development is scarce or nonexistent.

Beyond the “Wow” Factor: Putting the iPod to the Test in Language Learning
Janel Pettes Guikema
This pilot project investigates the effectiveness of the iPod in language learning. Specifically, the study explores how and to what extent the use of this device can enhance listening comprehension, contribute to cultural knowledge and understanding, and influence learners’ motivation. Preloaded with digital flashcards and a wide variety of music and podcasts in the target language, the iPods were loaned to intermediate-level students, giving them portable access to language and culture beyond the confines of the classroom. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in this year long study, including Likert and open-ended questionnaires, listening comprehension tests, interviews, and student-created podcasts.

Reconceptualizing Language Labs: If You Only Have Lemons, Make Lemonade
M. Rafael Salaberry
The same technological advances that have challenged the existence of language labs have also provided opportunities for their retooling. First, labs can create learning environments that are qualitatively different than face-to-face settings. Furthermore, lab sessions are less costly than regular face-to-face classroom interactions. In this paper I will argue that the proper reconceptualization of language labs needs to be guided by the principled analysis of the theoretical and logistical conditions that support the retooling of the language lab. I will describe examples of both effective and ineffective examples of the above-mentioned process of analysis and implementation.

A Reflection on Best Practices for Using Technology to Teach Languages
Robert Blake
This presentation is a reflection on implementing best practices for using technology to teach languages. Teachers must realize: (a) there are multiple entry points for using technology; (b) emphasis should be on what is done with technology, not what technology is used; (c) students must be made to be agents of their own learning; and (d) goals include arriving at a third place, the development of intercultural communicative competence. These observations will be discussed in order to formulate a list of guidelines for implementing technology in the curriculum that might be useful in teaching training.

SCORM-compliant Learning Objects in Online Language Learning
Bob Godwin-Jones
Ray Clifford
J. Scott Payne
Michael Bush
This session will feature a panel discussion on the SCORM learning standard and will address the following issues: (a) What is SCORM (origins, purpose), (b) Current status of SCORM (SCORM 2004 and simple sequencing), (c) SCORM in use (integration into LMS, language learning), (d) Tools for creating SCORM-compliant content (brief survey of free and commercial authoring tools), and (e) Future of SCORM (Web 2.0, Common Cartridge, and IMS Tools Interoperability Specification).

Technitude 3: Why Type When You Can Click?
Alysse Weinberg
Martine Peters
Nandini Sarma
This paper will present the results of a study on students’ perceptions of the types of tasks used in technological activities for grammar activities in language learning. We will shed light on the factors that may influence students’ preferences by analyzing the relationship between their attitudes towards technology, their learning styles, and their perceptions of technological tasks. We suggest that understanding these factors is important in the creation and design of technological grammatical activities and in their integration in the classroom.

11:00 – 11:20

The Instrument for Investigating the Perceptions of Taiwanese Students Toward English as Foreign Language Course Using an Online Course Management System
Hsiu-Jen Cheng

With the influence of national e-learning plan and distance educational procedural rules, English Language Teaching (ELT) in higher education institutions started adopting Internet technology in Taiwan. The online course management system (CMS) has become the main tool to promote the movement to e-learning (KSL, n.d.). Huang (2003) and Liaw (2002) agreed that the successful implementation of Internet technology relied on users’ attitudes. The purpose of this study was to develop a scale to investigate students’ perceptions of the English courses using an online CMS. Such a scale was examined by a convenient sample. Detailed results were discussed.

Computer-mediated Communication and Video Chat: An International Critical Evaluation
Randall Sadler
The presentation reports on an international evaluation of 6 video chat tools, including CU World, ICQ, MSN Messenger, PalTalk, Skype, and Yahoo Messenger. The project involved 18 graduate students, 10 located in the United States and 8 in Turkey, who utilized each program for CMC, after which they answered a 22-question survey regarding the technical quality of the program and its applicability to personal and academic communicative situations. The presenter will discuss the quantitative and qualitative results for each program and ways in which such technology can be used to enhance language learning both inside and outside of the classroom.

Language and Culture through Music: A Collaborative Model Online
Aaron Prevots
This talk will present the learning object French through Songs and Singing, http://www.southwestern.edu/~prevots/songs/. The focus will be on how I developed a resource bank for teaching and learning language and culture through music. The aspects discussed will include adapting open source software (WordPress), elaborating project goals and inviting outside contributions. The site itself features music-related articles, streaming MP3’s and annotated, downloadable lyrics. The recordings – mainly my own – are of songs in the public domain and an occasional original. The initial set of fifty pieces has already expanded through offerings by current recording artists from France, Canada, and the USA.

A Morphological Analyzer for German: Applications in CALL
Peter Wood
Although parsers can automatically analyze the structure of sentences, they are rarely used in CALL applications. One of the main reasons is that parsers still have considerable difficulty in analyzing erroneous learner texts correctly. Languages like German with a complex morphology necessitate parsers to do a comprehensive morphological analysis to provide useful output when dealing with learner data. This paper will summarize how a morphological analyzer detects morphological units, attempts to find morphological errors, and provides feedback. The main focus will be on showing CALL applications of a morphological analyzer that can be used by instructors and learners alike.

11:30 – 11:50

Towards Innovative Online Foreign Language Courseware Design: A Design Experimentation Study
Chun Lai
Yong Zhao
Dongping Zheng
This study, using design-based research framework, looks at beginning-level online foreign language course design in terms of content, format, and technology. Drawing from the literature, we implemented an innovative approach based on culture to add to the intellectual challenge of the learning materials, separates the learning of vocabulary from that of grammar, proactively uses learners’ native language to materialize the intellectual challenge at the beginning-level, and takes advantage of network technologies to maximize the affordances of this approach. The iterative design, development, and evaluation of an online Chinese courseware developed based on this approach will be the case to be presented.

The Effect of Computer-assisted Language Learning on the Cognition of Self-directed Learners
Wu Jing
Wu Zhongjie
Since ineffective self-directed language learning is currently shown in the higher education of China, this paper focuses on whether CALL could create a good cognitive environment for self-directed learners, facilitating their cognitive process and the development of cognitive strategies. A system called Experiencing English Centre and Experiencing English II Courseware newly developed by HEP were used for this purpose. Through the surveys on the undergraduates in UESTC, their fulfillment levels to the cognitive conditions under both the traditional mode and CALL mode were statistically analyzed and compared. It is discovered that the CALL mode is much more favorable for self-directed learners during their cognitive process. The superiority of CALL has been further proven by the quantitative analyses on learners’ achievements.

Online Video Streams: Theoretical and Practical Considerations of Using Newscasts
Luba Iskold
The presenter will discuss the pros and cons associated with the integration of digital video streaming into language curricula. She will demonstrate an online Guide she constructed for students of Russian to augment their comprehension of newscasts delivered by SCOLA via the internet. The Guide may be used as a template for any language. The researcher will explore how the theoretical view of comprehension leads to the design of online video-driven learning environments which are sensitive to the ways students construct meaning from videotexts. She will demonstrate examples of activities performed as previewing, during viewing, and postviewing tasks.

Playback and Selective Listening in an Intermediate Spanish Course
Adolfo Carrillo Cabello
This project has been designed to introduce students to playback and selective listening as listening comprehension strategies that they can use to develop self-correction and assessment of their oral production. Conversation tables are recorded and put into Podcasts to which students subscribe. Students are asked to playback the recordings to monitor the language they produce, listening for specific information that is listed in a worksheet. This process directs students’ attention to the analysis, reflection, and reasoning of their spoken language. As part of the assignment, students are asked to record a brief (1-minute) description of their oral production using a Wimba Voice Board. The comments are available on a threaded voice-based online discussion board through which students can interact with other members by commenting on their postings in the form of an oral reply.

Drake: Language Studies for the Internet Age
Jan Marston
Drake’s learner-centered language program emphasizes building communicative and technology skills to help students achieve competence in second languages and cultures. Students learn to use internet tools and resources, not only to support their language acquisition but also to explore the cultures of the language they are studying. Students also learn the skills they need to make an electronic portfolio and keep a learning journal. They work collaboratively, developing skills in self-assessment and peer assessment; after they master the basics, they can choose to use their language knowledge to study and research in their major or another discipline.

1:30 – 2:15

“I asked my parents why a wall was so important:” Historical Content in Language Learning
Franziska Lys
This presentation is an update on the interactive video program Drehort Neubrandenburg originally filmed in 1991. The interactive program today contains an additional one-hour documentary shot in 2002 featuring unique stories of the lives of the original towns people and their reflection on the last 11 years. The presentation will highlight two distinct ways of presenting and working with multimedia material. Students work intensively with the documentary material shot in 1991. The accompanying software guides them through linguistic practice and holds them responsible for the acquisition of new vocabulary and phrases, among other things. Students work extensively with the documentary material shot in 2002.

Necessity and Invention: How Foreign Language Teachers use Generic Software Applications
Jessamine Cooke-Plagwitz
Despite increased access to computer hardware and software in many schools, a significant number of foreign language (FL) teachers still do not have access to the materials they prefer. Moreover, many FL faculty who use computers for instruction are dissatisfied with prepackaged language-learning software and prefer to create their own materials using readily available generic software applications. This presentation reports on a survey-based study which examines how FL teachers are incorporating this software into their instruction. Additionally, it discusses the ways in which these teachers have subtly altered their teaching strategies and classroom schedules to include these new tools.

Designing Learner Models for Intelligent Language Tutors
Luiz Amaral
Detmar Meurers
Learner models for intelligent language tutoring systems (ILTS) have been designed to model a student’s state of knowledge in terms of her acquisition of linguistic structures (see Heift, 2005; Michaud & McCoy, 2004; Murphy & McTear, 1997). In this paper, we motivate a broader perspective of learner models for ILTS that incorporates strategic competence (Bachman, 1990) as well as learning strategies (O’Malley & Chamot, 1990). The learner model architecture we present allows the system to react to a student’s errors not only based on her linguistic knowledge, but also taking into consideration her ability to perform language tasks, and her preferred strategies to learn a foreign language. The proposed learner model is being implemented as part of the TAGARELA system for the instruction of Portuguese.

Virtual Teaching and Learning Commons
Kathryn Murphy-Judy
Mark Peterson
We will present some of the new programs that are cropping up like Second Life in light of their teaching and learning potential inside and outside the language classroom. We will also consider the wider concern of new communicational media and modes and their impact on social and linguistic formations among our students and colleagues. If we have good beginning data from research derived from constructing our island in Second Life (January-April), we will present it. If not, we will indicate some viable directions for research and explorations in this area and the steps to setting up an island.

Ruminations of a Hybrid Course Instructor
Bonnie Youngs
Interface. The word has so many meanings when applied to CALL whose environments can be face to face, face to computer, computer to computer, or a combination thereof. On a daily basis, instructors teaching online must deal with multiple issues when learning to teach in an environment that requires teaching language using a combination of one or several ‘non-traditional’ interfaces. The presenter, an instructor previously suspicious of the efficacy of a hybrid learning situation, will describe several best teaching practices based on her two-semester experience in an instructional context that involves multiple interfaces for an elementary French course.

2:30 – 3:15

Mobile Language Acquisition: A Study in iPod Use in Listening Comprehension
Bridget Dahill
J. Scott Payne
Since the introduction of Apple Computer’s iPod, foreign language educators have been experimenting with how portable media players together with RSS (real simple syndication) can be deployed in second language acquisition. In this presentation we report findings from two related studies spanning three semesters on the impact of pod- and vodcasting on listening comprehension and oral skill development in introductory Russian courses. Through a combination of self-report and performance measures we examined the role that ubiquitous access to multimedia materials plays in developing these skills and possibly transferring to other skills. Pedagogical implications and directions for future research are also discussed.

Virtual Face-to-face Interaction through Videoconferencing: A Step Towards Enriching Foreign Language Teaching Programs
Kristi Jauregi Ondarra
The Spanish Department at Utrecht University, in collaboration with the universities of Granada and Barcelona in Spain and the University of Concepción in Chili, has been experimenting with the use of videoconferencing in the foreign language courses. The project aims at investigating whether such a synchronic communication tool can contribute to enrich the quality of foreign language curricula by facilitating virtual face-to-face communication with native speakers and so recreate immersion conditions. In the project we (a) explored the cooperative possibilities the virtual environment offers, (b) designed relevant tasks with the main focus on negotiating intercultural differences at B1/B2 level (Common European Framework of Reference), (c) established session deadlines, (d) recorded the session for further analysis, and (e) asked students to fill in questionnaires to globally evaluate their experience. We will describe the project, show relevant samples of interaction, present results, and discuss experiences.

Weekly Training Events: Interfacing Out of the Box in CALL
Gregory Arthur Lloyd
Andrei Aleinikov
Alaa Elghannam
Weekly Training Events (WTE) is a pioneering program in online language and area studies created by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. It is the first fully automated system for teaching productive (spoken and written) foreign language skills and professional Final Learning Objectives (translation, interpretation, transcription, and summarization) to advanced learners (ILR Level 2+/3) in nonclassroom, self-instructional settings. By providing an innovative variety of sample-based, automated feedback modes to stimulate critical reflection and facilitate self-evaluation, WTE lessons foster a new type of learner—the “expert” learner—who teaches him/herself to think and produce outside of the interface “box.”

Take a Slice of My Pie and Begin Your Online Course
Roberto Rodriguez
See how to migrate relevant areas of classroom learning into a web-based learning environment, while using both the classroom and Internet to teach a course. Demonstrate how WebCt or Blackboard, Wimba, and PCs are used to prepare and create an online foreign language course or any course. The goals of the presentation are to reduce anxieties associated with the online experience of creating web course. Wonderment, self-doubt, minimal computer skills, and misinformation often deter an instructor from creating cyber courses; therefore, the presenter will provide instructors with information on how to confidently begin a simple course page and add material ‘as time passes by.’