2007 Thursday Sessions


Conference Presentations
Day One: May 24, 2007

10:00 – 10:45

CALL Polymorphism: Technology-independent Design, Goal-oriented Conceptualization and Ontological Specification. How to Tackle Resistance Using Change Management Techniques
Jozef Colpaert
Our research in courseware engineering has led to the working hypothesis that it is more efficient to design the learning environment first and to consider the role and the shape of technology as its logical result. This design model is based on goal-oriented conceptualization and ontological specification and can be applied to courseware development, course design, and even the organization of a language institute. After an example with daily-life devices, we will highlight the advantages, but we will also focus on some surprising phenomena of resistance and on how we can tackle these types of resistance using Change Management.

Standardizing Grading Criteria: An Example of Teacher DevelopmentOnline
Joseph Hopkins
Pauline Ernest
This paper discusses an online teacher development initiative organized by the English Department of an all-online distance-learning institution which was conducted via an asynchronous computer-mediated conferencing system. Using a content analysis approach, it was found that participants had engaged in negotiation of meaning, coconstruction of knowledge, and application of newly constructed knowledge. The most successful groups had also dealt effectively with procedural issues, demonstrated awareness of the medium, and showed higher levels of social presence. The implications of these findings will be examined, especially in relation to the design and implementation of online tasks.

Effectiveness of CALL: A Meta-analysis and Research Synthesis
Maja Grgurovic
Carol Chapelle
In view of the need to make educational decisions about development and use of CALL, a number of researchers have called for a synthesis of findings about CALL effectiveness (Felix, 2005; Zhao, 2003; Burston, 2003). This paper reports on a study reporting on a large-scale meta-analysis of studies comparing CALL and classroom instruction in second and foreign language from 1970 through 2006. The studies were found by a computer search of three databases (LLBA, ERIC, and Dissertation Abstracts) as well as a hand search of six journals (CALL, CALICO Journal, Language Learning & Technology, ReCALL, System, and TESOL Quarterly).

Projecting Language Learning Technology into the Virtual World–SANSSPACE
Bryan Ellis
Traditionally, formal learning spaces have been defined by parameters such as physical space, set hours of use, scheduling requirements, number of seats, and established learning patterns.Today’s educational institution is challenged with providing opportunities to an ever growing population and variety of students including full-time, part-time, on-campus, and off-campus with various styles of learning. Understanding these variables, SANS Inc. has developed the SANSSpace™ Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) designed with features for language learning including a virtual comparative recorder and media engine, a content management facility, tracking and reporting of student interaction with course materials, and synchronous and asynchronous communication tools.

Panem Et Circenses: Language Learning and Computer Games
Felix Kronenberg
The advantages of using computer games in language learning, which include motivation, authentic materials, various media types (audio, video, images, text, etc.), interactivity, flexibility, and a connection to the real environment of many learners make them a useful teaching and learning tool. I distinguish between three general areas that can be beneficial to language learning and teaching: games as a tool for creating teaching materials, games as a teaching tool in the classroom, and games outside of the classroom. I will discuss and suggest criteria that lead to finding suitable games for different purposes and illustrate this with some concrete examples.

iPods and Second Language Acquisition
Alex Chapin
Aline Germain-Rutherford
Mobile media devices, such as iPods, introduce radically new ways to produce, organize, deliver, and use media, be it text, images, audio, video, or–more often than not—multimodal. Middlebury College Language Schools have had a number of pilot projects that integrate iPods into their curriculum including selected programs of study in Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. The French School in particular, edited, re-edited, produced, and delivered thousands of media files for first-year students, as well as third-year students of phonetics, the latter whom produced and published audio for dozens of captured assignments.

Browserless Webware–One Year Later
Devin Asay
Delivery of web-enabled applications that are free from the encumbrances of the web browser is an idea that is steadily gaining traction. Last year I showed a proof-of-concept program for web-based instructional delivery called the Learning Web. Produced in the Revolution rapid-development environment, this software allows easy delivery of interactive, media-rich instructional content over the web, independent of the browser. In this session I will discuss our experience at Brigham Young University in initial deployment of the Learning Web application. I will present student reaction and live demonstrations of language instruction modules, including simple over-the-internet recording and playback.

11:00 – 11:20

An Exploration into Factors that Affect Student Perception of Their Online Foreign Language Learning Experience
Chun Lai
Distance foreign language learning has been growing at a fast speed, and a course design framework is much needed to promote and safeguard the quality of distance foreign language education. Decades of research have yielded valuable suggestion on the design of distance foreign language learning environments. This study constructed an online foreign language course design framework based on current research and tested the feasibility of this framework through designing and conducting a beginning-level online Chinese course at a virtual high school. The process of implementing the framework in the Chinese course was recorded to reveal issues of note when implementing the framework. Survey responses from students showed that the course communication component of the design framework, interaction with the instructor and with classmates, was a major predictor of students’ satisfaction with their learning experience.

Developing Tutoring Systems for Classroom and Research Use: A Look at Two English Article Tutors
Ruth Wylie
Teruko Mitamura
Jim Rankin
Ken Koedinger
Motivated by both classroom needs and learning science questions, we built two computer-based tutors to help students learn the English article system. One tutor, a controlled-editing tutor, teaches both error detection and production skills; while the other, a menu-based tutor focuses solely on production skills. Both tutors work to provide students with effective learning opportunities while giving insight into learning science issues such as how does prior knowledge affect learning and long-term retention and what roles do feedback timing and scaffolding play in learning grammar? We will present findings that highlight the differences between the systems and their contributions to both classrooms and learning science.

Creating a Learning Community with Moodle: Languages Across the Curriculum at Skidmore
Cindy Evans
This presentation will discuss the ongoing process of developing the languages across the curriculum (LAC) program at Skidmore College and exploring uses of Moodle to provide technological solutions to instructional problems specific to our individualized LAC format. I will provide a follow-up to my presentation at CALICO ’06 in which I discussed our initial implementation of Moodle in LAC courses during spring of ’06. I will discuss the ways in which I continue to develop our use of Moodle in response to student feedback, new features available in Moodle, and new challenges of our expanding LAC curriculum.

HAL for CALL: Artificial Intelligence Assistant for Language Instructors
Krzysztof Pietroszek
There is an increasing number of language-learning systems which adopt artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. We present preliminary results of system under development, HALCALL, an innovative AI assistant with voice and text interface. The system is capable of reacting to and correcting common mistakes in exercises, providing students with tailored feedback on their performance, delivering knowledge incrementally and in organized way, answering unambiguous questions without the need to bother the instructor, reacting to the individual needs of students by adjusting the teaching techniques appropriately and dynamically keeping track of what aspects of the subject learners have already mastered.

Webtivities: Task-based Learning and Technology
Sandy Wagner
How can practitioners integrate the power of the Internet, software programs, and task-based learning? Webtivities provide the solution. These activities engage learners, align to curriculum standards, and promote an interactive, technology-enhanced learning environment.

Going Beyond Podcasting With Live Webcasting
Randall Sadler
Webcasts, live Internet broadcasts, go beyond traditional podcasts to create an interactive experience like a radio call-in show. This demonstration shows how to create a webcast using Skypecast and discusses five ways to use this technology for language learners.

11:30 – 11:50

Reading Authentic Text in the Hypermedia Environment: Individual L2 Readers’ Use of Question Prompts
Christina Overstreet
Research will be presented that shows the effects of question glosses on the comprehension processes of intermediate-level learners of German reading authentic text in a hypermedia environment. Quantitative results were interpreted in the context of each participant’s profile, asking for whom, under what kind of circumstances, and for what type of text question prompts were helpful. Using activity theory, individual participant’s profiles as gleaned from think-aloud protocols, pre- and poststudy questionnaires, and interviews revealed what each brought to the process and provided a window into understanding why question prompts were helpful to some individuals but perceived as a hindrance by others.

The Development of an Application for Producing Moodle Gap (Cloze) Exercises
Steven Tripp
I have developed an application that will generate Moodle cloze exercises automatically. It allows users to paste in a text passage, select certain clozing parameters, generate a “clozed” text, and then copy and paste this passage into Moodle. Its advantages are first that it generates error free “questions” almost instantly and second it does so semi-intelligently.

Instructional Use and Teacher Perspective Regarding Digital Audio and Video
Greg Kessler
Lia Plakans
This paper discusses a study on the transition from analog audio/video to digital formats in language instruction. Teachers are at the forefront of this transition, so their attitudes and practice must be articulated in order to facilitate this shift. This study collected and analyzed interviews and records of use to explore current practice and attitudes of teachers using analog and digital audio/video in their instruction. Two university ESL programs were included in the study. Results revealed larger issues with technology in language teaching. The paper also provides insight on supporting these teachers in this change.

Practical Chinese Writing Generator–An Example of Integrated CALL
Suen Caesar Lun
This paper discusses the courseware of Learning Practical Chinese Writing developed for the Chinese Section of the Curriculum Development Institute, EMB, HKSAR. The target users are all students in primary and secondary education in Hong Kong who are learning to compose formal correspondences in Chinese such as business letters, minutes, reports, and so on. The courseware covers not only tutorials, exercises, and games but also incorporates the ideas of integrated CALL so that real-life application of what has been learned is implemented to make the learning more target oriented and educationally effective through the application of linguistic knowledge bases and natural language processing.

Using a New Concordancer Handoumi for Korean Language Learners
Sun-Hee Lee
This presentation introduces a new concordance program, Handoumi, developed for Korean language learning. Some concordancers, such as Yconc, Kkamccaksay, and Kuljabi, are already available for linguistic research. However, they are not designed for use in language learning. Handoumi is based on Yconc developed for linguists. With modified research-oriented properties and added pedagogical functions, Handoumi provides Korean learners and teachers more accessibility to authentic usages of vocabulary and phrases. We will demonstrate basic functions of Handoumi and show how it can be combined with an existing electronic dictionary as a separate module.

Face (to Face) Spanish at a Distance
Marisol Duff
Cecilia Trevino
We will report on a comparative study on the learning of specific functions and discrete points of Spanish grammar via a Virtual Learning Environment and face to face. We will also consider the influence of the different types of intelligence on the degree of learning when the new language is presented by electronic means. The learners are all following a course in Beginners Spanish for Medics using specially prepared blended-learning materials. The course combines face to face and distance learning using King’s College London’s VLE (WebCT Vista). We will show samples of the materials used and present the results obtained.

A CALL Software Evaluation MethodCristina
Cristina Pérez-Guillot
F. Buendía
Elena Benito
This paper presents a method for evaluating CALL software. The aim of this method is to integrate the existing evaluation frameworks in order to provide new methods to facilitate CALL software evaluation. This method offers a comprehensive perspective which integrates aspects from three different frameworks: CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), Hubbard’s (1988) framework, and IMS Learning Design models. The method operation provides guidelines to select evaluation criteria and to generate mechanisms which evaluate CALL software environments according to those criteria. A case study has been implemented to check the proposed method in the evaluation of a specific CALL application.

2:00 – 2:45

An Evaluation Model for the Pedagogical Analysis of Online Language Learning Materials
Ana Gimeno
Rafael Seiz
This paper proposes a new research methodology to carry out a pedagogical analysis and evaluation of online language learning materials. The methodology is deeply rooted in the proposal of a new theoretical framework whose aim is to comprehensively account for the process of web-based language learning as a whole. After presenting the framework, the authors will provide examples of how to effectively apply the theoretical model to authentic situations and contexts, for example, online courseware evaluation or analysis of specific web-based CALL environments, resources, or tools. The presentation will close with some conclusions drawn from the application of the framework to a real context, proving its usefulness to improve courseware design and end product features.

On Automatically Evaluating Answers to Reading Comprehension Questions
Stacey Bailey
Detmar Meurers
We discuss the development of an automatic meaning assessment module for learner responses to free-input language activities. We present a prototype performing such assessment, building on natural language processing (NLP) technology from machine translation and summarization evaluation. We then evaluate it using responses to reading comprehension questions by advanced intermediate learners of English. These questions make a good test case given that they are used to evaluate both language comprehension and production. We show that the learning goals of questions and the expected sources for answers are central to determining whether intelligent CALL (ICALL) meaning assessment can be used to reliably evaluate learner responses.

Corrective Feedback during Intermediate German CMC Activities
Senta Goertler
Research on corrective feedback during CMC activities has been limited. This study investigated three sections of intermediate German taught by two different teachers in order to identify feedback forms used by the teacher and their effects on the students. It was found that the two teachers used corrective feedback differently. Their potential effects on the students were measured through an achievement test assessing improvement of language skills, a survey investigating student attitudes, the chat transcripts, and classroom observations. It was found that despite the significant differences between the two teachers, there were only minimal differences between the students.

Language Learning in Multiuser Game-based Environments
Dongping Zheng
Robert Brewer
Mike Young
Kristi Newgarden
The presentation will begin by describing a multiuser virtual environment (MUVE) and its affordances for English language learning for middle school level students. Evidence of language acquisition will be presented by interpreting chat log data generated by Chinese and American teenage students while engaging in content-related coquesting and other collaborative activities. Participants will be guided to explore a MUVE, Quest Atlantis during a planned activity. The presenters’ goal is to describe an innovative technology, multilevel mix qualitative/quantitative analysis, and data-driven evidence for English language learning.

Computational Analysis of Linguistic Complexity
Xiaofei Lu
We describe a computational system for automatic large-scale linguistic complexity analysis. The system distinguishes itself from conventional text complexity analysis tools with its deep natural language processing capabilities which allow it to incorporate a range of sophisticated complexity measures that involve deeper syntactic analysis than simple syllable, word, or clause counting and shallow lexical analysis. We will illustrate the usefulness of the system for (a) assessing the appropriateness of testing materials by comparing their linguistic complexity with that of the learning materials and (b) assessing learners’ linguistic development by measuring changes in the linguistic complexity of learner texts.

Wimba and Podcasting
Matt Wasowski
Wimba Voice Tools, iPods, and Podcasting have all become pervasive technologies for language learning over the last few years as educators worldwide have used these tools to answer the question: How can an online student learn a language without speaking it? This presentation will show Wimba and Podcasting for teachers to better learn how their Blackboard, WebCT, and other online classes can incorporate these new vocal technologies in order to allow students and teachers to learn and teach the most natural way of all–with voice.

3:00 – 3:45

Higher Speaking Proficiency Through Online Assessments: OWL Software Makes It Happen
Chris Dalessandri
Thekla Fall
Do you know how proficient your students are? Are you looking for ways to increase student speaking proficiency? Would you like to have district-wide or departmental assessment data (so you can speak the language of your administration)? We will demonstrate a proven online testing software program that was developed in conjunction with Pittsburgh Public Schools. The test component facilitates the collection and rating of student speech samples as well as essay writing, multiple choice, and so on. Furthermore, OWL software enables comprehensive data collection. A practice component allows students to practice vocabulary in a game-like format. The software is completely authorable so it is not dependent on any one textbook. The resulting reports enable data-driven decision making to improve proficiency and world language programming.

Using Formative Evaluation to Distinguish Learner Wants From Learner Needs
Carl S. Blyth
James Davis
In this presentation we report on an 8-year process that included three successive iterations of the developmental cycle: (a) development of instructional technology, (b) formative evaluation, and (c) modification of the technology. From the first formative evaluation to the last, our students told us that they found learning heavily contextualized language difficult and frequently requested more decontextualized language for textbook presentations and for practice. With the aid of formative evaluation data, we tried to strike a balance between what students said they wanted and what we, as language teachers and curriculum developers, believed that they needed.

The Transcultural and Multilingual Environments of Multiuser Online Games
Steven L. Thorne
Evan Weiss
This presentation will report on transcultural and multilingual language activity occurring in the international environments of multiuser online games (e.g., World of Warcraft) and the resources such environments present for foreign language education. We will suggest that, while arguments for a digital global vernacular are premature, a set of communicative dynamics that have been described as a late modern communicative aesthetic (Thorne, 2000) appear to be portable across many digitally mediated peer interactions. Linguistically, these include feature categories such as lexical choice (e.g., high use of intensifiers, contractions), variant but consistent and often locally informed orthography, phrasal units parsed over multiple turns, and phatic communicative elements such as high frequency uses of punctuation, emoticons, and tag questions.

E-Learning and Student Engagement: Promises in Cyberspace
Catherine Caws
How does the Internet mediate and transform our practices as language learners and practitioners? How can we help students develop electronic and critical literacies in order to engage them in the coconstruction of knowledge? In this presentation, I will focus on the results of two case studies that examine language courses in which e-learning was specifically embedded in the curriculum. Our analysis addresses the influence of various models of instruction and the ways in which the integration of e-learning may impact the development of critical and computer literacies. In particular, we will speak to the influence of learning design on the effectiveness of the electronic tools provided to learners.

Teacher Training and Technology: Braving New Worlds
Kathryn Murphy-Judy
Margaret Ann Kassen
Martine Peters
Roberta Lavine
In this panel, which brings together the editing team of the most recent CALICO volume—Teacher Education and Technology—and a few invited guests, we look at the current state of the art and CALL research as it is poised to impact teacher training for the next generation of language educators. We then speculate on where we need to direct our attention and our own professional development in order to anticipate and be prepared for the predictable turns in language and communication pedagogy. We will look at the horizon of expected technologies and concomitant social and pedagogical reconfigurations that will inhabit our desks, or virtual desks, or eyeglasses, or what may become of the educational topography.

An Evaluation of Digital Language Lab Solutions
Jack Burston
With the digitization of language lab technology has come a host of new multimedia features. Needless to say, all this diversity is accompanied by a bewildering array of technical specifications, requirements, and product features. A wide range of digital language lab programs has been evaluated in the Digital Language Lab Solutions (DLLS) publication to help guide colleagues through the maze. This presentation will give a brief overview of the forthcoming second edition of the DLLS and focus in more depth on representative examples of four principal types of programs: (a) basic student computer management, (b)traditional audio lab replication, (c) full multimedia systems, and (d) remote access systems.

Revolution for Low-cost Data Collection in CALL
Claire Bradin Siskin
The presenter will demonstrate how data can be collected while learners work with CALL activities created in Runtime Revolution. Linguistic output in the form of text, audio, and video files can be saved, and it is also possible to record mouse clicks which may represent learner choices and responses to survey questions. The possibilities for data collection will be discussed in various potential scenarios in which a language instructor might work. Most of the techniques can be used for language assessment as well as for CALL research.

4:00 – 4:45

Podcasts and Language Learning. Are They Pedagogically Sound? How Are They Really Used?
Orlando René Kelm
Valdo Oliveira
Michelle Lima
Proponents of podcasts tell us that podcasts are a new alternative to textbooks and traditional instruction. Some offer short, focused, and practical lessons that are convenient, flexible, and personal. We report on the creation of a series of podcasts that focus on pronunciation lessons in Brazilian Portuguese, specifically for learners who have already studied Spanish. In addition to the demonstration of the podcasts, we discuss the pedagogical foundation that relates to their features, and we also review the ways in which students actually use the podcasts.

A Computerized Telephone Conversation Simulator for Listening and Speaking Practice
Goh Kawai
Akio Ohnishi
We are developing a standalone computer system for practicing simulated telephone conversations. The instructor designs the conversation and records responses beforehand. The learner dials a number using a telephone handset attached to the computer. No computer display is used. Depending on course design, the system connects the call either to a tightly constrained, rehearsable conversation or to a randomly selected, unanticipated conversation. The system challenges the caller using randomly chosen verbal prompts, decides when to move to the next phrase, and records the learner’s speech and other data. The system’s advantages are the learner’s concentration and the instructor’s ease of grading.

Hybrid or Distance: Do We Need Both? IUPUI’s Spanish Options
Kimmaree Murday
This presentation will describe the assessment of student outcomes for two types of nontraditional Elementary Spanish I options available for students at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). A distance learning section of Elementary Spanish has been offered for several years, making use of TV and internet technologies. Beginning in fall 2006, a hybrid version was added, which entails additional required face-to-face meetings. Student outcomes are compared between the two formats, which were taught by the same instructor using the same materials and technology. An overview of the comparative qualitative and quantitative findings for language gain and satisfaction will be presented.

Creating ICALL Activities for Task-based Instruction
Luiz Amaral
The focus on the natural language processing (NLP) abilities of ICALL systems has made system designers extremely conservative in terms of the types of activities they implemented. While CALL systems with no NLP processing have been developed to promote communicative learning styles using a wide variety of tasks, most ICALL systems propose activities that rely heavily on more form-based tasks. This paper presents ideas to develop ICALL activities that introduce more content-based tasks for ICALL without jeopardizing the systems’ ability to process students’ input. Following guidelines used in TBI, the paper introduces a series of steps to develop valid ICALL activities that take into consideration NLP capabilities in ICALL.

Moodled Mashups: An Integrated Experience
John Vitaglione
This presentation combines the expertise of Title VI NLRCs to provide guidelines for interoperable web functionality and content. Demonstrations show how digital media can be repurposed, combined with other functions, and incorporated into custom web applications. By creating mashups, teachers and learners can combine content from more than one source into an integrated web language learning experience. Such extensibility and flexibility make it possible to produce/package SCORM conformant content to ensure interoperable durability and reusability. Finished content can then be transferred to learning management systems such as Blackboard and Moodle or posted with server software such as weblogs and wikis.

Rethinking the CMS: The Online Audio Lab
Greg Kessler
After years of observing limited use of a university wide course management system, the presenter introduced an alternative Moodle-based system. This new system was still under-utilized. The CMS was revisited and the author created the Moodle-based Online Audio Lab. This new resource is an updated version of the traditional language lab. It includes many of the interactive and dynamic benefits of a CMS in an environment shared by multiple classes of students. Focused upon oral communication, the Online Audio Lab includes synchronous and asynchronous voice CMC, RSS feeds, interactive instructional media and an extensive collection of instructional and authentic content.

Chaos in CALL–A Model?
Mathias Schulze
Recent years saw a noticeable increase in the development of user-adaptive systems, particularly for online learning environments. However, there has been very little work done on student modeling in any area of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), not just for parser-based systems (Heift & Schulze, in press). This is at least partially due to our as yet limited understanding of foreign-language-learning processes (Chapelle, 2004). This paper outlines current discussions of dynamic systems theory and chaos theory within second language acquisition theories (e.g., de Bot et al., 2005; Larsen-Freeman, 1997, 2003) and education (e.g., Haggis, 2005). It will show that chaos theoretical understanding of language-learning processes has some clear methodological advantages in modeling the behavior of language learners in CALL.