expertise and co-ordinating collaboration in virtual environments
In the tradition
of research on CSCL has lately drawn more attention to the social views
of learning and the features of group-processes (Dillenbourg 1999; Hara,
Bonk & Angeli 2000; Järvelä & Häkkinen 2001; Häkkinen, Järvelä
& Dillenbourg 2000). Development of mutual understanding has been
seen as essential factor for sharing expertise and building common ground
in virtual environments. Instead, more advanced technological solutions
to support many problematic issues in virtual interaction such as lack
of sense of co-presence or difficulties reaching shared understanding
in the distributed teams are still missing. One prospect to break into
deeper level of collaboration seems to be with the systems that support
and mediate social interaction and facilitate a sense of togetherness
among the members. Furthermore, these new kinds of innovative spaces and
environments for learning can provide spatial microcontexts that help
team members to establish shared understanding (Dillenbourg 1999). Recent
studies have shown that these metacognitive tools are needed to support
collaborators with becoming aware, managing, and reflecting their collaborative
activities. (Häkkinen, Järvelä & Byman 2001; Jermann, Soller &
The aim of this study is to provide information about the construction of shared knowledge and the management of collaborative activities in distributed teams. The study will take place in context where people are studying and working together with abstract and ill-defined knowledge and learning tasks.
integration of CALL into a regular curriculum
WorldWideWriting.com: Developing a Multi-Lingual Process-Oriented
past few years there has been a proliferation of CMC-inspired tools intended
to improve writing skills within an academic context. These have often
focused on individual languages and a limited range of text-types, such
as the business letter in English. Although programmes and sites such
as these have provided a wealth of information of use both to students
and teachers/trainers alike, there are as yet few resources available
that not only provide comprehensive details on a variety of languages
and genres, but that also include a feedback facility for students and
the means for them to critique each other's work in a computer environment.
This paper reports on work-in-progress on a multi-lingual project run jointly by staff from Nijmegen University and the University of Professional Education of Arnhem & Nijmegen to develop a process-oriented feedback programme for writing. It will discuss the set-up of the project, and the genres and feedback options within the programme, such as an updated and integrated version of the acclaimed Alexis programme and a student-centered space structured by a series of assignments and cases intended to maximise student motivation. It will also identify a number of the challenges faced by the Nijmegen-Arnhem team in their design and development of the computer environment, including a number of pedagogical issues, and it will detail some of the ways in which these have been addressed. The session will be run on an informal basis and the presenters will welcome audience participation, or indeed, feedback.
Appel Christine (Dublin City University, Ireland)
Interactive factors and task performance: a case study in a task-based
e-mail tandem environment
This paper describes a study which evaluates tasks designed for e-mail tandem language learning. Four groups of students, two in Spain learning English and two in Ireland learning Spanish, are given three tasks to carry out in collaboration with their tandem e-mail partners. E-mail correspondence takes place in a web-based environment especially designed for e-mail tandem language learning. In this environment students are requested to use both their L1 and L2 each time they write and are also encouraged to provide language feedback on their partners' L2. This way both students have the chance to read and write in their target language. The objective of our research is to test how the manipulation of the information flux between e-mail partners affects task performance. Our two references for task design are Chapelle's criteria for task evaluation and Robinson's model of task design factors affecting task performance. Robinson's model classifies factors into three dimensions: cognitive, interactive, and difficulty. The variable we explore in this study falls into the interactive dimension and more specifically within participation variables: one-way/two-way interaction, which has to do with how information flows. One group in Spain and its counterpart in Ireland are assigned the one-way condition (no negotiation is required to complete the task) whereas the two other groups are given the two-way condition (negotiation is required to complete the task). The remaining interactive variables and cognitive variables remain equal for both groups, and difficulty factors are considered by means of a pre-test. We evaluate the effect of the manipulation of the one-way/two-way variable on language learning by analyzing the quantity and quality of L2 exposure and opportunity of use. This paper focuses on the quantity and outlines our plans for the analysis of the quality aspect in terms of negotiations of meaning and peer feedback.
Arnbjörnsdóttir Birna & Karlsson Áki
Pedagogy and Innovative Use of Multimedia: Some Issues and Answers in
Developing On-line Language Teaching Courses
In this presentation,
we will discuss some of the difficulty involved in implementing a sound
language pedagogy delivered through an innovative use of multimedia. The
focus will be on the beginning language learner and on two aspects crucial
in teaching language successfully on-line. These are the importance of
taking into consideration the characteristics of the intended audience
and their motivation for learning. And secondly, the need to recategorize
the traditional language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking
to skills focusing on accuracy, on the one hand, and fluency on the other,
as these align themselves better to on-line curriculum development.
of Wiki Web to Building a Collaborative Environment for EFL Learners
The WWW was
originally designed to distribute information over the network, and later
CGI programs were used in order to make the web space more interactive.
Yet still, most of the web pages are read-only and cannot be used for
truly collaborative purposes. Users are required to have a certain amount
of technical knowledge and skills to create their own web space. Even
though CGI programs such as BBS systems and submission forms, the structure
of the data is often limited and programming skills will be necessary
to alter the CGI programs to suit the user's needs.
Web, or simply Wiki, is one of the recent innovations for online collaboration
on the WWW. In short, it is a collaborative hypertext environment on the
WWW where any user can add or modify any information. This web space is
expandable by adding new pages and these pages are interlinked within
the Wiki space by keywords. The benefit of this is that users can have
their own web space and expand it with little knowledge in programming
The presenter has applied the Wiki to create a collaborative online environment for students' project work in one of his EFL classes at a Japanese university. Students were provided with their own web space from the start and were asked to expand the space by adding their own works using the Wiki system. Almost no technical instruction was given prior to the project but students had little difficulty in maintaining their own web space. Comments and feedback were given directly in the students' by the instructor. Students were then asked to rewrite their compositions, taking this input into account, according to which students were asked to rewrite their compositions. Their web space served as flexible online portfolio where they can store all their works as well as their editing histories.
feedback dying of starvation? - let's try to revive it…..
addresses what the author sees as a major deficiency in much of the design
work for on- and off-line language learning activities. It examines the
issues and offers practical recommendations for pedagogic and instructional
part of the paper will address the question of why so many language learning
programs, especially those "on-line", seem to have neglected basic principles
of feedback. (Examples will be shown). It will examine whether the "hypertext"
nature of web materials is a contributing factor, or whether poor instructional
design training is the cause.
The paper will conclude that there is an urgent need for improved instructional design techniques, and that many of these could be gained by sharing best practice, including practice from outside the language-learning field. It will also demonstrate that good feedback is possible even with the simplest of programming, although more advanced techniques are indeed difficult without adequate and accessible authoring tools for web-based programming. Finally, examples of good practice will be shown, using in part the new on-line authoring system, MALTED, currently under extensive use by the Spanish Ministry of Education.
Bergendahl Camilla & Dahlström Carola
Three French courses
like to participate in the EuroCALL 2002 conference with a Show and Tell
demonstration of three French courses created 1999-2001. The courses work
within the learning environment called Telsipro, originally developed
at the University of X. They cover levels 3-6 on the 1-9 level scale of
the Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency. The structure
of the courses varies depending on the requirements of the different levels.
School of Economics, Finland),
Awareness of false friends in multiple third spaces
Given the realities of living in a world dependent on new channels of communication, we need learning environments and pedagogical approaches that facilitate language learning and the development of intercultural communication competence. Integration of new technology into learning environments provides new communication channels for pedagogical development. This paper focuses, however, on the learning that has evolved from discovery of complex invisible barriers to intercultural communication via email. Frustration, which is often related to non-technical considerations, has provided opportunities for meaningful learning experiences.
We build on learning from four years of cooperative teaching and research in our attempt to integrate the concepts of communication competence, multiple third spaces, and false friends into a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges embedded in new technological opportunities. Examples are taken from English-language email correspondence between students in a French and Finnish university.
Email can provide a rather effective means of communication between people who can rely on shared frames of reference. This is not the case, however, for persons who are unaware of the role of taken-for-granted cultural assumptions when communicating via email in a common foreign language.
Discovery that communication competence in one's own speech community can hinder intercultural communication can lead to discovery of boundaries that mark a third space between two systems of coherence or frames of meaning. Intercultural communication via email entails communication via at least four third spaces. One third space is between two cultural frames of reference. A second and third space is in English language communication when interlocutors are from two non-English speaking cultures. A fourth third space is an email space, which is not neutral to different cultural ways of communicating. The concept of false friends, which is often associated with movement between French and English, takes on new dimensions when applied to communication via a shared foreign language in these multiple third spaces. Any abstract concept expressed in English will unconsciously be translated back into the interlocutors' respective cultural frames of meaning and perhaps also given a British or American meaning without the other interlocutors' awareness.
As the call for papers suggests, technology is only one of the many challenges we face when developing meaningful learning environments for students. Development of ethnographic strategies for discovering and interpreting cultural meaning hidden by false friends in multiple third spaces becomes essential to developing intercultural email communication competence.
Building national/international partnerships for networked language learning
We are witnessing
the development of Information Technology (IT) in the globalized World,
with fast steps beyond anyone could have imagined. IT is everywhere we
are, and it serves us and makes our life easier, and less stressful. We
know how difficult it is when someone can not reach you when they need
you, or when you need to send a letter by postal service and it arrives
in two weeks. Now we have the capability to reach and to be reached, to
send emails in seconds and to receive them. Just years ago, we didn't
have more than a few sites on the internet, and now we have thousands
and an expanded research ability. Computers are used in the teaching process
since the 1980s, and now it has become a precondition to the development
of the education.
The aim is
to initiate a national network along with the international network, in
order to gain more support for this part of Europe in this regard, and
provide more variety of choices and possibilities for interested parties
in language learning. We should engage in similar activities abroad merely
just as an observer first, and in the meantime I think it would be of
interest to facilitate initiatives of a larger scale and range, and involve
more target groups.
University, Sweden) with Nykvist
Bengt, Jonare Git, Blasi Esther, Razavi Khosrow (Mid-Sweden
University) and Borg
Browser - Will Learn?
LingoNet / LingoLina is a 'web-based language lab' / 'resource library' prototype (the work on which was funded by the Swedish Agency for Distance Education), a website where (links to) resources for web-based language learning are collected and made available for use in foreign language education at the university level.
When we ask of somebody that they "look for information on the web", or "find resources on the internet", we are actually expecting of them that they have mastered the highest and most difficult competence in Bloom's taxonomy of educational goals (Bloom 1956), that of being able to evaluate information. This means, however, that students-especially beginners-are quite ill-equipped to use raw web content for their education (please note that this is different from learning how to evaluate web and other resources as part of your education), in any field, because they do not in fact yet possess the necessary skills to evaluate this content. Our academic teachers, on the other hand, who are perfectly capable of evaluating this raw web content, are instead extremely pressed for time, and surprisingly often still (at least in the humanities) less than comfortable using computers and web search engines, let alone learning how to find, how to use, and possibly how to adapt new computer applications to their needs.
In the LingoNet project, we have seen a way out of this catch-22 situation in the use of quality control and metadata. The resources that we collect are mainly existing language learning applications on the web, but in the project we are also developing some applications for practicing oral language skills. The resources are classified and annotated with IMS LOM metadata, as well as evaluated by professional educators and annotated with a structured format for evaluation of language learning resources. This format, the VVV:EKG model, was developed as part of the LingoNet project, and should be seen as a major contribution of the project. The LOM and VVV:EKG metadata markup is used to ensure that information about the resources, including the results of their evaluation-both summative and formative-will be persistent and thus will be fully available to future users of the resources.
fruits ye shall know them: interference in a learner language corpus
We report on an investigation of the syntax of Swedish university students' English as it appears in a learner corpus. We compare part-of-speech (POS) tag sequences (being a rough approximation of surface syntactic structure) in three text corpora: (1) the Uppsala Student English corpus (USE; Axelsson 2000); (2) the British National Corpus (BNC) Sampler (Burnard 1999); (3) the Stockholm Umeå Corpus of Swedish (SUC; Ejerhed and Källgren 1997). The BNC sampler and SUC corpora come in tagged and corrected versions, which we have used. The USE corpus was tagged by us with a Brill tagger trained on the BNC sampler, giving an estimated accuracy of 96.7 %. For the purposes of this investigation, both tagsets were reduced, the English set to 30 tags and the Swedish to 34 tags.
In distinction to most other studies of learner language corpora, where only the target language (L2) has been compared to native L2 production (as in the work on ICLE; see Granger 1998), we add a comparison with the learners' native language (L1). Arguably, this makes our study not only one of learner language, or interlanguage in general, but of specific L1 interference in L2, which is relevant i.a. for the development of intelligent CALL applications, incorporating natural language processing components - our particular area of expertise - e.g. learner language grammars.
We investigated differences in the frequencies of POS n-grams (tested for significance with the Mann-Whitney statistic) between the BNC Sampler on the one hand, and the USE and SUC corpora on the other hand, the hypothesis being that significant common differences would reflect L1 interference in the L2. These differences were of two kinds, reflecting overuse or underuse of particular POS sequences, common to Swedish learner English and Swedish, as compared to BNC Sampler English.
results of our investigation were as follows.
We will discuss our results, possible pitfalls of our methodology, as well as how we would like to extend and refine our investigation of L1 interference in learner language syntax in various ways, notably by the use of robust parsing (Abney 1996).
Maria & Tarvonen Sari
Presentation of Learning Centre and teacher continuing education
At the beginning of the 21st century totally new innovations in studying and teaching are being introduced. Different virtual learning environments emphasise the active and responsible role of the students themselves. Information search and taking control of already collected information requires students and teachers to act in a flexible and responsible way. To make this interaction between students and information work as efficiently as possible, technical and pedagogic support is needed.
Centre is a part of the Virtual University project in Finland, a project
that is developing new methods for teaching and studying, both in network
based teaching as well as in more traditional teaching. The Learning Centre
in Vaasa is located on the 3rd floor of the scientific library Tritonia.
There are three local units of universities working together in the Learning
Centre project, the University of Vaasa, the Swedish School of Economics
and Business Administration and the Ostrobothnia Unit of Åbo Akademi University.
The aim of the project is to mobilize the teachers and students in these
universities to take advantage of the possibilities made available via
new information and communication technologies in their teaching and studying.
Creating motivation in the virtual classroom: tools, techniques and observations in the teaching of English to science students using the web.
Wide Web offers an enormous resource for educators in all fields of knowledge,
not least of all in language learning. The possibilities for creating
web-based materials for use in the virtual classroom with a high-educational
content to be incorporated within an Internet or intranet site are endless.
We must start by asking ourselves not so much what the web can do for
us, but rather what we can do with the web. Foreign Language teaching
and learning cries out for web. This I choose to make my starting point
in everything I do: from lesson planning to materials creation to their
implementation. This presentation will concentrate on the choice of materials
downloaded from the Internet which, once analyzed and elaborated, have
formed the basis of original self-learning activities devised ad hoc and
incorporated within a newly created site entitled 'English for Science'
- part of a web-enhanced language learning environment which I incorporate
daily into my teaching at the Faculty of Sciences at Padova University.
The tools used to create my materials will be outlined in brief and a
demonstration of a number of its interactive components will be made.
of computer-mediated communication
aims to propose a model of computer-mediated communication (CMC)-based
English teaching materials and to implement the materials into the Korean
EFL context. The difficulties in launching Communicative Language Teaching
in the Korean context are considered from the two perspectives: 1) External
reason - Korean learners are not much motivated to learn English for communicative
purposes in a monolingual community and, 2) Internal reason - Korean learners
have some debilitative speaking anxiety. Fear of making errors and losing
face, presumably, are main affective barriers which prohibit them from
engaging themselves in developing speaking skills. Therefore, the research
questions of this paper are;
The main research began on March 13th, 2001 and it continued until June 7th, 2001. During the course, 13 college students, 3 English teachers and 10 international students began to interact giving and receiving group e-mail according to the CMC lesson plan. Following this, they interacted using the tools of e-mail and chatting together. In order to obtain all the data about the students' attitudes toward anxiety and motivation, questionnaires, interviews, and diaries were adopted. And oral testing and students' computer conferencing data were selected to investigate the students' oral competence achievement.
Results of questionnaires show that, after CMC coursework, students' affective factors of anxiety is decreased due to the use of anonymity in non-threatening CMC environment and their intrinsic motivation is increased due to the collaborative interaction. Results of interviews, teachers' diary and content analysis of students' computer conferencing clearly indicate that CMC activities are transferred into their oral competences of conversational and content skills. CMC activities are quite helpful for student's "code switching" (translating Korean into English) and their CMC quasi-spoken interaction have been developed from form (or grammar)-focused interaction to meaning-focused interaction. Therefore, it is concluded that CMC activities can help EFL learners to practice English in non-threatening and motivating virtual environments and furthermore, the quasi-spoken interactions skills gained from electronic discussion can gradually be transferred to the students' oral competence.
Charalabopoulou Frieda with Antoniou Ioanna, Antonopoulou Zoe, Carayannis
George, Katsouros Vassilis, Paschalis Stefanos, Siimistira Fotini, Wambacq
Patrick, Vanroose Peter, Schuurman Ineke, Schouppe Machteld, Hubbard Bill,
Daes Johan and Willems Geert
MYTHE: A storyline-based language learning environment for young children
MYTHE (Multimedia Young Children's Thesaurus for Educational Purposes) is an EC-funded project and aims at designing and developing an interactive, stimulating and engaging CALL platform for young children around the transition-to-literacy age (typically in the age range of 6 to 8 years). This platform has been developed for three languages (i.e. Greek, English and Dutch) but it can be extended to other languages, due to its modular architecture.
A unified methodological approach for teaching these three European languages has been developed, allowing each of them to be treated both as mother tongue and second language. The educational content of the platform is structured along a storyline that is presented within a 3D environment with animated characters, aiming at eliciting a deeper engagement of children.
A number of Language and Imaging (LIM) tools (spelling and agreement checkers, speech recognition tools and 3D lip motion tool) have been incorporated in the platform, in an attempt to foster more effective learning of lexical and grammatical knowledge and more efficient language practice, by means of reading and writing aids.
is to transfigure language learning into a journey in the exciting world
of the story. The overall philosophy of the design of the system intends
to satisfy the innate need of children to explore and discover things
on their own. To achieve these goals, the platform provides the necessary
tools and resources, in order to encourage the users' active participation
and involve them in the language learning challenge.
New role of writing as a tool for communication
English has the most important language used to communicate with other
peoples. Why? First of all it is the language of computers and nowadays
using the Internet is the most reliable and the quickest means to get
informed and to send messages too.
Progressing to another level of CALL/WELL: an integrated language learning environment
This paper presents some of the teaching/learning implications and applications that are emerging from the development of a technology-based integrated environment at the University of Canberra in Australia. Such an investigation is justified by a growing concern in regard to the pedagogies that underpin the theoretical and technical frameworks of technology-based language-learning environments and the increasing international demand for such environments. It would seem that researchers are finding that the technological approaches to language learning appear to be less supportive than expected of the learning process while at the same time more restrictive with regard to the ways in which they enable learners to explore and develop their own understandings of the target language (TL). Therefore, whilst many transnational learners are seeking less expensive alternatives to studying abroad, there is increasing skepticism as to the quality of the language education available on-line.
From a pedagogic view, many developers are basing the design of these current environments upon either communicative or self-directed approaches to learning. It has often been surmised that the introduction of technology would eventually force learners to become more self-directed and critically reflective of their learning. These notions however, along with the belief that communicative or self-directed approaches will automatically transfer to a technology-based learning environment, are proving to be less than self-evident.
As a result of the above considerations, the ILE (Integrated Learning Environment) was proposed and is being developed in an attempt to:
a pedagogical and technical framework that is not compromised in practice,
In order to achieve this, individual learning conditions are being acknowledged and accommodated through the use of a web-based environment. This is a diversion however, from environments in which learning is seen as either a group based phenomenon or an isolated experience. The ILE will allow learners to build upon their own experiences with regards to language and learning whilst developing skills that enable them to function at a socially appropriate level. This study will also investigate the feasibility and efficacy of such an environment and provide predictions and create new pathways for more research within the fields of technology and web enhanced language learning, pedagogy and environment design.
& Michele Rojotte
Could the Internet be an effective resource for ELT in developing countries?
Access to the Internet is becoming rapidly available to EFL teachers in Turkey, as it is in many other developing countries. Both teachers and students, however, are unclear about how to use these resources and they have varying ideas about the usefulness of the Internet in terms of supporting and developing ELT delivery in Turkey.
This paper reports on a year- long study on the use of Internet resources for ELT in Turkey. The study includes a survey of 100 teachers and administrators, and 100 students in 12 state and 7 private universities about computer availability, computer knowledge, Internet use, as well as technical or financial considerations that discourage Internet use. This paper presents background data on Turkey's situation and then focuses on Internet preferences for resources such as e-mail, world wide web, listservs, chat groups, electronic journals, and usenet news groups. The data for this presentation come from rank order questions that asked for teachers' and students' ideas on the perceived usefulness of the Internet in terms of importance for language teaching and learning. In this paper a comparison of Turkish teachers' and students' reactions will be presented and discussed. Differences of opinion will be brought out and reasons for this will be discussed. Implications for Internet use in other countries especially those that have few trained teachers, and limited knowledge, unreliable electric power, and limited financial resources, will be stressed.
Ils sont fous, ces Français: A multimedia reading application
will demonstrate a multimedia reading application currently being developed
by means of the Gemini authoring system. This on-going ct s seojoct ol
b sedttn olly Platt's book, Ils sont fous, ces Français 'French or Foe,'
which underscores the cultural differences that Anglo-Saxon business types
often encounter in France. The reading application presents the text of
the book replete with multimedia annotations and systematic comprehension
checks. The annotations (textual, graphic, and audio) focus on lexical,
syntactic, and discourse-level structures in the text that may cause problems
for reading comprehension. The comprehension checks (using several question
formats available in the authoring system) are designed to encourage students
to use appropriate reading comprehension strategies as they read the text.
Added on Web-based Foreign Language Learning
The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize value added on web-based language learning. The question is how contexts and situations influence value added and how value added is experienced by researchers, course designers, teachers and students. The value added in the defined learning context should not be generalized as utilities in all contexts.
The present study has not attempted to investigate value added in terms of achievement. Instead, it has concentrated on students´ and teachers´ expectations and experiences on the web-based language learning and teaching processes. Value added of web-based learning will also be evaluated in comparison to conventional learning. In some cases students made comparisons, although they were not asked to do. For the further development of web-based language learning the key is to find new pedagogically appropriate teaching methods. The users of open learning environments should critically consider how they could get more value added to learning by using web-based environments.
In this paper we describe in greater detail the realization of value added in the teaching experiments organised by the Hypermedialaboratory of TUT. The findings of earlier teaching experiments indicate that the properties of the Learning Environment called "Russian on the Net" were not fully exploited. In order to make the best possible use of web-based learning environment in learning there is a need for pedagogically validated models and concrete instructions in the planning of teaching to be accomplished with the net. We assume that the aspect of intercultural foreign language learning might offer new models of thought and methods for web-based language learning.
The benefits of web-based language learning need more investigation. The results of some studies show that there is some useful value-added in different contexts, but it is difficult to transfer the results of those studies to other contexts. In our opinion the transfer of value added requires more information on experiments. The evaluation group of The Hypermedialaboratory and the Virtual University of TUT is making an effort to clarify the conception of value-added by investigating the advantages and disadvantages of web-based learning in various contexts. We hope that the findings of these experiments could be applied also to web-based language learning.
Fung-kuen Lai Eva
of CALL in English Learning in a Self-Access Centre
Beyond Keyword-based Bilingual Concordancers: A Concept-based Translation Retrieval System for Language Learners
Bilingual concordancers are powerful tools for language learning (cf. Barlow (2000), Nerbonne (2000), John (2001), Wang (2001)). Combined with sentence-aligned bilingual corpora such as the English-French Parliamentary Corpus Hansard, they allow language learners to retrieve sentences containing an input keyword along with their translations. Moreover, they can accept queries in two languages. This greatly facilitates the retrieval of unfamiliar expressions for language learners in reading and writing. When encountering unfamiliar words or phrases in a foreign language, learners can understand the meanings by inputting these words and looking at the translation examples containing the input words. Similarly, they can learn how to express themselves in a foreign language by inputting an expression in his/her native language and inspecting the translation examples. The potential help of bilingual concordancers to language learners is enormous. Unfortunately, some of the limitations prevent learners from making the best use of them. Due to the scarcity of sentence-aligned parallel corpus, keyword-based pattern match technique that works with short query is not suited to a longer query such as a clause. A typical dilemma language learners face in using a bilingual concordancer is that the longer the expression they input, the less likely it is to find its translation in the bilingual corpus. In this paper, we propose to resolve this problem by using concept-based rather than keyword-based retrieval technique. Our proposed method can take a keyword, phrase, or sentence in the source or target language as input and retrieve the closest translations if no translation equivalents of the input expression are found. Central to this technique is the formulation of a measure for semantic similarity based on thesauruses and the calculation of term weighting of the input query. The proposed method, largely inspired by recent researches in computational linguistics, is implemented as a web-based program employing a Chinese-English parallel corpus and used by students of freshman English for evaluation. Our study shows that such a tool significantly outperforms conventional keyword-based bilingual concordcers and that it is an excellent tool for language learners in reading and writing.
Gaynor Robert with Odaira
Masako and Suzuki Hiroko
From Concept to Classroom: A Model for Effective Design and Integration of CALL Materials
In this "Show
and Tell" session we will share the activities of a research group in
Japan formed to design and promote an English language educational system
that incorporates the use of computer-based multi-media materials in junior
and senior high schools, as well as university courses.
Gillespie John with
Creating, developing and sustaining a computer-based language-learning environment
In this paper
In mapping a computer-based language learning environment, we will also seek to outline how such environments are particularly valuable for the learning of languages in the light of recent developments and trends in the theory of language learning and teaching.
Finally, we will seek to assess the future prospects of the effective general adoption of such environments in Universities.
One CALLL Experience: An On(line)-Off(Line) Affair
In the late
1990s, CALLLs were introduced at post-secondary institutions world-wide
as the accepted milieu and pedagogical "solution" for second- and foreign-language
teaching and learning. Their promise of self-directed and self-paced learning,
as well as their instant access to linguistic resources, convinced institutions
of their worth. But more recently, technical and educational downsides
of CALLLs are emerging: their "wow-factor" is losing its luster, and both
short-term and long-term teaching/learning benefits are being questioned.
Are CALLLs another technological fad foisted on L2 education? Or are they
simply going through growing pains as instructors and learners realize
how to use them most effectively?
Communication with patients- Interactive CD ROM for English-speaking learners of Czech language
a foreign language has been taught at the Charles University in Prague,
Czech Republic for decades. Its target group has usually been quite heterogenous,
therefore no language for specific purposes could be taught. The situation
changed in early 1990´s with the opening of country borders and influx
of foreign students, not only from Europe but the whole world, who look
for quality, yet financially less demanding education. This wave of interested
has also affected the 3rd Faculty of Medicine at Charles University where
numerous English-speaking foreigners have sought medical education since
1992. In order to meet their needs, there is a complete medical curriculum
in English, parallel to the Czech one. However, foreign medical students
must learn the Czech language so that they can communicate with patients
during their practical training in Czech hospitals. The respective Department
of Foreign Languages at the 3rd Faculty of Medicine provides for courses
on Czech language. These run from the first year of medical studies till
the third one. As is usually the case with language courses at medical
schools, their contact hours are rather limited. That is why Czech teachers
came up with the idea of creating a complementary study material that
foreign students could use for their self-study. We succeeded in receiving
3-year funding for this project by the Grant Agency of Czech Republic.
Currently we are in the second year of our project.
Multimodality and the virtual learning environment
advancing technological development of CALL has meant that whereas learners
in the early days used a computer to try and improve discrete areas of
language learning, they can now communicate through it with other learners
both in written and oral forms. Although these changes mean that a virtual
learning environment can now be used to execute similar tasks to a traditional
learning environment, we are dealing with a different medium, one which
requires a different approach to learning and teaching.
listening and viewing on the Web for language learners
Handley Zöe & Hamel Marie-Josée
Text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis in CALL: developing an evaluation methodology to determine the suitability of TTS output for integration in CALL applications.
This article presents the proposed integration of the Text-To-Speech (TTS) synthesiser FIPSVOX into the hypermedia Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) system Freetext. A review of the literature on CALL has demonstrated that, although speech is beginning to find its way into the CALL interface primarily through the introduction of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), applications are still biased towards the presentation of text rather than spoken language. Similarly interaction with the computer is predominantly confined to the use of the keyboard and mouse rather than spoken language. This is a considerable limitation when speech is the most natural form of communication. Speech synthesis, although generally believed to be much more mature and robust than ASR, has been exploited in relatively few applications compared with ASR. The aim of the research presented here is to determine whether TTS is ready for integration, in particular to determine whether the output of the TTS synthesiser FIPSVOX is suitable for integration into the CALL system Freetext. We therefore present the development of a methodology for the evaluation of the output of TTS systems. The research presented is ongoing. An initial intuitive evaluation of the output of the synthesiser has already been carried out to get a general impression of the quality of the output and its potential limitations. The method and results of this preliminary investigation are described here. T e resul s althoggh prelgminary seem to suggest that, although there are still some problems, the output is generally robust and therefore suitable for integration in an application for learners. Since this initial evaluation, the state-of-the-art in evaluation has been reviewed. Drawing on this review and the results of the preliminary evaluation, we conclude this paper with some suggestions for the development of a comprehensive and systematic evaluation of TTS output. We propose to develop a black-box evaluation to determine the robustness of the synthesiser complemented by a regression testing methodology for error diagnosis. The purposes of error diagnosis are twofold: (1) to help developers improve their system; (2) to show teachers how the software could be successfully exploited within its current limitations, through the production of a set of recommendations on the types of texts that are successfully synthesised perhaps in the form of a controlled language.
Hassan Xavière with Lamy Marie-Noelle (The
Open University, UK)
Community Building and Intercultural Competence Among Online Learners
It is recognised
that 'speech communities' relate to a wider socio-cultural context (Claire
Kramsch) or, to go further, networked collaborative learning situates
social and human relationships at the heart of the learning process (Thierry
Chanier). This paper will adopt this generic approach but will be particularly
concerned with the consequences for online learning and teaching.
and Strategies-Based Instruction in online tutorials - a new approach
Input modification and tracking user interaction on the WWW
The potential of the WWW to serve as a medium for second language learning by augmenting authentic materials with help functions (i.e., contextual enrichment) and providing the opportunity to request extra information about language that is too difficult to comprehend (input modification). Researchers (Krashen, 1982; Gass, 1997; Chapelle, 1998) agree that linguistic input that students can understand (i.e., comprehensible input) is crucial for the learning of a second/foreign language. Simple exposure to authentic material on the World Wide Web (WWW) is not more effective than exposing language learners to authentic material off-line. Yet, language learning practices are currently influenced by the accessibility of the WWW. Programs throughout the world are using the Web to enhance language learning even though reasons for doing do so are not always based on empirical research.
Contextual enrichment and help functions have been found to facilitate noticing and have been helpful in the language learning process (Lomicka, 1998; Brett, 1997; Chun and Pass, 1995; Gildea, Miller, & Wurtenberg, 1988; Omaggio, 1979). In general, CALL developers have supported "the value of offering learners environments in which they explore and call on a variety of available resources such as dictionaries and video scenes" (Chapelle, Jamieson, & Park, 1996, p. 39).
Researchers agree that a single methodological principle is not enough to evaluate computer software (Legenhausen and Wolff, 1990). Hence, Web-based CALL needs to be evaluated and investigated from a number of different perspectives. Consequently, data collection must reflect this need and has to occur at the objective (performance and mouse-click data) and subjective (affective) level.
This paper suggests ways to improve the use of the WWW for second language learning by implementing findings in the field of second language acquisition (SLA) to develop web-based language learning activities with an emphasis on input modification and investigating the effectiveness of such activities. Thus, this paper will illustrate how to develop materials that provide contextual enrichment and allow for input modification based on theory-supported criteria for multimedia Web-CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) activities (Chapelle, 1998). Additionally, this paper will outline how both researchers and students can benefit from tracking user interaction.
Heift Trude (Simon
Fraser University, Canada)
Modeling in Computer-Assisted Language Learning
pronunciation tutoring with speech recognition:
A close look at a mailing list discussion: The case of Japanese beginner class
allows for greater and greater flexibility in e-mail discussion groups
(mailing lists), more people are becoming involved in these new types
of learning communities. These discussion groups allow people to exchange
information, share experiences, and build group knowledge. In addition,
former research indicates that users of these mailing lists often develop
their ideas by reflecting on their own or others' opinions as they are
engaged in the act of writing. Mailing list discussion groups have been
recognized as new learning environments, offering users the chance to
gain rich learning experiences through interaction with others. However,
until now in-depth investigation into mailing lists for language learners
has not been carried out.
the net and netting students
Since our student body comprises increasingly large numbers of students working full and part time it has become necessary to modify our modes of delivery to allow these students to participate more fully, and to provide them with equitable access to the learning materials. Having at least part of their learning materials available on the web provides these students with the opportunity to continue their language studies. However, the major question being asked by academic administration and teachers alike is how useful to our students is this broader offering of learning modes.
Various models of delivery and teaching have been explored to find the most appropriate means of catering for the majority of student needs. As a result, several models are currently in use, predominantly a hybrid model with audio and visual texts provided to students on CD on enrolment, other lesson materials made available on the web, and communication between staff and students through face-to-face contact and/or e-mail. Students in regular classes also have access to these materials.
Students in this course were studied over a period of one semester to determine their patterns of interaction and their uses of the range of materials available to them. Results will be presented from this study, on the basis of pre- and post-semester surveys of students' familiarity with computer-based programs and processes, their competence and confidence in using these, ranging from novice to experienced, and their learning styles and strategies. While Indonesian is the language of the software package, the results discussed are independent of the language.
Virtual Language Lab at California State University
is not so much about technology or content but about changes to teaching
and learning processes The CSU/Divace Virtual Lab Project is developing
course content through two major collaborations. The Japanese Consortium
consists of four CSU campuses: CSU Chico, CSU Long Beach, CSU Monterey
Bay and CSU San Diego. The French Consortium is a composition of 3 CSU
campuses: CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Sacramento, and CSU Los Angeles. This
system wide project has faculty and lab director developing courses to
be shared across campus. The focus is on shared resources and collaborations
between faculty and lab directors, and the faculty at the different campus.
The courses will use multi-media and web resources to enhance the student
learning experience as will as provide a platform for collaborative learning.
The platform is also appropriate for use in disciplines across the curriculum.
New Opportunities for Language Learning on the Web
Kallio Liisa & Subra
Towards academic professionalism with better language and communication
skills - "HINKU" development project
This poster presents a departmental development project which is aimed at developing language centre teaching to meet the new challenges of professional life and the need for distance education and the use of modern communication technology in language teaching.
Our development project started with elaboration of a common desired state. Individual teachers or language groups participate in this project through their own language specific subprojects. The students' active participation in the project is enhanced by broadening learner training, by including the students in the planning of courses and by collecting systematic feedback on the different stages of the development process. Individual subprojects are supported by training the staff on understanding organisational development as well as on developing the quality of teaching.
The main themes of the project are e.g.
Kallioinen-Ahonen Säde with Venäläinen Johanna
Emerald Island- an interactive English language course in the Telsi
learning environment aiming to teach environmental vocabulary and phrases
to intermediary level students.
The course was planned in 1999 during the ALTERNATIVE project for language teachers in adult education field organised at Oulu University in co-operation with National Board of Education and The Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres, KTOL.
We had discovered that there was a lot of environmental vocabulary not
easily available to our students. We wanted to plan an interesting, motivating
and up-to-date English course and therefore we chose simulation to serve
as the method of learning.
During the first two courses the students had also a few days of contact
learning. The latter two were only in the net.
In addition to the material in the net we had a CD of the texts made
to help with pronunciation.
You may visit Emerald Island in the address: http://telsi1.discendum.com/telsipro/alternative14/bin/user
From the starting pages you'll always find instructions where to go also
The digital language portfolio in distance teaching and learning
Turun normaalikoulu is a part of the Faculty of Education of X University teacher training school. We have been involved in the Archipelago Distance Teaching Project since 1996. The aim is to give the comprehensive school students of Velkua a chance to study languages (English, Swedish and German) under competent guidance. Furthermore, the Distance Teaching Project has given our teacher trainees the opportunity to learn how to teach in such circumstances.
I teach English using Video Conference and NetMeeting equipment to two secondary school students in Velkua from Turku. I am currently involved in Action Research, where I am looking into different ways of introducing the European Language Portfolio in its digital form into distance teaching and learning of languages. The theoretical frame for my research is the Common European Framework for Languages (2001). The research will be carried out during school term 2001-2002.
I am particularly interested in the Dossier, where the students gathers samples of his or her portfolio work (learning folder) to be presented later as samples of his or her language skills (reporting folder). I have devised ranges of assignments on different themes, all of which have been ones that can be realized using a computer. Among other things, I am looking into the types of assignments that the students choose, and their motives for doing so. The research is carried out adhering strictly to the methodology of action research.
I propose to present the concept of the European Language Portfolio applied to CALL and my research findings at EuroCall 2002. My possible Show & Tell Presentation could take the form of a PowerPoint presentation in English and/or Finnish. Alternatively or in addition to the Show & Tell Presentation, I am willing to prepare the same presentation also in Swedish and French, thereby, giving the audience a choice of language if their browse the presentation on their own (i.e. poster).
Have online listening CALL materials really worked?
Infusing Technology into Foreign Language Teacher Education Program
5 Years on the "HyLL": The MPhil Programme in Hypermedia for Language Learning at Stellenbosch University in critical retrospec
The MPhil programme in Hypermedia for Language Learning [HyLL], one of
the first (and still one of a very few) of its kind, was launched at the
University of X in South Africa as a residential programme in 1997 and
was complemented by a distance tuition option in 1998. It has so far been
completed by some 30 students.
Kuure Leena with Saarenkunnas Maarit (University
of Oulu, Finland)
Collaborative and individual paths in Web-work
The study introduced in this paper is part of a cross-disciplinary research project on learning and interaction in virtual environments. The project approaches the issues both from theory and data-driven perspectives, through learning research and discourse studies. It considers the concept of virtuality in learning critically from the viewpoint of the participants and appreciates the polycontextuality and complexity of pedagogic discourse (Sarangi 1998, Gutierrez et al. 1999). The learning-theoretical framework of the project leans on the socio-cognitive (cf. Resnick et al. 1991, Salomon 1993) and socio-cultural (Lave & Wenger 1991) paradigms. The discourse approach adopted in the project examines the ways how participants talk the activities and the learning context into being (cf. Potter & Wetherell 1987). The pedagogic basis of the project arises from the principles of collaborative knowledge building as a tool for learning (cf. Dillenbourg 1999).
This particular paper represents the data-driven discourse approach. The data utilized in the study were collected in the spring of 2000 during an international web project on instruction and learning. The participants were students, teachers and researchers from two universities in Finland, one in the U.K. and one in the U.S.A. The data incorporate electronic logs and documents from web-work, as well as video-recordings from pedagogic face-to-face encounters and from computer sessions during the course. The study focuses on the active negotiation of the purposes of the activities and the interpretative work both outside and inside the web environment. The negotiation processes will be followed both from the collaborative and individual perspectives by the help of discourse analysis. The results provide a deeper understanding of the participant perspective in virtual interaction and learning and can be utilized in the development of pedagogic approaches for learner-support.
Slovak Language Acquisition in New Language Learning Environments
The paper presents some findings of a study conducted on the basic courses of Slovak language at the University of X. University of X is one of 35 universities in the world and the only institution of higher education in Scandinavia that offers studies in the Slovak language and culture. The purpose of the study was to examine the development of the Slovak language acquisition skills and competencies of the Finnish students in the new learning environments (Self-access Centre, virtual learning space). Communicative competence was explored from the perspective of language production (all students of Slovak) and from the perspective of language process (at the individual level) and it was assessed by means of language level tests and self-assessment questionnaires. Both intro- and retrospective methods (questionnaires, analyses of reflective learning diaries, interviews) were used to reveal the learners' attitudes towards the employment of new language learning environments. The use of new learning environments was integrated into the basic program of Slovak in addition to the contact classes. However, in spite of evident development of the Slovak language acquisition skills and competencies as well as some progress in enhancing the electronic literacy (literacy and communication skills in new media), some issues concerning the virtual learning space in distance learning were raised (beliefs of traditional learning methods, lack of technical support and experience, need for tutoring). The study is an example of the acquisition of a less frequently taught language in new learning environments, a case of winning the prejudices and thus it may be a contribution to the pedagogy of less frequently taught languages.
Lahaie Ute & Bennett Sandy
Faculty Development on Blackboard: A Case Study
A recent campus-wide adoption of the web-based course management system Blackboard brought about many changes for foreign language faculty members at X University. In addition to their traditional course preparation, the instructors were challenged to rethink their teaching methods as they redesigned their courses with Blackboard. This case study documents the process and product of two week-long intensive training seminars offered to a group of foreign language faculty members participating in a pilot program. These seminars were designed to assist foreign language faculty members teaching French, German, and Spanish in developing web-based materials to supplement traditional classroom instruction. Materials promoting student interaction with peers, professors, and speakers of the target culture were given special attention. The participants did not attend a simulation course to learn yet another software program, but rather they gained new skills by developing course materials for the upcoming semester in extended "hands-on" sessions that followed short "how to" demonstrations. The seminar environment stimulated the exchanging of ideas between colleagues as they developed exercises, uploaded course materials, created online-assessments, tried out the electronic discussion board, and learned how to use the chat feature of the program. This case study presents examples of the Blackboard courses developed during these intensive seminars.
The Ruslan Russian CDRoms
X will give a presentation of the Ruslan Russian CDRoms and the full range of their interactivity. He will show how he is now able to use Y's original template to continue to assemble Russian language teaching materials at a more advanced level without any further substantial support, and recording his own material with digital camera and minidisk. The template can easily be adapted for work with other languages, and there will be an example of trial work on a program for UK secondary school French: "Au Marché".
The Ruslan CDRoms are
written in MultiMedia Toolbook, with additional specialist scripts. Special
effects and exercises include:
An important factor in the success of the CDRom production was that the content and structure of the course has remained in control of the author. The demands of programming were not allowed to control the outcome.
The Ruslan 2 CDRom has been evaluated by the US CALICO consortium as
LaRocca Steve with Morgan John and Bellinger Sherri
Adaptation for successful recognition of student speech: some first applications for Arabic learners
While it is clear that speech recognition for language learning is a technology with great potential, controversy continues about how best to use it. One point of contention is the need for leniency on the part of the recognizer when analyzing non-native speech. Speech recognizers typically make use of elemental models derived from native speech; they model the speech habits of native speakers, and are often intolerant of non-native speech. It is possible to adapt native speaker model sets using student speech data so that the success rate of student speech increases dramatically. But a question remains as to whether it is proper to judge student speech successful when it is recognized by a system that has been adapted for non-native speech.
Models derived from data collected from native Arabic speakers have been adapted at West Point using a small amount of student speech, resulting in a recognizer that is much more likely to understand Anglophone learners of Arabic. A microworld scenario using speech recognition to navigate in a 3-dimensional environment will be demonstrated by non-native speakers of Arabic to show the benefit of adapted recognition in a certain style of learning activities where precision is less important than abundant production.
Work pioneered at SRI and Cambridge University shows the merit of using
a two-step process for speech recognition for students. The first step
is merely to establish what it is the student is attempting to say. Adapted
recognition models are appropriate to this task in that they anticipate
speech behavior typically of learners, including slower speech and substitution
of L1 sounds for unfamiliar L2 sounds. The results of the first step,
that is, a textual rendition of student utterance, serve as input to the
second step, where the words and component sounds of the student utterance
are compared with native speaker models in a process known as forced alignment.
Scores are generated from this second step and interesting diagnostics
can in turn be made available to learners.
The concept of learning styles has been a mantra for some years in modern
Lee Kooi Cheng
On-line resources and materials: What do they mean to students?
This paper reports the results of a small experimental study examining students' effective use of on-line materials and resources, with and without teacher supervision and intervention. Sixty two students in six classes of a technical communication module were divided into two groups, i.e. comparison group and experimental group. For a period of 10 weeks and with the frequency of once a week, students in the experimental group were prompted to check and access on-line materials and resources related to the module. Students in the comparison group, on the other hand, were not reminded to do so. However, they were informed at the beginning of the semester of the availability of these on-line materials. Using a survey questionnaire, both groups of students indicated 1) how frequently they went on-line, 2) which type of information they found most useful, and 3) factors encouraging them to access these on-line resources. Findings of the survey suggested that left unsupervised and without prompting from the teacher, most students did not seem to make use of the on-line resources provided. In terms of the type of information students preferred, an overwhelming percentage of them stated that they wanted sample assignments, although that was not one of the resources made available to them. Information about the module, announcements, readings, and related links were other resources appreciated by most students. Also, results of the survey seemed to indicate that the key motivator for students to go on-line was to gain access to resources that could directly contribute to their final grade. This paper thus questions students' motivation and effective use of on-line materials. It argues that there should be more focus in the CALL movement on how teachers can expand and develop activities from the materials made available on-line, instead of how teachers can use technology as a teaching tool and what to be placed on the virtual environment. It also suggests that teacher commitment and involvement is one of the most crucial factors in ensuring that students benefit from using on-line language learning resources. The paper concludes with some suggestions on guidelines that may contribute towards effective use of on-line resources and materials. Due to the small number of respondents in the study, the results of the survey may not be conclusive. However, the implications on teacher intervention and involvement in the successful integration and implementation of on-line activities are significant.
Lehtonen Tuija (Indiana
Kuka Tapaa/Tappaa Kenet? Who will meet/kill whom? Second Year Finnish Networking Among Five U.S. Universities
The second-year enrollments in the language courses of The Less Commonly
1. A short self-introduction by each student, posted for all
The project is carried out primarily outside of class time, by students
In the presentation of the paper, the set-up, the process, and the
The integration of digital teaching resources, produced in-house, into the German language curriculum at the University of Canterbury, New ZealandI would like to outline the Canterbury experience of creating CD-ROMs and digital movies for stage 1 & 2 German language classes.
Since beginning the project in 1999, I have produced 12 digital
films. Each is between 5 and 8 minutes long and features two or
three native speakers and one student with a good command of the
The films are produced in QuickTime format using Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro software. The speed and ease with which films may be made means they are easily replaced as student needs change.
Changes to film content are based on the results of student surveys, which are used to assess evolving learning needs.
Each film includes a set of self-checking multiple choice tests,
The films form the basis of the end-of-year oral exams and overall
Producing teaching material in-house has the following advantages:
The learning curve involved in mastering the software is a steep one. Staff vary in their levels of technical competency and interest. The load can be heavy if only a limited number of staff members become involved.
As a contribution to the conference I wish to present the positive
Levi Sarah & Vahab Diane
Going the Distance - Multimedia Internet tools for Enhancing Second Language Acquisition
"Going the Distance" will focus on using multimedia and distance
Bridging the gulf between language teachers and computers - how to
expand understanding and promote competent and successful use of CALL
in your institution
Due to tremendous development in the last few years, CALL has become
a highly interactive and effective tool for the support of listening,
speaking, reading, writing and understanding the culture of a target language.
In spite of this impressive development, Ian Brown from Australian Pacific
College, Sydney, Australia, in a paper presented at the IT-MELT '99 Conference
regretted the fact that: "the full potential that CALL offers to language
teaching is not fulfilled. A gulf often grows between those interested
and involved in the use of technology and those who, sometimes even begrudgingly,
go along with its use."
Towards a Technology-Enhanced Language-Learning Support System Mark III
Theoretical models for (language-) learning, based on postmodern thinking are currently under development. These models argue strongly for the language-teaching profession to abandon prevalent linguistics-based teaching and learning systems in favour of systems which identify the process of (language-) learning as a process of personal/individual meaning-making. While these models are still in the minority, they are gaining standing and are beginning to make an impact.
This presentation will very briefly describe work in progress on one such model (Lian A-P. & Lian A. B. 1997, Lian A-P. 2000, Lian A-P. 2001). This, in turn, will form the intellectual framework for the creation of an experimental technology-based environment designed to enable learners to develop their meaning-making mechanisms in another language by giving them opportunities to confront, contrast and contest their understandings of the foreign language with examples of the foreign language at work. It is intended to achieve this objective, in part, through the provision of support and help systems based on an infrastructure consisting of a (potentially) large remote networked (Web-based) database of authentic and pedagogic multimedia materials showing language at work in real/realistic settings. The database will be complemented by systems designed to defeat the learners' perceptual mechanisms (in this perspective, difficulty in learning is not seen as resulting from a "disability" in the learner but as the result of blockages which need to be by-passed or defeated, such blockages being the product of one's personal history).
A proof-of-concept system consisting of a small multimedia database (cf Lian A. B. 1996), prepared lessons (e.g. listening comprehension), learner-generated lessons (e.g. intonation lesson built on patterns selected by learners), analysis tools (e.g. multimedia browser and electronically-filtered intonation patterns) and self-analysis tools (e.g. pitch displays, timed dialogue-practice systems) will be demonstrated. The particular strength of the system lies not only in each of its parts but also in the high level of connectivity between all of its parts. The design of each part of the system together with the modes of connectivity are designed to enable learners to construct personal meaning structures in their internal logical and representational systems thus better responding to their learning needs while enabling them to complete the learning tasks in which they are involved. In navigating through the system, they will generate internal representations of the phenomena of the language which they are learning, leading to a more effective understanding of the workings of communication in that language.
The presentation reflects a number of iterations of the project over some years, hence its title.
Lian, A. B. 'The management and distribution of language-learning resources in the digital era', in Scarino, A. (ed.): Equity in Languages Other Than English, Perth, 1996, pp. 177-182.
Lian, A-P. ''From First Principles: Constructing Language-Learning and Teaching Environments', keynote speech in Selected Papers from the Ninth International Symposium on English Teaching, Taipei, Crane Publishing Co. Ltd., November 2000, pp. 49-62, available at http://comedu.canberra.edu.au/~andrewl/mlapl/first_principles/index.html
Lian, A-P. 'Imagination in Language Teaching and Learning', keynote address to the English Language Teaching and Knowledge Transformation Conference, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung, Taiwan, 5th December 2001, published in the Proceedings of the Conference, available at: http://comedu.canberra.edu.au/~andrewl/mlapl/imagination/index.html
Lian, A-P, & Lian, A. B. 'The Secret of the Shao-Lin Monk: Contribution to an intellectual framework for language-learning', in On-CALL, vol. 11, no. 2, May 1997 pp. 2-18, available at: http://comedu.canberra.edu.au/~andrewl/mlapl/shaolin/psupres2.htm
Lyman-Hager Mary Ann
Creating a Community of Learners: the California State University Virtual Language Laboratory Initiative
The California State University is the largest 4-year institution in the United States, with 23 campuses and over 370,000 students. It articulates with the California Community College system and, to some extent, with the University of California system. A curricular program proposed by the Chancellor's Office in 1997-98 was entitled the Strategic Language Initiative (SLI). The Initiative focused on offering language courses system-wide that might have low enrollments at any one campus but which, when the campuses collaborated, could have reasonable class sizes. The initiative also promised to enrich the number of languages able to be offered in the system, especially important strategic languages important to national security, such as Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, Hebrew, Urdu, Tagalog, Korean, etc. The initiative also focused on offering special advanced level language courses that could be shared across campuses in more "commonly taught" languages and that could sustain once viable programs that were threatened with elimination. From this latter emphasis was born the Virtual Language Laboratory (VLL).
The VLL is co-sponsored by Teleste/Tandberg, headquartered in Finland. Tandberg Divace lab equipment was a condition for campus participation, and the software has been created to conform to the needs of the faculty and learners located in seven CSU campuses throughout the system. A French civilization (special topics) course, Nation and Identity, was the first to emerge from the VLL project and was taught in asynchronous and synchronous mode in Fall 2001. As the software was not yet installed on all participating campuses, and the class was already scheduled, the three participating instructors needed to collaborate in new, sometimes uncomfortable ways to accommodate the needs of the students. New (to the faculty) technologies were employed (WebCT, videoconferencing via ISDN), and the course preparation was divided into three, with each collaborative faculty member responsible for roughly a third of the course content. Out of this intense collaboration, with deadlines and institutional/technological challenges, however, emerged a new kind of community. The goal of the instructors was to create with the student an online community that is "interactive, fluid" (Warschauer, p. 15, 1999), with emphasis on fostering higher level thinking skills in the target language.
Assessment includes online questionnaires, analysis of the videotapes of videoconference sessions, interview data, and WebCT course statistics. This paper will discuss the student and faculty perceptions and outcomes of the systemwide collaboration.
Warschauer, Mark. (1999). Electronic Literacies: Language, Culture, and Power in Online Education. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
From SLA research to IT learning programs
Second language acquisition (SLA) research has during the past 30 years
attempted to answer the question: How do people learn a language other
than the mother tongue? Information technology experts try to provide
learners with tools for accomplishing this task. Rarely, however, does
one see an IT learning program with reference to SLA research results.
The aim of this paper is to outline the rationale and process of creating
Technology Integration and Pedagogical Change
This paper proposes to consider the pedagogical changes made necessary
when integrating web-based technology into a language degree module as
opposed to adding technological support to a class-based module. It will
consider implementation and impact on the delivery, students' attitudes
and tutor management in relation to a particular module.
Designing Constructivist WebQuests for the Language Classroom
Language learners become good speakers, writers and readers when they believe in their ability to "make meaning" out of new information. Language teachers can encourage students in language learning by bringing students' current understanding to the forefront. Teachers can ensure that learning experiences incorporate problems that are important to students. Teachers can also encourage group interaction, where the interplay among participants helps individual students to compare their own understanding with that of their peers. The focus of constructivist language learning, then, is the learner as a self-governed creator of knowledge.
The Web is a fountain of resources available to language teachers for constructing constructivist learning activities. A WebQuest is an inquiry oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by language learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are appropriate activities for the constructivist learning model because they are designed to focus on using information, rather than looking for it. They support learner's thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
This paper will discuss the taxonomy of the well-formed language learning WebQuest with examples from Russian.
E-Learning for Spoken Japanese Using Java Information Technology
A Computerized English Reading Comprehension Final Test
In the autumn 2000 semester an experimental computerized English Reading Comprehension final test was given to 68 second-year Pharmacy students instead of the traditional test on paper. The Internet authoring program used for this experiment was TopClass version 3.1, a product of WBT Systems, a Dublin based firm. The test written for these students, who had no previous experience of computerized tests, consisted of the following five parts: 1. A multiple choice Cloze test (see Mauranen 1987), max pts 24. 2. A Pharmacy terms section: 20 Pharmacy terms to be translated from English to Finnish and written into the system. 3. An Affix section, multiple choice, 10 pts (see Virkkunen 1992). 4. A grammar section, multiple choice, 10 pts. 5. A verb section, matching 10 English and Finnish verbs from two lists. The maximum points for the test were 70 pts. All the materials were based on the course the students had taken. I shall demonstrate the test and give details of the students' responses. After completing the test the students were asked to freely give their opinions about the computer test in roughly five sentences. The students wrote a total of 220 comments, 70% of them were positive and 30% negative. Conclusions: 1. TopClass is a rather straightforward program for an ordinary language teacher without technical expertise to use to write tests. 2.There were some login and time-out problems, but all of them were solved during the test and all the students were able to complete the test. 3. The students were happy with the practicality and user-friendliness of the test. 4. Because TopClass has a built-in correcting system, a teacher's testing workload can be much reduced.
Mäkitalo Kati with Häkkinen Päivi (University
of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Discussions in Teaching and Learning: Building and Maintaining Common
Ground in Web-Based Interaction
The question arises whether the students who had not previously worked with each other, but were now brought together electronically to work on a common task, could be able to reach such interaction that could lead them to educationally relevant higher-level discussion in virtual environments. This study is part of a Finnish research project called SHAPE (Sharing and Making Perspectives in Virtual Interaction). The study is based on the idea of case-based learning by using the Web as a tool for pre-service teacher education and was carried out in spring term 2000. Subjects were 68 pre-service teachers and 7 mentors from three universities (Universities of Oulu, Jyväskylä, Finland and Indiana, USA) who participated to the web-based conferencing course for eight weeks. The student's learning task was to construct and maintain their personal case discussion and to summarise the discussion in the middle of the computer-supported learning course and also at the end of it. The language that participants used was English. The written discussion data were analysed by means of combination of quantitative and qualitative (e.g. content analysis) methods.
The results suggest that in deeper level discussions it is essential that participants, especially fellow students, not only show evidence of their understandings through written feedback, but also provide support to their peers in their replies. Preliminary results of further study on collaborative knowledge building will be presented in this presentation. The results of this study will help teachers to consider the factors that help them to support and guide the students to higher-level discussions in web-based environments.
Multimedia Annotations for Language Learning
We present a Multimedia Annotator (a computer program that makes it possible
to attach annotations to both text and digital video in the browser window)
and its possible uses in language pedagogy, based on several years of
experience with a similar desktop program (Nakhimovsky 1997). Annotations
are understood broadly: grammatical forms (Genitive Plural) are as much
an annotation as a translation, a filled-in blank, a summary or an interpretive
This technological support (plus online dictionary lookup) makes it possible
for students in their first or second year of language study to watch
and understand unabridged video materials created for entertaining native
speakers, without any pedagogical purpose in mind. This, in turn, makes
it possible to learn correct speaking habits, gestures and facial expressions,
and the entire rich cultural context that does not fit into a printed
Nakhimovsky, Alexander. (1997) "A Multimedia Authoring Tool for Language Instruction: Interactions of Pedagogy and Design." Journal of Educational Computing Research vol. 17(3) 261-274.
Nemeth Tartsay Nora
Developing training materials for distance education teacher training courses
Using computers and the Internet for educational purposes is now becoming
more and more frequent. In Hungary, almost all secondary schools and a
lot of primary schools are equipped with computer labs and have Internet
connections. The main users of the labs, however, are neither the students,
nor the teachers. The main users are the teachers of Computer Science.
The link which is missing from "Networked Langugae Learning", I suppose
is the lack of proper training for language teachers. In this paper I
would like to present one way of helping language teachers use technology
in their classrooms, namely the types of materials that can be used for
distance education in teacher training.
A Multi-Dimensional Approach To CALL: Studierplatz Sprachen
I would like to present results after 1 year of working on an extensive
project that tries to avoid mistakes of the past, i.e. developing some
advanced and specialised software which will be out of use as soon as
the project funding ends.
Nicollerat Martine & Reymond Claudine
What does "flexibility" imply ? Distance continuing education in FFL
This paper reports on the project FORCAD (FORmation Continue À Distance)
launched in 1999 at the University of X. It was developped to provide
written and oral French insights through authentic texts and documents.
At first intended for German and Italian speaking teachers in Switzerland,
it is now offered to anyone wishing to update his knowledge of French.
Nielsen Helle Lykke
Arabic Grammar on the internet
The Visual Interactive Syntax Learning for Arabic (ArabVISL) is an internet based interactive software for self-paced learning of Arabic grammar which is currently being developed at the Universityof ***. It allows students to analyse Arabic sentences by using Arabic script and Arabic grammatical terminology.
The grammatical framework of ArabVISL reflects a number of choices which had to be made in order to ensure a coherent and pedagogically suited product. The presentation will focus on these choices and will include the following points:
1. What is ArabVISL?
2. The pedagogical aims of ArabVISL
3. The grammatical framework of ArabVISL
4. ArabVISL's grammatical terminology
Nilsson Kristina & Borin Lars
Living off the land: The Web as a source of practice texts for learners of less prevalent languages
"Corpus based language technology for computer-assisted learning of Nordic languages" is a feasibility study funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The study focuses on how to locate text sources published on the World Wide Web to produce adequate and up-to-date learning materials for second language learners of Nordic languages.
We are developing a prototype web search service, which collects text material according to language, topic and difficulty level. The study relies on findings from a number of research areas, including Web information retrieval, automatic language identification, and text categorization.
Our primary target group consists of exchange students to Nordic institutions of higher education, and their teachers, and potentially students of Nordic languages at institutions outside of the Nordic region.
The Nordic languages are:
Category (1) languages are represented with millions of documents on the World Wide Web, less so for category (2) and (3). Still, there are good grounds for believing that the Web could serve as a source of learning materials.
In this study, existing Web search services are used in a meta-search approach, where topic query terms are extracted from example documents provided by the user. A language filter based on van Noord's (1997) TextCat implementation of Cavnar and Trenkle's (1994) character N-gram-based Text Categorization method is used to identify texts in the target language.
Readability are often measured by formulas based on surface linguistic
features. Studies by Karlgren (2000) and Platzack (1973) show that such
formulas work well as long as they are used descriptively. We are using
Björnsson's (1968) Lix formula, based on average sentence length and percentage
of long words in the text, for evaluation of the
These three components, query generation, language identification and readability evaluation, together with a user interface, are being combined into a text search application prototype, which will be ready for live testing in 2002.
The work described here could be extended in various ways:
Björnsson, C. H. (1968). Läsbarhet. Stockholm: Liber.
Nele with Desmet Piet, Melis Ludo and Wylin Bert
Half open activities and intelligent feedback within the authoring
IDIOMA-TIC is an authoring tool for developing exercises and tests to
improve the proficiency of people studying foreign languages at all levels.
The core of the software, programmed in Macromedia Director and operated
by Shockwave, is based on two CALL applications developed earlier and
already used for language learning, namely Vous dites?! and ALFAGRAM.
Noijons José (Citogroep,
Digital Language Audits - identifying language needs in business and adult learning environments
The need for a digital language audit
The purpose of the digital language audit
How does the digital language audit work?
The procedure is as follows:
The European dimension of the digital language audit
How to teach Worldviews and IT skills together
A new way to teach an old concept: Enhancing grammar/verb form presentations using teacher-produced WWW materials
For many years, English has been taught using traditional classroom tools:
a textbook, a chalkboard, some transparencies, and a pen and paper. However,
grammar issues can also be introduced and dealt with using the WWW, and
new versions of web authoring software now make it easier than ever for
a teacher to produce interactive and engaging activities. These activities
use multiple modes of input to make traditional grammar learning more
palatable. Teachers can make use of current technology to focus on the
Experiments on a Web dynamic grammar
I have therefore been developing a Dynamic Spanish Grammar using Flash, an authoring software for creating interactive animations for the web. The modules in this grammar consist of different explanatory modalities. In all of them, sound and visual elements act as descriptive agents. Written and oral text are combined in a graphic design that makes use of music and the learner's target and native languages to provide examples and explanations.
Each of these explanation modules consists of the following: one version with music alone in which music acts as a descriptive element since the same type of music is used in all explanations for the same "status," "description," or "action.rized Another version with the explanation in Spanish and the examples recorded in a different voice. The last version is with explanations in English and the examples in Spanish.
I will be discussing results from recent experiments carried out with students of Spanish in several campuses in the UC system. Several groups of first year students were exposed to the three descriptive modalities mentioned (music alone, music and target language explanations, and music combined with native language explanations) introduced in sequence in a control environment and were asked to perform linguistic operations on sample sentences after viewing the modules. Expectations of students' gradual understanding of linguistic operations of the grammar topics tested will be discussed vis à vis results from previous experiments with these grammar modules.
Virtual Reality in Babylon: CALL as Ariadne's Thread Leading out of the Labyrinth of the International Language Class
Learning a second/foreign language in its native environment is one thing and learning a foreign language in an environment foreign to the language is definitely another. This distinction cannot be disputed and language teaching methodology attempts more or less to cope with its implications. However, there is another distinction, the difference between learning a foreign language in an environment that is foreign to the language but native to the learner, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, learning a language in an environment that is foreign both to the language and to the learners. This situation becomes even more complex when learners from different language backgrounds strive together (with their electronic translators in their hands) in a class in a community or country that is foreign to them and to the language.
The hypothesis of this paper is that CALL can address this issue, and the objective of the research project is to verify this hypothesis and assess the extent of the amelioration facilitated in the CALL class. The project does not claim to encompass a comprehensive investigation of all aspects of language learning or all types of learners in such environments. The experiment is conducted in the classrooms of a small college in a Greek-speaking island community with students from countries such as China, India, Iran, Russia, Serbia, and Ghana. What these students have in common is their desire to study in an institution where the vehicle of instruction is English. The minimum to be expected from this project is the collection of data to be studied along with the results from other similar environments with a view to development through cross-fertilization.
Peters Klaus & Holzmann Christian
Didactisizing Visual Dimensions - The Use of DVDs in Language Teaching
The year 2001 has brought the final breakthrough of the new storage medium
DVD, a medium that by many is seen as just the better CD-ROM or the better
video, but that through its potential and versatility offers a whole new
dimension to language learning. The aim of the presentation is to demonstrate
that the use of DVDs (Digital Versatile Disks) can substantially and positively
change our concepts of both language teaching and media education, and
that the integration of this new medium into language teaching and teacher
training is part of an ongoing process to create a versatile network of
ICT and 'traditional' language teaching and learning, blending offline
and online media in an innovative way.
Pihlaja Lenita & Aalto Eija
The NETTILEHTORI project: How to accommodate language learners throughout the proficiency levels?
A web-based learning environment is, on one hand, limited if compared to a face-to-face learning situation but on the other hand it widens the classroom situation. In any case, it challenges us to rethink the whole context of language learning: what is it to be learned? in which order? how do we learn? what are the roles of the learner and the teacher? how to make learning interactional? how to support an autonomous learner on the net and promote his/her skills development? how does the pedagogy differ from the classroom setting?
In this paper we will describe the development of a web-based sequence of Finnish language courses covering the European Council levels 1 - 5 (or A1, A2, B1, B2, C1) in all skill areas. The set of courses is intended for distance learners and university students all over the world and also immigrants interested in self-study in Finland. The idea is that the student works his/her way through the modular material.
The development of the program has now continued over a year and, when completed, it will include learning and assessment materials set in a unified, continuous and interactive frame story on the Internet and a live teacher who registers, supervises and tutors students via e-mail, telephone or video-conferencing systems and also helps students to work together and learn collaboratively.
This project has led us to rethink the whole tradition of (Finnish) language learning and teaching: we have questioned the meaningful progress of teaching grammatical issues and discussed the role of productive and receptive knowledge of language on different levels of proficiency. We have tried to find ways of supporting and developing learners' metalinguistic awareness and strategic skills and thought over how to make learning and all the activities meaningful to the learner him/herself in an electronic environment.
In our presentation we will discuss the solutions we have so far discovered in our search of new ways presenting and learning a language on the web.
Primov Rachida Salama
Implementing remote access of audio and video language materials
The Eleonore Graves Tripp Foreign Languages Laboratory of the University of Miami is now in the last stages of de-centralizing its services, so that students can access audio and video materials from their dorms, homes or any other computer-equipped site that is connected to the University LAN or to the Internet.
While the technical challenges posed by the implementation of remote access seem daunting, they can be easily resolved, even without highly trained personnel, if they are broken down in a series of manageable steps. In this paper, we describe the strategy used at the University of Miami for achieving an extensive degree of remote accessibility of both audio and video materials without specialized help and on a very limited budget.
Reinders Hayo (University
of Auckland, New Zealand)
Supporting Self-Directed Language Learning through an Electronic Learning Environment
Many universities nowadays have to cope with large numbers of second
language learners in mainstream courses. Support is generally made available
to them in the form of language courses, remedial programmes and Self-Access
Centres. The majority of students have little time to spend on developing
their language skills. Many students therefore have to resort to forms
of self-directed learning. Self-access centres offer students the flexibility
they need. In addition, students can work on topics and skills that are
relevant to them.
Very little, if any, research has been done on language learning environments developed to enhance learners' awareness to date. This presentation introduces the features of the ELE and summarises findings from a 12 month study that investigated the use students make of the ELE and the effect on students' awareness and their learning behaviour. Quantitative user and usage data was obtained by querying the database on which the ELE was built, by using Transact SQL querying language and by administering questionnaires. This was coupled with more qualitative data obtained through a number of interviews with users of the centre and through case studies of 5 students' self-directed learning. In addition, features of the ELE designed to assist students on a meta level in their learning, such as the needs analysis and the record of learning, have been investigated for evidence of heightened awareness in the course of students' study in the centre. By using these various methods, interesting results were obtained that revealed students' approaches to self-directed learning and the influence of the ELE on their learning behaviour.
Organising In-service Training for Language and Technology in Education
The presentation will describe the teacher training project entitled:
Oilte (Organising In-service Training for Languages and Technology in
Education). Oilte is a two-phase pilot-project whose purpose is to train
teachers in the use of ICT in the language classroom and to disseminate
good practice in language education in Ireland. It is being coordinated
by Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann (ITÉ) with funding from the National
Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).
Oilte focuses on the pedagogical aspects of using CALL technology, it aims to provide teachers with an opportunity to upgrade their existing skills in the range of different ICT tools and resources. It focuses on encouraging participants to assess appropriate uses of CALL resources, to gain confidence both in using their schools' existing resources and in selecting and evaluating new resources for the languages department.
In Phase II those involved as participants of the first phase of training will act as tutors to language teaching colleagues in their own school or local area. They will deliver a 10-hour module that is adapted to the level and learning context in each case.
The presentation will give details of the profile of the teachers in both phases of the project as well as their evaluation of the project. Finally, plans for the future development of the project as a National Initiative will be outlined.
Bridging the ICT-Gulf: A leap of faith or a common sense step
In this presentation it will be shown that there is a gap that divides CALL practitioners and non-practitioners. Based on his experience of creating online language material for his students, the presenter will demonstrate that it is possible for teachers with no formal computer training to step across this gap.
The classic model for the adoption of technology holds that the small numbers of people initially embracing a technology are seamlessly followed by a larger group who have seen their peers in the first wave benefit from the technology. However, this pattern of adoption does not seem to have occurred with the use of computers in language teaching. Thus the presenter hypothesises the existence of an 'ICT-Gulf' which is preventing the integration of ICT into current teaching practices.
In the past, the slow pace of adoption was attributed to a lack of resources, an argument akin to that used to explain the 'digital divide'. Yet it is now the case that even in technology rich environments, such as Japan, CALL has yet to become a mainstream practice. This indicates that the presence of technology in the shape of computers and infrastructure is just a part of the overall equation. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated that this inertia is not due to luddism on the part of language teachers. Indeed, this potential second wave of CALL practitioners are characterised by their overall positive attitudes towards technology.
The lack of movement over the gulf is ascribed to various contexts that constrain teachers' actions. These contexts, which include pedagogical and organizational constraints, are not conducive to the successful practice of CALL. Yet, it will be suggested that these constraints need not be insurmountable obstacles. The audience will be shown examples of online interactive material that the presenter has created, and will be told how they are incorporated into his language teaching.
It is intended that the assertions made with regards to the existence and nature of the ICT-Gulf, and the suggestions made as to how this gulf can be bridged will provoke a discussion amongst the audience. It is hoped that this discussion and presentation content will contribute to the wider debate revolving around the question posed in the conference theme; "Is there a link missing?"
Rybner Lene (University
of Hull, UK)
Virtual Departments for Minority Languages - developing pedagogically-driven CALL materials
In UK higher education the situation for less commonly taught languages
such as Danish is often characterised by stagnating enrolment, financial
cutbacks, professional isolation and a lack of relevant materials for
the teaching of the languages. In an attempt to counter this development
the Virtual Departments for Minority Languages (VDML) project has worked
towards creating a prototype virtual learning environment (VLE) that integrates
foreign language pedagogy and information technologies. However, as IT-tools
are not inherently pedagogical and users (students and teachers) sometimes
lack in IT experience and confidence, a main aim of VDML has been to develop
a frame and language learning tasks that
To reflect critically on this development process, we will start by demonstrating a concrete example of a VDML task that is based on cognitive and constructivist theories of language learning. This is followed by a presentation of the main findings of VDML's user evaluation process (user surveys, focus group interviews, on-line evaluations, VLE student tracking, class room observation) and the impact they have had on the development of the exercises and the prototype VDML environment. By presenting the users' evaluations, we wish to draw attention to and discuss the somewhat conflicting relationship between the users' evaluations of and attitudes towards the VDML prototype on the one hand, and the methodological basis of the materials and the project's aims and objectives on the other. Finally, we will discuss how this relationship paired with the congeniality of the concepts of hypertext and constructivism, have led us to question and reassess our approach to computer-assisted teaching and learning in relation not only to the traditional language skills areas, but to culture in particular.
Räsänen Anne (University
of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Use of new language learning environments in European higher education - a project report
The paper introduces a subproject of the Sokrates Thematic Network Project in the area of languages, which deals with the integration of new learning environments (NLEs) into European higher education language instruction. The project was started in 2000 and will continue until 2003. The focus of the first two years has been to explore how NLEs and independent learning approaches are, and could be, used to their fullest potential in higher education language learning and teaching, thus preparing both future language professionals and non-language specialists for the internationalised labour market. Pertaining to these issues, recommendations are being drawn, to be discussed in a workshop in May 2002, the results of which are also reported in the paper.
The initial project data have been collected through national surveys in 20 some European countries, aiming to describe both the present situation and the needs involved in enhanced integration. The third project year will concentrate on establishing common criteria and networks for designing models of implementation and experimentation at various levels of technological development and along a continuum from contact learning/teaching to autonomous e-learning, as well as on identifying the necessary input for intitiating co-operative projects, programmes and action research in the areas of learner and staff development, materials and learning tasks, and curriculum development for NLE integration. Attention is on both the technological and the human issues involved.
The term New Learning Environment has been defined in the project to encompass both the environment created by new technologies, enabling e-learning and m-learning (i.e. ICT-enhanced language learning and teaching) and the environment created by new human resources available through mobility (also referred to as "internationalisation at home", i.e. use of the presence and experience of mobile multilingual and multicultural staff and students for language and culture learning and teaching purposes). Special attention is given in the project to less widely learnt and taught languages and to the development of independent language learning skills (or life-long language learning skills) and their prerequisite pedagogical approaches.
Sartoneva Pirkko (The
Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres, Finland) & Pasanen Juha (Joensuu
Adult Education Centre, Finland)
Developing Networked Language Teaching for Adults
In Finnish voluntary adult education, local and regional educational needs are catered for by the network of adult education institutes. Every municipality in Finland has an adult education centre, which is either called a citizens' institute (kansalaisopisto) or a workers' institute (työväenopisto). The Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres, KTOL, acts as the umbrella organisation for these institutes.
By providing the right to lifelong learning and equal learning opportunities, the adult education centres aim to offer opportunities for self-initiated personal development and the promotion of citizenship skills. Approximately 660 000 Finns study annually in the adult education centres in the evenings and during the weekends. The students consider the quality of teaching to be high and the fees very reasonable.
Studying languages is very popular in the Finnish adult education centres. Language courses are annually attended by some 160 000 Finns all over the country. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in starting to integrate ICTs (information and communication technologies) into the language programs. To support this interest, the Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres has arranged and co-ordinated three extensive "Alternative" teacher-training projects for teachers interested in developing ICT-enhanced language courses.
During the Alternative 1 Project ten various types of networked language courses were created in teams of 2-3 language teachers for English, Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Russian and Finnish (as a foreign language). During Alternative 2 and 3 Projects: the participating teachers learnt the basic skills needed for designing, devising and implementing networked language teaching at their specific centres. All three projects also aimed to promote co-operation between individual teachers and institutes.
In our poster we will present
KIVA- a national CALL-project in Finland
The present poster describes a national CALL-project in Finland. KIVA (acronym for Kielten verkkomteriaalia ammattikorkeakouluille = CALL-material for Polytechnics) is one production team in a large national Virtual Polytechnic consortium, in which almost all Finnish Polytechnics participate. The Virtual Polytechnic in Finland will offer a large variety of computer-assisted and online study material on several fields for students in the Finnish Polytechnics.
Fifteen language teachers from eight Finnish Polytechnics participate in the production team. The aims: To develop a model for a new structure of material from the course-based approach towards a modular structure of learning objects. The poster presentation will describe the idea of structural modularity in more detail.
The project develops material for Swedish, English and French studies in language and field specific sub-teams. All material packages will be delivered to the Virtual Polytechnic by the end of October 2003.
Scinicariello Sharon & Bendis Jared
Mobile language learning, small-format language learning: reality
Cellular phones, handheld computers, and wireless networking are building
a world of pervasive, ubiquitous computing. It is a world that challenges
the current model of CALL and WELL, which typically depends upon powerful
computers delivering interactive multimedia content. But this new world
also creates opportunities to immerse language learners in culturally
authentic materials and activities outside the classroom.
Shield Lesley & Hassan Xavière
Simulation globale in MOO: designing a framework to define the architecture
of an architecture
In this paper, we consider the effect of a MOO-based learning environment on the development of a specific language-learning community. Although the types of communication within this community appear to be anarchic - as in a house of many rooms, with each participant acting as an unconnected architect - we propose that, if framed by the simulation scenario, such communication may yet be successfully and creatively mapped.
While we build upon the experience of Hassan et al, we explore in depth
the creation of the e-world and e-personalities of intermediate level
learners of French and their tutors, in a MOO-based simulation globale.
We argue that MOO-space offers participants autonomy over the learning
environment defined by the simulation globale scenario, enabling them
to design, control and even manipulate that space in a way that is not
possible in other virtual learning environments. They can thus not only
engage with but also, more critically, shape the learning community that
Finally, we offer some suggestions as to how teaching strategies may need to be adjusted in order to define a framework to support the architecture of language learning activities within the anarchitexture inherent in MOO.
Shield Lesley (The
Open University, UK)
Directly speaking: the nature of real-time MOO discourse in the light
of its role in language learning
Referring to the language of the Internet, which he calls 'Netspeak',
Crystal (2001:24) points out: "The heart of the matter seems to be its
relationship to spoken and written language." He suggests that although
this language variety has often been referred to as 'written speech',
it has, in fact, more features in common with written than with spoken
Problem-based Learning in WELL
In this study, the author examines and analyzes the effectiveness of a combination of problem-based learning and the use of the Internet in her freshman English conversation, scientific writing, and listening and speaking classes in a medical university setting. To apply the widely used pedagogy of problem-based learning in medical education, the author has designed various Internet-based activities related to students' fields of study to motivate her students intrinsically and finally empowered them to become active and happy learners of English through these learning activities. Astonishingly, these time-consuming activities have greatly motivated the students. They felt all the hard work has paid off when they successfully opened various windows of knowledge for themselves. As a facilitator, the author was thrilled that after students' intrinsic motivation was facilitated, autonomous learning follows immediately. Large amount of authentic materials is overwhelming, but the excellent quality of reports, oral and written, has exhibited the students' critical thinking abilities as they learned to evaluate the websites critically before they began to read in-depth whatever content area knowledge they are interested in. Besides, evidence of greatly enhanced English proficiency can be found from the students' acquisition of terminologies, vocabulary, collocations, choice of words, and knowledge-structuring, as well as fluency in all four language skills. This proficiency has further motivated them to learn autonomously. Now surfing the Web to learn some authentic English has become part of their daily lives. In a nutshell, problem-based learning of English in various areas has turned these students into life-long learners, which is the greatest joy for the teacher.
Teaching English Oral Skills with DVD Technology
Creating a "Home-Made" e-Pack for WebCT
Our institution (WSL - College of Foreign Languages in Czestochowa, Poland) specialises in language teaching - we offer BA courses in teaching English / German as a Foreign Language, Business Language and Linguistics. For the past two years we have been teaching two courses in the online mode (using the WebCT platform). From the academic year 2002/2003 we have decided to extend our range of online courses to allow the part-time students to manage their time more efficiently.
The greatest problem we have encountered is that of producing extensive and at the same time pedagogically-sound material for inclusion in our courses. This is why we have decided not to re-invent the wheel and to turn to several EFL publishers and ask them for permission to use the material from their textbooks in our programme.
Such projects are quite common in the United States and Canada, where Course Management System providers like WebCT and Blackboard have partnered with a number of publishers to create "e-packs" and "course cartridges" respectively. However, we have not heard of any such initiative in Poland and this is why we have decided to contact the publishers ourselves. At the time of writing we are at the stage of preliminary negotiations and hope to have come to some agreements by the end of April.
In the meantime we are transferring sample units from textbooks published by the companies we are negotiating with to the online mode. The reasoning behind this is that since nothing like e-packs or course cartridges exists in Poland, we will have to demonstrate what we are planning to achieve to the publishers.
Another major difficulty we have encountered is transferring the material from classroom-targeted textbooks to the distributed and collaborative online environment. Since WebCT has not been designed specifically for online language teaching and since the teaching methods and techniques specific for classroom teaching and online teaching are different, the process of producing our "home-made e-packs" has involved numerous compromises and trade-offs.
In the session I will briefly present the process and the outcome of our negotiations with the publishers and then focus on the pedagogical and technical issues involved in transferring classroom textbooks into the online mode.
Steuer Outi & Müntzel Uta
Geschäftskommunikation per Brief, Fax und E-Mail"
Im fachbezogenen Deutschunterricht an finnischen Fachhochschulen und Wirtschaftsuniversitäten hat in den letzten Jahrzehnten das Schreiben im Spracherwerbsprozess zu wenig Beachtung gefunden. Dabei erfolgt der größte Teil der geschäftlichen Kommunikation im Berufsalltag schriftlich, in Form von E-Mail, Fax und nicht zuletzt im deutschsprachigen Raum auch in Form von Briefen.
Bei der Förderung der Schreibfähigkeit im fachbezogenen Sprachunterricht geht es u.a. darum, eine sinnvolle und möglichst authentische Lernumgebung zu schaffen. Hierzu eignet sich hervorragend das E-Learning, also Lernen in einer netzbasierten Lernumgebung.
Diese Überlegungen waren unser Ausgangspunkt bei der Entwicklung des netzgestützten Lern- und Trainingsprogramms "Perfekte Geschäftskommunikation per Brief, E-Mail und Fax". In unserer Präsentation werden wir die Konzeption und den Aufbau des Programms vorstellen und zeigen, wie ein Online-Material
sinnvoll zum Aufbau von geschäftlichen Mitteilungen eingesetzt werden
wir über Erfahrungen anhand von einigen Beispielen und studentischem
Feedback in einem Pilotkurs berichten.
The importance of writing in the language learning process has received too little attention in the teaching of German for professional purposes in Finnish polytechnics and universities. On the other hand, most daily business communication takes place in writing either in the form of e-mail, fax or - especially in the German-speaking world even today - in the form of letters.
In order to enhance the learners' competence in business writing it is important that the learners are provided with a learning environment which is meaningful and as authentic as possible. A network-based learning and training environment offers an excellent solution for this.
the starting points above, we developed our program "Perfekte Geschäftkommunikation
per Brief, Fax und E-Mail". In our presentation, we will introduce
the concept and the structure of the program and demonstrate how an on-line
environment like this
We will also
discuss our experiences gained from pilot courses and demonstrate students'
work and the feedback received from the students.
Stockwell Glenn Effects of Conversation
Threads on Sustainability of Email Interactions between Native Speakers
and Nonnative Speakers
Effects of Conversation
Threads on Sustainability of Email Interactions between Native Speakers
and Nonnative Speakers
Language Learning takes off in California
In 2000 the California State University and Teleste Educational, now known as Divace Learning Solutions, engaged in a project to explore and develop a Virtual Language Laboratory which would allow language instruction and resource sharing for the CSU students via LAN and internet connections from any location on the 23 campuses on a 24 hour access basis.
Traditionally, foreign language learning resources have been available only in individual learning centres of CSU campuses through network technologies. The Virtual Language Laboratory project allows students to log into the learning resource databases at their campuses, and access and download a wide range of interactive learning materials. In addition, the system enables students to communicate using Internet voice technologies both online and off-line with the instructors leading their classes at the language laboratories at the different campuses.
CSU has named the first seven campuses to begin providing a virtual interactive language laboratory courses for students to access on campus, at home, or at any location. The first language curricula to be implemented will be Japanese and French. Four of the CSU campuses -- Chico, Monterey Bay, Long Beach, and San Diego -- will offer Japanese, while the Sacramento, Dominguez Hills, and Los Angeles campuses will offer French.
This "Show and Tell" session describes the Virtual Language Laboratory in detail and makes a "live" connection to server resources to simulate the students' virtual presence and tutor's role in synchronous teaching.
Swennen Martine (Breda
University of Professional Education, The Netherlands) & Hartelius Marianne
Business College, Denmark)
hear from you soon: a pilot E-mail project in vocational education
WebBoarding - across five different kinds of wavesThis paper will investigate the nature of student and tutor interaction in an asynchronous discussion forum and its related classroom activities. It will aim to shed light on the relationship between on and off line behaviour. It will closely look at how Gilly Salmon's model for teaching and learning online through CMC (computer-mediated communication) has been implemented in this pilot study (Salmon 2000) which seeks to facilitate the acquisition of academic writing skills in international students. Four hours of contact time are supported by a purpose-built website, that gives access to WebBoard, which can be described as an on-line asynchronous discussion forum.
Class contact time is dominated by a social constructivist approach to learning (Salomon 1993). Students are required to read texts before coming to class, so that class time can then be dedicated to discuss unresolved questions and to clarify matters from the readings. Thus, students are provided with opportunities to 'jointly build knowledge' through interaction with tutor and peers.
The WebBoard follows the same approach and is used to further discuss concepts and ideas introduced in class. Additional stimuli are provided in the form of audio and video sources, CD-ROMs, links to websites and newspaper articles. In the process of on-line discussions students are 'WebBoarding across five different waves', indicating the five different stages they will go through, as described in Gilly Salmon's model of teaching and learning online through CMC (Gilly Salmon 2000).
I will show with examples from the WebBoard in how far students have been successful in going through these stages. I am hoping to demonstrate that by going through carefully designed CMC activities, participants are likely to show higher participation rates and increased satisfaction. I will investigate the role of the tutor to show in how far his/her 'on and off line activities' will influence the interaction, i.e. the 'meaning making process', as we need to consider the wider implications of the tutor's presence (Kuure, Saarenkunnas, Taalas, 2000). Some comparisons will also be drawn with previous work done with students studying German. It is ultimately hoped that results from this pilot study will lead to a better understanding of learner and tutor interactions of online and related classroom activities.
The Many Faces of Networked Language Learning
The concept of networked language learning can be interpreted in many ways, and thus it seems to have "many faces". In the Helsinki School of Economics (HSE), networked language learning is seen as the purposeful and pedagogically relevant use of ICTs (=information and communication technologies) in teaching and learning languages and business communication. In our joint poster presented by a group of teachers from the HSE's Department of Languages and Communication, we will demonstrate how networked teaching and learning applications have been integrated into the department's language and business communication courses.
During the years 1998-2001, sixty percent of the department's teachers participated in extensive faculty training programs in media education. The training programs focused on increasing the participants' pedagogical understanding of the use of ICTs in language education. Over the recent years, most faculty members in the department have also been actively attending hands-on workshops in order to enhance their technical skills. As a result of both pedagogical and technical training, several teachers have integrated many different types of e-learning solutions into their courses, and new applications are constantly being developed.
In our poster
we as teachers representing Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French,
Russian and Japanese will introduce examples of the following applications:
In addition to describing the applications, we will also indicate the added value that the applications seem to have given to their respective educational contexts.
Taylor Richard &
WELL and loving IT
Finnish is not difficult - it is different
The aim of
this session is to demonstrate a network Finnish course for adult learners,
a course using constructive and communicative learning methods. Working
in the network, adult learners can decide when to study and what is important
for them at the moment.
'Tervetuloa Järvelään!' (Welcome to Järvelä!) is the name of the course of Finnish language for beginners. The virtual town Järvelä is located somewhere in Southern Finland, and there is a street called Järvikatu. On Järvikatu there is a block of flats, Järvikatu 10, which is occupied by virtual inhabitants (such as the intendent of the block, some other Finnish people, and some foreigners). The course is a metaphor of the Finnish environment. It simulates a normal small Finnish town with the normal Finnish life style.
The course consists of modules such as dialogues, exercises, grammar, a dictionary, and communication (sending and receiving messages or chatting). The course can be conducted as a network course via the Internet or as part of normal contact teaching environment, where the teacher plays the role of one of the virtual inhabitants (the intendent or others).
When the learner first enters Järvikatu 10 she/he sees the 1st floor entrance hall with doors to flats, stairs up to other floors, and an information board. On the information board there is a message about vacant flats. The learner fills in the register for occupants and sends it to the intendent, who takes care of the register. The learner will then become an inhabitant of the block. Later, the learner meets other people on stairs, in the elevator, at parties, etc. She/he creates her/his own environment by constructing and communicating - sending and receiving messages, describing her/his environment (post office, police station, hospital, river, park, people), working on exercises, etc. There are also ready-made texts: dialogues, descriptions and other materials (photos, pictures, recordings) which serve as models and help learners to construct new texts.
The course is intended to serve learners' individual needs. Hypertext and links make the course flexible and provide learners with opportunities to learn more and more.
a Community Out-reach Project into a Language Program
Trinder Ruth & Ladurner
The Online English Mentor - Another Step Towards Truly Individualised E-Learning
This talk will describe an e-learning project currently under development at the English Department of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. In the context of a completely redesigned curriculum (starting winter term 2002), approximately 2000 first-year students now have to pass through a rigidly structured phase comprising only mass lectures (even for foreign language classes). In order to make up for the drawbacks of such a learning environment, the Ministry of Education agreed to fund the development of e-learning materials for 14 subjects, which will be used in conjunction with face-to-face classes.
The presenters are part of a team of six responsible for the sub-project 'Business English', i.e., for the conceptualisation, design and implementation of web-based learning materials. Designed to complement the class materials focusing on business-related topics, the 'Online English Mentor' has the aim of individualising the learning process and helping students to address individual weaknesses, particularly in the fields of grammar and vocabulary. Our research so far has shown that e-learning materials tend to have deficiencies in the areas of feedback, learner control, user navigation and adaptability to different learning styles. We consider these areas to be of prime importance and have developed our materials in such a way as to try and resolve such shortcomings.
The 'Online English Mentor' consists of 10 units whose subject matter corresponds to the materials used in class. We follow an integrated syllabus, combining authentic business-related reading texts with an extensive grammar reference section in hypertext format and a multitude of interactive vocabulary and grammar exercises aimed at raising language awareness. In order to cater for different (e.g. analytical/global) learning styles, we offer deductive grammar exercises as well as inductive guided discovery activities. Our aim is to facilitate independent learning by providing easy navigation, a transparent and clear structure, various types of hints for completing the exercises, pop-up glossary definitions, explanatory feedback, and hyperlinks to relevant grammar explanations.
The programme will be tested in late spring and we hope to be able to present not only the Mentor itself, but also a first evaluation by the target group.
Van Ishoven Linde
with Ilse Bockstael, Wilfried Decoo and Jozef Colpaert
of systematic and constructivist approaches in courseware for adult language
In this presentation we will explain what we understand by 'a more systematic' and 'a more constructivist' approach. We will show how we have tried to implement both approaches in two different applications. We will discuss design considerations, authoring issues and pedagogical findings.
The first application, the 'ATLAS Preparation Package', allows civil servants to practice language in order to prepare themselves for the Belgian official language exam. It is a cd-rom application with many functionalities and strategies based on interactive textbooks that have earlier been developed by DIDASCALIA. It reflects a more systematic approach, and its content covers the entire language field. More than 40,000 items with different tasks deal with vocabulary, pronouns, grammar, writing and listening skills, communicative situations etc. The first - rather analytical - modules prepare the learner for the more global exercises of the last modules. A dictionary (8000 words) and a grammar can be consulted any time to support the learner. Detailed feedback is provided for every item. Finally, a detailed and extensive menu allows the user to focus on particular levels and topics.
The second application, the 'BIS-French online' package is an online application developed on behalf of the Flemish Ministry of Education. In line with the governmental policy of encouraging lifelong learning, the government offers distance education for adults via the web in a constructivist approach. Adults enroll and study at their own pace and according to their personal interests. Three access paths ensure the possibility to select content and appropriate learning strategy. 240 units and 96 post assessments offer authentic activities and stimulate active language learning. Feedback is provided for every item, either by the program or by an online mentor. Links lead to the necessary background information and web dictionaries. Learners meet for cooperative learning during chat sessions. It is one of the first web based language courses offered by the government and in its approach quite innovative.
As shown in the ATLAS Preparation Package and in BIS-French Online different learning contexts and goals lead to specific methodologies. These approaches are translated into a particular design supported by appropriate technological solutions. Both applications will be implemented by the fall of 2002.
Vandeventer Faltin Anne
& L'Haire Sébastien
NLP tools within the FreeText project
Within the FreeText project, we have been creating and/or adapting a number of natural language processing (NLP) tools to help learners and to provide intelligent error diagnosis.
We will start our presentation by recalling the main features of the FreeText project (http://www.latl.unige.ch/freetext/). FreeText is a EU funded project aiming at developing a hypermedia language learning software for intermediate to advanced learners of French. It incorporates authentic documents and is based on communicative approaches to second language acquisition. It is enhanced with several NLP tools, including a speech synthesiser, a parser with graphical output, and an error diagnosis system. These tools are available at any time to the learners and are used for the correction of exercises.
We will describe in detail the two components of the error diagnosis system treating syntactic and "semantic" errors. The syntactic component itself integrates three different diagnosis techniques: the well known constraint relaxation technique (see, among others, Kwasny & Sondheimer 1981, and Heinecke et al. 1998 for a variant), as well as two more innovative techniques which we named phonological reinterpretation and chunk reinterpretation. "Semantic" checking is used to verify the adequacy of an answer to an exercise by comparison of two "semantic" structures (Etchegoyhen & Wehrle 1998) extracted from the learner's answer and from a correction model. We will discuss the different techniques which are used, the types of errors that the system is able to diagnose, and the type of information that the systems provides as feedback.
We will then
present some of the tests which have been run with our prototype, either
on a learner corpus (Granger 2001), or during a validation phase with
actual learners if results are available on time. We will explain what
learners can gain from using the different NLP tools offered within FreeText.
CALT or "Computer Assisted Language Teacher"
Many language educators today need to support their classroom-based teaching by providing their students with additional exercises for improving their knowledge of grammar, structures and terminology. Although such material may be available via the Internet or commercial software packages, in many cases, however, the teacher would like to use tailor-made CALL materials for the specific purposes of his/her course. This is for instance the case at the Helsinki School of Economics in teaching French for such Finnish business students who start French as a new language and need to be brought to an intermediate level over the period one academic year - a daunting challenge indeed!
The teacher who would like to produce tailor-made CALL materials for his/her course is typically faced with two types of problems. First, there is the problem of the teacher not being a computer expert, and consequently, not possessing the technical skills for working with often complicated authoring programs. The second problem may be created by not having the necessary institutional approval for acquiring authoring tools that can be very costly.
In my Show and Tell presentation I will describe how I have avoided these two problems and turned into a "CALT" -computer-assisted language teacher- with the help of an easy-to-use multimedia lesson creation system. I will demonstrate how to work with an authoring system called Speaker Author (Speaker Auteur) (http://www.fitec.fr) in order to produce multimedia exercises to support the text-book materials and classroom teaching of a year-long business-oriented French beginners' course. Samples of the range of some ten different types of language exercises including sound, pictures or videos will be demonstrated. Although Speaker Author works independently, it can be combined with the LEM software package to expand its capabilities to include e.g. the possibility of monitoring students' progression and completion of assignments. This capability will also be demonstrated during my presentation.
Walker Ros & Burden
Effective use of Interactive Whiteboards in the classroom
Whiteboards are now being installed in many classrooms in the UK. The
majority of teachers, on seeing them demonstrated, know that they would
like one. However, having obtained one, many are left using only a fraction
of the board's potential.
As part of this demonstration, X University will bring a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard to the session, together with a laptop running ActivStudio. This is software that has been specifically designed for use in the education market. These items will also be available throughout the conference for use by individual delegates on X University's stand at the exhibition.
It is a commonly
expressed view in the field of language instruction that the new digital
technologies are mainly being used within a curricular model that differs
little from when we relied on analog technologies. In other words, students
primarily listen to digitized audio and video and record their responses:
the "classic" lab situation. When digital technologies are being
used in innovative ways, it is still within the traditional classroom
structure: students meeting in class 3-5 hours per week with a single
instructor and assignments, both written and oral, to be done at home
and in the lab.
Catering for Less Widely Used, Taught and Endangered Languages in CALL - a working example
The development of CALL materials is non-trivial given its inherent multidisciplinary nature. If CALL development is challenging for the world's Most Commonly Taught Languages (MCLTs), it is even more so for its Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) and Endangered Languages (ELs).
This paper outlines the extra challenges, constraints and rewards when working outside mainstream CALL. It presents a software template and syllabus developed by the author for the production of CALL courseware for ELs. The template was used to develop CALL materials for Nawat, an Endangered Language of El Salvador. In keeping with the theme of this year's conference, this paper explains how CALL for LCTLs and ELs involves more than just technology.
The challenges of CALL for LCTLs include lack of online languages resources and lack of pedagogical expertise on teaching the language. The challenges for ELs are more acute. There may be a very limited number of remaining speakers, no agreed alphabet or writing system, no "standard" dialect, no literate speakers, no one with linguistic knowledge of the language and lack of financial resources. There may also be cultural obstacles to be overcome.
The constraints for LCTLs include financial limitations and sometimes lack of technical expertise. For ELs, the financial constraints certainly prevail but perhaps even more limiting are the time constraints. Most speakers of ELs are elderly and the language may disappear with the deaths of its last few remaining speakers.
The rewards of CALL for LCTLs and ELs include raising the social perception of the language and the provision of linguistics resources for the research community.
With MCLTs, there is a plethora of information and resources available to CALL researchers and practitioners. However, in the case of LCTLs and ELs, many different and important issues need to be addressed. Non-mainstream CALL practitioners may not have access to a multidisciplinary team and yet must also draw on the fields of anthropology, sociology and perhaps law. In addition, they may even need to define the grammar of the language from scratch - not an easy task.
There are many difficulties to be overcome with CALL for LCTLs and ELs. However, the author will demonstrate with a case study for Nawat, an Endangered indigenous language of El Salvador, that it is possible to develop CALL materials for these languages, using the template approach and with limited resources.
Wiebe Grace with Kabata
Kaori and Chao Tracy
Issues in the development of CALL/WELL materials for East Asian language courses
This paper reports on the online courseware that has recently been implemented as part of the lab component for Japanese courses at the University of Alberta and discusses students' perceptions of the online component of their courses. The courseware, using WebCT as the delivery platform, includes grammar tests, vocabulary and kanji quizzes, listening and reading quizzes, as well as pages for class notes and various supplementary materials for students. It also incorporates Wimba, a voice-based conferencing program, which is primarily used for pronunciation and/or short conversation tests during this pilot phase of its incorporation into language courses at the University of Alberta.
WebCT has been chosen by our university as its primary online course management system, and therefore the university provides support for those who wish to develop online courseware on WebCT. In addition, other tools were needed for viewing and typing Japanese, and for communicating vocally between instructors and students. We used NJStar and Wimba respectively since they can be integrated seamlessly into WebCT. In the current situation where university class sizes are growing and where students and instructors have increasing demands on their time, this integration of technologies becomes vital, especially in language courses where constant and instant feedback is essential to ensure students' learning of the materials, including their mastery of the orthography.
However, in order to develop the courseware and incorporate technology in a way that teaching and learning are enhanced, one needs to overcome a number of obstacles. First, a feasible solution is needed in dealing with languages using non-alphabetic writing systems such as Japanese and Chinese. Second, students have to be given additional guidance to learn how to view or type the target language on the computer. Most importantly, availability of continuous support for students throughout the courses is key to the success for implementation of this type of technology.
In this presentation, we will share what we have learned from our experiences designing and creating online courseware for East Asian language teaching. At the same time, we will discuss the results of a formative evaluation study conducted at two different phases of the courses. We will show how students perceived their new learning experiences with the new courseware and their perspectives in terms of CALL/WELL materials.
Changing student attitudes towards CALL
Only a few
years ago proponents of CALL often cited the motivational value of the
new media as one reason for adopting information technology for language
instruction. In a learning environment where IT is adopted in practically
every field this might not be the case anymore.
Nordit is a Nordic project that aims at mapping and evaluating web and cd-rom material for teaching of the Nordic languages (Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic) as a second or a foreign language. In the project we have identified and evaluated existing teaching material. The evaluation has been done by an expert group consisting of language teachers and professionals from each target language country. We have also written a project report which provides information on our findings (quality and scope of existing material), as well as some further suggestions for developing language software in the future, aimed at both users and software producers. The project report was published through the Nordic Council of Ministers and distributed to universities around the world where Nordic languages are teached.
Content of presentation in Eurocall: The project is described and the findings are presented. Material used in the project is also demonstrated together with the evaluations and opinions of the expert group. The overall aim of the presentation is to give a picture of what kind of language software is now available for Nordic languages, to say something about the quality and usability of this material, and foremost, provide the participants with means and suggestions on what to look for when choosing and looking for language software to use. Language software producers will also benefit from getting a pedagogical opinion on the state and direction of the development of language software.
Ylönen Sabine & Peltola Johanna
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Show and Tell
EUROMOBIL - A Multimedia Language Learning Programme promoting Student Mobility
Student mobility has become one of the principles in higher education and is supported by several EU programmes and bilateral contracts between educational institutions. Students spending a short period abroad, however, are often lacking in preparation required for the host country, for example information about the country and also communicative skills. EUROMOBIL is a hybrid multimedia language learning and information programme on CD-ROM with links to the web, promoting student mobility. It contains information about the target countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, and Hungary, as well as exercises for improving language skills needed in different communicative situations in the target languages: English, German, Finnish and Hungarian.
computer based materials for communication training on an international
scale is a challenge to language teachers, demanding new skills not only
in handling the technical and design aspects of the new information and
communication technologies, but also in terms of administration and cooperation
between teachers from other cultures and professionals from other fields,
such as programmers. New media have become increasingly important in language
teaching and learning, and EUROMOBIL aims to meet the needs of modern
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