On CALL News, Volume 25:1 (March 2009)

by User Not Found | 10/28/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • From the Chair
    • From the Chair-Elect
  • Articles
    • How the TESOL CALL Interest Section Began
    • TESOL 2008 CALLIS Academic Session: A Look at SLA Research, Applications, and Beyond
    • What Is Your Favorite Technagogy?: A 2008 Discussion Group Summary
    • Learner Training, Technically and Strategically Speaking: A 2008 Discussion Group Summary
  • Columns
    • Making Connections
  • Community News and Information
    • CALLIS Anniversary Announcement
    • Electronic Village Online
    • Join Interest Sections for Free
  • About This Member Community
    • Statement of Purpose
    • CALLIS 2008-09 Community Leaders

Leadership Updates From the Chair

Sandy Wagner, sandylw303@yahoo.com

Welcome, CALLIS members, and I hope you are having a wonderful academic year. CALLIS has been busily planning for TESOL 2009, including a special celebration as we near an important milestone: 25 years of CALL.

This year’s conference theme, “Uncharted Mountains, Forging New Pathways,” could not be more appropriate in describing the metamorphosis computer-assisted language learning has undergone over the past 25 years. We began at the foothills of technology, carving out new pathways with each innovation and its application for second language acquisition. We are still climbing those mountains, blazing new trails, looking to the highest peaks and beyond for our attainable goals.

This year we are celebrating with two special events: a “featured” colloquium focusing on 25 years of CALL highlighting the early days, software, research, available technologies, and teacher education along with a reception immediately following to celebrate our commitment and dedication to “disseminate information about CALL to ESL/EFL practitioners worldwide.” We invite you to be a part of this special occasion, network with colleagues, and meet some of the CALL experts.

In addition to this special event, our Academic Session, “CALL Pathways for Interaction and Collaboration,” and two InterSections bring insights into Web 2.0 and emerging Web 3.0 tools and their implications with insights from highly respected and engaging presenters.

The Electronic Village provides the annual venue for all CALLIS activities and includes EV Fairs, Hardware Fair, EV Mini-Workshops, Ask the CALL Experts, CALL for Newcomers, Webmaster’s Workshop, and Developer’s Showcase. More information and the schedule of events are available at http://www.call-is.org .

Other events throughout the year include the Electronic Village Online (EVO), providing experienced instructors and online courses that address the many aspects of CALL. New 2009 sessions began in mid-January. Information about these online courses and other past courses can be accessed throughout the year at http://evosessions.pbwiki.com/Call_for_Participation09.

To the CALLIS Steering Committee, thank you for your precious time, incredible talents, and dedication to reaching our goals. We will be celebrating 25 years of CALL, but even more, we will be celebrating the dedicated people who keep climbing the mountain, blazing new trails, and providing CALL support to those in the ESL/EFL profession.

With great respect,

Sandy Wagner is assistant professor and OPI education specialist at the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California. Her experience teaching ESL and designing ESL curriculum spans over 14 years in high school and adult education. She holds an MAEd in eEducation and Instructional Technology. Her research and teaching interests include the integration of technology and pedagogy in second language acquisition and the design, development, and facilitation of online courses for language instruction. She also designs and facilitates TESOL’s Teaching Reading and Writing Online course component of the Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program.

From the Chair-Elect

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, cbauer-ramazani@smcvt.edu

It gives me great pleasure to write to you as incoming chair, and I look forward to communicating with you during the next 3 years. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

When I joined the Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section in the late 90s, I had no idea that this would become my “home” at TESOL. But as others had told me, the people of the CALLIS make up a very special group—very supportive of one another, always excited about members’ new experiments in technology and teaching, and just plain fun-loving. I have enjoyed getting to know and working with the group during my two terms on the Steering Committee. As incoming chair I hope to continue these collaborations, which nurture our discipline, bring excitement to teaching, and sustain collegiality and friendships. It is my desire to make CALL as exciting for others as it has been for me.

Because interaction and collaboration are critical factors, not only in our face-to-face classrooms but also in teaching online, these topics were chosen to anchor two of our upcoming sessions at TESOL. This year’s theme of “Uncharted Mountains, Forging New Pathways” seems to fit particularly well with the tenets of the CALLIS and its constituents’ involvement in forging new pathways in teaching with technology. It is my pleasure to give you a sneak preview of our program lineup for TESOL 2009 in Denver. There will be four major events, all of which will provide a stimulating variety of topics and speakers.

  1. We are honored to have been invited as a Board-sponsored session to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of CALLIS with a colloquium titled “Celebrating 25 years of CALL: Forging New Pathways.” The founding members of CALLIS, former CALLIS chairs, and CALL experts will enlighten and entertain us with reflections on historical and current developments in theory, research, and practice. Having witnessed the changes over the years, they will highlight major achievements, paths that have been forged, and intriguing future directions. Roger Kenner, Vance Stevens, and Deborah Healey will revisit the beginnings of CALL and CALLIS—from vision to reality and beyond. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith will discuss CALL research and theory from 1984 to 2009, followed by Claire Bradin Siskin via webcast about the evolution of language labs to language-learning media centers. Phil Hubbard will take a look at CALL teacher education through the years and into the future, and our visionary Karen Price will dazzle us with CALL uncharted mountains (or visions of the future) in technology and classroom applications. Following the colloquium a reception will be held in the Technology Showcase room adjacent to the Electronic Village, complete with birthday cake, balloons, a slide show, and other festivities. It will be a fun event and a great time to (re)connect with friends from CALLIS, TESOL, and other InterSections.
  2. The topic of this year’s CALLIS Academic Session is “CALL Pathways for Interaction and Collaboration.” As interaction and collaboration are at the heart of any successful teaching and learning experience, CALL experts will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the social aspects of language education and present Web 2.0 tools and applications that promote successful and effective English language learning—in the classroom and online. First, Carla Meskill will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the social aspects in language education and how these shape powerful CALL practices. She will address the online instructional conversation: what makes it social, what makes it instructional. Next, Aiden Yeh will investigate Web 2.0 tools for interaction and collaboration in projects involving written and spoken production, followed by Dafne Gonzalez, who will share her students’ collaborative projects for authentic interaction with real audiences, using synchronous and asynchronous tools in ESP. Jeff Magoto will focus on considerations in selecting and using tools for creating, assigning, and assessing oral communication. Last but not least, David Nunan will round out the talk by reviewing the interpersonal and social aspects of learning online.
  3. A third task of the chair-elect is putting together InterSection sessions with other interest sections. CALLIS will be presenting with two other interest sections. We will take the lead on an InterSection with the Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening (SPL) IS and the Video and Digital Media (VDM) IS on the topic of “Innovative Uses of Digital Technology for Teaching Oral Skills.” Marsha Chan, Jeff Magoto, and Dennie Hoopingarner will show us how CALL and oral communication have been dramatically enhanced through Web 2.0 tools. They will demonstrate how teachers can apply these tools in innovative, pedagogically sound ways to create meaningful exchanges, teach pronunciation, and use audio, video, and Web technology for oral skills in online and classroom environments. 
  4. Our second InterSection combines the expertise of the Intercultural Communication (IC) IS and the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) IS on the topic “International Online English Communities and Communication.” CALLIS Chair Sandy Wagner will be among the presenters who will explore the communicative phenomena associated with online communication and communities (e.g., e-mail, IM, Facebook (http://www.facebook.com), blogs) from the intercultural, CALL, and EFL perspectives. Topics include technology integration in (and outside of) classrooms, cross-cultural differences in “e-communication” norms, the role of English as an online lingua franca, and new educational needs for language learners in the EFL context.

I hope this sneak preview has whetted your appetites for TESOL 2009. Please join us and help us celebrate the 25th anniversary of CALLIS with a great lineup of presenters, presentations, and cutting-edge technology discussions.

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, chair-elect, is instructor and coordinator of the Undergraduate Intensive English Language Study Program, funded by a grant through the U.S. Department of State at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. She teaches intensive English, academic English, undergraduate business, and MATESL courses, including an online course in computer-assisted language learning. She began teaching English as a foreign language in her native Germany in 1977 and then taught ESL and English for business and economics in Colorado before moving to Vermont in 1986. Together with Tom Robb and Susan Gaer, Christine cofounded the Electronic Village (EV) Online, which she coordinated for 4 years and participated in as guest moderator and comoderator of courses. She has also designed and taught TESOL online courses since 2002 and organized the EV Fair Classics and webcasts from the Classics. In her free time, she enjoys the beautiful scenery of Vermont, bicycling along or kayaking on Lake Champlain, hiking in the mountains and forests, playing tennis, and entertaining friends and students from all over the world with her husband and daughter.

Articles How the TESOL CALL Interest Section Began

Reminiscences by Vance Stevens, Cofounding Member and Early Chair of TESOL CALLIS,vstevens@emirates.net.ae

Prepared in May 2003 at the request of Chris Sauer, CALLIS Newsletter editor, with the help of Carol Chapelle, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Deborah Healey, Roger Kenner, and Claire Bradin Siskin, this history appeared in an e-mail sent to all CALLIS members in Fall 2003 via the TESOL organization.

I got into computing in 1979. That was the year I sat myself down at the keyboard at the terminal connected to the roomful of cabinets with spinning tape reels of a half-million-dollar minicomputer recently installed in the language center where I worked in Saudi Arabia and just diddled with the keys like you would a piano. While I was trying to work out where the sound should be coming from, my director happened to pass by and, perceiving in my random gestures some precursor to expertise, called on me to head up the computer-aided instruction (CAI) development program he had been charged with getting under way. Back then we didn’t call it CALL.

I succeeded in coordinating a team of developers in the production of the institute’s first battery of computer-based drill and practice lessons only because I got to grips with the manual for the authoring system we were using and managed to stay at least one page ahead of everyone else on the team. That’s essentially how I ended up as chair of the CALL Interest Section. It was only because I was in the right place at the right time and was only slightly further along in the manual than others who were catching up fast and could have done equally well or better at the time than I did.

(There is a lesson here for newcomers to CALL: it’s a field you can get into at any time and in which you can become an expert in the latest software tool, Flash for example, faster than those with more experience can remember how to type in the code in BASIC that will get the computer to say BOO. It’s a field where you break in fast just by starting out on a higher rung on the ladder than the next person down.)

In 1981 I moved to Honolulu to start in the MA program at the University of Hawaii (UH). After struggling for a semester with typing out second- and third-draft revisions to an overwhelming number of papers I had to write, I bought an Apple II plus with 48K RAM (that’s right, kilobytes). The computer, second floppy drive unit, and printer cost me over $3,000 (RAM has since increased, but you’ll notice prices haven’t changed much). Taken in perspective, the remarkable significance of the Apple was that it was the first ever mass-produced computer affordable to individuals and was thus poised to make possible the far-ranging variety of computer-based applications that most of us take for granted today. Though I got only 40 characters of type across the screen and had to track in my head that every other line would have a break when it printed on paper, I had at least put the days of retyping behind me. I also bought a copy of Apple Pilot and steered my MA thesis onto a CAI topic.

One reason for my choosing Hawaii for my MA program was (the surf of course, and also) that the 1982 TESOL Conference was scheduled to be held there. This attracted a dozen presentations involving computers, notably one by David Sanders from Concordia University in Montreal on “Design and Implementation of a Communicative CAI Program.” Joan Jamieson and Carol Chapelle also presented there, giving two skillfully choreographed back-to-back 3-hour sessions all day on Saturday, one on ESL lesson design and the other on programming in Pilot. Also at that conference, David Wyatt, whose software was on display at the ALA booth, chaired a “Rap Session” on “The Why, Where, and How of C.A.I.” (in addition to Carol and Joan, the panelists were Frank Otto, Anne Jackson-Muller, and Roberta Lavine).

The technology could be recalcitrant in that era. I remember Anne and Peter Muller struggling to get their program to load 10 minutes into the time their presentation was due to begin while their audience grew restless with the delay, and this was typical of the way the technology could be expected to work, or not, as the case may be. I myself was not listed in the program, but my work in the ESL department at UH had earned me a cameo appearance at the Video Interest Section’s Academic Session. I had been playing with a crude authoring system which would cue a video cassette tape, play a segment, ask a question, and depending on response wind the tape to another frame, play that, and so on. The program required a 10-minute load to memory and even then didn’t always work. In order to demonstrate it, I had to start the loadup during the change in speakers just prior to my turn, and that speaker had to endure distraction from the clicking of the disk drives and whirring of my VCR at irregular intervals during his presentation. The drives had settled down by the time it was my turn to speak. I could only hope that when I hit the Enter key, this would not be one of the times the program would be found to have aborted prematurely. To my great relief, text appeared on the screen, the tape played, and the program worked long enough for me to briefly overview it.

(My own interests at the Hawaii conference extended beyond technology. Because I was on home turf, I got someone to let me stash my surfboard under a table at registration and I skipped the plenaries to check out the breaks just a quick paddle from the beachfront of the conference hotel. When is TESOL planning to go back there, I wonder?)

Hawaii was not the first TESOL event where interest in CAI had been shown. David Wyatt had also presented on a computer-based topic in Detroit in 1981, and Joan and Carol had done a computer-based presentation as early as 1980 at TESOL in San Francisco. According to Carol, “It was an introduction to CALL and authoring on PLATO. We got terminals from a Bay-area PLATO rep, had phone lines installed, and taught people how to author.” The following year, Carol and Joan (they had some system for continually reversing the order of their names) “looked at the benefits and limitations of three hardware/software environments for developing and using CALL: micro, mainframe, and instructional mainframe (the latter was PLATO). We had programmed the same material on the three, brought the three terminals to Detroit in my car, had phone lines installed in the conference room, and showed them live!!” Carol enjoys recalling these events: “These memories are very vivid because these events were extremely difficult to set up logistically, and they were very rewarding to conduct.” Joan and Carol followed up their minicourse by sending a mailout to those involved. This was an early attempt at pulling together a community of CAI enthusiasts within TESOL, but Carol and Joan backed off from organizing further “after realizing how much secretarial work was involved!” (quoted from e-mail 15 & 16 May 2003, with Carol’s permission).

Although there were several computer-related presentations in 1982, I had the impression that most of the presenters had only recently benefited from the personal computer revolution and, like me, had been working alone and were largely unaware of the surprising depth of interest that computers were starting to generate among language-teaching peers. What was clear at that conference was that the topic was growing in both interest and potential efficacy for language learning. Therefore, an invited symposium was scheduled for the next annual TESOL conference in Toronto, 1983, and this symposium was notable for many things that both happened and didn’t happen. One important thing to happen was that John Higgins argued eloquently that the name of our endeavor should be changed forthwith to CALL, to place the emphasis on “learning.” Someone (I think it might have been me) argued that because CAI was the term most widely used in the literature, we should retain “instruction” in our acronym. Fortunately, John prevailed, and we eventually became the CALL Interest Section. One thing didn’t happen at this symposium, however. Because it was an “invited” event, a volunteer was stationed at the door to check badges against her list of invitees; thus Earl Stevick was turned away and he disappeared down the hall before anyone could reach him to invite him back.

However, the 40-some people who had been invited did discuss becoming an interest section. Toward this end we went so far as to elect a chair. As David Sanders had taken the initiative to organize and convene the symposium, he was elected first chair of the interest-section-to-be. Next on the agenda was election of an associate chair. John Higgins was nominated, but he declined saying he was too busy for such an obligation and could not guarantee regular trips to TESOL conferences from the United Kingdom. Other sterling candidates—Frank Otto, Randall Jones, and Roger Kenner—were nominated, but all similarly declined before Paul Hardin at last accepted his nomination. In order to make it a contest, someone nominated me as well. Paul and I left the room and upon our return I found that I had been elected associate chair of what we hoped would soon become an interest section in TESOL.

A steering committee was then elected, among whom was Roger Kenner, who took on the role of “Official Secretary,” a job that from all appearances he has never relinquished. Roger has maintained an archive of CALLIS history from its inception to now. His “A Short History of the Founding of the CALLIS Interest Section” deals specifically and in greater detail than here with the behind-the-scenes activity leading up to the Toronto symposium and the years immediately after <http://rkenner.concordia.ca/call_is/founding.htm> (accessible via the History link from the CALLIS website at http://www.call-is.org/moodle).

Despite the fact that, according to Roger’s record, the symposium had been orchestrated to lead to the formation of an interest section, this was another thing that didn’t happen in Toronto. We soon learned that certain steps in the procedures we would have to follow could not be taken until the next year’s convention. Meanwhile, David Sanders developed other interests and his place in our lobbying efforts was assumed by his colleague at Concordia, Roger Kenner. These developments were communicated among the principals (David and Roger in Canada, the TESOL front office in Virginia, and me in Hawaii) through snail mail (what we used to call “regular” mail).

We had managed to muster enough favorable reaction in Toronto among the higher-ups in TESOL that Roger and I were each treated to a night in the Hyatt in Houston, 1984, in order to attend a day-long TESOL leadership workshop there (again, Roger provides the most definitive record of what was going on between TESOL and the unofficial CALL Interest Section). Here we learned the hoops we would have to jump through in our interest section bid and how to approach them. Our proposal had to be put before each existing interest section, as each would have to decide how to direct its delegates to vote at the midweek Interest Section Council meeting, where Roger and I would appear to make our case in person. The approval of other interest sections was crucial and fraught with politics. More interest sections meant greater subdivision of the pot of limited resources available to all interest sections (e.g., money, hence pages, for newsletters) and dilution of influence in the Interest Section Council, so that it was in the interest of the most powerful interest sections to stringently vet newcomers. However, our argument that we represented a substantive issue in TESOL backed with a groundswell of support won the day, and our petition was approved.

During the week, we met frequently with our co-conspirators in the spacious atrium of the Hyatt. When we learned we needed to quickly draft a Statement of Purpose for our group, Joan Jamieson picked up a napkin off the table and began jotting down our working notes and handed these over to Roger. Don Loritz, who was way ahead of most of us with his LISP-based parsers, happened to have brought his “portable” with him (which in those days meant “a kind of typewriter”) so Roger went up to Don’s room and clattered out the document we needed to clear the next hurdle in the ratification process.

Once an interest section is approved by the Interest Section Council its recommendation goes before the Executive Board, which meets after the conference and, assuming it supports the recommendations of the Interest Section Council, then appoints the new interest section’s chair and associate chair. As our group’s two spokespersons behind the scenes at the Houston convention, Roger and I made sure that the right people had our names spelled correctly, and we were informed of our appointments later in the year.

The concept of the CALLIS Hospitality Room and its evolution into the Electronic Village is another thread that is worth pursuing in tracking the development of the interest section. As mentioned in Roger’s documents, I organized the first software fair in Houston in 1984. There was no precedent for this, but those of us presenting became aware that each of us was developing software the others might like to examine at leisure. So, at the next software fair organized by Roger and I in New York in 1985, I remember that some of us stayed behind to copy our freeware onto each other’s five-and-a-quarter-inch truly flexible floppies before the computers we had assembled could be packed away at the end of the session. Neither Roger nor I were in Anaheim in 1986, but Roger’s documents state that the first Hospitality Room appeared at that conference. In 1987, Macey Taylor turned a room in the convention hotel in Miami into a CALLIS Hospitality Room. She set up her Amiga there along with some DOS PCs and Apple IIe computers and kept it open to those wishing to drop by and learn more about our interest section. Roger recalls that the following year, 1988, in Chicago, Peter Lee arranged to provide computers for a Hospitality Room and crimes had to be committed and concealed through discrete tipping to get them in and out of the conference center, past the union watchdogs.

The idea of assembling computers in one place for the purpose of presenting language-learning software led to the establishment of a regular venue for sharing and exchanging it. Soon, freeware and shareware software collections for Apple, Mac, PC, Commodore, and so on were maintained by separate librarians for each different platform. The collections themselves were brought to each conference; lists were published in newsletters during the year, and copies of the software were mailed to people who sent money to cover cost of postage and diskettes. In 1989 Claire Bradin Siskin compiled a number of these lists into one big list and brought it to San Antonio with her. She remembers that “before the conference started, I ran off about 100 copies and put them in the HR. They immediately disappeared, and people kept demanding copies of it. I think that we had neither money nor time to keep on making more copies, so we took one master copy and put it at the central handouts booth. The funny thing then was that the master copy kept disappearing from the handouts booth, and they kept asking me for a new master copy! I remember taking some people’s addresses and mailing the list to them after the conference. None of us had anticipated the great demand for the list, and this experience was probably what led Deborah and Norm to start the first ‘official’ CALLIS list the following year.” (quoted from e-mail 17 May 2003, with Claire’s permission)

Deborah Healey and Norm Johnson produced biannual print-version updates of the CALLIS software list from 1990 through the rest of the decade. The 1999 version was still listed in TESOL Publications, and it was for a time a source of revenue for CALLIS as well as TESOL. Claire recalls one important aspect of this arrangement: “When CALLIS gave TESOL the rights to sell the printed version of the list, Deborah made sure that CALLIS retained the rights to the electronic version. This is significant because it meant that in the many workshops that Deborah and I and others gave in the subsequent years, we could legally distribute the electronic file on a floppy disk [and] why we can have the list available on the Web today [athttp://oregonstate.edu/dept/eli/softlist].” (quoted from e-mail 17 May 2003, with Claire’s permission)

By now commercial vendors at TESOL had begun to take what was by-and-large a healthy interest in CALLIS and the librarians were becoming heir to boxes of donated commercial software that had to be stored between conferences and then shipped to the next venue. In 1993, Deborah Healey and Jim Buell greatly aided the management of this situation by arranging through Lloyd Holliday at La Trobe University in Australia for the CALLIS public domain, shareware, and commercial demo software collections (and the electronic version of the CALLIS software list) to become available via FTP from CELIA (Computer Enhanced Language Instruction Archive, no longer available at http://www.latrobe.edu.au/education/celia/celia.html). Then in 1996, with the instigation of Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, these materials were ported to a CD-ROM which was published by TESOL.

As the Hospitality Room grew into a place where conference delegates could come each year to try out a growing collection of commercial and noncommercial software in a setting free of promotion and bias, the job of arranging for the computers at each conference, installing software on them, and maintaining and networking them grew increasingly complex and labor-intensive. Roger mentions the guitar jams we used to have late at night in the CALL Hospitality Rooms. These occurred because CALLIS volunteers and steering committee members used to have to work late nights after each conference day to maintain the computer software and networking in the HR (networking was a late development—initially we resorted to “sneaker-net”—and Deborah nostalgically recalls hours happily “spent copying those damn shareware floppies” (quoted from e-mail 16 May 2003, with Deborah’s permission). We would keep our guitars under the tables during the day and send out for food and drinks as darkness fell. Early to late evening we’d maintain and copy, and man you shoulda heard us, just about midnight.

Roger notes that 1997 in Orlando was the year that the HR became known as the EV, or Electronic Village. Since then the CALLIS has succeeded in getting TESOL to contract out for setup and maintenance, and network administration, of the EV, and CALL-IS organizers can walk away from the conference like everyone else after the last discussion session has wrapped up. This has led to marked improvements in the stress and sleep deprivation levels of the organizers, but has also led to loss of what used to be a great source of entertainment and community spirit in what was once a much smaller and very close-knit CALLIS. But size has its advantages as well, and it is gratifying to see events set in motion 20 years ago develop into an interest section whose many offshoots have become institutionalized for the benefit of so many people.

And that is how CALLIS began. But there’s a lot more, much of it recorded in Roger’s “The CALL Interest Section Community History” <http://rkenner.concordia.ca/call_is/call_is.htm>, (accessible via the History link from the CALLIS website at http://www.call-is.org/moodle). If you read through this, you can’t fail to notice first that Roger has taken great pains to document our beginnings and maintain that record. You also can’t fail to notice that as the years go on, the documentation gets sparser. Who is going to fill in the gaps and refresh the record before memory fades? Could it be you? If you can help, contact roger.kenner@concordia.ca


CELIA (Computer Enhanced Language Instruction Archive). Retrieved May 15, 2003, from http://www.latrobe.edu.au/education/celia/celia.html [no longer available]

Healey, D., & Johnson, N. (1999). CALL IS software list. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://www.eltexpert.com/softlist/index.html

Kenner, R. (1996). A short history of the founding of the CALL-IS Interest Section. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://www.call-is.org/moodle/file.php/6/Roger_Kenner_Files/founding.htm

Kenner, R. (2000, 2003). The CALL Interest Section community history. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://www.call-is.org/moodle/file.php/6/Roger_Kenner_Files/call_is.htm

TESOL CALL-IS Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section. (2003). CALL-IS Community History. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from http://www.call-is.org/moodle/

TESOL/CELIA ‘96 CD-ROM: Computer-enhanced language instruction archive. (1996). TESOL/CALL-IS/La Trobe University CD-ROM [CD-ROM]. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

TESOL. (2003). Technology. Retrieved May 20, 2003, from http://www.tesol.org/pubs/catalog/tech

Vance Stevens teaches computing at Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. After a 20-year career in English language teaching, usually as CALL specialist and coordinator, he worked in software development in California as educational technology consultant, before returning to the Middle East as ed tech coordinator for a language school in Abu Dhabi. There he founded the online community Webheads, which resulted in involvement in many community-based online professional development endeavors that have formed the basis of his professional development life this past decade.

TESOL 2008 CALLIS Academic Session: A Look at SLA Research, Applications, and Beyond

Sandy Wagner, sandylw303@yahoo.com

TESOL 2008 provided the venue for an interesting, informative, and inspiring Academic Session, focusing on computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and second language acquisition (SLA). Panel members included Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, professor emeritus, California State University; Dr. Mary Ellen Butler-Pascoe, professor, Alliant International University; Christine Bauer-Ramazani, professor, Saint Michael’s College; Dr. Rong Yuan, assistant professor, Defense Language Institute; and Vance Stevens, lecturer, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi.

The session began with the dynamic and multidimensional area of CALL research. The discussion centered around the interdisciplinary nature of CALL with a focus on qualitative and quantitative research highlighted by the most well-used and well-accepted research methodologies. New dimensions of CALL research and development segued into how research has been applied in the design, development, and implementation of language instruction.

With a research base established, panelists continued with an informative discussion on the effect of technology on second language acquisition, focusing on problems facing CALL researchers and possible solutions. Citing research such as Krashen’s input theory and Landauer and Dumais’ theory of latent semantic analysis, the presentation examined some of the reasons why computers may be an optimal means to learn a language.

Classroom applications offered additional insights into theoretical considerations, linking best practices to instruction. Panel members illustrated and demonstrated student and teacher project models that integrated technology into the curriculum. With a view of current best practices, the discussion segued into what is on the horizon with emerging technologies and their benefits and applications for language acquisition. We are grateful for and appreciative of our informative and knowledgeable panelists.

Panelists’ presentations can be viewed at http://www.call-is.org/moodle and the following links:

Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, “The Effect of Technology on SLA (and vice versa)”: http://ourmedia.org/node/396639

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, “Best Practices in CALL”: http://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/TESOL/2008/CALL-AcSession/BestPractices.html

What Is Your Favorite Technagogy?: A 2008 Discussion Group Summary

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, cbauer-ramazani@smcvt.edu, and 
Sandy Wagner, sandylw303@yahoo.com

This evening Discussion Group attracted 25 to 30 participants from various countries and backgrounds, including network administrators, publishers, call-center trainers, online course designers, graduate students, and ESP and ESL teachers. They came to learn more about pedagogical applications of technology tools in their specific learning environments. As reported by the participants, the accessible technologies used ranged from no access to advanced tools and applications, such as YouTube, PowerPoint, Blackboard, Web sites, Moodle, Audacity, blogs, podcasts, wikis, SMART Boards, and Photo Story. A series of cartoons and statements about different pedagogies handed out by the discussion leaders stimulated discussion among the group to identify effective language-learning pedagogies. For best practices the audience was referred to the TPC framework by Mishra and Koehler (2006), which stipulates the necessity for the teacher to know about technology (T), pedagogy (P), and content (C), all of which overlap and reinforce each other. The session concluded with a brief look at the list of technology readings and references on the handout as well as an extensive list of technology tools with their respective pedagogies, advantages, and resources. The session handout and hyperlinks to resources are available athttp://academics.smcvt.edu/cbauer-ramazani/TESOL/2008/TechnagogyDG/handout.htm.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge. Teacher’s College Record, 108, 1017-1054.

Learner Training, Technically and Strategically Speaking: A 2008 Discussion Group Summary

Phil Hubbard, Stanford University, phubbard@stanford.edu, and 
Howard Pomann, Union County College, pomann@ucc.edu

For this Discussion Group on April 4, 2008, we began with a brief overview of what CALL learner training entails and touched on our own experiences. We used the following set of questions as a guide to the discussion but did not cover them systematically:

  1. Why are you here?
  2. What kind of training are you doing now?
  3. What should you tell students to do?
  4. How do you know what to tell students to do?
  5. How should the training proceed?
  6. How do you weigh cost vs. benefit?
  7. How do you assess the result?

We then broke up into two groups with each of us leading one group because there were so many attendees (50 initially; 35 stayed for small-group discussion).

In the small-group discussions, participants shared various CALL activities that they were using with their programs and classes, including listening and grammar software on their network and Web, as well as blogs, WebQuests, wikis, authoring programs, and other tools. In general, the group was somewhat experienced with CALL, but were using it in limited ways within the constraints of their institutions.

In sharing these activities, participants

  • Noted some effective ways to use these activities, but also expressed the need to have more information on strategies for implementing them with classes.
  • Expressed frustration with little time/staff to train faculty and students in their use.
  • Expressed frustration that there was limited software in the labs within their programs and the software didn’t always match the goals of their courses/students. Within their programs, there was not much information on other software on the Web/for their network, or other CALL activities that they could be doing.
  • Expressed difficulty getting students to use an open lab or do CALL activities on their own at home if they are not assigned graded tasks.
  • Expressed need for training students who are participating in distance education.

    Organizational material and resources from the session are online at http://www.stanford.edu/~efs/lt-tesol08/.

    Phil Hubbard is senior lecturer in linguistics and director of the English for Foreign Students Program at Stanford University. He has published papers in a number of areas of computer-assisted language learning, including learner training.

    Prof. Howard Pomann is the director of the Institute for Intensive English at Union County College in New Jersey. He has directed numerous CALL grant projects to train faculty and integrate CALL into the ESL curriculum. He has also published various ESL life-skills textbooks, software, and CALL articles.


    Columns Making Connections

    Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu

    In this issue, the “Making Connections” column celebrates its fourth year featuring three more CALLIS members:

  • JoAnn Miller
  • Chris Sauer
  • Deborah Healey

    For each newsletter, I invite members to answer a set of simple questions:
    • What is your favorite platform?
    • What is the one indispensable tool/Web page?
    • What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?
    • What was your favorite CALL creation?
    • What are you working on now?
    • What area would you like to see developed/researched?
    • In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

    The answers to these questions reflect a variety of perspectives, experiences, and insights. My hope is that every reader—from new member to founding member—will enjoy this opportunity to compare experiences, to share advice, to nurture inspiration, and to make connections within our community.

    Please e-mail me at stampers@iupui.edu if you have suggestions or contributions to “Making Connections.”

    A CALLIS member since 1995, Suzan is a lecturer in the English for Academic Purposes Program at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and is vice president of INTESOL (the Indiana TESOL affiliate). Before Indiana, Suzan taught for 8 years at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    JoAnn Miller

    E-mail: joannmillerj@gmail.com
    Affiliation: Freelance
    Years in the CALLIS: around 15 years.  JoAnn has been an EFL teacher and teacher trainer for over 40 years, mostly in Mexico City. She has been involved with CALLIS for many years and has given many Electronic Village Online sessions directed at beginning Internet users.

    Q: Favorite platform?
    A: I don’t have one.

    Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?
    A: Probably Google Search. I’m a materials developer and I’m always having to look something up. I also recently have become attached to Facebook.

    Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?
    A: I really can’t think of any. . . . I guess I expect information everywhere.

    Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?
    A: I made a WebQuest years ago that seems to pop up in the most unusual places (even in a well-known author’s book—without permission). It’s now available in QuestGarden: http://questgarden.com/00/75/6/060104130034.

    Q: What are you working on now?
    A: I’m facilitating an EVO session entitled “Internet for Beginners,” and I’m starting to investigate blended learning for a publisher.

    Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?
    A: Easily accessed software to create online simulations of real-life experiences, such as Second Life, but free, easy to make, and controlled enough so school would let students go there.

    Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?
    A: Never stop playing around. Constantly try out new sites. Never be afraid to make mistakes.

    Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?
    A: I guess the inquiries I’ve gotten from my beginning Internet students. Note: The courses are offered asynchronously online. Very often they ask: What room is the course in? What time is it? Why can’t I access the course from my e-mail reader?

     Chris Sauer

    E-mail: csauer@dwci.edu
    Affiliation: Divine Word College
    Years in the CALLIS: 13


    Q: Favorite platform?
    A: Windows XP, but I really have no “favorite”; I don’t linger for a moment over my coffee remembering an old platform like an old flame from the past. It’s a tool and if it works, I like it.

    Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?
    A: Blogs are indispensable for my classes. With them, I can keep organized, easily present visually interesting material to my students, and give them a platform to share their work with a larger audience. It’s just so darned easy.

    Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?
    A: CSI Miami. There was a show last season where the victim had an avatar in Second Life. I’ve used the show as a source for new music in the past (John Mayer, the Shins, etc.) but I had to jump on the Web to find out about Second Life after they caught the killer.

    Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?
    A: I really haven’t created much. I’m more of a leech, or a consumer of CALL. I’ve used Hot Potatoes to create daily practice for my students and web pages for classes and my cycling team, so perhaps my Web work stands out.

    Q: What are you working on now?
    A: I’m the webmaster for my local cycling club, http://www.chainreactioncycling.org, and my cycling team, http://team-wisconsin.com, and I’ve got a bunch of class-related blogs I maintain.

    Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?
    A: Learning in a virtual environment sounds really interesting. Schmooze University <http://schmooze.hunter.cuny.edu/> is a very old-school example of this, but Second Life presents many more possibilities for learning with its graphic interface, well-developed economies, and high level of content.

    Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?
    A: Be flexible, be open, and be quiet for a while; there’s so much to learn and so many very experienced and wise people to learn from in CALLIS.

    Deborah Healey

    E-mail: dhealey@uoregon.edu
    Affiliation: University of Oregon
    Years in the CALLIS: 24


    Q: Favorite platform?
    A: Hybrid Mac/Windows

    Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?
    A: Word processor/Google

    Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?
    A: http://www.delicious.com

    Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?
    A: London Adventure, circa 1985. It was a clever use of BBC Micro and Apple IIe capability (8K or so of memory required). Learners had to choose the appropriate question to ask and response to make while trying to acquire a set of objects during a short time in London. It used the computer as a problem space, not as a giver of answers.

    Q: What are you working on now?
    A: A few things: a distance ed project with Iraqi English language learners in one course and English language teachers in another course (something Leslie Opp-Beckman put together); a list of software recommendations for computer labs for the U.S. Department of State; and TESOL’s Technology Standards (TS)—the Framework is out now, and the TS Team will be working on the full volume next.

    Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?
    A: Research on what encourages people to persist in learning, especially with technology and/or online. I often see people try something for a bit, then become tired of it, whether it’s working with a specific program or learning language in general. User interface is clearly a part of this, but there’s more to it than that.

    Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?
    A: Try everything and have fun, but remember that just because you have a hammer, not everything is a nail. Use computer tools where they fit.

    Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?
    A: I was doing a writing course, and we had one day a week in one of the university computer labs. We started class with an off-computer activity. I then moved into projecting the screen with a Word document, then opened my Web browser. The startup page had been saved by the previous user, and it was pure porn. Wow—that was a reminder to self to check the browser and the page before projecting to the class. Needless to say, we did a quick lesson on what to do when you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be.


    Community News and Information CALLIS Anniversary Announcement Click to view the article. [JPG]
    Electronic Village Online

    A Project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section

    The Electronic Village Online (EVO) is a creation of TESOL's CALL Interest Section (http://www.call-is.org/moodle). In this age of electronic communication it seems a natural way to bring the issues of our profession to the international stage. Our goal is to allow learning anywhere, anytime, with as little expense as possible. Thus EVO coordinators (trainers) and moderators are all volunteers, and participants need only provide their own Internet access to take part in activities.

    For 6 weeks, participants can engage with ESOL experts in collaborative, online discussion sessions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by the 4-day land-based TESOL convention and will allow a fuller development of ideas and themes of the convention or of professional interest in general. The sessions are free and open to all interested parties. Participants do not need to be TESOL members to participate.

    We invite you to submit proposals for EVO 2010 sessions. We will be accepting submissions for proposals by July 2009. For descriptions of sessions from 2009, see http://evosessions.pbwiki.com/Call_for_Participation09.

    Coordination team

  • Dafne González (Coordinator), Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Aiden Yeh, Wen Zao Ursuline College of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Susan Marandi, Al-Zahra University, Teheran, Iran
  • Moira Hunter, ESIEE & ENSAPM, Paris, France
  • Carla Arena, Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasilia, Brazil
  • Leticia Esteves, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Laine Marshall, Long Island University, Purchase, NY, USA
  • Rubena St. Louis, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Vance Stevens (TESOL PDC liaison), Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, California State University, Sacramento/Command Performance Language Institute, Sacramento, CA, USA (past coordinator)
  • Christine Bauer-Ramazani, St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT, USA (cofounder, past coordinator)
    Join Interest Sections for Free

    Available as a benefit since June 2007, unlimited selection of interest sections (ISs) requires no additional fees. As a member of an IS, you automatically receive all e-newsletters and e-lists.  Most important, you determine the level of involvement you want in each IS, and you may vote in your primary IS. 

    It’s easy to join an IS!  Log on to the TESOL Web site (http://www.tesol.org).  Enter your username (your TESOL ID number) and password (in most cases, your last name). Click on “My Communities” to make your selections.  Last, remember to click “Save” once you have identified the ISs you want to join.  Take advantage of this opportunity now to connect with colleagues who share your professional interests!

    About This Member Community Statement of Purpose TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALLIS) exists to define issues and standards in the field of computer-mediated language instruction, promote research and development in the area of computer-based language learning, and disseminate information about CALL to ESL/EFL educators worldwide.
    CALLIS 2008-09 Community Leaders

    Chair: Sandy Wagner, Sandylw303@yahoo.com
    Chair-Elect: Christine Bauer-Ramazani, cbauer-ramazani@smcvt.edu
    Past Chair: John Madden, jpmadden@stcloudstate.edu
    Newsletter Editor: Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu
    Webmaster: Jeff Nelson, jtnelson89@yahoo.com

    Steering Committee Members:
    08-2011 Troy Cox, troy_cox@byu.edu
    08-2011 Chris Sauer, csauer@DWCI.EDU
    08-2011 Deborah Healey, dhealey@uoregon.edu
    07-2010 Paula Emmert, emmert4@yahoo.com
    07-2010 Aiden Yeh, aidenyeh@yahoo.com
    07-2010 Andrew Bowman, ielc.lab@wichita.edu
    06-2009 JoAnn Miller, joannmillerj@gmail.com
    06-2009 Thomas Robb, tom@tomrobb.com
    06-2009 Jeff Nelson, jtnelson89@yahoo.com

    Web sites: http://www.call-is.org/moodle