On CALL

On CALL, Volume 26:1 (March 2010)

by User Not Found | 10/28/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • Letter From the Chairs
  • Articles
    • Integrating the Internet Into the Classroom, and Into Our Lives
    • The CALL-IS Virtual Software Library: CALL_IS_VSL
    • Welcome to Digital Material Preparation for TESOL: An Electronic Village Online Course
    • The 2009 Developers' Showcase Report
    • GLoCALL 2009: A Success in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Columns
    • Making Connections
  • Keeping Up With the Community
    • Photo of Past Chairs During the 25th Anniversary Celebrations
    • Call for Articles
  • About This Member Community
    • Statement of Purpose
    • CALL-IS 2009-2010 Community Leaders

Leadership Updates Letter From the Chairs

Christine Bauer-Ramazani, cbauer-ramazani@smcvt.edu, Chair, CALL-IS
Sandy Wagner, sandylw303@yahoo.com, Immediate Past Chair, CALL-IS
and Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu, Chair-Elect, CALL-IS

Dear CALL-IS Newsletter Readers and Interest Section Members,

Greetings from the CALL-IS Chairs—Christine Bauer-Ramazani (Chair),  Sandy Wagner (Past Chair), and Suzan Stamper (Chair-Elect)—and the  CALL-IS Steering Committee! It’s been a busy but productive post-TESOL convention season for the CALL-IS as we prepare for the upcoming TESOL convention in Boston. We hope to see many of you again in the Electronic Village and at CALL-IS presentations and functions. We would like to give you a brief update on the work that has gone on “behind the scenes” and a preview of noteworthy events.

1. Appointment of a new On CALL Newsletter coeditor: Larry Udry, instructor at Divine Word College in Iowa, was appointed by the CALL-IS Steering Committee to serve as coeditor with Suzan Stamper, a lecturer at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis's English for Academic Purposes Program and the chair-elect of CALL-IS. Larry brings to this position his expertise as the former newsletter editor and board member of Tennessee TESOL, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to him from the CALL-IS.

2. Proposals for the CALL-IS at the 2010 TESOL convention in Boston: One hundred forty proposals were submitted to the CALL-IS for adjudication, up from 103 last year. This represents a significant increase and allows for better programming and greater representation of CALL-IS presentations at TESOL. Because each interest section is allotted a number of slots proportional to the number of proposals, we were given 36 slots to fill for TESOL Boston. A big thank you to all of you who submitted proposals!

3. Preview—2010 CALL-IS academic session and InterSection sessions: This year’s CALL-IS academic session is Friday (March 26) from 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Technology Showcase Room. Leslie Opp-Beckman, Joan Kang Shin, Rita Abdelnour, Deborah Healey, and Karen Price will explore how technology is changing our roles as educators in “The Emergent Role of Educators in E-Learning Environments.”

CALL-IS is also participating in two InterSections—both in the Technology Showcase Room. The first is “Re-Imagining L2 Writing in a Digitized World,” with the Second Language Writing Interest Section, on Thursday (March 25) from 8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The speakers will be Deborah Crusan, Paul Kei Matsuda, Paige Ware, and Mark Warschauer. The second InterSection is also on Thursday (March 25) from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Deborah Healey, Holly Gray, Kathi Cennamo, and Peter Brandt will explore the question “Can oral skills and pronunciation be taught effectively online?” combining perspectives from the CALL, SPLIS (Speech/Pronunciation/Listening), and ITA (International Teaching Assistants) Interest Sections.

4. Electronic Village (EV) programming for the 2010 TESOL Convention in Boston: The Electronic Village in Boston will offer extensive programming in both the EV and Technology Showcase Room, despite significant budget cuts. With the support of TESOL and computers on loan from Suffolk University, we will have access to 18 computers in the EV. We are very grateful to TESOL and Linda Vinay of Suffolk University in Boston who worked their magic. We have also scheduled more sessions in the Technology Showcase Room, located adjacent to the EV, to offer more technology-related sessions for participants. Because the room offers a dedicated Internet connection and is sponsored by the CALL-IS, it is a prime location for technology-rich presentations. The CALL-IS academic session and two CALL-IS InterSections will be held there, as well as a number of CALL-IS invited sessions from our own and other interest sections. We plan to have the main sessions as well as the CALL-IS open business meeting (Thursday, March 26, 5:00-7:00 p.m.) webcast so that CALL-IS members who are unable to travel to Boston can participate at a distance. Please check out the Program Overview athttp://www.call-is.org/info/file.php/1/EV2010_Overview.pdf for the EV and the Technology Showcase as well as the meeting chedule.

5. EV events management teams—becoming involved in the CALL-IS: As CALL-IS chair I have tried to offer more opportunities for volunteers to become involved in the coordination of events provided through the Electronic Village. Please check out http://www.call-is.org/info/mod/resource/view.php?id=23for an overview of EV events and consider joining one of the teams for next year by filling out the volunteer form http://www.call-is.org/info/mod/questionnaire/view.php?id=105). We have also sent out a call for volunteers for the Electronic Village to serve as greeters and EV guides. Please contact Rita Zeinstejer (rita@zeinstejer.com) or JoAnn Miller (joannmillerj@gmail.com) if you can help.

6. Nominations, e-voting, and cochair amendment: We have received several nominations for the CALL-IS Steering Committee as well as the chair-elect position. Voting will take place electronically prior to the 2010 convention, in accordance with our governing rules. Announcements and updates will be sent to the membership. In addition, primary CALL-IS members should have received a proposed amendment to our governing rules to allow for two cochairs. This has been deemed necessary as funding for convention travel has been cut, making it difficult for candidates to commit to attending the TESOL convention for 3 consecutive years. The expanded responsibilities of the chairs also support the concept of shared positions. Much of the work on the EV program happens virtually, and attendance at the convention by at least one of the cochairs would be advantageous. We hope you will support the amendment.

7. CALL-IS Web site reorganization: Please check out the CALL-IS Web site (http://www.call-is.org/info) and bookmark or tag it. The Web site has been made more user-friendly by dividing the navigation links on the left into more clearly defined major categories. We hope that this organization makes it easier to find and refer to important items. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

As you can see, much work has been going on during the summer and fall, and we hope that this preview will entice you to come and see us in Boston! On behalf of the CALL-IS we wish you a successful 2010 and together with the EV Events Coordination Team are looking forward to seeing you in the Electronic Village and Technology Showcase.

Sincerely,

 Christine 

 Sandy 

 Suzan



Articles Integrating the Internet Into the Classroom, and Into Our Lives

Rita Zeinstejer, rita@zeinstejer.com

Changes in habits scare people. Certainly the advent of the telephone, as well as the arrival of the television, must have met some kind of resistance among generations already adapted to their own established lifestyles.

Such has been and still is the nature of the reception computers have met. Yet, slowly but steadily, people are gradually realizing that the vast array of information provided by the Web is unmatchable. The EFL classroom, however, has stayed relatively unchanged. Many teachers are already using the Internet as a source of information, but most of them are still skeptical about the legitimacy of claims advocating the integration of computer mediation communication (CMC) tools into language learning.

The Internet is constantly generating opportunities to hone information and communication technology (ICT) skills by allowing interaction between students and teachers using new programs and applications that foster not only individual production and growth of personal skills but also the development of cohesive online communities of practice.

Unprecedented ways of getting to know likeminded people are being launched every day, allowing language teachers not only to meet other teachers of English anywhere in the world and socialize, but also to share views on common queries, problems, findings, and experiences, using the English language.

We can now choose to join a wide variety of discussion forums and electronic discussion lists, made up of teachers willing to carry out online projects with their students, both synchronously and asynchronously. And we can learn the how-to’s and techniques that the use of different applications and programs entails, becoming more and more ICT literate, so that by learning through doing ourselves, we can gain the necessary training to pioneer experiences in our own classrooms.

Belonging to a community of practice has enriched both my professional knowledge and my personal life. I have learned about new programs that allow us, teachers, to manipulate different tools to create different tasks, aimed at weaning teacher-dependent students. I have added new, very effective strategies to my teaching procedures. I have shared projects with students of English living in Kuwait, Venezuela, the United States, and Portugal; learned about their needs; exchanged cultural differences; and reached conclusions with their teachers. I have sung a tango from my home microphone on an Argentinian Sunday evening for Taiwanese students to listen to in their language laboratory on a Monday morning. I have answered questions from a Mexican board of accountants willing to understand and witness the marvels of voice chat and implement it in their school curricula. I have carried out project work with my CAE (Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English) students in Argentina; Japanese students of English in Texas; and students and teachers in the United States, in Korea, and in Brazil. I have given them the chance to chat with EFL teachers from other countries and have spurred them into using English in safe online environments, using resources that contain authentic rather than scripted speech.

I have participated, for free, in virtual presentations, conferences, and congresses, attending lectures and posing queries on the screen, using text and voice chat, with teachers from 12 different countries, from home. I could even watch the conference taking place in real time, with my webcam, while face-to-face participants who had their webcams on could also see me as I spoke.

Unbelievably enough to many, I have built up my own office online in a “Moodle,” an online building lodging private and common cybernooks to share with other members in the community, and furnished it my way, with excerpts and quotes on walls, and an open door to visitors. I have provided instructions to newcomers as a helpdesk and showed the way to students asking for directions.

I have attended ceremonies and joined in online festivals, celebrating Carnival and dressing up for the occasion.

I have engaged in virtual meetings to explore new, versatile, user-friendly tools with the help of software experts. I have contributed to open discussions on topics related to language and to methodology, to culture and literature, and to the development of Englishes.

I was ecstatic to participate in an online confluence of teachers of English from different nationalities and colleagues in Moscow; at this virtual gathering, we shared our experiences and the joy of getting together synchronously, despite geographical distances.

To crown my delights, I have made “real” friends in many corners of the world, whom I then met personally in their hometowns. I was captivated by the kindness and generosity of a Swiss friend in Zurich. I enjoyed a meal and a visit to Yale University with an American colleague from Massachusetts. I experienced the joy of sharing Portuguese landscapes and traditions with Teresa, a virtual real friend I met in Lisbon, after 3 years of weekly encounters discussing ways to enhance teaching strategies using CMC tools and feeding friendship. I met Ruth Vilmi, the pioneer of the International Writing Exchange Online Courses, face-to-face in Helsinki.

And then I was blessed with the chance of meeting many of all these accomplished people in my online community at TESOL in Seattle in 2007, in Manhattan in 2008, and in Denver in March 2009. We are no longer merely virtual friends. Yet, getting together confirmed the spiritual bonds the Internet had kindled, and strengthened them tightly. We all feel now we are just a click of a mouse from each other.

I wonder how our ancestors reacted when they replaced face-to-face meetings with the telephone, until they got to see differences and advantages. Most probably, they found fault with the change the new means of communication started to make, and rejected the idea of shifting away from deeply ingrained habits.

In a country where authentic situations are rarely met by learners in the streets, teachers need to overcome resistance to appreciate the magic of Internet, and to furnish students with the necessary instruments to communicate with the world, exploiting free resources for genuine interaction. Only by plunging into real situations will learners succeed in using the language effectively, meaningfully, and accurately.

Rita Zeinstejer is an EFL teacher at Asociacion Rosarina de Cultura Inglesa and a member of Webheads in Action, an online community of practice doing research on Internet tools for language learning. She is currently serving as a CALL-IS TESOL Steering Committee member, 2009–2012.


The CALL-IS Virtual Software Library: CALL_IS_VSL

Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, ehansonsmi@yahoo.com

In browsing through our CALL-IS Moodle site, it occurred to me that we were missing an important element: good Web. We needed a place to collect useful Web addresses as links, preferably categorized by type, where members could jump instantly to a listening lesson, a reading at an appropriate level, or an article on some new teaching approach. What I had in mind was something like Deborah Healey and Norm Johnson’s Software List, which had been published regularly by the CALL-IS for a number of years—but a list on and for the Internet. What we needed was a Virtual Software List.

To organize such a project would be virtually impossible for one person. At first I considered a wiki, where each type of site could be added by users to a different page, but I quickly realized this would be far too tedious. Luckily, I found that the social bookmarking site Diigo had recently added some nice features:

  1. You can have a public list and also a related private (members-only) discussion group. Group members may want to discuss certain sites among themselves, for example, if they think a link should be removed or if they think it is especially good for a certain purpose. As with other social bookmarking sites, members can also add links to the public list.
  2. Members could be notified in a digest of new entries, with links, of course, so they could be tried out instantly.
  3. Bookmarks could be placed in optical lists (in addition to being tagged). A list could be viewed as a kind of slideshow, flipping to each site for several seconds, so a user could get a quick view of what each site looked like—an important feature when trying to decide on whether the level or topic would be right for a certain set of students.
  4. Like many other Web tools, Diigo offers a handy toolbar, but it also provides a “Diigolet,” a toolbar that appears as a link in the bookmark toolbar, expands with a click to a full-size toolbar, and then disappears when you are not using it. This is an especially nice feature for a netbook or smartphone where screen size is a huge (or tiny) factor.
  5. When you attempt to bookmark a site, if another member has already done so, you can easily add to the comments, lists, and tags.

So far we have only about seven members at the call_is_vsl Diigo group, but they are busy adding to our bookmarks, and we already have about 200 links in our library. We hope everyone in CALL-IS will join in and help with this project. If you are using a great site, add it to Diigo. If you run across a site you think someone else might find useful, add it. Add your own homepage. It takes only a few seconds.

I have suggested a list of potential tags at the CALL-IS Moodle, but you are welcome to use your own. Just be sure to add your link to our group and use the tag “VSL.” There is a link to the Virtual Software Library on the front page of the CALL-IS Moodle. Or go directly to http://diigo.com/user/call_is_vsl.

Elizabeth Hanson-Smith is a former chair of the CALL-IS and currently works as an educational technology consultant. She is the coauthor of CALL Environments: Research, Practice, and Critical Issues.

CALL-IS congratulates Elizabeth for being TESOL’s D. Scott Enright Award recipient for 2010.


Welcome to Digital Material Preparation for TESOL: An Electronic Village Online Course

John Allan, johnharoldallan@gmail.com
Stephen Roney, sroneykor@gmail.com
and Jim Edgar, edgar.jim@gmail.com

We put this course together as a reaction to the growth of Web 2.0 resources. It is becoming obvious that many of the functions of traditional software, or software installed on a computer hard drive, can be matched or bettered through these amazing free assets online. As a challenge, we decided to test this premise. All of the resources to be introduced to the participants in this course were to be free, self-contained on a remote server, and not a front for any spamming campaign.

On the development side we feel that we have succeeded. Although many of the resources offer upgrade packages or premium options, none of them require any financial transactions. All were tried by us over the past 18 months at a variety of levels and we have determined that they do not promote unwanted contact through e-mails or Skype.

We cannot assume that these resources will remain available without cost in the indefinite future as the world economic situation or the Web business model changes. But they may: There are still, after all, free magazines, free television stations, and free radio programs, supported by advertising. Alternative, even better, free resources may also become available.

The goal of the sessions is to allow TESOL professionals who are novices to digital materials production to upgrade their skills. “Novice” we loosely define as a materials developer with confidence using basic office (i.e., Office) tools and performing regular Internet browsing. The course may in the future serve as a just-in-time resource or a refresher before one embarks on a new project such as a class blog or set of visuals for a term.

The course spans four core areas: text document production, the Internet as a toolkit, screen capturing, and audio production. Such tasks as file conversion and image editing are included. The course covers a great deal of territory, but we hope participants can keep the overall picture in focus thanks to our conceptual structure: an overview of a materials development concept; a link to a relevant resource; a PDF file containing a detailed explanation of the resource and a step-by-step procedure resulting in a product; an example of the product; and a wiki for posting their own result.

Each unit also offers multiple modes of communication. First, a live chat session is held each week. The timings of the chat sessions are decided by the students through a polling device. Second, an asynchronous forum allows discussion on support issues both pedagogical and technical. Then the “calendar” and “upcoming events” areas on the Web page quickly inform students as to what is happening with the course and where.

The course uses a wide variety of native tools provided by Moodle, the primary platform of delivery: forums, messaging, polling, and calendars. Moodle offers these tools in a flexible system of floating “blocks” (discrete screen areas similar to widgets or gadgets), which we display and employ as needed throughout the course. Weekly word clouds, for example, can be shown or hidden based on the current course content. Issues such as editing or posting to a forum or wiki are quite intuitive in Moodle, making it the obvious choice for our course. In addition to Moodle, TappedIn was used for live chat sessions because its audience capacity is larger than that available on our Moodle server. It also has a great track record with educational groups and courses.

Aware of the time commitment required by the wealth of materials development resources available, we chose a menu approach: In two of the units, participants are asked to attempt only a fraction of the activities. In unit two, they complete two of five tasks; in unit three, they do three of ten tasks offered. In this way, learners can focus on what is most relevant to their current situations.

In addition to the core resources for hands-on materials production, we included a few Web 2.0 sites that enhance the learning experience and introduce participants to additional technologies. VoiceThread is used as an icebreaker to establish communication on a common theme expressed in a Wordle-generated word cloud. Word clouds create an attractive text-based visual of key terms in a lecture, unit, or subject. Voki, a text-to-speech package featuring an animated avatar, is used to present an orientation guide for the week’s activities. Xtranormal’s full-screen text-to-movie technology is used for the introduction to the course itself. We could have included more Web 2.0 tools, but we were restrained by the reality of our audience’s time commitment.

Our plan is to revisit the course structure and repackage it for other formats, or possibly as an automated turnkey solution for teachers who wish to learn how to improve their digital materials. The design makes it easy to update and repurpose this course.

REFERENCES

Emmert, P., & Marshall, H. The Electronic Village Online: The coordinator, moderator, and participant—Go team! Retrieved January 5, 2010, fromhttp://www.tesol.org//s_tesol/article.asp?vid=192&DID=10773&sid=1&cid=768&iid=10769&nid=3303

RESOURCES REFERRED TO IN THE COURSE

Adobe Reader, PDF file reader, http://get.adobe.com
AllMyFaves, visual link homepage, http://www.allmyfaves.com 
Ask500People, polling the world, http://www.ask500People.com
Authorstream, visual media sharing, http://www.authorstream.com
Dafont, font repository, http://www.dafont.com
Docstoc, professional document sharing, http://www.docstoc.com
Flickr, photosharing, http://www.flickr.com 
Google Translate, language translation, translate.google.com
LexTutor, data-driven learning, http://www.lextutor.ca
Lorem Ipsum, placeholder text generator, http://www.lipsum.com
Microsoft Office Online, office document resources, http://office.microsoft.com
Mind42, mind mapping/brainstorming, http://www.mind42.com 
Moodle, learning management system, http://www.moodle.org
Myna, online audio editor, http://aviary.com/tools/myna
MySpace, vanity Web sites, http://www.myspace.com
PBwiki, wiki platform, http://www.pbwiki.com 
PDPhoto, copyright-free photos, http://www.pdphoto.org
Photobucket, photo-sharing resource, http://www.photobucket.com
Picnik, image-photo editor, http://www.picnik.com
Project Gutenburg, copyright-free texts, http://www.gutenberg.org
Scholastic Mini-Dictionary, definition generator,wordwizard.scholastic.com/minidictionary
ScreenToaster, online screen capture, http://www.screentoaster.com
SlideShare, presentation sharing, http://www.slideshare.com
SpellingCity, activities generator, http://www.spellingcity.com
TappedIn, educational chat,http://tappedin.org/tappedin
TeacherTube, educational video sharing, http://www.teachertube.com 
Vocabgrabber, word list generator, http://www.visualthesaurus.com/vocabgrabber
VoiceThread, media discussion, http://www.voicethread.com 
Voki, talking avatar creator, http://www.voki.com
Wikipedia, online encyclopedia, http://www.wikipedia.org 
Writeboard, wiki platform, http://www.writeboard.com 
Yola, Web site editor, http://www.yola.com
Zamzar, online file conversion, http://www.zamzar.com

The authors have been in the TESOL profession for the past two decades as teachers, writers, presenters, trainers, and material developers. Jim and John are currently developing a platform to distribute e-activities across Ontario. Stephen teaches and handles CALL for a college in Qatar.


The 2009 Developers' Showcase Report

Andy Bowman, ielc.lab@wichita.edu

The 2009 Electronic Village’s Developers’ Showcase gave TESOL convention-goers a great opportunity to see a variety of new, original educational computer applications. The six presenters demonstrated their software and fielded questions from the audience. The attendees took advantage of the event to learn more about how the software titles are used and how they might be further developed.

  • William Zimmerman (College of Mount St. Vincent’s Institute for Immigrant Concerns) demonstrated MakeBeliefsComix (http://www.makebeliefscomix.com), an easy and fun-to-use Web site for teachers and students to create their own Web-based comics. Students select characters and features to compose illustrated stories they can print or share with others. The Web site encourages storytelling and writing in a creative format.
  • Jeff Magoto (University of Oregon) presented his work via conference call. He showed how ANVILL (A National Virtual Language Lab) is used by language teachers to present multimedia to students. The application is Web-based and allows instructors insightful ways of working with students of all levels.
  • Andrew Bowman (Wichita State University) demonstrated SkillSets, a tool that teachers use to combine audio/video, Web sites, and text to create quick, simple lessons. The software allows the teacher to target particular skills using a variety of media. For example, an activity using a YouTube video can be used to practice pronunciation or assigned as a writing exercise. Students use the application through a network to save and edit their work.
  • Ron Lee (Pasadena City College) showed a computer program that behaved like a robot that students use to improve their listening and speaking skills in many different settings. The user and the robot discuss commonplace matters (i.e., leases, hotel rooms, and clothing), which helps them gain valuable conversation experience in everyday settings. The interactive nature of the software makes it particularly attractive.
  • Tom Robb (Kyoto Sangyo University) explained the development and growth of the powerful Moodle Reader. He described the process by which the reading software evolved, and how the designers overcame the flaws in previous versions to help students raise their scores. In particular, the improvements helped students avoid procrastination and encouraged them to read and take the quizzes more often.
  • Kenji Kitao (Doshisha University) demonstrated his Cloze Generator, which allows teachers to make cloze exercises of any degree of difficulty and style. The available options allow one to target vocabulary, grammar, and other skills. The Cloze Generator brings some new life to a traditional ESL lesson.

Andy Bowman is the Learning Laboratory coordinator for Wichita State University’s Intensive English Language Center. Originally trained in ESOL in Paraguay, Bowman returned to his native Kansas in 1996. In addition to teaching lab classes, he develops CALL software and other materials for students.


GLoCALL 2009: A Success in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tom Robb, callis@tomrobb.com

The 3rd GLoCALL Conference (Globalization and Localization in CALL) was successfully concluded in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where it was sponsored by the English Department of Chiang Mai University, in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Association for CALL (APACALL) and Pacific Association for CALL (PacCALL). The conference ran for 4 days, December 8-11, with workshops on the first and final days, and concurrent sessions on December 9 and 10. Approximately 120 people attended, half of whom came from abroad.

Plenary speakers included Carla Meskill, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA (“Why the Social in Sociocollaborative CALL?”); Lance Knowles, DynEd International, USA (“A Brain-based Approach to CALL”); Thanomporn Laohajaratsang, Chiang Mai University, Thailand (“Integrating ICT into Teaching and Learning English in Thailand”); and Tom Robb, Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan (“Can We Still Call CALL CALL?”).

The abstracts and many of the PowerPoint files and other materials presented at the conference are available at http://glocall.org. The 2010 conference will be held December 1–3 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia (N.E. Borneo).

Tom Robb is a past chair of the CALL-IS as well as past president of PacCALL, one of the sponsoring organizations of GLoCALL. He teaches at Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan.



Columns Making Connections

Making Connections


 Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu

This issue of the “Making Connections” column introduces four members:

  • Aiden Yeh
  • Roger Drury
  • Stephanie Buechele
  • Carla Arena

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?

Within each column, you’ll find 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.”

Suzan is a lecturer in the English for Academic Purposes Program at Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA. She has been a CALLIS member since 1995.

Aiden Yeh

Aiden is a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, CALLIS Steering Committee Member since 2007, lead EVO coordinator, and chair-elect for NNESTIS (2009).


E-mail: aidenyeh@yahoo.com
Affiliation: University of Birmingham
Years in the CALLIS: 8-9 years

Q: Favorite platform?

Windows XP

Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?

Wikis. I use a wiki to organize the contents of my PhD research, and I think it’s great as a teaching/learning tool. See http://ad97.pbworks.com (an advertising class wiki).

Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?

The convenience of Google Books, especially now that I’m writing my dissertation.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

The projects I did for my Internet English class last year (http://ue1a.pbworks.com). I was so proud of my students when they pulled off the difficult task of creating an audio/video podcast complete with scripts and on-location shoots. I also loved the e-zine publication that my Reading and Writing class did last semester (http://issuu.com/wenzao/docs/trend).

Q: What are you working on now?

I’m working on finishing my PhD thesis, which I think is long overdue. And I’m also busy with the January 2010 Electronic Village Online (EVO).

Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?

More (free) online teacher professional development activities for local teachers in Taiwan. I don’t see any.

Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

You’ve got to look into what your students need to help them with their learning, and then search for tools that will help you and your students deliver their learning objectives. Make sure that you know how the tool works before you show it to your students!

Roger Drury

Roger has taught in the IEP at Georgia Tech for over 20 years and has a special interest in CALL applications. He has worked on many international projects and teaches an online Business English course. In the CALLIS, he has led or co-led the Electronic Village (EV) Fair for a couple of years, presented in the EV and Classics Fairs, comoderated two EV Online sessions, and completed TESOL’s Certificate in Online Teaching. He’s currently Lead for the 2010 EV Fair.

 

E-mail: roger.drury@esl.gatech.edu
Affiliation: Georgia Tech
Years in the CALLIS: about 9 years

Q: Favorite platform?

Liked Macs, but compatibility problems drove me to Windows. All of Georgia Tech uses Windows, so I do, too.

Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?

The tool would be Web editors to make Web pages. I like to develop class Web sites so students can make their own Web pages and post their work for their friends and families. I like the range of creative freedom that Web pages give students (over their use of blogs, for example), and I like the public aspect of posting pages on the World Wide Web (as opposed to the limited environment of a learning management system, or LMS). And I like providing a real audience for my students’ language use by posting their work online.

Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?

I did the classes for TESOL’s Certificate in Online Teaching to learn about CALL, and I’m still surprised at the depth and utility of what I learned. Not only did the certificate courses give me my orientation toward online pedagogy, but I’m still using and modifying some of the very same techniques for application in my own teaching. It’s hard to overstate the importance of those certificate courses to my practice of CALL.

Q: What are you working on now?

I keep feeling like I should be able to use the new Web 2.0 technologies more than I do. My officemate and I are using Ning (http://www.ning.com) to provide content and coordinate the activities in our classes, and I’m going to use Twitter (http://twitter.com) for a vocabulary elective this session. I see that the resources and the student connections are there in Web 2.0. I’m looking for ways to tap into that interest, energy, and potential for teaching English.

Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?

Two areas come to mind. First, it’s clear to me that gaming is the next big teaching frontier, and it’s going to affect CALL in a big way. There is great CALL potential in gaming, and I’m not aware of any really effective uses of it so far. The other area that needs work is textbook publication. ESL publishers are behind the rest of the ESL world in their use of online delivery. I’m in a workgroup that began to create online courses that mirror our f2f program, but we ran into an absolute wall when we tried to get publishers to license sections of their different books for use in our course. They wanted to sell us an LMS—which we don’t need and can’t afford—but they couldn’t understand our wanting a chapter out of a grammar book and a chapter out of a reading book. And I’m talking about using all texts from the same publisher. These resources are already digitized. It shouldn’t be rocket science to sell them piecemeal.

Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

All the usual clichés, with special emphasis on letting your teaching goal drive your technology and not the opposite. I only use a technological tool if it lets me do something that I couldn’t do with a simpler tool. For example, student PowerPoint projects can let students use pictures as well as voice to describe a room instead of just describing it with a recorded file. It gives them confidence and lets me see if they know their right from their left (in English).

Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?

My students do brilliant, creative, linguistically insightful projects, like this video: http://web.li.gatech.edu/~rdrury/600/oral/video/getholdyou.wmv (be patient, it’s slow . . . and no, I don’t carry a pistol).

Stephanie Buechele

Stephanie is a second-year PhD student in instructional technology. Her interest in CALL stems from the work that she has done for and with Dr. Greg Kessler. He introduced her to CALLIS and she has been involved with the group ever since.

 


E-mail: sb704206@ohio.edu
Affiliation: Ohio University
Years in the CALLIS: almost 3 years

Q: Favorite platform?

Apple

Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?

My Flip camera. There are so many possibilities for its use in education and language learning.

Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?

My father. Every once in a while I get e-mails from him with video links or articles he thinks would be related to my research.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

Green-screen technology manipulated for language-learning purposes.

Q: What are you working on now?

Research on the use of iPods for pronunciation tutoring.

Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?

I’d like to see more research from a teacher perspective, especially what teachers think they are doing in the classroom versus what they are actually doing in terms of CALL integration.

Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know what might work.

Carla Arena

Carla Arena is the educational technology supervisor and teacher trainer at Casa Thomas Jefferson (http://www.ctj.thomas.org.br), a Binational Center in Brasilia, Brazil. She is an enthusiastic lifelong learner who believes in the transformative power of technology for learning. She is part of the Webheads international community of educators, is involved in the Electronic Village Online (a TESOL project), and is a member of the CALLIS Steering Committee. You can find out more about her projects at http://brazilbridges.pbworks.com.



E-mail: carlaarena@gmail.com
Affiliation: Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasilia, Brazil
Years in the CALLIS: 5 years

Q: Favorite platform?

It is hard to choose a favorite platform, for I think there are different ones that serve diverse purposes. I like all that lead to community building and networked learning. I’d say VoiceThread (http://voicethread.com), Flickr (http://flickr.com), Twitter (http://twitter.com), Blogger (http://blogger.com), andNing (http://ning.com) are powerful platforms that I really enjoy.

Q: For you, what is the one indispensable tool/Web page?

Nowadays, Twitter and Diigo (http://diigo.com) are essential tools for my professional development and for connecting to people and ideas worldwide.

Q: What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?

Serendipity happens all the time in Twitter and I’d say that Flickr, though a photo-sharing space, brings a lot of unexpected learning through visuals and slideshows.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

Wow. Tough question, for I’ve been exploring many different types of CALL production with my students. Recently a fun CALL project with my students was the creation of a VoiceThread in which my Brazilian teen students taught foreigners how to pronounce Portuguese words. The grammar point they were studying was relative pronouns and clauses. So, we practiced in a very creative way, and students had the chance to decide which words they wanted to define and also how to teach the pronunciation of those words to an international audience.

Q: What are you working on now?

I’m supervising the Educational Technology area of the language school I work for in Brasilia, Brazil, training teachers and giving them support to meaningfully incorporate technology into their lesson plans. I’ve been working on the e-learning area, devising online courses, teaching them, and supervising a group of e-tutors. I’m involved in the TESOL Electronic Village Online 2010 moderators training session (http://evosessions.pbworks.com) plus a cool international collaborative project in Flickr called Schools Around the Globe.

Q: What area would you like to see developed/researched?

I think I’d like to see more research done in the area of e-learning in language learning/teaching, mainly for beginners. Is an online setting for beginners a viable option?

Q: In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

Pair up with someone willing to move forward just like you and dare.

Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?

This is not the funniest but the most rewarding story. Once, I was taking a TESOL Certificate online course, and I met Dennis Oliver. We started interacting, collaborating on international projects with our students, sharing, and learning from one another. We’ve been in touch for years now. He’s always a guest in my online courses, he helps my students, and he gives me a big hand with my CALL endeavors, but we’ve never met face-to-face. CALL has torn down all the geographical barriers. Dennis even sends birthday cards to my family members!



Keeping Up With the Community Photo of Past Chairs During the 25th Anniversary Celebrations

TESOL 2009 marked the 25th anniversary of the CALLIS. The reception, attended by 13 past chairs, was just one of many events celebrating the anniversary. From left to right: Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Sandy Wagner, Susanne McLaughlin, Steve Sharp, Suzan Stamper, Deborah Healey, Tom Robb, Susan Gaer, Claire Bradin Siskin, Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, John Madden, Roger Kenner, and Vance Stevens.


Call for Articles

On CALL welcomes your contributions of articles, reviews, opinions, announcements, and reports of conference presentations. We also would like to hear your suggestions, ideas, and questions. Send one or more of the above to Larry Udry at ludry@dwci.edu or Suzan Stamper at stampers@iupui.edu.



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.


CALL-IS 2009-2010 Community Leaders

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

Chair-Elect: Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu

Past Chair: Sandy Wagner, sandylw303@yahoo.com

Newsletter Editors: Suzan Stamper, stampers@iupui.edu and Larry Udry, ludry@dwci.edu

Webmaster: Stephanie Buechele, sb704206@ohio.edu; Tom Robb, callis@tomrobb.com; and Steve Sharp, ssharp66@gmail.com

Steering Committee Members

09-12 Rita Zeinstejer, rita@zeinstejer.com

09-12 Dafne Gonzalez, dygonza@yahoo.com

09-12 Justin Shewell, jshewell@asu.edu

08-11 Troy Cox, troy_cox@byu.edu

08-11 Chris Sauer, chris.s.sauer@gmail.com

08-11 Deborah Healey, dhealey@uoregon.edu

07-10 Aiden Yeh, aidenyeh@yahoo.com

07-10 Andrew Bowman, ielc.lab@wichita.edu

09-10 Carla Arena, carlaarena@gmail.com

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