On CALL News, Volume 22:2 (March 2005)

by User Not Found | 10/28/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • Message From the Editor
  • Articles
    • The Electronic Village: What is it, and Why Should you Visit it?
    • It Takes a Village: A Personal Story of the Meaning of the EV
    • Volunteer in the Electronic Village in San Antonio!
    • Highlights of the 2005 Internet Fair
    • Teaching With Concordances
  • Community News and Information
    • Call for Submissions
    • Volunteer Opportunities at TESOL 2005: CALL Electronic Village
    • About This Member Community

Leadership Updates Message From the Editor

By Dawn Bikowski, bikowski@ohio.edu

Another convention is here and promises to be as exciting and professionally rewarding as ever! We've put together a special preconvention issue for you this year, highlighting activities in the Electronic Village, outlining easy ways you can get involved, and offering discussions on some exciting things going on in CALL today. Don't miss the article "Teaching With Concordances" by Katherine Moran and Luciana Diniz, which ties into plenary speaker Doug Biber's talk on "Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching: The Next Nexus?" The article provides extremely useful information on using concordancers in the classroom.

For any members new to CALL, note our session "CALL for Newcomers." It will be held in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, room 217D, on Thursday, March 31, 4:00-5:00 p.m. We'd love to see you there!

Also note the CALL Interest Section Open Business Meeting, 5:00-7:00 p.m., on Wednesday, March 30, in room 006C of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Your input is important, so come join us.

Finally, you may want to refer to the regularly updated online program planner on the TESOL website, at http://www.tesol.org/planner. You can also find CALL IS conference information at http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005.

I hope to see you there!


Articles The Electronic Village: What is it, and Why Should you Visit it?

By Steven Sharp, e-mail: ssharp@pgcps.org

Physically speaking, the Electronic Village (EV) is a lab in the Gonzalez Convention Center, room 217D, coordinated by the CALL Interest Section. It has about 20 PC and Mac computers and several tables with information about publisher's software. However, the EV is much more than a room full of computers and tables! It's a place to network, learn, volunteer, and share ideas with CALL leaders and novices alike. In short, it's a community.

To see a schedule of the many great events scheduled in the EV for the 2005 convention, visit http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005/schedule.html, and to see the schedule by topic, visit http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005. Below is a listing of what is going on:

  • Open Hours: These are hours with no organized events. Visitors can check out and sample software; visit websites dealing with CALL or ESOL activities; or network with other people interested in using computers for language instruction.

  • Applications Fair (Wed.-Sat., 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Wed. 4:00-5:00 p.m.): In this flexible event organized around a topic, approximately five presenters are spread throughout the room per session, simultaneously demonstrating how they've used a software program in an ESOL setting. Attendees visit the presentations that seem pertinent to them. Applications range from Google to Criterion to PureVoice. You'd be amazed at what clever stuff you can do with simple applications!

  • Internet Fair (Wed.-Sat., 8:30-9:30 a.m.): Another very useful, practical event, this fair is similar to the Applications Fair, except presentations are Web-based and not limited to specific software applications. They are also organized according to topics, so check out the schedule for what interests you. For more information read Highlights of the 2005 Internet Fair,an article by Malika Lyon, included in this issue of the CALL-IS e-newsletter.

  • Internet Fair Classics (Thurs.-Fri., 2:00-3:30): The Classics Fair is similar to the Internet Fair but features past Internet Fair presenters who have been invited back because of high participant interest. If you've missed previous Internet Fairs, be sure to come to this event! Learn how to build students' problem-solving skills, how to use free online course management systems, and to use some links and activities that may be useful for your student population.

  • EV (Mini)Workshop (Wed.-Fri., 12:30-2:00): This hands-on event is a unique opportunity for participants (who sign up for the event in the EV prior to the workshop) to work on computers while the presenter instructs. Topics range from learning to use free course management systems to using blogs in the classroom to making movies.

  • Developer's Showcase (Fri., 4:30-6:30): This two-hour, high-attendance event is an opportunity for attendees to see and discuss what developers are working on. It is an interesting event that is guaranteed to stimulate useful discussions and creative ideas!

  • CALL for Newcomers (Thurs., 4:00-5:00): This event is intended to help newcomers become more acquainted with the Interest Section, the EV, and all CALL-IS-related activities. Stop by and learn more about how CALL-IS can help you or how you can become more involved in CALL-IS.

Be sure to check out the CALL EV 2005 home page at http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005/ for more information.

Steven Sharp is the ESOL technology teacher for the ESOL Language Minority Program of Prince George's County Public Schools. He has taught at the middle and high school level, and has been directly involved with the Electronic Village since the TESOL convention in Baltimore in 2003.

Soohkee Plotkin (sookhee.plotkin@pgcps.org) contributed to this article. She is an ESOL teacher at Bladensburg Elementary School, in Bladensburg, Maryland. She has been involved with the Electronic Village for the past year.

It Takes a Village: A Personal Story of the Meaning of the EV

By Thomas Leverett, e-mail: leverett@siu.edu

I am not a native technophile; in fact, I even have trouble changing ink cartridges and making them work. I joined CALL-IS many years ago because I knew no one else in my program would, and because I felt that the world of teaching was changing too quickly for me to not at least try to keep up with some of the changes. I was right on both counts. It's still not easy for me, as I struggle with everything from chat to WebCT. Wimba and streaming video are way over my head, and I don't find it easy to apply basic design principles on lots of important web pages. Some colleagues are really impressed with my achievements, and I model the patience and can-do spirit necessary to get past technological hurdles, but when I'm around people who really know what they're doing, I often feel like a charlatan. There's so much to know (and, in my case, so little time)! But it's somewhat like playing the fiddle; no matter how bad you are, usually the people who are good at it are encouraging, because they know that you'll get better if you keep at it, you'll find lots of rewards in learning and using it, and the world is never too small for another person who enjoys using technology in education.

That's why I love the Electronic Village (EV) at the TESOL convention. It amazes me that people set up all these computers for an event that takes less than a week; just to be in a room with a computer at every station, loaded with useful software, fills me with awe and respect for the volunteers who manage it. People show what they do, and they do everything from delivering online classes to using international conferencing, voice identification systems, and speech analysis. I open my eyes as wide as a child and try to take it in quickly. And this is another way that learning to teach with and use computers is like learning the fiddle: It is always amazing to watch or hear someone who has mastered it, someone who knows a good trick and can tell you how to do it.

Of course, some people come to the EV trying to sell software or an online program, and that's ok; it's an open market and a free world. But my school doesn't have much money for this, and I often think of some advice I heard a few conferences back: If you have only a little money, don't buy software-train a teacher. If you have a teacher who will use the computer, he or she will get others started, but if you don't, whatever you buy will just sit there.

Sometimes my own inadequacy makes me feel left behind, longing for the safety of the cretaceous limestone chalk era, where the only danger was touching a chalky blackboard or scratching the chalk unpleasantly. But I realize that, compared with some of my colleagues, I'm at least partially aware of what's around the corner. After some time in the EV, I actively bring home things that I've learned and try them with my students; I teach students and colleagues how to upload pictures and text; I make people in my own environment more comfortable with technology. And I find the favor returned at the EV; people with more experience than me are gracious, sharing, and welcoming. Information wants to be free, and it spreads easily here, as people teach each other how to use new tools, how to go around what seem like formidable technological hurdles, or how to use new innovations effectively in teaching and learning. And they are able to do it, even on temporary computers set up in a temporary hotel site.

There's another way that it's like the fiddle and a good bluegrass event: Though the presentations alone are worth the admission, it's what happens in the parking lot that really makes you glad you went. For that's where new things are shared, in the generosity of friendship, where they seem to last longer and become tangible skills that we can take home with us. I hope to see you there!

Thomas Leverett has taught ESL at CESL, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, for over 10 years, and has been a member of CALL-IS for most of that time.

Volunteer in the Electronic Village in San Antonio!

By Claire Bradin Siskin, e-mail cbsiskin+@pitt.edu

As many of us already know, the Electronic Village is a nexus of activity and one of the most desirable places to be at each TESOL conference. In this room, CALL-IS offers an impressive array of services to TESOL at large. But all this doesn't happen by magic. We urgently need volunteers during the conference so that the EV can function smoothly.

Thus I offer my Top Ten list of reasons to volunteer in the EV:

10. Brownie points: You can impress your boss back home when you explain how hard you worked at TESOL.

9. Social skills: If you have a "geeky" personality, you can practice your social skills by serving as a greeter.

8. Technical skills: If your personality is more social, you can practice your "geek" skills by serving as a consultant.

7. Experience: You will gain practice in dealing with computer novices. ("No, this isn't hiphop jewelry; it's a jump drive.")

6. Free parking: If you volunteer for 3 hours, you will get 3 hours of free parking at the convention center.

5. Free food: If you volunteer for 3 hours, you will get a lunch voucher.

4. Identity: You will get to wear a cool cap or pin that identifies you as an EV volunteer.

3. Information: You will learn more about the fantastic resources in the EV.

2. Social climbing: You will get to know the other undoubtedly cool people in the EV!

1. Involvement: You will feel that you are part of the conference and not just an attendee.

To set up your volunteer shift in advance, please get in touch with Laurie Moody at dqm4884@nyu.edu. Or you can show up in the EV at the conference and see what volunteer opportunities look right for you. See you there!

Claire Bradin Siskin is director of the Robert Henderson Language Media Center, University of Pittsburgh. She is responsible for all aspects of the Center and provides media and services for all language departments at the university.

Highlights of the 2005 Internet Fair

By Malika Lyon, e-mail malika@ku.edu

Come stop in for a minute at one of this year’s Internet Fair sessions; whatever your teaching situation or experience, the Internet Fair has something for you! Every morning from 8:30 to 9:30 in the Electronic Village (in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, room 217D), 10 presenters will be sharing their knowledge and experience with those interested in using technology in the classroom.

Presentations are organized around topics, with Wednesday being “Higher Ed, Adult Ed, IEP,” Thursday being “Student Projects, K-12, Intercultural Communication,” Friday being “Authoring, Tools, Distance Education,” and Saturday being “Internet Resources, Teacher Training.”

Following is a sampling of the approximately 40 Internet Fair presentations that will be taking place this year. For a schedule of Internet Fair presentations and a list of events in the EV for this year’s conference, see http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005.

“What’s New (2004–2005)” by perennial favorites Lawrence and Charles Kelly, who have collected a variety of great online activities.

“The ABCs of Digital Voice Journals” by Randall Davis, of Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab fame, will include tips on assigning topics for journals, helping students record and save their voices in MP3 audio on portable storage devices, and e-mailing their recordings to a teacher.

Blogging will be demonstrated and discussed by several presenters, each in connection with a different type of teaching situation. Ishbel Galloway has designed her novice-friendly presentation to “look critically at some existing ESL blogs and assess their potential to assist language learning.” Sookhee Plotkin will demonstrate how blogs were used by third- through sixth-grade students in an elementary school setting. Cynthia Wiseman and Anne Kornfeld will show how they used blogs in ESL/developmental writing classes and created an effective cybercommunity. Finally, Thomas Leverett and Laura Halliday will present “Teaching Teachers to Use Weblogs Effectively.”

“Listening and Speaking” will be represented by Aiden Yeh, who will show various online videos such as commercials, video trailers, and video résumés that can be used to enhance discussion on language and culture-related topics. Lesson plans, task requirements, and samples of students’ projects will be included. Vino Reardon will demonstrate the use of Internet sites for additional listening practice and background information for a content-based speaking and understanding course. URLs of useful sites and sample worksheets will be provided.

Vocabulary building will be elaborated on by Janet Benger with "Advanced Vocabulary Learning and Teaching Tools." She also will demonstrate the various tools available in Tom Cobb's The Compleat Lexical Tutor and Sandra Haywood's Using the Academic Wordlist, both of which include texts and exercises that are ready to use. Ellen Measday will demonstrate a "magnetic" poetry and writing site. Bill Walker will show how the vocabulary knowledge of students can increase rapidly when they are guided through a comprehensive online concordance website-The Virtual Language Center (http://www.edict.com.hk/concordance/)-by using worksheets that require them to find definitions, parts of speech, and synonyms.

“NetEnglish” by Andrew Bowman will include a web browser developed especially for ESL students. Internet Fair visitors get free CDs of the browser! (See http://webs.wichita.edu/ielc-lab/NetEnglish/ for more details.)

“Electronic Village Online” by Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, Chris Jones, Aiden Yeh, Maria Jordano, Dafne Gonzales, and Vance Stevens will include examples from the 14 online EV sessions, including online video, Moodle construction, content-based curricula, blogging, community support for ITAs, and many others.

“EFL Teachers Integrating Internet Technology” led by Silvio Avendano, reports on Latin American teachers implementing CALL projects in their home countries, through a project organized by the University of Maryland.

The ESL Infusion Website by Antoinette Gagne and Amir Soheili-Mehr includes print and multimedia resources as well as possible assignments and classroom activities to address the new policy in some parts of North America that every teacher should be able to teach ESL children.

“ERN Lesson Plan Archives for Teachers,” by Karima Mehanny, will include the lesson plan archives on the ERN website (Educators Resource Network of Partners for a Competitive Egypt, funded by USAID), which is useful for K–10 teachers.

“Cyberschoolbus” by Karen Rodriguez will feature this United Nations site.

“English Teacher’s Desk” by Heyoung Kim will include a wonderful, new, novice-friendly site that enables users to easily create many types of tasks and quizzes, offers a collection of web resources, and helps teachers to understand the features of effective CALL tasks.

Online teacher training will be featured by Karen Woodman, who will demonstrate how online instructors can increase student participation through more interactive web-based activities, and Leslie Opp-Beckman and Cynthia Kieffer, who will present “Critical Thinking Skills, An Online eTeacher Course,” which ran 10 weeks during fall 2004 and included many countries.

Writing skills will be addressed by Isaiah Yoo, who will introduce participants to some of his institution’s extensive archives of online courseware, especially Expository Writing for Bilingual Students, High-Intermediate Academic Communication, and Advanced Workshop in Writing for Science and Engineering. Kyung-Hee Bae, Elena Poltavchenko, and Dudley Reynolds will show how they have incorporated the Internet into teaching writing in a pre-university intensive English writing program and in a university freshman composition course and how corpus data can be integrated in these writing courses. Christine Meloni and Belinda Braunstein will present the “Coast to Coast Collaborative Internet Project” involving their two classes of intermediate-level ESL students. Nancy Overman will share her techniques and worksheets for “Noticing Grammar Through Online Reading,” and Sharon Sylvester will present an online student newspaper created with Microsoft Publisher.

Langland and the continuing evolution of this open-source, 3-D virtual world will be demonstrated by Douglas Coleman, Alex Wrege, and Greg Kessler. Participants in Ohio will interact with those at the TESOL convention.

We hope you can make it to some or all of the Internet Fair sessions. Remember, for a schedule of Internet Fair presentations and a list of events in the EV for this year’s conference, see http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005or stop by the EV when you get to the conference.

See you there!

Malika Lyon teaches upper-level writing, speaking/understanding, and pronunciation at the Applied English Center at the University of Kansas. She has a PhD in education (ABD), an MA in TESL, and a BA in anthropology.

Teaching With Concordances

By Katherine Moran, e-mail: kate.moran@gmail.com, and Luciana Diniz, e-mail: esllsdx@langate.gsu.edu

A concordancer is a common feature of software programs designed to analyze a corpus ( a collection of whole texts stored in a database). When a user searches for a word in a corpus, the concordancer returns all the occurrences of the word within its context of use. The list of examples is called Key Words in Context (KWIC). Because the concordancers show so many examples in the context of the same word, language students are likely to deduce the meaning and patterns of the word. Furthermore, many of the grammatical features of a word (e.g., the preposition that follows it) are immediately clear if one analyzes several examples of the word. The contexts can be displayed in a line or in a sentence or paragraph.

Corpus-based concordances can be an effective tool for second language learning (Hunston, 2002; Sinclair, 2004). By analyzing concordance lines, for example, students are encouraged to investigate their own questions and therefore become more independent learners. Some of the primary benefits of concordance lines in language learning include promoting students' autonomy and helping them become responsible for their own learning.

Corpus linguistics methods, particularly those using the concordancing feature available for most corpora, are undoubtedly powerful tools for language teaching and learning in general, but especially for L2 writing. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, corpus-based pedagogical materials are not widely available or used by teachers and learners in both ESL and EFL contexts (Hunston, 2002; Sinclair, 2004). Partially because of the dearth of materials, teachers are often unaware of how to effectively incorporate the benefits of corpus-based concordances into their instructional modules. This article aims to bridge this gap between theory and practice in corpus linguistics by providing a hands-on framework for teachers to use when helping their students work with concordance lines.

The Framework

The framework consists of four steps to help students move from teacher-guided investigation to independent practice and pattern recognition.

Step 1: Activating schema

This first step is intended to highlight the knowledge students already have. Having students think about and discuss their knowledge of the target form prepares them for the next step.

Step 2: Investigating

In this phase, students are presented with a list of concordance lines from appropriate corpora containing the target feature. Students examine the use of the target form in the concordance lines and compare the actual usage with their perceived usage discussed in step 1.

The teacher can make some choices when presenting the concordance lines to the students, depending on their level of language proficiency as well as their familiarity with the tool. For an advanced class already accustomed to using a corpus in their learning, the teacher can ask the students themselves to find the target word(s) in the concordancer. For a less advanced class, however, we would recommend that the teacher preselect the concordance lines that make the learning objective more salient.

Step 3: Guiding analysis

This step is intended to help students recognize usage patterns that are present in the concordance lines. By noticing patterns in use, students can form general rules for using the target form.

Step 4: Follow-up

After students have discovered a pattern or a rule, the follow-up gives them an opportunity to practice using the target form in a meaningful way, which helps students internalize the pattern or rule they discovered in the previous steps.

Example Activity

The following example demonstrates how this framework operates with an actual activity. The objective is to raise students' awareness of the negative context of the words that usually follow the verb commit.

Step 1: Activating schema

In this first step, the students are asked to write down (individually or in pairs) five words that they directly associate with the verb commit. The teacher can ask the students to think in terms of who commits what.

Step 2: Investigating

After students are provided with concordance lines, they check whether the words that they associated with commit are similar to the ones they predicted. The following sample lines were taken from the Brown Corpus, available online throughhttp://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.htm. The Brown Corpus was used for this activity because the corpus is composed primarily of spoken and written American English texts. Many other resources are available online, and the teacher must select one appropriate for the objectives of the class. For example, if students are focusing on learning academic writing, it is important that they use concordance lines taken from an academic writing corpus. The appendix of this article contains a list of free online concordancers.

Here are six sample concordance lines for this activity (online, a more complete context-even the entire paragraph-can be found by clicking on each target word in each line).

ual may find it possible, say, to commit adultery not only without personal
ired strength, bravado, daring to commit murder. "That worm a murderer? Ridi
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin [That is, he does not practice
, said he "do you think people who commit suicide go to heaven"? and she ans
omorrow. Also our plans for me to commit Charlie's murder and for him to com
es known, people might hire us to commit crimes for them." "Delightful,"

Step 3: Guiding analysis

The teacher asks the students if they find something in common among the words that follow commit. If students are going in a wrong direction, the teacher can ask more direct questions, such as, "Do the words that follow commit have a positive or a negative meaning?" or "Can you commit happiness or birthday parties? Why?"

Step 4: Follow-up

In this phase, students are provided with many words with positive and negative meanings (e.g., suicide, happiness, love, murder). They are asked which of these words can follow commit.


The framework provided in the article can be easily adapted for a wide range of language teaching points including vocabulary acquisition, differences in synonym use, usage variation in register or genre, preposition choice, semantic prosody, or word connotation (see Tribble & Jones, 1997, for several ideas on how to use concordances in the classroom). As previously stated, teachers can preselect concordance lines to assist lower proficiency levels or to make a language feature more salient.


Some useful free concordancers


Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Sinclair, J. (2004). Introduction. In J. Sinclair (Ed.), How to use corpora in language teaching (pp. 1-14). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Tribble, C., & Jones, G. (1997). Concordances in the classroom. A resource book for teachers (2nd ed.). Houston, TX: Athelstan.

Luciana Diniz is a PhD student in applied linguistics at Georgia State University. Her interests are corpus linguistics, metaphors, and CALL.

Katherine Moran is an MA student in applied linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University. She is interested in the uses of corpus linguistics for both pedagogical and research purposes.

Community News and Information Call for Submissions

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 Dawn Bikowski at bikowski@ohio.edu.


Volunteer Opportunities at TESOL 2005: CALL Electronic Village

March 30-April 2, 2005
San Antonio, Texas USA
Contact Laurie Moody at dqm4884@nyu.edu

You are invited to volunteer 1 1/2- or 3-hour blocks of your convention time at the Electronic Village (EV).

We need greeters at the front desk as well as consultants who can assist participants with the computers and software. In either case, you'll have a great opportunity to meet and work with others who share your interest in computers and language teaching and learning. To find out what is happening in the EV during convention, check the CALL EV Event Schedule at http://www.uoregon.edu/~call/ev2005/index.html

You can volunteer for 1 1/2-hour or 3-hour blocks during the following times:

  • Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

To join us, send an e-mail specifying how (Greeter or Consultant) and when you would like to volunteer to Laurie Moody at dqm4884@nyu.edu.

Then we will send you an invitation to the EV Volunteer Orientation Session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the EV (not required, but informative). Details to follow.

About This Member Community About the Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section Interest Section

TESOL's Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL IS) exists to work toward a definition of issues and standards in CALL, to facilitate communication and exchange, to contribute to the computer orientation of other members of TESOL, and to foster research into the role of CALL in language learning.

CALLIS 2004-2005 Community Leaders

Chair: Susanne E. McLaughlin, e-mail smclaugh@roosevelt.edu
Chair-Elect: Susan L. Gaer, e-mail sgaer@yahoo.com
Editor: Dawn M. Bikowski, e-mail bikowski@ohio.edu
Past Chair: Greg Kessler, e-mail kessler@ohio.edu
Coeditor: Suzan E. Stamper, e-mail smoody@cuhk.edu.hk
Steering Committee Member: Douglas W. Coleman, e-mail douglas.coleman@utoledo.edu
Steering Committee Member: Randall S. Davis, e-mail rd@esl-lab.com
Steering Committee Member: Sophie Ioannou-Georgiou, e-mail yiansoph@cytanet.com.cy
Steering Committee Member: Malika C. Lyon, e-mail malika@ku.edu
Steering Committee Member: John P. Madden, e-mail jmadden@mail.utexas.edu
Steering Committee Member: Christopher S. Sauer, e-mail csauer@dwci.edu
Steering Committee Member: Steven K. Sharp, e-mail ssharp@pgcps.org
Steering Committee Member: Suzan E. Stamper, e-mail smoody@cuhk.edu.hk
Steering Committee Member: Yu-Feng Diana Yang, e-mail yuyang@wsu.edu

Web sites: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~call/ and http://www.tesol.org/callis/

Discussion E-List: Visit http://www.tesol.org/getconnected to subscribe to CALLIS-L, the discussion list for CALLIS members, or visithttp://lists.tesol.org/read/?forum=callis-l if already a subscriber.