Congresos Reseñas WORLDCALL I Conference Report



Primer congreso mundial en torno a CALL


Celebrado en la Universidad de Melbourne (Australia),
del 13 al 17 de julio de 1998


Report compiled by Robin Goodfellow, Open University, UK

General | Opening remarks | Keynotes | Symposia | Paper Presentations

These reports are summaries of presentations attended by a group of volunteer rapporteurs. There were over 100 papers on the programme, so this is only a selection. The volunteers chose which ones to attend, so the selection is arbitrary. Apologies to those whose presentations haven't been included.


Reporter: Robin Goodfellow (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK.

This first WORLDCALL conference was the longest, densest, and most stimulating CALL conference I have attended. I congratulate the organisers, for their vision in putting together a substantial programme of variety and quality, and for the technical and administrative competence with which it was delivered. Plus, in the middle of it all, we were able to share the excitement of our French colleagues as their national football team beat the World for the first time since Charlemagne!

WORLDCALLs of the future should aim at being more than simply large international gatherings of state-of-the-art practitioners, as satisfying and useful as these may be. They should focus on bringing the experiences of language professionals in the developing world to the attention of the technologically privileged, and on finding ways to adapt the creative approaches currently being applied to teaching in stable environments, with relatively unlimited resources, to the circumstances of deprivation and dislocation. WORLDCALL98 started this process, with its scholarships and keynote policy, but we should be careful not to be smug.

Reporter: Paul Gruba (Centre for Communication Skills and ESL, University of Melbourne, Australia.

WORLDCALL was a well organised and managed conference and the staff of the Horwood Language Centre, particularly June Gassin, should feel proud of their efforts in making the conference a success. There event attracted over 300 delegates from 28 countries to become a truly international meeting.

For me, however, the greatest disappointment of the conference was in the somewhat variable quality in the papers presented. Beginning with the initial keynote speaker, Ben Schneiderman, several presenters put forward only sketches of what new media can be used for within educational contexts. Many presenters seemed hesitant, or unwilling, to give students true responsibility or voice within technology-mediated learning situations. Both behaviourists and cognitivist approaches to instruction were much in evidence for example, in talks which discussed stand alone computer applications. To be fair, however, there is a growing trend towards pedagogies and approaches which utilise a social constructivist perspective. Indeed, the keynote talk by John Barson advocated such an approach though he failed to articulate the body of work that exists to support the ideas he himself has come to believe. Unfortunately, little evaluation of such ideas has yet been conducted. In particular, assessment remains a weak point of CALL studies.

For WORLDCALL to mature beyond this inaugural conference, delegates will need to attend to issues already brought forward at other educational technology forums (including EdMedia and ASCILITE, for example), a sharper political focus on issues of access and equity will need to be highlighted, finally, organisers will need to encourage delegates to use languages other than English for both presentation and debate.

Reporter: Chris Hall (Department of German, University of Leicester, UK.

Just under 300 participants from 25 countries. Good spread of languages covered, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Ancient Greek, Irish, Hebrew, Xhosa, Gamileraay, Ganai.

Friendly atmosphere
Good organisation, except:

Opening remarks

Reporter: Robin Goodfellow, (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK.

June Gassin (Chair, WORLDCALL Organising Committee.

JG opened the conference, saying that the theme 'creativity' challenged us to think creatively about education and technology...."in the broadest sense - opportunities for all..". This commitment was reflected in the decision by the organising committee to sponsor 7 delegates from `developing' countries whose economies had been hit by the recent financial crises.

Edward Woodward (Chancellor, University of Melbourne)

EW stressed the themes of development of international (and informal) human networks, and the need to bridge the gap between the technologically advanced and 'those moving forward'. He said that WORLDCALL was one of the most important conferences the University of Melbourne was hosting this year.

Phil Haywood (Minister of Tertiary Education and Training)

PH emphasised the multicultural/multilingual nature of Australian (especially Victorian) society, the benefits it brings, and the role that language teachers and technology have to play in promoting the development of languages other than English.


Reporter: Robin Goodfellow, (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK.

Ben Schneiderman (Human-Computer Interaction lab, University of Maryland)
Educational aspirins for web fever - technology-supported, service-oriented language learning

The title was just a bit of wordplay - the talk revolved round his model of teaching/learning interaction summed up in the soundbite 'relate-create-donate' - students are taught to use multimedia tools to carry out projects which involve constructing web sites ('ambitious projects that are meaningful to someone outside the classroom'). He showed a video of the University of Maryland's 'teaching theatre' which was notable for its hi-tech hardware and the fact that it was modelled on the conventional classroom layout with rows of desks containing computers facing the 'teacher's dais' at the front. BS did not have much to say that was specifically relevant to language learning, other than that it is in the 'verbalisation of cognitive difficulties' that education takes place. This stress on verbalisation echoes that of other US pioneers of network-based learning, (eg: Turoff, Harasim) - the European tradition has often focused on processes of internalisation of 'tacit' knowledge (eg: Polanyi). I can't at the moment speak for Asian, African, & Pacific educational traditions, knowing next to nothing about them. Hopefully future WORLDCALLs will help me to remedy this deficiency. BS did suggest that as 'language is embedded in culture', language teachers could encourage their students to carry out translation or publishing projects in foreign languages. But, in my experience, it is sometimes difficult to justify time spent learning to manage computer applications, when there is the equally pressing need to devote time to language practice, correction, drilling etc. BS finished his talk with a quote from Al Gore (1992), about 'directly experiencing the vivid intensity of the ever-changing moment' - which didn't mean a great deal to me, although it sounded pretty good!

Graham Davies: (Thames Valley University - partner in Camsoft CALL publishing company.
True creativity often starts where language ends.

GD's title was taken from Arthur Koestler and he used it to argue that language professionals, including teachers, need to look beyond the printed word in the exercise of creativity in generating teaching material. The world of computer games such as Myst and Riven gives us an indication of the kind of graphical communication that technology holds out to us. He quoted a UNESCO survey of 1998 which revealed that 89% of UK school children claimed to have a computer at home, but only 81% said they had at least 25 books - a generation brought up 'in a different tradition'. But web technology has even 'driven video backwards since the expodisk/montevidisco days. (GD quoted 'The dark side of the web' by Clare Brodin 1997 - ). GD enthralled his audience with a 5-minute sequence from Riven on a giant screen - a totally enchanting but, despite the interactivity (decide where to go - push levers - look through windows etc.), strangely passive experience. When transferred into a language-interaction simulation (Oscar Lake demo) the feeling of passivity was further emphasised, because of the absence of cultural clues (designed in, to preserve applicability to more than one target language, presumably in the greater interest of sales.). I rather felt that this made the opposite point than GD intended - although it is clear that CALL designers should look for inspiration to the creative achievements of the graphical world, they should also remember that it is mainly through language and culture that education works.

Madanmohan Rao (consultant in web-publishing at PlanetAsia, Bangalore.
Languages and the Internet - the push for multilingual publishing

MR focused on 2 themes which are relatively new to international CALL - computer networks as a platform for lifelong learning, and the `culturally enabling' impact of the Internet on ethnic populations living outside their country of origin. The latter is an interesting perspective for language teachers; members of cultural Diaspora (Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese etc.) now have, for the first time ever, a platform to express their cultural identity across national boundaries. (Eg: 730,000 Indians access the web from 75 different countries). MR aired some statistics that were new to many of the delegates: China and Japan have over 10m net users, Thailand has a network connection in every school, Jordan has recently launched an Arabic-speaking internet service. "Unlike mass media, the Internet gives developing countries the chance to project their culture worldwide".

For me this talk was THE keynote of the conference, because it gave a genuinely global perspective to the notion of WORLDCALL. It was pleasing that the discussion on the circumstances of developing countries continued in sessions and symposia throughout the conference, although I felt that the issue of language education at a distance, in the service of lifelong learning, did not really get much of an airing. Maybe a theme for a future conference?

John Barson (Professor Emeritus of French at Stanford U.
Dealing with double evolution: action-based learning approaches and instrumental technology.

A large part of JB's talk was devoted to an extended metaphor for the exploration of technical learning environment, based, with winsome illustrations, on a children's story about a mouse learning to paint. This I personally did not appreciate, and wish that keynote speakers would stick to making jokes for light relief and not try to charm their audiences. In the rest of his talk he made some interesting points about the likely convergence of student learning on the Net and the growth of the 'World's store of knowledge', and showed a video with some engaging examples of Stanford student web projects. It was ironical that, following JB's fulsome (and up to that point well-deserved) praise of the technical support the conference had received, we were kept waiting 5 minutes for the video display technology to work. Technological hubris conjures up pitfalls for all of us!

Chris Candlin (City University of Hong Kong.
WWWebbing, MOOing and Venning

CC based his highly erudite address on 2 simple diagrams illustrating ways of conceptualising the relation between Data (what he called `Texts'), Information (including tools), Processes (including means of access), and Strategy (including roles). In one diagram the components were tightly locked in a grid formation, in the other they were loosely joined by arrows. These were graphical representations of views of learning curriculum, the former product/transmission-oriented, the latter negotiated. He went on to elaborate by referring to remarks he made at a conference in 1984, which he believed still held true, in which he used 3 paintings as metaphors for curricula. and quoted Braque, Capra, Rutherford, and Van Lier. Talking about technologies, he characterised MOO and Web briefly in terms of language use strategies and appropriate learning styles, and summed up by claiming that "..the Web is open to the kind of process that all Second Language research tells us we need..". This I find strangely titillating as an idea, but I'm afraid I had lost the thread of the argument well before that - and I still don't see what Venn diagrams had to do with it!


Reporter: Robin Goodfellow, (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK.

CALL forward: New Technologies and new learning after the millennium.
Led by: Peter Liddell, Graham Davies, Mike Levy, Sue Otto, Madanmohan Rao

The panel were called on to discuss the themes: CALL and new technologies, CALL and the learner, CALL and SLA theory. There was a lively discussion around issues such as: who controls technology-in-education, what are the prospects for intelligent interfaces, what does Second Language Acquisition theory have to offer CALL etc.

Help mechanisms, expert advice and guidance in computer-mediated language learning, with special reference to the Internet.
Led by: Roland Sussex, Deborah Hoven

The symposium leaders tried to engineer a discussion around the question of what kind of `expert help' students using the Internet might require. The discussion did not really develop because a) many in the audience did not themselves have sufficient experience of the technology to confidently address the question, and b) the concept of `expertise' never got properly defined, veering between an inappropriate notion of `correctness' in the use of the Web, and a vague set of pedagogical concerns to do with learning-as-surfing.

CALL in the developing world.
Led by Madanmohan Rao, Peiya Gu, Chen Hong, Pansy Kandiah, Gideon de Kock, Tsisana Tsiskaridze, Nghiem Van Ngo

This symposium consisted mainly of separate presentations by the symposium leaders, outlining the circumstances of CALL in their countries. The presentations were very informative, but a more energetic discussion might have been generated if more of the presenters had adopted Madan Rao's robustly provocative attitude to the relations between technological haves and have-nots.

Reporter: Chris Hall (Department of German, University of Leicester, UK.

What should we teach graduate students about CALL?

In a symposium or panel discussion entitled `What should we teach graduate students about CALL? CALL in MA and PhD programmes', Graham Chesters, Graham Davies, Robert Debski, Mike Levy, Sue Otto and Carol Chapelle outlined the contents of advanced degree programmes in CALL at Australian, British and US universities. As is to be expected with such a comparatively new field, there are considerable differences in the organisation, content and aims of these programmes, but it was extremely useful to have them presented side by side. Detailed information on course content is available on a number of web sites, especially those of the universities of Hull, Melbourne and Queensland.

Reporter: Peter White (University of Queensland, Australia.

CALL in Schools. Led by Denis Cunningham, Karin Barty, Christine Ekin-Smyth, Anne Gugger, Elaine Tarran

The panel were all educators from Victoria. Each participant provided some details as to how CALL and technology overall was used in their areas.

Denis stated that there are 30 discrete or independent technologies useable for 2LL which include audiographics (telematics), video conferencing, interactive books, ISTV, CD-ROMS, the Internet and the Web. In setting up a technologically based program, it is important to consider the questions of who, what, how, where and when. He indicated how the Victorian School of Languages uses some of these technologies.

Karen Barty discussed the establishment of a virtual classroom. She was involved in setting up such for Years 11 and 12 which used the Internet, voice links via telephone, and email for teachers and students. Year 12 used the system synchronously whereas Year 11 used it asynchronously.

Christine Ekin-Smyth talked about the Victorian Education Department's Navigator Schools - pilot schools involved in using technology within their curriculum design. She discussed Victoria's commitment to technology in education which is a major networking of all schools, the training of all teachers, and the provision of a laptop computer for each teacher in State schools.

Ann Gugger is a Webmaster with the Victorian School of Languages and works with Japanese teachers. They are developing web pages in Japanese, and using a Web-base discussion group and email to contact Japanese teachers throughout the state. Professional development of teachers is an essential component to make the system work. She make a point that by using this sort of approach, changes are needed in classroom management and resources. There is a big change from managing kids to one of more experimentation.

Elaine Tarran is the head of languages at Scotch College, which teaches French, German, Chinese and Indonesian. The college has a languages and cultures centre with Macintosh and PC-based self-access labs. There are links all around the school for lap top connections to the Internet and the college's own proxy server. The college takes a holistic approach: technological literacy underpins the whole curriculum. Professional development for teachers is a given and there is a philosophy of belonging to a learning community.

However, she make a point that computers don't drive the curriculum. In the languages area they use generic software instead of CALL programs per se. So they use Filemaker Pro and Access for concordancing, spreadsheets and the Internet for cultural analysis, etc. While they do use CALL CD-ROMs, she claims there is a `chasm' between software designers and teachers.

The college is part of global classroom project. For further details, go to

Paper Presentations

Reporter: Robin Goodfellow, (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK.

Graham Chesters (University of Hull, UK.
Merlin: Course delivery, tutor support using two global networks.

GC described Hull University's Merlin project which piloted some courses in EFL on the Internet, using the dual platform of Web and telephone system. The idea was to 'socialise the internet' by providing tutor support for cooperative learning. GC reported that 85% of the student participants achieved their target reading skills, as against 67% of a classroom-taught control group. Hull is going on to extend the use of the Merlin platform to other disciplines.

Margaret Allan (James Cook University, Australia. Language awareness and the support role of technology.

MA discussed the requirements of a Language Support Network for learners of English for Academic Purposes, to provide alternatives to scheduled language classes, face-to-face tutorials, and special language support for areas such as Science. She was concerned to base her approach on theoretical principles derived from work in corpus linguistics and data-driven learning. She proposed the use of concordancy to extract focal examples for 'language awareness tasks' from specialist journals. Some interesting discussion arose from a question about whether the EAP problem is lexical-structural or rhetorical.

Terry Atkinson (University of Bristol, UK.
Researching language learning and technology

This presentation described an action research programmes in UK secondary schools (the only session dealing with secondary schools that I saw). TA started from the well-made point that most money goes on development not research (a syndrome we in CALL are well-familiar with). Pressure to show benefits from investment leads away from in-depth analysis of problems and towards facile talk of `solutions'. He described 6 projects investigating questions like: what are the benefits of getting students to develop web pages? (marginal improvement in writing skills) How do they solve problems using hypermedia? (Better with linear media - electronic books). What improvement does Fun with Texts produce? (None). What impact of using email for reciprocal (Eng-German) correction? (Improved motivation, awareness of errors) - due to authentic use of internet. What are characteristics of collaborative writing projects on the internet? (Heavy workload for online tutor). He Concluded that remote/peer tutoring and practitioner research have definite possibilities. Lots of questions showing that audience were engaged by the distinctions between `real' and `action' research, `research' and `professional development for teachers' etc. Very good presentation with admirable degree of scepticism necessary for objective assessment of role of technology.

Uwe Wilhelm (Acadia University, Canada. uwe.wilhelm@AcadiaU.Ca)
A dream come true? Teaching foreign language in a completely wired and 100% computer accessible learning environment.

This presenter perfectly reflected the schizophrenia of a technology-enthusiastic teacher who finds themselves at the mercy of technocrats. Acadia University being effectively in partnership for profit with IBM and other commercial interests (UW teaches in a classroom with a `Bank of Montreal' plaque on the wall behind him), IT is used to proclaim academic advantage over other teaching institutions. Its use is mandatory for teaching - all students are equipped with a laptop, and everywhere you sit down there is a plug (over 5000 access points throughout the campus). UW asked the crucial questions - does IT increase student motivation? Does it help them learn? His answers were qualified; intrinsic motivation seems to be diminished, there's no obvious evidence of improved learning - but there is enthusiasm amongst staff who can now `do things they couldn't do before' (although the downside is they can't do things differently from other people any more!). In the end UW remains enthusiastic about the particular potentials of technology for language learning, especially in the use of audio - but he is cynical about the motivation of the technological universities themselves - are they really interested in learning? Spending money on machines squeezes out people. He ended with a warning - `be careful what you wish for - you might get it!' Some people in the audience took up a discussion about the effect of IT-centred policies in turning face-to-face institutions into distance learning ones.

Roger Ganderton (University of Queensland, Aus.
Observing L2 reading on the World Wide Web: New processes and strategies for a new medium?

RG addressed the issue of research into the impact that world wide web formats have on students' reading. As he accurately pointed out, much current advocacy of the web for learning is based simply on the characteristics of the medium (eg: hypertext) or anecdotal experience from enthusiastic teachers. The research described was a study of 6 intermediate learners of French. Working in pairs, their discussions were recorded in an attempt to identify the reading strategies they used when carrying out a web-based task. Lots of useful categories of analysis were developed: students' managing of unfamiliar vocabulary & syntax, their apprehension of discourse structure (awareness of the structure of the pages & sites they were perusing), the critical choices they made etc. Although there were no clear conclusions advanced, the account gave rise to a lot of pertinent discussion about the difference between reading and browsing, the extent of understanding or retaining of information encountered, and the effects of setting task objectives as opposed to allowing learners free choice.

Richard Harrison, Graeme Smith (University of Melbourne, Aus.
VideoWatcher: Promoting creativity and collaboration in listening comprehension for Japanese in a networked computing environment.

This presentation described the development of classroom pedagogical techniques exploiting computer-based video manipulation technology to work with short clips from Japanese TV. The approach was imaginative and well-grounded in theories of group-based learning, and offered a solution to the problem of getting students `thinking actively' about language on television. In the course of development a large amount of data had been amassed (using a program called VideoWatcher) recording students' activities in selecting and exploiting video clips - in the spirit of collecting useful data of students learning with technology, but the presenters were as yet unable to decide what to do with it (ie: how to interpret it)! The fact that this presentation was entitled Videowatch suggests that the authors expected to focus more on the research data, but were overtaken by the need to do some good teaching with the technology. However, the data is clearly still there - is it too much to hope that they will one day either analyse it themselves, or make it available to someone else to use?

Nina Garrett (Wesleyan University, USA.
Towards a theory of CALL

Despite her title NG claimed not to be trying to develop a single theory of CALL, her interest was in tackling the tendency we have to "justify bits and pieces of CALL with bits and pieces of theory...". In the absence of any body of theory to help us determine what teachers and learners should do with computers, we are vulnerable to ideological mandates, such as the heavy emphasis on communicative models which leads us to undervalue the role of technology in more explicatory, behavioural, or distance-learning modes. The kind of theoretical issues we need to think through are those to do with characterising and distinguishing the particular kinds of learning that occur in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments. We need to develop falsifiable hypotheses out of our experience, in order to test the kind of computer-assisted learning that have 'no analog' in the face-to-face classroom. In the discussion that followed, many interesting issues were aired, including the kind of learning theories that students (not only teachers) have, and the problem of the ideologising of theory in general. NGs observations about the `bits and pieces' of theory are certainly born out when we look through the proceedings of conferences like this. But at least it shows we are aware of the need for principles and premises. Perhaps another take on the problem is to tackle the issue of research methodologies - what do we count as evidence of CALL in action?

Dominique Hemard (London Guildhall University, UK.
Good theory-based practice in hypermedia CALL: Design guidelines as a practical source of theoretical knowledge.

DH was arguing for the inclusion in CALL design considerations of a neglected body of theory - Human Computer Interaction. On the basis of a number of studies of users 'walking through' various learning programs, he concluded that instructional design has 'no chance' of realising the designers assumptions about learning, if the interface is wrong. His solution was to develop design guidelines able to provide expert support, procedures and checklists as a vehicle for bridging the gap between design theory and practice.

Franšoise Blin (Dublin City University, Eire.
Investigating the relationship between CALL and the development of learner autonomy: issues, research tools and preliminary results.

This presentation looked at how to study the relation between learner autonomy and the use of IT - a relationship which is the driving force behind the educational philosophy of a number of teaching institutions. FB described her use of learner diaries, individual and group reports, with 29 student scientists learning French. She presented 5 student autonomy 'profiles' derived from analysis of their approaches to tasks, monitoring, self-evaluation, planning and decision-making etc. These profiles showed that only the students with near-optimum levels of autonomy demonstrated fully constructive use of computer technology in their learning. The controversial conclusion suggested by this finding is that technology-use is a product rather than a factor in the development of, learner autonomy.

Linda Mak (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Learning ESL on electronic networks: verifying the claims and the evidence

LM set out to test some of the claims made for email interaction between students and teachers based on small scale studies. Her own studies focused on 20 discussion groups in the Helsinki University of Technology email writing project ( What she was particularly interested in investigating was claims to do with `technopower and suppression', for example, that teachers were held to use their status to dominate students online. LM described the electronic message schema she used to categorise messages according to the rhetorical `moves' they perform, and showed that there was no significant evidence of teacher domination in the email groups she examined. There was an interesting discussion about different cultural interpretations of some of these messages, in which, for example, expressions perceived as polite or neutral by students from China might be seen as patronising by students from Western Europe. A larger question concerning the problems of validating discourse analysis data as evidence of sociolinguistic behaviour hovered but did not get debated.

Claire Kennedy & Tiziana Micelli (Griffith University, Aus.
Student talk and multimedia

The presenters discussed the evaluation of students' work with a videodisk system for Italian. The evaluation focused on an analysis, from observation of pairs in conversational interaction, of strategies used in studying with authentic video material. Starting from the observation that managing the software interface during pairwork can actually impair communication, CK & TM described a neat piece of research which showed that an activity design in which the students were not required to talk whilst watching the video and only used the computer to help them complete comprehension testing activities afterwards, produced talk which was over 70% in the target language.

Leslie Shield (Open University, UK
Collaboration in a virtual world - group work and the distance language learner

This presentation was distinguished by having a virtual as well as an actual presenter - located 3000 miles away in Brazil, Marcus Weininger (University of Santa Catarina) interacted with the audience in real time via a MOO interface projected on the screen. The 2 presenters showed how MOO environments can involve students in interacting with virtual spaces as well as with other people, and this can be used as the basis for language learning projects. The MOO environments support links directly to web sites and to other tools, such as 'whiteboards' which can be used for collaborative work. Although this technology and its application to language learning represents an exciting and significantly new approach to CALL, it is surprising that this session was one of only two to explicitly address it (the other was Jane Turner, University of Queensland "Building a MOO environment: A walk out on the ICE")

Valarie Pickard (University of Hong Kong.
Concordancing student journal entries: an aid to course evaluation

VP described her use of concordance software to analyse EAP student journals following a course on `learning from expert writing'. She also discussed some of the issues of confidentiality which arise when using student diaries as data.

Matthias Schulze (UMIST, UK
Use and re-use of syntactic parsers in CALL: towards diagnosing learner input

This paper was the only one I could find in the whole programme dealing with natural language processing or 'intelligent' CALL, which is interesting since it is only 5 years since the debate about 'hard' versus 'soft' ICALL agendas was in full swing in Eurocall (see Matthews in Computers & Education 23, 1/2). This presenter admitted to preferring the term 'parser-based' to 'intelligent' CALL, because of his desire to support but not to impact on the learning process. He described a system which uses a grammar based on principles and parameters theory to report mismatches in student output back to the student so that they can reflect on their production. The enthusiastic response of the audience to this talk showed that there are still plenty of NLP supporters in the CALL community, just waiting for the pendulum to swing back!

Reporter: Paul Gruba (Centre for Communication Skills and ESL, University of Melbourne, Australia.

C. Andrews (University of Melbourne, Australia
Experimental writing on the web: Espace des folles/ Cybership of fools

Unique among the conference presentations, Andrews co-presented the work with two students who had actually participated in a Web-based learning project. After an explanation of the theory and issues that underlie the building of complex word games and puzzles (e.g., authors are not allowed to use the letter 'e' in short texts), Andrews introduced the two students who had built the site. Once student, it should be noted, was very comfortable with Java scripting whilst the other was clearly comfortable with French language study. None the less, the students stated that the project work `stretched their language abilities' beyond their ten years of French learning experience. The inclusion of the students allowed an opportunity for direct questions ('The workload was extreme -- what was in it for you as students?') and gave veracity to the effectiveness of the approach. The site they constructed was elegant, effective and full of challenge, and now stands as a resource for those interested in such approaches to French language exercises.

E. Avinor (University of Haifa, Israel.
Using childrens literature for remedial reading comprehension: Promoting cognitive autonomy

Faced with low-proficiency students in Israel, Avinor utilised CALL technologies (Win CALIS) to assist in the teaching of adult literacy skills. For Avinor, low level students are the most difficult to teach because of their `lack of cognitive strategies' and familiarity with complex texts. To entice their study and prepare them to gain entrance to tertiary institutions, children's literature is used. The literature, such as `Wind in the Willows' are typed into a text-only database and annotations are added. Students read the onscreen text and then click on a series of short answer questions. The application then responds with hints, correct or incorrect answers in colour-coded combinations. Humour in responses are prevalent throughout.

Avinor was well aware of audience criticism regarding the limitations of the text only application. Unfortunately, the lack of pedagogical foundations in her work precluded further discussion of why she chose to adopt such an approach to reading instruction. Regrettably too, Avinor did not discuss the socio-political context in which Israeli immigrants are given access to CALL technologies.

J. Colpaert (University of Antwerp, Belgium.
More creativity through in-depth structuring of multi-carrier language learning contents

In line with the conference theme, Colpaert began his paper with a discussion of the possible interpretations of 'creativity' and found that definitions of the construct vary widely. Wading through a number of possibilities, Colpaert advocated that educators adopt a version of in which creative activities imply a beneficial outcome. Unfortunately, he noted, theory in CALL has not yet developed sufficiently to lead to a significant impact on learning processes. As such, Colpaert asked questions regarding they type of research should we be doing to build CALL.

Colpaert criticised CALL practitioners for creating applications which had poor reusability and transferability, were labour intensive to construct and then exploited insufficiently. To correct these shortcomings in his own project that aims to transform CALL instruction in Belgium, Colpaert has created a design pattern intended to be a generic model for structuring language learning content. Database and templates, for example, are separated from software and data models within this approach. Further, multi-carrier considerations in moving texts from books to cd roms to internet applications are taken into account in the project.

Colpaert responded to questions of limitation of this model by stating that sound transfer, image interactivity and insufficient technologies hampered full realisation of the project. Further, more users were needed to test and evaluate the embryonic system.

D. Herren (Middlebury College, USA.
Cross-platform, network aware, development and delivery of CALL

As Herren ended his talk, the first question asked was: 'I'm sold, so how can I buy it?'. Seemingly more like a sales pitch at times than an academic paper, Herren presented work on the development of an application named `Media Engine' that aims to be a cross-platform, multilingual authoring system. With so many similar applications on the market, why bother? For Herren, the effort pays off in that it is designed specifically for foreign language instructors and meets all of their needs for ease of use, adaptability and cross-platform access. From the demonstration which took up the bulk of the presentation, Media Engine looks to be a strong contender for those looking to buy a simple CALL authoring system.

Responding to concerns that the application was not Internet compatible, Herren stated that the Web access to on the East Coast of the United States was often slow. Issues of copyright material also entered the decision to make the application stand alone for the moment. Later upgrades of the application, following its initial release in September, will include components for assessment and Java applets.

H. Liou (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.
Toward a model for CMC assisted EFL learning

Before focusing on Liou's presentation, it is worth noting that the word `model' is often abused among academics attempting to pull together a coherent theory of patterns within their observations. True models, it can be argued, meet three requirements: they can be subject to disconfirmability, are parsimonious and have an explanatory function. At this point in Liou's research, none of these criteria can yet be met. A preliminary framework, based on a brief investigation, better describes the presentation.

Following a dense review of theory related to Vygotskian theoretical perspectives and a critique that ideas related to the existence of a `zone of proximal development' still require investigation, Liou described a study of four students in Taiwan who worked with CALL writing applications. Process and product data were examined as a basis for the preliminary framework. At this stage of the investigation, the brief study and lack of precise definitions of terminologies has resulted in little more than simple line drawings that attempt to connect such constructs as `intersubjectivity' and `intertextuality' and `big external contextedness' within a series of boxes.

M. Ledgerwood (University at Stony brook, USA.
CALL within a Languages across the curriculum as a motivator for learning languages

Ledgerwood started his presentation with plea for help: is there anyone in the audience who can point out CALL resources that would assist in a `languages across the curriculum' project? From that point, the presenter described how the State University system of New York is attempting to better integrate the use of foreign languages in several content courses. Essentially, content lecturers allow students to complete at least one assignment in a foreign language (let's say, for example, a short historical paper in French within a European history class) during which they gain experience in using the target language. At some tertiary institutions, the initiative has been so successful as to not only save a department of German once it was connected to an Engineering program but to actually expand the number of academic staff needed.

Ledgerwood was asked questions concerning the details of the program as he demonstrated some Web-based applications which help lectures to annotate target language texts. At the moment, progress in the area is modest but appears to be growing.

K. Nozawa (Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan.
World wide web projects through collaborative learning

Nozawa described two projects which utilised the Web as a bulletin board to mount student work. Conducted at a Japanese university specialising in technology, the project aimed to help engineering students familiarise themselves with Web applications, work in small groups and learn to build Web pages. Members of the audience were given extensive displays of the sites as Nozawa explained their intricacies.

Unfortunately, the presenter did not discuss the motivation and need for collaborative learning at his institution. This appears to be a widespread flaw in a number of similar CALL projects. Instructors, it appears, are fascinated with the technologies at hand and neglect to explicitly teach students issues regarding small group dynamics, leadership theory, and conflict resolution. As a result, assumptions that 'collaborative learning just takes place' within a mediated environment take a hard fall. In this talk, for example, Nozawa admitted that attendance for the class dropped significantly and that many of the student mini-projects were left incomplete. Difficulties with technology, as opposed to flaws in group interactions or project management were blamed. Surely, as CALL matures and the rise in collaborative projects increases, there is a need to direct attention to models of communication utilised in other educational or business contexts that go far beyond explanations that site-building is a complex task.

Reporter: Margo J. Till (Queensland University of Technology, Australia.)

John Atkinson-Abutridy (Universidad de Concepcion, Chile)
Venus: Motivating the learning process of Spanish as a foreign language through multimedia

John Atkinson-Abutridy gave an entertaining presentation on a multimedia CD-ROM project for teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. Venus (the program's title) offers teachers of Spanish an opportunity to improve their language skills and further their knowledge of Chilean culture by interacting with authentic material. The goal of the project is to present core communicative situations with different linguistic function and notions included. Providing learners with the opportunity to explore language at a number of different levels is also a priority and the ability to navigate through Venus in a non-sequential manner helps to facilitate this linguistic exploration.

In the prototype model, a unit of work has been created around the theme of love and all components of the program pertain to this, the centrepoint being a love scene taken from a popular Chilean soap opera. Learners are able to access material on grammar, pragmatics, culture and vocabulary relating to material covered in the video segment and to the subject of "love" in general. A number of dialogues recorded by female and male native speakers of Spanish are available for them to listen to, and the option to record their own voices and to experiment with different roles is provided. Traditional aural comprehension exercises (based on the TOEFL format) are also available.

This project is impressive is its coverage of linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of language instruction. The choice of theme and the inclusion of authentic video and audio materials engender an environment where language learning is fun. Music is used to enhance learner interest and further linguistic and cultural knowledge as learners can hear a number of love songs and can read their lyrics and the singers' biographies.

Commercial distribution of the program is being considered but it was acknowledged that legal issues surrounding the use of authentic materials in multimedia production will need to be addressed before this can take place. The possibility of using the program as a template for further material creation was also raised.

Judith M. Gallian and Gerald Greenfield (Miyazaki International College, Japan.
Benchmarks for computer literacy: An intersection of information science and liberal arts

This presentation provided an overview of a course designed to help first year students at an English language liberal arts college in Japan develop computer skills while using English. Greenfield reported on the creation of a series of benchmarks for computer literacy intended to assist in assessing student skills and in measuring their progress. These benchmarks have been divided into four main categories: wordprocessing, page layout and graphics, Intranet and Internet, and HTML and web page authoring.

Gallian showed examples of work produced by the students in the course and observed several positive outcomes, such as:

students being able to apply skills learned in one program when using another students' development of independent research skills and ability to think critically about the material they were incorporating into their web pages collaborative learning as students worked together to complete projects "quieter" students participating actively in the class increased motivation exhibited by students arriving to class early and leaving late students taking advantage of the opportunity for self-expression by creating original work autonomous learning as within one class a multitude of different tasks were being accomplished students becoming more confident about demonstrating skills and abilities in front of their peers.

The presenters emphasised the need for flexibility in the planning process as well as in conducting classes. In the future the list of benchmarks will be refined in order that they include only those behaviours which are particularly characteristic of desired student learning outcomes.

Pansy Amirthamalar Kandiah (National Institute of Public Administration, Malaysia.
A course of adult distance learning: A multimedia model

Pansy Kandiah gave a demonstration of how their institute implements CALL into the on-campus module of their distance education program. Realising that distance education students have limited time to spend in the classroom, CALL is being used to accelerate their learning process by providing additional practice for lessons learned in class.

This program is used as a teaching aid to allow students to interact individually with specified language points. Collaboration is indirectly encouraged as the students first work independently deduce answers to the questions contained in the program and then discuss these answers with others in the class.

The interface and navigation have been standardised for each of the units enabling users to quickly acquire the skills needed to explore the application. Progress through the program is restricted to allow students to access only those units which have already been covered in class. This enables the student to focus on the material just presented while allowing them to review previous lessons. Experience has indicated that the one hour CALL modules seem to meet the minimum needs of most students.

An example unit was shown in which students were to practice "language of perception". The objective of the grammar-based lesson was set out and key terms defined. Interactive exercises were provided where students were asked to drag and drop words to complete sentences. Material was then consolidated within subsequent exercises. The application took advantage of the multimedia environment to allow students to read a text, listen to a model and then make their own recording for comparison on playback. The gradual removal of written text with each subsequent reading allowed students to gain confidence as they began to fill in the blanks on their own.

Future work will centre around developing additional CALL components in the areas of grammar and vocabulary. Addition of a pre and post test module may also be considered in order to better evaluate the students' progress in these areas.

William Haworth (Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
Web-Enhanced Language Learning: The WELL Project

Realising the full potential of the WWW is a common concern for language teachers. William Haworth spoke about how he and his colleagues are aiming to help teachers make the best use of the medium through their work on the WELL Project. The WELL Project is endeavouring to promote good pedagogy by providing access to high quality language learning resources on the WWW. Haworth reported that to help assess the information needs of the potential users needs, a questionnaire on the use of technology had been distributed across the entire higher education sector in the UK. Key findings highlighted by Haworth included:

With an emphasis on "low technology and high pedagogy", the site will specifically target those teachers interested in acquiring new teaching techniques. Representative examples of good practice are being selected for inclusion on the page and an e-mail discussion list has been started to help facilitate information exchange between the "digerati" and the "technophobes". Maintenance of a collection of teacher's experiences with the web is intended to encourage critical assessment of the use of the medium. Future developments will include a learner section to complement the teacher's material.

A cautionary note was sounded about administrators who see the web use as a means of multiplying student numbers while reducing staffing. Training and knowledge sharing are seen as ways to combat this trend.

Gearoid O Neill (University of Limerick, Eire.
An Focloir Beag: An on-line Irish dictionary

As a means of both preserving an ancient language and providing a resource tool for CALL teaching, Gearoid O Neill and his colleagues have developed a monolingual Irish dictionary which can be accessed via the Internet. Believed to be the first dictionary of its kind, the site developers have relied greatly on the support of many colleagues to see their plans come to fruition. Following a brief introduction of the Irish language, O Neill described the on-line dictionary which will include extensive grammatical information as well as lexical references. The source material for the dictionary is based on that contained in the Irish-Irish An Foclo'ir Beag published by An Gu'm.

A URL for locating the dictionary on the web was given as Written entirely in Irish, the site's interface is simple and uncluttered, . Embedded scripting allows language learners and teachers to search for the meanings and grammatical use of Irish words. To date the dictionary contains some 13,000 words which, with congregations and declensions, expands to about 100,000 words.

One of the challenges faced in creating the dictionary has been finding volunteers to assist in adding definitions to all of the words listed. While interest has been expressed in the project, the sheer volume of work to be done means that input from outside sources would greatly help speed up progress. O Neill also welcomed critical feedback on the site and suggestions for improvement. Those interested in contributing to this unique learning resource can e-mail him at

Douglas G. Mills (University of Illinois, USA.
Interactive web-based language learning; The state of the art

Advances in technology are providing CALL teachers with new modes of interactive delivery on the World Wide Web. Douglas Mills talked about some of the most popular programming languages currently in use on the Internet. With a basic understanding of the web and Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), creating interactive web pages is easily achievable. A brief insight into the benefits and drawbacks of a number of interactive programming methods, ranging from JavaScript (which uses straight HTML code) to the more complex Java and CGI (Common Gateway Interface) server side encoding was given.

Mills has set out his research on a web page which provides examples of each of the methods discussed. From here users are able to see practical demonstrations of interactive tools at work through numerous links Mills has established. For each type of interactive technology reviewed there are examples of its strengths and limitations and its current uses and potential uses. Links have been provided to selected resources which demonstrate the programming language in use.

The technology has also been ranked in terms of the frequency of its use on the Internet. CGIs and JavaScript are indicated as being commonly used and Java and Shockwave less commonly. DHTML (Dynamic Hyper Text Mark-Up Language) and Databases currently get minimal use while XML (Extensible Mark-Up Language) is still in the developmental stage.

With his insights into adding interactivity to web-based resources, Mills has demonstrated that there is cause for optimism for those language teachers interested in exploring new methods of delivering material on the WWW. Mills' site can be found at

Mike Levy (University of Queensland, Australia.
A multimedia design framework for the learning of culture and language discourse

Despite years of language lessons in their home countries non-native speakers of English studying in Australia often find making friends somewhat difficult. This very practical problem provided the impetus for the multimedia CD-ROM project "Getting to Know You". Mike Levy demonstrated the CD-ROM and discussed the theoretical basis for its design in some detail.

The concept of "noticing" Schmidt (1990, 1993) was one of the most influential theories for the project. This idea, that something must be noticed before it can be learned, was readily adaptable to a multimedia environment where video and graphics could be used to emphasise selected language features. In "Getting to Know You" four types of lights

represented the conversational events of opening, closing, misunderstanding, and leading present in the video. Tasks directed student attention to the lights to help them make use of this information.

The programs' design also drew from work by Cumming and Sussex (1993) on task and discussion levels of learning. To strengthen the link between the interactions on the CD-ROM and the students' interactions in the real-world, program tasks were separated into two parts: action and reflection. At the action level, students watched the lights and answered questions relating to highlighted language features. At the reflection level, focus questions gave them the opportunity to consider information from the video in the broader context of their experiences at home and in Australia.

Student evaluations showed they identified with the characters in the video. The explicit link being drawn between theory and design facilitated a more systematic evaluation as the specific features within the program could be targeted.

Version 2 of the CD-ROM will focus on sociopragmatic failure stemming from crossculturally different perceptions of what constitutes appropriate linguistic behaviour. The goal is to provide a range of tasks that will help students notice where communication breakdown can occur and to develop coping strategies.

Peter White (University of Queensland, Australia.
Teaching Training in CALL: A critical path to the future

While increased funding in the area of educational technology has meant greater access to computers in schools, the integration of these resources into the curriculum has been hampered due to a lack of adequate teacher training. Speaking particularly to language teaching, Peter White described the convergence of two policy aspects at Education Queensland: the introduction of computers in schools and the ongoing development of a syllabus for teaching LOTE. While it is acknowledged that there will be some crossover between the two policy streams the practical implications for the language teacher have not yet fully been addressed.

White emphasised the importance of a training program which considers both the technical and the pedagogic capabilities of the computer. To meet this need a matrix approach to language teacher education and technology was suggested. Teacher education was divided into three groups: pre-service, in-service, and post graduate. At all levels training would cover the areas of language, pedagogy, and computing, and appropriate performance benchmarks would be indicated for each.

The matrix model was applied to a pre-service training course held at the University of Queensland. Near the end of their course novice LOTE teachers participated in an eight hour CALL module split evenly between lectures and hands-on work. Pre-training surveys revealed that most participants had some knowledge of wordprocessing, e-mail and web browsing but were less familiar with downloading from the web or using spreadsheets. Only two of the 67 respondents knew what authoring was.

Student evaluations of the module were largely positive, particularly for the students who had placed themselves in the beginner category. Written comments provided helpful feedback, leading to a recommendation for CALL instruction to be included earlier in the course so skills can be developed and put to use in practicum placements. Instructional content would best be determined on the practical needs of specific student groups.

Reporter: Chris Hall (Department of German, University of Leicester, UK.

Claire Bradin (Michigan State University, USA.
Utilisation of input in CALL: A research study

CB was interested in finding out how students take advantage of the numerous options and the flexibility of CALL programmes. Her research showed that most students went through the dialogues and texts of a multimedia package only once, but that better use was made of the feedback provided: as many as 97% of those who first got the answer wrong clicked on the right answer button to find out what the correct answer was.

Debra Hoven (University of Queensland, Austrialia.
Modelling learner-centred CALL

DH considered the design of learner-centred CALL programmes. New technology requires new pedagogical models, but these models should be informed by findings in other areas such as classroom interaction, self-directed learning and the use of audio and video in more traditional forms of teaching. If learners are to be in control of their own learning, programmes must be easy to navigate and learners must be provided with enough information to make informed decisions.

Peter Austin (University of Melbourne, Australia.)

PA described the background and linguistic principles of a bilingual dictionary for the Australian Aboriginal language Gamilaraay (Kamileroi) for the World Wide Web. The result is the world's first fully hypermedia-integrated bilingual dictionary on the Web, which can be viewed at

Denise B╚rtoli-Braga (UNICAMP, Brazil.
Acquiring reading through self-tutoring process : the role of the learners autonomy

DBB reported on a project to provide self-study materials for the development of L2 reading skills for graduate students at her university. She discussed the general principles adopted in the material and the results of a questionnaire, designed to ascertain students' readiness for autonomous learning. One interesting result the questionnaire brought out was the high level of teacher-dependence among Brazilian students. In the discussion following the paper it was pointed out that a high level of teacher-dependence is by no means restricted to Brazilian students.

Peter Lidell (University of Victoria, Canada.
CALL in a cold climate. Sweden and Canada compared

PL compared the funding, methodology and facilities for CALL in Canada and Sweden. The two countries show how good results can be achieved with very different approaches, but in one point there is an almost identical situation: the `cold climate' as far as funding is concerned.

Maija Tammelin (Helsinki School of Ecoomics and Business Administration, Finland.
Introducing a multidimensional classroom into university teaching and learning: new media - new options

MT described the design for a multidimensional classroom integrating face-to-face sessions with telematic communication (computer + telecommunication) such as email, video-conferencing and the World Wide Web, developed at her department. This model is used in the delivery of an online course involving two different types of academic institution in different parts of Finland. Finally she discussed the implications a network-based learning environment has for the roles of both teacher and learner.

Hartoyo (Semarang Institute of Education, Indonesia, and LaTrobe University, Australia.
Self-access computer-mediated language learning for Indonesian learners of English: an experimental study

described a study of the effectiveness of a self-access CALL programme in the teaching of English grammar to Indonesian students. A series of grammar tests, student essays and a questionnaire provided a wealth of data on the effectiveness of the programme. All the students seem to have benefited from the programme, though the conclusion was a familiar one: CALL should not replace the teacher, but should rather be a teacher's companion.

Gearoid O Neill (University of Limerick, Eire.
An Focloir Beag: An on-line Irish dictionary

GO reported on the development of a system to assist teachers of Irish prepare text-based lessons which can be augmented by sound and video clips. Texts are annotated using a dictionary which at present contains some 13,000 headwords, but which is being added to by teachers of Irish from all over the world. Once lessons have been constructed, they can be placed on the World Wide Web. The system is now available for beta testing to interested teachers of Irish.

Reporter: Roger Ganderton (University of Queensland, Australia.

Pansy Amirthamalar Kandiah (National Institute of Public Administration, Malaysia.
A course of adult distance learning: A multimedia model

This paper outlines how multimedia software is integrated into adult distance language learning courses in the Institute of Public Administration in Malaysia. The model described emphasises the use of the face-to-face components of the course, which occur at the beginning and end of the eight-week timeframe, for communicative practice and spoken activities. For the distance component, participants work alone using materials provided (print, audio, video and computer exercises).

The model presented shows a fairly typical (in some quarters) separation of non-CALL and CALL work into communicative, group activities and discrete-item vocabulary and grammar activities respectively. In the evaluation of the course outlined, there was discussion on organisational issues and the practicality of providing materials in this mode for distance learning. How non-tutorial computer-based approaches might be integrated into such a course remains an interesting aspect for further consideration.

Claire Bradin (Michigan State University, USA.
Utilisation of input in CALL: A research study

The study presented in this paper examined the options L2 learners utilised in a CALL program to access language input. The relative importance of such areas as input enhancement, consciousness raising and corrective feedback in language learning were considered in the design of the specially-produced CALL package and the analysis of the research data produced. The study found that many of the learners accessed a wide range of input options presented in the program, although there was a marked decline in learners listening to dialogues beyond the first hearing. In addition, when doing grammar exercises, almost all learners checked the correct answers when they were wrong. It was suggested that a more qualitative study of such areas as reading strategies would shed further light on the aspect of input in CALL, as would summative evaluation of the software.

L. Desmarais (Canadian Foreign Service Institute, Canada.
Exploring learning strategies within a multimedia environment

The question of what language learning strategies were most efficient in a multimedia environment was examined in this study of elementary and intermediate learners of French using Vi-Comte interactive videodisc software. The relative levels of language proficiency of the subjects, drawn from college-level and adult French classes was also considered. The research techniques drew on both quantitative and qualitative techniques, i.e. through vocabulary and listening comprehension tests from the software package, as well as verbal transcripts and examination of navigation patterns. Of particular interest in the study were the navigation patterns of the subjects, which were analysed on a linear-chaotic continuum. It was found that more linear patterns were seen in intermediate learners than elementary, while college-level subjects had more exploratory navigational styles than the adult subjects. In addition to age, gender and language level, subjects' personality types, drawn from the Myers-Briggs test, were also considered. This aspect showed some interesting results in relation to linear or chaotic patterns, redoing and completing exercises, and the number of exercises attempted. While further study in this general area of navigation patterns is required, particularly in relation to content as well as exercise types, the importance of open systems and adaptive environments for multimedia-based learning was highlighted.

Reporter: Peter White (University of Queensland, Australia.

Vincenza Tudini (University of South Australia,
Language teaching lost in the world wide labyrinth: some guidelines for integration of WWW resources in languages curricula

While there is a plethora of resources now available on the Internet and the World Wide Web, teachers do not have the time to do the searching required to get appropriate resources. The Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) has set up a Web and print based project which involved primary and secondary school teachers to develop an AFMLTA web page which is linked to the Education Network Australia (EdNA) directory, and developed resource materials in print and electronic form based on languages resources on the Internet.

The project was developed in the belief that technology needs to be tied into the curriculum and computers can do some things better than other media. Good language teaching needs to include interactivity and should include graphical and multimedia, access to native speakers, authentic materials. This should be undertaken in a learner centred environment which uses computers as useful tools.

Language teachers' reactions to computers include the belief that interactivity is highly motivating, using the Web and its hyperlinks can stimulate thought processes, group interactivity is improved. But access to computers in schools is a very big issue, and a corollary is that languages classes are not a priority in sharing computers in many schools.

The AFMLTA's home page is located at:

Uschi Felix (Monash University,
Creating meaningful interaction for Web-based language learning

The Web is a new and innovative medium which can be used for language learning, in that it presents a rich variety of content in one flexible source. Felix identifies three levels of interaction: point and click, information gap, and experiential learning. The paper reported on the findings of a survey of Web-based language courses.

Developers of Web-based courses, are using new new tools such as: CGI, helper applications, plug-ins, Java and JavaScript, chat lines and MOO's to generate truly interactive sites which can work synchronously or asynchronously. It wasn't always thus, and the use of interactive computer-based programs began with Electronic textbooks, followed by the inclusion of sound and video, then on-line feedback, interactive tasks and finally direct communications between teacher, students, and outside sources. Using these new tools, there are hundreds of Web sites devoted to the learning of European languages, but Asian languages are not as well represented.

Felix stated that three key elements in designing a Web-based experiential learning site are a quest for meaningful goals, real interaction in authentic/virtual true-to-life settings, and production of materials which students may help produce as part of the process. As an example, look at (under const).

Felix concluded that the Web is exciting, not without its problems and can provide a valuable dimension in language learning. However, the technology should not drive the pedagogy which is a trap for unwary players.

Terry Atkinson (University of Bristol, UK.
Researching language learning and technology

Atkinson reported on six small studies carried out by teacher/researchers. The aims of the studies were to find what impact information technology had on language learning, and to find methods to research and evaluate the impact of information technology on learning. The studies were part answer to the rationale that there has been a lack of in-depth research in this area; there is generally considerable political pressure on the end-users (schools) to show positive results due to policy and/or funding initiatives. There is also a lack of systematic access to IT in many schools, and the final question: is the technology doing the learning?

The six studies looked at different aspects of technology and their impact on the students' performances. In general the findings seem to indicate that there are positive achievement levels in writing but reading skills are harder to measure (See Ganderton below). Teachers reported that there was a significant increase in student motivation overall, but questions whether this is a novelty factor, if it will last longer. Remote peer tutoring proved to be useful although this project was very labour intensive. Students in the main showed improved literacy skills using IT. Problems included that bad keyboard skills actually disabled some students from progressing using IT. And one of the most important points was that practitioners can be researchers, given there is some rewards for doing so.

Roger Ganderton (University of Queensland, Aus.
Observing L2 reading on the World Wide Web: New processes and strategies for a new medium?

Ganderton's paper focused on a study in progress about how year 10 French language students use the Web to read. A sample of six users was studied in depth using pre-task questionnaires, screen captures plus recording of pair talk during the Web sessions, and a post task interview using simulated recall techniques. The tasks the pairs were to undertake were information retrieval - finding specific information on the Web, and the second was to browse for any topic of interest.

The findings indicated that students placed emphasis on shorter words, highlighted text and links as the primary means of figuring out where they were and where they wanted to go. They scrolled down the screen, waited for graphics to load and sought clickable links to use. Some of the Web tools now in use, such as frames and many graphics, were not helpful and particularly the use of frames caused navigation problems. The browser's Back button was used exclusively to return to the previous page.

Ganderton found that there are differences in reading on the Web, and stressed the importance of vocabulary and semantic relations in hypertext as two major areas. Some higher level implications related to text structure, the ability to view whole documents, graphical awareness of the readers, and being able to hyperlink to a background. Low level processes included the ability to highlight hyperlinks, cultural information as indicated by graphics, and the importance of the task at hand and reading objectives.

Nigel Bruce and Patrick DeLodge (University of Hong Kong, Integrating computers into teaching practices: the value of a broad based approach

The authors raise concerns about the need for learning institutions to create the right pre-conditions in their professional practices before computerising the classroom. Their research indicates that before computers and the Internet could be integrated into learners' practices teachers had to first know what they were doing with these tools.

However, computers do have the ability to enhance EAP practices. They can extend students' learning options; provides other opportunities for teachers to learn new skills; can help in consolidating expertise and materials, and allows for publishing EAP materials to a larger community. Computers can stimulate students.

But a major issue at their ESL centre in Hong Kong for the staff is one of control, and related to that, one of `face'. Teachers often prefer to stay with conventional delivery systems and to control learners' access to form and content. They frequently favour commercial CALL packages because it assists in maintaining this sort of approach. The upshot of this is that current commercial CALL seems to limit what can be done in classroom due to the nature of the programs themselves: set, fixed, and targeted.

If the control is passed onto the learner, there needs to be equal attention paid to the teacher. Teachers need to be in the planning; teachers need support; and computers and the Internet need to be seen as resources.

Linda Mak (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Learning ESL on electronic networks: verifying the claims and the evidence

There have been claims about the capacity of the Internet to enhance language learning, particularly in writing skills, and the development of communicative capabilities in learners. While some smaller studies appear to support these claims, there is a need for a broader analysis using texts generated on the Net from both learners and teachers. One of these studies is the study begun in Hong Kong but which included participants in a number of institutions in a number of countries. 256 students selected one or more of 20 email discussion groups to communicate in English with other students around the globe. Students had to write a paper on a topic and then distribute it via the Internet to other participants.

Research questions included teacher-student relations, cultural or social biases in CMC, democracy in the classroom, and did teachers dominate the discussion. Findings to date indicate that teachers did not dominate the discussions. They were principally students talking to students. There was no teacher `oppression' observed, i.e. teachers dictating on what should or could be written in any of the discussion groups. Eighty percent of students were happy with the teachers' roles.

Other findings were that students `followed a thread', that is, linked their communications to previous emails. There was a strong gender difference in that males tended to disagree more than females in relation to arguments in the discussion groups, and culturally, Europeans tended to disagree more than Asian or American students.

Vera Lucia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva (
CALL and Online Journals

The online journals Menezes discusses in her paper are diaries maintained by her ESL students in a Brazilian university in Minas Gerais, which was the basis of a study on using the Internet for ESL teaching. Her main contention is that the Internet - particularly email -- provides the basis for real interaction which cannot occur in a normal classroom situation. In her analysis, she claims that email can be considered as written text with some oral features, and was used extensively by the students as well as the development of their online journals. 26 students in the study used email about one hour a day over the course of two semesters.

Menezes provided an interesting table of email vs classroom learning, as well as the difference between joint control (using email, chat groups, etc.) where language is the means of communication, participants (teachers and students) are on an equal footing, and there are moderate interruptions in the natural flow of conversation. In teacher control mode, language is both the means of communication within a controlled setting with the language controlled by the teacher. The teacher is always more competent, and the teacher always interrupts.

The conclusion of the study indicated the use of the Internet was very rewarding for both teacher and students. The fear of technology was replaced by pleasure.

Jane Turner (Queensland University of Technology,
Building a MOO environment: a walk out on the ICE

The paper discusses the "Walk on the ICE project' which takes ESL students into a MOO where they are encouraged to invent characters and personalities and then interact with each other in this world they have collectively designed. They have used SchMOOze University (one of the ESL MOOS) where Turner is a developer.

In a MOO, words become spaces. Using MOOS might be seen as teacher-centred language learning, with the teacher as a show person who provides the initial impetus and structures the shell where students can then use their second language in creative ways. Generating this kind of project enables the students to use the new language for `virtual' purposes in a collaborative way. For a full explanation of the ICE project, go to

Colette Mrowa-Hopkins (University of South Australia,
CALL: inventing a happy marriage between existing constraints

The paper discusses an example of integration of multimedia and Internet based resources to develop comprehension questions in the student's chosen L2. A number of authors have pointed out that information technology can be useful for language learning. However, there are real concerns of how to integrate the technology into the language teaching process and how to obtain teacher support.

Teachers need to understand the constraints on them which include access, time factors, condition of the equipment, etc. They also need to be aware of students' needs, classroom time, and underlying principles of SLA, as well as preconceptions of SLA in both teachers and students. Flinders University collates French TV broadcasts, digitises them, adds questions which then go onto the server. The questions relate how to integrate the video into a new program complete with vocabulary, grammar and methodology.

Yukiko Hatasa and Kazumi Hatasa (University of Iowa,
Combining hi-tech and low-tech for better integration of computerised exercises: A case study of vocabulary exercise in beginning Japanese

The paper was principally an explanation of how the Hatasa's product "VKC/J2.0" was developed and used. It is primarily a Macintosh-based hypercard program and is designed as simply as possible to allow for integration into a beginning Japanese curriculum. It is based on behaviour modification principles and is used to be develop understanding of kanji and kana. It also contains digitised audio. There is an editing template for teachers to use, but this editing feature also requires the Japanese Language Kit.

Results from a survey of users of the program include: students only use it if it is required. Students prefer using the program in class and not separately in a lab. A PC version is needed, and students tend to become frustrated with the English side.

Further details on the program can be obtained at:

M. Ledgerwood (University at Stony brook, USA.
CALL within a Languages across the curriculum as a motivator for learning languages

Languages across the curriculum (LAC) is an American tertiary program which works mainly in liberal arts colleges with a main goal of having many different types of subject matter taught in a second language. LAC has been developing over the past 25 years, and the advent of Internet and Web-based CALL is giving the program a real boost, and enabling larger tertiary institutions to develop LAC projects.

Further details can be found at: