EUROCALL Annual General Meeting, Leuven, September 19981. Introduction
The Executive Committee met twice in 1998:
March 1998, Leuven, Belgium
September 1998, Leuven, Belgium
There is only one change in the constitution of the Executive Committee: Thierry Chanier replaces Françoise Blin as a co-opted member. This is in accordance with the principle whereby we review co-options annually so that the Committee always contains: (i) the organiser of the current year's EUROCALL conference, (ii) the organiser of the previous year's EUROCALL conference, and (iii) the organiser of the forthcoming year's EUROCALL conference. If the Committee already contains a member who is/was/will be a conference organiser then we have the ability to co-opt another suitable member. Thierry Chanier is welcomed to the EUROCALL Executive Committee as organiser of EUROCALL 99.
Françoise Blin will continue to attend Executive Committee meetings as an observer. This is because she has agreed to take on the role of co-ordinator of national representatives of EUROCALL: see Section 8 of this report.
EUROCALL Members will probably have noticed that we hold our meetings at the venue of the current year's EUROCALL conference. Holding the Spring meeting at the conference venue enables us to inspect the facilities for the forthcoming conference, identify potential problems and make recommendations. Holding the Autumn meeting at the conference venue just before the conference itself saves travel expenses as we all aim to attend the annual conference in any case.
Full minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee are available from June Thompson, EUROCALL Secretary at the EUROCALL office in Hull.
3. Forthcoming EUROCALL conferences
EUROCALL 99 will take place at Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.
EUROCALL 2000 will take place at the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland. The organiser is Philippe Delcloque, who is also a member of the EUROCALL Executive Committee.
A venue for EUROCALL 2001 is still being sought. Anyone who is interested in taking on the demanding task of organising our annual conference should contact June Thompson, who will provide detailed information on what is entailed.
There are special implications for EUROCALL 2002, as this is also the year in which the second WorldCALL conference will take place. It has been agreed by the Executive Committee that if WorldCALL 2002 takes place in a European university then we will not hold a separate EUROCALL conference that year but will explore ways of combining the two events. At present, no decision has been made regarding the venue of WorldCALL 2002.
4. EUROCALL workshops
ReCALL, a fully-refereed academic publication, continues to be published by the CTI Centre for Modern Languages, University of Hull, in association with EUROCALL. The quality of contributions to this publication has improved steadily and it now occupies a respected position among journals devoted to IT and language learning and teaching.
Back numbers of ReCALL are also available and may be ordered via the CTICML website or read in PDF format:
Selected papers from EUROCALL 1997 were published in a double issue of ReCALL 10,1 (144 pages). Similar arrangements will be made for the publication of selected papers from EUROCALL 98.
Forthcoming publications will include:
- An additional Web-only issue of ReCALL, to be edited jointly with William Haworth of the WELL project (http://www.well.ac.uk),
- a special ReCALL publication on Natural Language Processing, to be edited jointly with Mathias Schulze of UMIST.
The ReCALL Newsletter is available at the CTICML website:
EUROCALL Directory project
A publication entitled CALL courseware development: a handbook was produced as an outcome of the EUROCALL Directory project, which was funded by DGXXII of the European Commission. 500 copies were printed. Further information is available at EUROCALL's website:
6. Electronic communications
EUROCALL's website has been completely revamped by Kylie Baxter, to whom I owe my sincere thanks for the many hours of hard work that this involved. Members are encouraged to keep revisiting our website, which offers a wealth of information and useful links:
EUROCALL's electronic discussion list can be joined by anyone. It is now an open discussion list. If you have access to email facilities you can join the discussion list simply by sending the following single-line message to: email@example.com
join eurocall-members yourfirstname yourlastname
For "yourfirstname yourlastname" substitute your own names of course!
Mailbase will then contact you to confirm that your email address can be reached and to check that you really do wish to join the discussion list.
7. Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
The position and role of SIGs are currently under discussion in the Executive Committee. It is planned to issue guidelines on setting up and running SIGs within EUROCALL.
One new SIG has been proposed: Natural Language Processing
CAPITAL is a joint SIG of EUROCALL and CALICO, devoted to using computers in the domain of pronunciation, speech recognition, etc. To join the group, individuals or institutions must be members of one of the parent organisations, CALICO or EUROCALL.
The European co-ordinators are:
For further details see CAPITAL's website:
8. National representatives of EUROCALL
When EUROCALL was formally founded in 1993, it was envisaged that each country would have a designated contact who might act as a channel of communication between the central EUROCALL organisation and members (and would-be members) from that country. I am pleased to announce that a number of designated contacts have now come forward and that documents have been drawn up describing their responsibilities.
The list of national representatives and an outline of their roles can be consulted at EUROCALL's website. Françoise Blin has agreed to act as co-ordinator of the national representatives.
If your country is not already represented on the list of national representatives and you would be prepared to take on the responsibility of acting as the main point of contact in your country, please get in touch with June Thompson, who will provide you with further details.
9. Links with other associations and organisations
EUROCALL maintains close links with a number of professional associations and organisations that promote technology enhanced language learning. We welcome the attendance of representatives at our conferences and participation in our activities, and we endeavour to be represented at their conferences and to collaborate in other ways. These are some of the key associations, organisations, events and projects with which EUROCALL members have been associated during the last year. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive, and I apologise for any omissions.
We are pleased to welcome a number of CALICO members to EUROCALL 98, especially Bob Fischer, Executive Director. CALICO is now based at Southwest Texas State University. Co-operation between CALICO and EUROCALL is becoming closer. For example, both associations offer reductions in their conference fees to members of either association.
EUROCALL was well represented at WorldCALL 98. Several EUROCALL members were on the Steering Committee and I was a member of the Scholarships Committee. Several papers, including my keynote, were presented by EUROCALL members, and EUROCALL members also took part in panel discussions. The Proceedings will be published. It is likely that WorldCALL will be an ongoing activity and that another WorldCALL conference will take place in four years. You can get further information and join a discussion list at:
Council of Europe
Two EUROCALL members, Lis Kornum and Bernd Rüschoff, have been involved in the Council of Europe's activities, particularly those promoting new technologies and language learning.
European Language Council and the Thematic Network Project (Languages)
These two linked projects, both of which are funded under the SOCRATES Programme of the Commission of the European Communities, include sub-groups on New Technologies and Language Learning. Joseph Rézeau and I are members of the ELC's Policy Group on New Technologies and Language Learning and of the Scientific Committee of the Thematic Network Project's sub-group on New Technologies and Language Learning. I am also a member of the Board of the European Language Council.
Further information about these projects can be found at:
Language Learning and Technology Journal
I am a member of the Editorial Board of this new journal, which is published exclusively on the World Wide Web:
The Editor is Mark Warschauer, University of Hawaii.
EUROCALL continues to remain in regular contact with:
10. Membership and recruitment
Graham Chesters, EUROCALL Treasurer, is submitting his report, which includes information on current membership and membership fees. The situation looks very healthy at present.
Conferences are now restricted to EUROCALL members. In effect, this means that non-members will pay higher conference fees than members - which has always been the case - but the higher conference fee will now include the annual EUROCALL membership fee. This has the advantage of enabling us to transfer membership fees collected in this way direct to our current account.
Membership subscriptions are our main source of income. As I have indicated in my previous reports, please publicise EUROCALL at seminars, workshops and conferences, among your colleagues at work - in short, wherever you can. Publicity leaflets can be made available to you if you can make use of them, and attractive posters have been printed.
11. Seminar on research in CALL
Following the successful seminar on research in CALL, led by David Little at EUROCALL 97, it has been decided by the EUROCALL Executive Committee that the time has come to take action on one of the proposals put forward in David Little's report:
Little D. (1998) Report on Seminar on Research in CALL, EUROCALL 97, ReCALL 10, 1: 127-128.
Subject to members' approval, EUROCALL funds will be released to support the holding of a second seminar on research in CALL at the University of Essen, Germany, in the Spring of 1999. The main aim of the seminar will be to discuss the issues raised by David Little in the above document and to produce an action plan that will aim to raise the status of CALL as an area of research. It is estimated that funds will be available to cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses of a small number of EUROCALL members who have a special interest in research.
The seminar will not be confined to EUROCALL members. Representatives of other associations, e.g. CALICO and IALL, will be invited to attend at their own expense.
EUROCALL Treasurer, Graham Chesters, will provide further details regarding the finances required to support this seminar.
12. Susan Myles: in memoriam
Many thanks are due once again this year. It is difficult to single out every EUROCALL member who has made a valuable contribution to the success of our association.
My personal thanks are due to the Executive Committee for being diligent and supportive throughout the year.
My special thanks are due to June Thompson and Graham Chesters for handling the increasing burden of administration. June is unfortunately unable to attend this year's conference and is enjoying a well-deserved holiday. We miss her and look forward to welcoming her back soon.
I wish to offer my personal thanks to Michael Goethals and Luc Pauwels as the main organisers of EUROCALL 98, not forgetting their enormous team of helpers. Thanks are also due to:
- the Rector of the University of Leuven, Prof. André Oosterlinck for agreeing to host EUROCALL 98 and for constantly supporting the EUROCALL 98 team;
- the Vice President for Education and Chairman of the University of Leuven's Teacher Training Institute, Prof. Mark Debrock;
- the Chairman of LINOV, the University of Leuven's Postgraduate Training Institute, Prof. Kurt Deketelaere;
- the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Willy Evenepoel;
- the Head of the Department of Linguistics, Prof. Nicole Delbecque;
- ICT and other technical support staff of the faculty;
- teacher training staff for language teaching.