Reseña EuroCALL 2005


CALL, WELL and TELL: Fostering Autonomy

S. Kathleen Kitao (Doshisha Women’s College)

Kenji Kitao (Doshisha University)

EuroCALL 2005 was held August 24-27 at Jagiellonian University’s 600 Years Anniversary campus in Krakow, Poland. The theme of the conference was “CALL, WELL and TELL: fostering autonomy.” Among its subthemes were “Computer Mediated Communication,” “Corpora and Language Learning,” “Learning with the www,” “Motivation Styles and Strategies,” “Virtual Learning Environments,” “CALL and the 4 Skills,” and “Language Teacher Education and Professional Development.”

The conference was attended by more than 300 participants, including teachers, software developers, and language laboratory administrators. They were mainly from European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Norway, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain, Ireland, Austria, and Greece, but also from other parts of the world, including Japan, the US, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, China, Israel, Australia, Iran, Morocco, Chile, and Taiwan.

Pre-conference workshops were held on August 24. There was a free session offered by the British Council on online resources that the British Council has; “Ten Things To Consider When Building An Online Course” by Robert S. Williams of the American University in Cairo; “Using corpora in language learning and teaching - introduction and 'expert' talk” by Ylva Berglund of Oxford Text Archive, Sabine Braun of the University of Tübingen and Rafal Uzar; “Teaching And Learning Online - A Principled Approach” by Gavin Dudney, “Carrying Out Online Peer Review: Using the PCS-Tool” by Caroline Coit, “Empowering Self-Expression and Developing Research Skills with i-Movie” by Jeff Maggard of Akita International University and “Filming and editing, Using MS Movie Maker in the classroom” by Nicolas Gromik.

The conference opened on August 25 with welcoming speeches by Bernd Rueschoff, EuroCALL President; Paul Fairclough of the British Council; Karolina Kulicka of Poland’s Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Society Technologies, and Grazyna Studzinska of EuroCALL Poland. Music was provided by the Boba Jazz Band.

The plenary speaker on the 25th was Dorota Ilczuk of Jagiellonain University in Krakow, who spoke on "Concept of eCulture: The European Perspective." He discussed the divide between primarily digital and primarily analog cultures and the distinction between passive and active consumers as well as the future of Internet as a federation of villages rather than a global village. The plenary speaker on the 26th was “CALL: Implementation Challenges” by Majid Bouziane of University Hassan II in Casablanca. He discussed the problems of integrating ICT into language teaching, including the difficulty that research results have been contradictory, a lack of teacher training, and resistance to CALL. In spite of these problems, CALL is being gradually integrated into language teaching programs.

On the 27th, Wlodzimierz Sobkowiak of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland spoke on “Hitler, Macbeth, Apfelstrudel und Lieber-Gedichte: my experiences with technologically supported learner autonomy.” He described his recent experience studying German language during a sabbatical, in which he combined, with mixed success, formal classroom instruction with autonomous learning.

Since the theme of the conference was related to autonomy, there were a large number of presentations on the subject. These included “Fostering Autonomy through tandem language learning: a case study” by Katia Carraro of Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, “Searching for Increased Learner Autonomy: A Continuous Listening and Speaking CALL Method in and out of class” by Linh Pallos of Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, “Autonomy: a prerequisite or a product in web-based learning programmes?” by Henrietta Harnisch of the University of Wolverhampton, “Autonomous resource discovery: using the Humbul Humanities” by Ylva Berglund of Oxford Text Archives, “Learner Autonomy and support: some issues in integrating elearning in a distance MA programme by Pamela Rogerson-Revell of the University of Leicester, “Learning to learn: integrating methods of autonomous learning in language learning software as illustrated by ‘English Interactive’" by Perdita Geier and Murdo MacPhail of Universidad de Leon, “Self-Access and Technology-Assisted Language learning: What do students think about them? by Sinikka Karjalainen of the University of Helsinki, “Educating autonomous learners with the help of new technologies and collaborative communities of practice by Maija Tammelin, Berit Peltonen, and Lis Auvinen, “Autonomous Learners and Effective CALL; which comes first?” by Peter Ruthven-Stuart of Hokuriku University, “Joys and Challenges of Facilitating autonomy in the CALL classroom” by Yoko Koike of Haverford College, “Blended learning Activities Fostering Autonomy in a Teacher Training Course” by Rita Kupetz and Brigit Ziegenmeyer of the University of Hanover, “Teaching Tourism Students to learn English autonomously” by Raquel Varela Méndez of Universidad Nacional de Educatión, and “Guided Autonomy in an Academic Writing Course” by Øydis Hide of the University of Antwerp, and “Scaffolding Independence: Results from CBE Experiments in Autonomous Interlanguage Development” by Elina Rigler of London Metropolitan University.

Another popular topic was using corpora. Presentations related to corpora included “Breathing Life into the Corpus” by Dermot. F Campbell of the Dublin Institute of Technology, “Enriching corpora for pedagogical Purposes” by Sabine Braun of Universität Tübingen, “An error-coded learner corpus and its application for automatic measuring of learners' communicability” by Emi Izumi of the National Institute of Information and Communications, Japan, “Integrating a corpus of classroom discourse in language teacher education” by Angela Chambers, Carolina P. Amador Moreno, and Stephanie O’Riordan of the University of Limerick, “Corpus Development and translation” by Rafal Uzar, “Promoting Learner Autonomy Through the use of Datadriven Learning (DDL) to Analyse the Discourse Features of a Local Corpus” by Tony Harris of the University of Granada, “Can Corpus Consultation Contribute to a Process-Orientated Approach to Literacy and Language Learning?” by Ide O'Sullivan of the University of Limerick, “E-learning materials development based on an ESP corpus” by Robin Nagano and Yukie Koyama of the University of Miskolc, and “Teaching and Testing Vocabulary: Using a computer and corpora” by Kenji Kitao of Doshisha University.

In addition, there were presentations about using specific software, including “ApuMatti, a tool for publishing digital learning materials” by Maire Mäkinen of Helsinki University, “Development of videos for Oral Assessment training: The HIEO HIELE ongoing project to foster the test takers autonomy” by Jesús García-Laborda of the University of Valencia, “GENDERS, a tutorial package designed to help learners of French to internalise knowledge of noun gender distinctions” by Brian Farrington, “Using Machine Translation Output to enhance proficiency in foreign language written production” by Ana Niño of the University of Manchester, “Mashing Hot Potatoes with Moodle: tracking online quizzes with an open source LMS” by Gordon Bateson of Kanagawa Gakuin University, “Speech recognition software and university students of EFL” by Natalia Davidson and Florence Isenberg of the University of Haifa, “Flash in Education: the role of online interactivity” by Christopher O'Reilly of London Metropolitan University, and “The Assessment of Reading Comprehension through an Adaptive Courseware: The Case of DidaLect” by Corine Bolla-Paquet, Lise Durquette, and Alain Desrochers of the University of Ottawa.

Among the presentations on computer-mediated communication were “Impacts of CMC in language learning for newbies: The benefits of exchanging language and culture through online message boards” by Maria Jordano de la Torre of the University of Castilla La Mancha, “Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Tasks: Meeting the English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) needs of tertiary ESL Learners by Sarimah Shamsudin of the University of Warwick, “Speaking online: Potential and Pitfalls of Speech-Based CMC” by Sake Jager of the University of Groningen, “The potential of using synchronous interactive 3D Virtual technologies to support the development of strategic competence: Towards Autonomy in Virtual Communication by YaChun Shih of National Hualien Teachers College, "Will Machines have Emotions?" Online Forums for Discussion of Academic Texts” by Sara Kol of Tel Aviv University, “Conversational negotiation strategies in Oral Communication online” by Therese Örnberg of Umeå University, “Syntactic complexity in online chat: Defining new parameters for the online medium” by Ana Oskoz of the University of Maryland, “Understanding and Fostering student interaction in Threaded Discussion” by Robert Williams of the American University in Cairo, “Supporting oral production for professional purpose in synchronous communication with heterogeneous learners” by Anna Vetter and Chanier Thierry of Université de Franche-Comté, and “Users' Perception of Computer-Mediated Communication for Language Learning” by S. Kathleen Kitao of Doshisha Women’s College and Blake E. Hayes of Kyoto Sangyo University.

There were two major social events. The first was the Polish Evening at Zalesie in the countryside near Krakow, where participants could eat traditional Polish food and enjoy traditional dancing and singing. The second was held at the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow.

Participants had a tour of the salt mine and its fascinating rock salt sculptures before dinner. We started dinner after 10 and finished after midnight.