March 2012
On Call


Dawn Bikowski, CALLIS Chair, Linguistics Department, Ohio University, USA
Justin Shewell, CALLIS Chair-Elect, American English and Culture Program, Arizona State University, USA
Suzan Stamper, CALLIS Past Chair, English for Academic Purposes Program, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Dawn Bikowski

Justin Shewell

Suzan Stamper

Hello everyone and welcome to another issue of the CALLIS newsletter, On CALL.

We are very excited about this year’s 2012 TESOL Convention in Philadelphia and would like to share a bit about what we have planned. You’ll notice that in addition to our regular conference activities and presentations, we also have opportunities for members who cannot make it to the conference to view and participate in events.

Academic Session
The title of 2012’s Academic Session is “Smart Technology: Intelligent Tutoring Systems in Language Teaching and Learning.” The session will be held on Saturday, 31 March 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Technology Showcase (right next to the Electronic Village) and will feature panelists Dr. Lewis Johnson, Karen Price, Troy Cox, and Christopher Hill, who will discuss what intelligent tutoring systems are and how they are supported by research, and follow with specific examples and techniques for using intelligent tutoring systems in curricular settings.

InterSection With CALL, MW, SLW
We are also pleased to announce our primary InterSection between the CALLIS, the Materials Writers IS, and the Second Language Writing IS. Entitled “Going Beyond the Textbook in Second Language Writing with CALL,” this session will be held on Thursday, 29 March 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in the Technology Showcase, and will feature Maggie Sokolik, Carla Meskill, Leslie Opp-Beckman, Lise Minovitz, and Steve King. The panelists will discuss the need for CALL materials that can supplement programs already using a textbook and present techniques for developing and implementing these materials, with a specific focus on teaching second language writing. They will also discuss the future of the textbook and its integration with technology.

InterSection With ITA, SPL, and CALL
The CALLIS has also teamed up with the International Teaching Assistants (ITA) IS and the Speech, Pronunciation and Listening IS (SPLIS) to organize an InterSection titled “Technologies for Refining International Teaching Assistants’ Speaking, Pronunciation and Listening.” This session will feature Robert Elliott, Mary Jetter, and Gary Carkin, who will discuss current technologies for teaching speaking, pronunciation, and listening to international teaching assistants. This session will be held on Friday, 30 March 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Technology Showcase.

InterSection With EFL, IC, and CALL
Finally, in connection with the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) IS and the International Culture (IC) IS, we are organizing another InterSection titled “Promoting Understanding Across Cultures in the EFL Classroom Through CALL.” This session will feature Carla Arena, Erin McCloskey, Claudio Fleury, Claire Siskin, and Eric Roth, who will address the supportive role of CALL in bridging the gap between language and culture to promote excellence in the EFL classroom.

In addition to our Academic Session and InterSections, we’ll be having our Electronic Village events. What follows is a brief explanation of each adapted from descriptions found on the CALLIS Moodle.


EV Fairs are informal demonstrations in which teachers or teacher-developers share their use of technology. Presenters demonstrate their technology applications in a 25-minute session on one computer station. After 25 minutes, the session is repeated. Participants attend sessions of their choosing and drop in and out of demonstrations. Demonstrations are informal and preclude highly structured presentations.


EV Classics are previously run informal demonstrations in which teachers or teacher-developers share their use of technology. Presenters demonstrate their technology applications in a 25-minute session on one computer station. After 25 minutes, the session is repeated. Participants attend sessions of their choosing and drop in and out of demonstrations. Demonstrations are informal and preclude highly structured presentations.


The Hardware & Mobile Technology Fair focuses on the uses of devices other than computers that offer unique applications, such as iPods or tablets. Presenters demonstrate their hardware and mobile technology applications in two consecutive 25-minute sessions. After 25 minutes, the session is repeated. Participants may attend a complete session or may drop in and out of several sessions.

After a brief demonstration, presenters guide participants in hands-on practice. Space is limited to 20 participants. Workshop duration is 90 minutes. Presenters provide experience in adaptation of software and/or hardware for CALL purposes and create products for teaching and learning. Following a short presentation, participants use computers for hands-on practice.


The Developers’ Showcase is an opportunity for ESOL teachers and curriculum/course designers to demonstrate new and original computer applications and/or Web sites. Presenters have 8 to 12 minutes to demonstrate and/or operate their software and explain its features and applications. A question-and-answer session follows each presentation.


The Mobile Apps for Education session provides ESOL teachers with the opportunity to demonstrate pedagogical uses for their favorite mobile applications. In a lecture format, presenters have approximately 10 minutes to demonstrate their application and explain its uses for ESOL classrooms. A question-and-answer session follows each presentation.

We will also be having our session “CALL for Newcomers” to give some tips to those less familiar with using technology in language teaching. We will also have “Ask Us: Free Advice for CALL,” a time when educators can come in and ask experienced CALL users for quick pieces of advice for specific teaching situations. From these events to the Developers’ Showcase, where we can see the latest ideas put into play in language teaching and technology, CALLIS will be providing something for everyone.

We are so fortunate to have our fantastic team of webcasters working behind the scenes in providing free online access to many of our CALL EV events. These include the Academic Session and InterSections, in addition to the Developers’ Showcase. In case you were not able to make it to TESOL 2011 in New Orleans or missed some sessions, webcasts from that conference can be found at 2011 EV Webcasts.

Those of you interested in viewing the sessions in real-time and even being able to ask questions can go to Realtime Broadcast of Events to see the schedule and log in to the system during the conference.

We also continue to provide free online courses with the Electronic Village Online. Sessions started in January, so please visit the 2012 EVO Online Schedule to see how you can engage in professional development. This is a great and useful resource that we are really proud of in the IS.

Again, we welcome you to another TESOL convention in whatever capacity you can join us.


Hi and welcome to our second edition of the CALLIS newsletter, the second with TESOL’s new format. My name is Larry Udry, and I am the editor of the CALLIS e-newsletter, On CALL. Let me first offer a word about CALLIS in case you’re a newcomer like me. CALLIS is a vibrant, active TESOL community. (Room 103A) and the Technology Showcase (Room 103B).  See the Collaborative Letter from the Chairs for more info regarding these events. 

In addition to the above, we have other conference sessions, daily and hourly, in the following areas of interest: 

  • Mobile Apps for Education
  • The Developers’ Showcase
  • Mini-workshops
  • Hardware and Mobile Technology Fair
  • EV Fairs and EV Fair Classics

There are too many sessions to mention here, so make sure you get a program so you can get to the sessions that interest you while you are at the conference. For a fuller description of events, see the Letter from the Chairs in this newsletter. At the EV, there really is something for everyone, and all the sessions are very informal and hands-on. You could probably keep yourself busy in the EV, but remember the other CALL and other sessions in the rest of the conference. 
Finally, if you have an article that you would like to submit for the post-conference newsletter, please contact me. All types of information related to CALL can be submitted (articles, Web sites, resources, books/journal articles, events, book/software reviews, etc.). Submissions should begin with a brief abstract/teaser (approximately 50 words). Submissions should conclude with a one- or two-sentence bio about the author(s) and include a jpeg of the author(s). Length can vary depending on the type of submission—articles should be no more than 1,500 words (including tables), but other types of submissions will be shorter. Use the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (APA) guidelines for referencing all outside sources.
Thanks and I look forward to seeing you at the conference!



From April 15 through 19, 2011, I had the privilege of representing the TESOL CALL Interest Section at the meeting of the International Association for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL). This was the first in what we hope will be a series of annual exchanges between the CALLIS and IATEFL’s Learning Technologies (LT) SIG under the sponsorship of the British Council; special thanks is due to the British Council’s Michael Carrier, a former CALLIS Steering Committee member, for both the inspiration and the funding for this project. My opposite number, Gary Motteram, attended the TESOL conference in New Orleans representing the LT SIG and has reported on his experiences there to the IATEFL home crowd. The British Council did an interview with Gary and me that at the time of this writing is still available at The British Council Interview of Gary Motteram and Phil Hubbard.

For those who may not be familiar, IATEFL is based in the United Kingdom and like TESOL is international in scope. It has roughly the same number of SIGs (special interest groups) as TESOL has interest sections, covering many of the same themes. The CALLIS and LT SIG have similar interests but the two organizations differ in their operation. IATEFL does not have anything like the CALLIS-run Electronic Village during the conference, nor anything corresponding to the EV Online sessions. However, the LT SIG has a full day of presentations in a set room during the conference, creating in essence a technology-themed mini-conference within the larger one. In addition, the LT SIG organizes conferences with international affiliates and provides travel scholarships for the annual IATEFL conference. In the former category, events are planned for Morocco, Turkey, and Cyprus in the next year. I return to the discussion of possible collaborations at the end of this article, but for now, let me share some of my experiences in Brighton to give CALLIS readers a snapshot of what is happening in the LT SIG with technology and language learning.

Figure 1. Brighton Pier, near the conference venue (photo by Mr.Hubbard)

I arrived in Brighton the afternoon of 15 April in time for the last couple of hours of the PCE (preconference event) on “Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs): From Methods to Madness.” The plenary for the event was given by Pete Sharma, whose appearance coincided with the release of his new book on the topic, 400 Ideas for Interactive Whiteboards. He enthusiastically shared several of the 400 ideas for using IWBs from that co-authored volume. He was joined by five other presenters for a final panel on “IWBs: What are they good for?” An interesting discussion between the panel and audience members developed around the question of whether IWBs led to inherently more teacher-centered classes.

The PCE was followed by an LT SIG-sponsored set of sessions on mobile learning. Among the more interesting bits that came through this were provided by Neil Ballantyne: the idea that people like to snack on their phones and the observation that in Hong Kong on the metro everyone is now on their phones rather than reading papers. Paul Sweeney and Caroline Moore presented results of a survey of mobile apps, noting that many of the apps are not very good in terms of making use of the technology, particularly for smartphones, and that there is a pervasive view among users that apps should be free, making it difficult to convince business-side creators to commit resources for development.

Figure 2. Caroline Moore presents a survey of the “appmosphere”

The main conference began on Saturday, and the first technology session I attended featured a talk by Anisoara Pop on integrating asynchronous tools into writing and speaking. This was the first of many talks at the conference that relied centrally on free Web 2.0 tools. She focused on the use of blogs and asynchronous voice tools such as Voxopop to help her students build confidence in using English to communicate with a real audience. In one of the more widely attended sessions, Russell Stannard provided demonstrations of a number of Web 2.0 tools for connecting what goes on in class to what happens outside. One I particularly enjoyed was Storybird, where students can use free images provided by artists to collaboratively create and share storybooks. Stannard’s free site, Stannard's Training Videos, includes demonstrations with screen captures of how to use many of the tools he showed.

Other presenters I heard who built their work around notions of Web 2.0 included Byza Nur Yilmaz and Isil Boy, who presented action research on online vocabulary and online writing using wikis in Turkey, noting problems they uncovered, such as poor IT skills among students, and proposed solutions. Raquel Oliveira gave an animated demonstration of how she used Twitter Twibes as a transformative tool in two classes in Brazil; the site allows students to form groups and engage and communicate within their group, going beyond the limitations of the 140-character tweet. Meltem Bizim and H. Sibel Taskin Simsek showed how they used a blog as an e-portfolio for writing and incorporated podcasting and voice thread software to encourage oral communication, noting that keeping track of student performances in these media can be quite time consuming.

In addition to the special session following the Friday PCE, a number of other presentations featured mobile learning. Gavin Dudenay presented a case for moving us out of the text mode we seem to be locked into, a world of dictionaries and word-a-day apps, into using the power the newer smartphones and mobile tablets provide. He noted there are already apps for watching TED talks on iPhones and Android devices and demonstrated some non-ELT apps to emphasize the point that we should look away from our profession for transformative educational ideas.

Figure 3. New tendencies in mobile-assisted English learning as outlined by Tatiana Kozhevnikova

Tatiana Kozhevnikova presented another session on mobile learning, “New Tendencies in Mobile-Assisted English Learning.” She provided an example of how children on a museum field trip can utilize their mobiles to take pictures of exhibits and, along with text descriptions of the photos, use these materials to document and share their experience. She also noted that dedicated mobile devices like museum audio guides in English can be used to support authentic learning. Other talks I attended on this theme included Kalyan Chattopadhyay making arguments for promoting mobile e-learning in India and Neal Ballantyne providing case studies of different ways two students and a teacher use their mobiles in class.

Outside of Web 2.0 and mobile learning, Graham Stanley, the LT SIG coordinator, spoke on “Learning English Through Digital Play,” offering suggestions on how to “gamify” your classroom. One such suggestion incorporated Chore Wars, an online role-playing game where players get points for completing tasks they dislike (such as doing ESL homework assignments). New IATEFL President Eric Baber also presented on technology in “A Vision of Students Today: The Future of Learning and Teaching,” which synthesized aspects of gaming, mobile learning, and Web 2.0 under the general theme of learning as social interaction. He cited a study showing that the average engagement time using a mobile device is 3 to 7 minutes and noted that as a trend, this suggested the need to develop shorter learning activities.

Not all the talks I attended were technology-focused. Among those others was a provocative discussion by Alex Ding and Barbara Sinclair on “Autonomy in Language Education: The Struggle Against Ideology and Misrepresentation.” They contended that various critical theories have subverted the role of teaching in the development of autonomy, in particular diminishing the importance of learner training. They call for teachers to engage in a dialogue with their students rather than following the idealized views of critical theorists. As an aside, I believe autonomy is a particularly important concept for CALL given the additional opportunities and challenges that the Internet has provided to language learners. The concept of learner autonomy seems to have more traction in IATEFL than TESOL: The former has had a SIG devoted to it for 25 years (Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group).

The British Council-sponsored venture that supported bringing me to Brighton was introduced to the LT SIG at large during the open forum on Monday and received a warm reception. A surprise visitor to the forum was TESOL Executive Director Rosa Aronson, who introduced herself to the group and expressed her interest in possible future TESOL/IATEFL joint ventures. Possible collaborations between the CALLIS and LT SIG mentioned at the forum included sharing links to one another’s web pages, one or more EVO sessions with either LT SIG people or a mix of CALLIS and LT SIG, having an invited CALLIS speaker at one or more of the LT SIG-sponsored conferences, and collaborating on a publication. In addition, assuming we have British Council support for another round of exchanges, we would try to have the representatives present at the conference they were visiting; in the case of TESOL this could be at the Academic Session, one of the InterSections, or one of the Electronic Village fairs.

Ultimately, it is up to the leadership of the CALLIS and the LT SIG to follow up on these initial contacts and continue to develop this nascent partnership. However, regardless of how any formal collaborations proceed, it is worth pointing out that there are already individuals with membership in these two groups who have visited in and even presented at both conferences, and this will no doubt continue. Let me encourage those of you in the CALLIS to join them. Become a member of IATEFL and the LT SIG to expand your understanding of technology in ESL/EFL teaching and learning. Even better, try to attend an IATEFL conference and experience this firsthand as I did. The next one is in Glasgow, the week before TESOL in Philadelphia (see The 2012 IATEFL Conference at a Glance Schedule). Combined, the two conferences would make an excellent way to spend an extended spring break.

Reprinted from the CALL Review Winter 2011 issue


As a part of a British Council-sponsored initiative to enable IATEFL and TESOL to work more closely together, I was invited to visit this year’s (2011) TESOL conference in New Orleans to begin a dialogue between the LT SIG and the CALLIS. This is part of the general desire for IATEFL to be more engaged with the wider world, but also a long-held belief that IATEFL and TESOL have much in common as organizations and much to offer each other in terms of exchanges of practice. Other IATEFL colleagues were also at the event talking to other parts of TESOL.

My direct counterpart in the CALLIS is Phil Hubbard, whom, by the time you read this report, some of you will have met at the IATEFL conference. At TESOL, Phil and I met up with the CALLIS committee and talked about a number of ways that we might collaborate. The most obvious starting point would be working together online, although it was recognized that some IATEFL members already contribute to the TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO); for example, both Graham Stanley and Sophie Iaonnou-Georgiou have been involved in these events. Sophie was also on the CALLIS committee for some years. This may be true for other members; if you have been involved with TESOL, we would like to hear from you regarding ways you feel we might collaborate further.


CALL does feature very strongly at TESOL and the Electronic Village is one major difference at the TESOL convention. This has some similarities with our SIG Programme in parts at least, but there are also some significant differences.

Figure 1. The Electronic Village


The Electronic Village lasts the full 3 days of the convention and has its own separate space where on a daily basis there are a large number of sessions. One type of session is a series of short showcases, a little bit like electronic poster sessions where interested people gather around a computer and are given a short introduction to either teaching ideas with technology or technologies themselves, or both.

In Figure 1 you can see the events displayed on a board, people in one of the EVO rooms talking to the presenters, and two examples of presentations: Daniela Ferreira was talking about using a virtual classroom in Skype. Chris diStasio was talking about using green-screen technology to get students to make short videos of themselves against a background of their choosing. Using the video in this way encouraged his learners to be motivated in talking about themselves.

Then there are also a series of mini-talks about a particular hot topic in an adjacent room. Presenters get 10 minutes to talk about what they are doing and one talk follows on another. This enables you to get a broad overview of practice in a particular topic. This year (2011) there were talks about mobile technologies, mostly about mobile apps, but other ideas were presented, too.

At this session we saw gFlash demonstrated, which allows the teacher or learners to set up vocabulary training (presenters were Aaron Schwartz, Edgar McGee, Abraham Reshad). This appears to be available for all mobile types. There is a free version, but for more useful features you need to pay. This is a common feature of all mobile apps. This was the first session I saw that mentioned Google apps online, but it wasn’t going to be the last; plenty of people talked about using cloud-based software like Google apps and I think that this is the software that got mentioned the most at sessions I managed to get to. The same group of teachers also talked about a variety of pieces of software that allow the chunking of text for speed reading, including (which appears to be a site with links to software for speed reading), QuickReader, and the Eye Web app. All of these were demonstrated either on the iPhone or on the iPad, the iPad being the most talked about technology at the convention with many people walking around with them rather than a heavy laptop. No one in any of the talks I went to mentioned Android phones, or the Galaxy Tab, which I was using. I like to be different.

Suzan Stamper, the current chair of the CALLIS, presented two different mind-map apps, starting with iBrainstorm, but also talked about Popplet. This latter software blends web and iPhone applications. She uses these to get her learners organizing their texts before they start writing. This was followed by a presentation by LuAnn Sorenson and Monika Floyd that showed how the recording software that comes standard on the iPhone or the iTouch (there are similar tools for the Android) can be used to give feedback to students following a class. The teachers would record some quick feedback on language issues and then send these to the learners for them to review. Ann Kelliher showed how to do something similar with presentations. She was using an iPod and a digital camera and then sending the recordings to her students so that they could spend time reviewing them. Tom Robb showed how you could get the students to use the voice recognition software on various tools to get the students to appreciate that their pronunciation needed more work. He pointed out that with careful one-to-one work, or small-group work, learners could be shown how to be accurate in their pronunciation.

Joseph Tomei used the Google Docs Presentation software to get his Japanese learners to work in small groups around an iPad to prepare short presentations and then practice presenting them to each other and to the other groups. The nature of the iPad encouraged the students to look at their colleagues while they did the presentations. Doing this meant that the presentations got repeated a number of times, allowing the students to get a lot of practice at a skill that has now become a core part of the curriculum in Japan. He had also started using Zentation to get his students used to talking on video with combined PowerPoint.

The final two talks in this session were on the use of apps. The first focused on news apps as the basis for a class report (Margo Downey and Carol Pineiro). Various news apps were presented, but any would be possible. One of the motivations for doing this activity was to give the learners something meaningful to do with their mobile phones in class rather than trying to ban them. The students were encouraged to find a topic relevant to themselves and follow it online during a term and then do a final report on the story that they had been monitoring

The final speaker (Alexander Wrege) presented the six favorite iPad apps used by the academic tutors in his college. These were Dropbox—for storing and exchanging files with students and colleagues; Wired—the reading texts have multimedia elements built in to motivate the digital generation to engage with the text; Pages—a word processor for the iPad; Kindle—for getting sets of books at a cheaper price and just in time for classes; and Stayfire—for rendering videos on the iPad; and Keynote for iPad presentations.

What is interesting here is that none of the apps mentioned were specifically created for language learning; these are all generic tools.


Another element of the Electronic Village is the Academic Sessions and the InterSections in which different interest sections get together to do an event. InterSections this year included those by CALLIS and Elementary Education IS as well as Higher Education IS and Materials Writing IS. I didn’t make any of these, but I did go to the Academic Session, which explored both Web 2.0 technologies as well as the future beyond Web 2.0 for teachers.

Phil Hubbard began by briefly explaining the concept of Web 2.0 and discussing its general relevance to language teacher education and some theoretical underpinnings. He then explored four paths beyond Web 2.0 which he described as institutional initiatives and cultural attitudes toward technology that he believes are vital to develop CALL and teacher education into the near to mid-term future:

  • The need to instill teacher flexibility for change, rather than mastery of technologies that will become obsolete
  • The need for institutional support for lifelong learning for teachers, specifically in the area of technology
  • The need to prepare teachers for learner training, helping students use the technology effectively and appropriately to support their learning
  • The need to educate specialists and professionals in CALL advanced degree programs to continue the field’s growth and status as an independent discipline with its own journals and professional organizations

Greg Kessler’s arguments for the future circled around giving teachers useful generic skills, getting the teachers to be critical of software, getting them to start with the pedagogy, and making them aware that we are living in a time of constant but also very rapid change. He pointed out that a number of often contradictory arguments are being offered currently in a variety of different books available in the general market. On the one hand, technology is making us less inclined to dig deep, or making us more cut off from others (The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, or Alone Together by Sherry Turkle); on the other hand, everything is positive and we should be embracing such change without question (I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works by Nick Bilton or The Search by Jon Battelle). Greg Kessler pointed out that we need to be able to come at this writing with a critical stance and that our teacher training should help us to do this.

Christine Bauer-Ramazani emphasized what she described as the social glue of technology, that is, how teachers in an online degree should be encouraged to work together to form an effective community. One of the tools that got mentioned positively again was Google Docs.

Paige Ware discussed the ways that recorded video can be used by trainee and inservice teachers to document their process of coming to understand their school placements or their current teaching practice. These are not language teachers, but teachers of other subjects who work with bilingual children in their classrooms―a common situation in many U.S. schools. The recorded video was used as a basis of a dialogue between the mentor and the teachers/trainees, but also with other teachers attending the course.

You can find more detail about these talks and links to online resources at CALLIS 2011 Academic Sessions. You can find more about the other InterSections at CALLIS InterSections.

If you want to find out more about the Electronic Village in general at TESOL 2011, you can download a description of what was on offer at the CALLIS Site.


In the general run of the convention there were 60 presentations, specifically labelled CALL, but as at the IATEFL conference, a considerable number of other sessions included technology as a key aspect of their presentation. Many of these sessions were about teacher education, particularly online learning, which is becoming much more common for many institutions in the United States and elsewhere. I managed to attend two events on teachers and technology; one was given by Phil Quirke and a second by Sarah Dietrich. Phil Quirke was reporting on work from his thesis in which he proposed a teacher development cycle of: knowledge seeker, knowledge discusser, knowledge user, and knowledge provider. He illustrated the various aspects of this cycle through project work he was engaged in and the tools that he was using to achieve these project aims. He had a successful Web site, which was set up as part of his work on the MSc at the University of Aston in the United Kingdom, but he had also been experimenting with blogs, video conferencing, and One Note. Sarah Dietrich and a colleague ran a discussion session on “Teaching and Learning TESOL Online.” This session generated a lively debate from people with experience and people new to the practice and focused mainly on the challenges that we all face: creating community, giving effective feedback, keeping people focused on tasks, and accessing the technologies needed.

More general sessions I attended included a session on Scratch by Amany Al Khayat (see Figure 3). Scratch is an open-source animation tool, designed for teaching younger learners how to program, but used by Amany to get her younger learners doing multimedia animations to illustrate different elements of language. To show the range of general presentations at TESOL, I also attended a session on the teaching of seniors in a city community education college in San Francisco. Presented by Bophany Huot, Denise Maduli-Williams, Linda O’Roke, and Linda Reichman (see Figure 3), this talk considered the needs of older members of society who have both language and technology needs. Some of these students are in their 80s and needed very basic computing tasks as well as short language activities. What was heartening was the way that both skills built up and over time these learners were using Google Docs, Word with digital pictures, and Voicethread. The technologies allowed the learners to keep in touch with what was happening in their home communities, as well as making connections with their grandchildren. More on the presentation and some very useful connections can be found at Calling-All-Seniors Site.

A final presentation I attended brings us back to the beginning of this report. Some of the CALL specialists at TESOL have spent a couple of years working on a series of standards for the profession. These CALL specialists include the LT SIG Committee member Sophie Iaonnou-Georgiou as well as Phil Hubbard, who was one of the presenters of the session I attended. A new book coming out (TESOL Technology Standards) describes these standards and this may be one starting point for a dialogue in IATEFL about these standards for the LT SIG. I leave this idea with you and hope that as time passes we can look at a number of ways that we can exchange ideas between the CALLIS and the IATEFL LT SIG communities. If you have any thoughts, please contact me.


Figure 3. Young learners to seniors at the TESOL Convention

Ed. note: This article was originally printed in the Summer 2011 issue of the IATEFL LT SIG Newsletter CALL Review. Minor edits have been made for publication in this newsletter.


MoodleReader is the name of a plug-in module that we have developed at Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU) as part of our Extensive Reading program, in order to ascertain whether students have actually read the books that they have claimed to have read.

Extensive reading (ER) is widely recognized as an effective means for students to increase their language proficiency by reading easy material in large volumes. This helps to consolidate their knowledge, improving their ability to quickly comprehend what they have read and to predict what vocabulary and syntax follow.

When it comes to applying ER in the classroom, however, some way is needed to hold the students accountable for what they have read. Written reports or summaries, however, present a burden for students and teachers alike. Enter MoodleReader.

MoodleReader allows students to prove that they have done their reading via a short quiz of 10 randomized questions. If they pass the quiz, they are rewarded with the book cover added to their stamp collection on their MoodleReader page.

The program was first implemented in 2008 for use within our own faculty. We soon realized, however, that not only would the program be useful to our colleagues in other schools, but we also actually needed their assistance in order to develop quizzes for, ideally, all of the graded readers that are available. We started out by making quizzes for the 300 most commonly read books at KSU, and then opened up the software for others to use. Three years later we are approaching the 2,000 mark with quizzes available for virtually all books in the major graded reader series, and with over 15,000 students in over 100 schools around the world regularly using the program.

MoodleReader can be accessed in two different modes. For those who have Moodle installed at their school, the software is freely available for installation. The system administrator, however, needs to have a password in order to access and download the quizzes from the central quiz bank. For those who do not have their own Moodle, there is MoodleReader site where teachers, or entire schools, can have their own page for quiz access, even tailored with the same theme as their own school's homepage. Feel free to contact Tom Robb if you would like to assess the suitability of the program for your own students.


The Electronic Village (EV) at the 2011 TESOL Convention in New Orleans saw a record number of participants attending a record number of events. Thirty-two separate events were held in the EV, the Technology Showcase next door, and online, during the three days of EV events programming, all sharing the latest in CALL with over 750 conference participants.

Roughly 500 participants enjoyed the 25-minute rotating presentations at the EV Fair. Thirty-five participants came to see one or two of the EV Fair Classics—presentations that had been invited for a repetition due to their popularity at a previous EV Fair event. One hundred and seventeen participants redeemed their free event tickets for one of the popular mini-workshops. Twenty-seven came to see what was new regarding hardware and mobile technology, and 58 saw demonstrations of the latest Mobile Apps for Education, a new event created for the 2011 EV. The mainstay of the EV, the Developers’ Showcase, drew 40 participants. Ten participants stayed and applied what they had just learned in the CALL for Newcomers session. In between events and as a special event, our Ask Us sessions featured knowledgeable CALL practitioners fielding questions and requests for hands-on practice from numerous EV-goers.

Probably most noteworthy is the fact that 69 people joined the various events in the EV from distant corners of the globe via webcast, complete with audio conferencing and on-screen Web or PowerPoint presentation. They asked questions of the presenters via text or audio and received their answers through microphone/audio feed.

As always, EV-goers were warmly welcomed and expertly guided by a cadre of EV volunteers and guides, recruited from among CALLIS members, TESOL, and other interest sections.

All in all, the EV 2011 events contributed much to the success of the programming of the CALL Interest Section.


EV 2011

Technology Showcase 2011


A wiki, “a collaborative web space where anyone can add content and anyone can edit content that has already been published” (Richardson, 2006, p.8), is a web tool that curriculum designers can use to unite a program’s staff, teachers, and learners. A wiki can also be used by the teacher and learners in a single course to share and preserve course content. The wiki’s most powerful aspect is the ability of individual users to collaborate from outside the classroom.

We use a wiki in a TESOL certificate teacher-training program for teachers of English from Korea. The Korean teachers are present in classrooms for three quarters of their time; the other quarter, they are completing a practicum in local K-12 schools. Teachers live in separate homestays dispersed throughout Seattle and its suburbs for a portion of their stay. The wiki simplifies communication among the multiple parties involved in the program (professors, instructors, learners, tutors, and administrative staff) and is a useful classroom tool.

In a program, a wiki can have many uses. Our professors and instructors use the wiki as a platform in classes for presenting lectures, activities, and homework assignments, and learners use the shared space to post their homework. Such a platform allows all users easy access to information from multiple classes inside and outside of class. It also allows nonsynchronous yet contiguous posting in response to prior-published input, an aspect especially valuable in posting homework and teacher or peer review.

Here are some examples of how we use the editing or writing function of our wiki:

  • A professor asks learners to elicit from their native-speaking tutor linguistic words and structures for carrying out specific speech acts and then post them on a page devoted to this purpose for review by the class. In class the page is displayed and the forms are reviewed and commented on. Then learners construct appropriate sociocultural situations and choose the words and structures that match them.
  • On a shared page, learners post and respond to each other’s journal entries on topics such as their personal teaching philosophy and certain activities they find most valuable as teachers.
  • Learners post daily reports and reflections on practicum activities from separate schools for others to read and compare with their own.

In addition to being useful, creating a wiki is easy. We used Google to set up our wiki in five simple steps.

Because a wiki is simple to create and operate, and our faculty, staff, and learners can write on it, not just read it, we use a wiki as a unifying platform in our teacher-training program.


Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Timothy R. Healy is the director of ACE English Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington, USA. His interests include using wikis for administrative and pedagogical purposes.



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

  • Roger Gee
  • Sandy Wagner
  • Sandra Rogers

For each newsletter, I will invite members to answer a set of questions:

  • What is your favorite platform?
  • What is the one indispensable tool/webpage?
  • What is your most unexpected source of information about CALL?
  • What was your favorite CALL creation?
  • What are you working on now?
  • What area would you like to see developed/researched?
  • In a sentence, what advice would you give to a newbie starting out in CALL?

Beginning with the first column in 2005, members have shared a wide variety of experiences and interests. I hope you will enjoy this opportunity to compare experiences, to share advice, to nurture inspiration, and to make connections within our community.

Please e-mail me if you have suggestions or contributions to “Making Connections.”


Roger Gee

Roger is the director of the master’s in TESOL and literacy program at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a local cochair and a member of the EV organizing committee for the 2012 TESOL Convention to be held in Philadelphia.

Affiliation: Holy Family University

Years in CALL: 4 years

Q: Favorite platform?

A: I don’t really have a favorite―my desktop, laptop, and netbook are Windows, my smartphone is Android, and my tablet is an iPad. Each has its strengths, but to paraphrase the old camera saying, the best platform is the one you have with you.

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

A: Right now I’d say Evernote. I use it across platforms, especially at meetings with the iPad. On PCs I clip webpages, and on my phone I use it for audio notes. Also, on the iPad I can use Evernote to rename PDF files that I mark up using PDF Reader.

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

A: Students―both grad students and ESL/EFL students. They have new things and workarounds for old things. But I guess they shouldn’t be unexpected sources.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

A: A wiki I made for an online partnership with a university in Peru. It took a lot of thought about how to be both explicit and concise in simple language, but I enjoyed making it. If I can mention a second, I had fun with Glogster. I made a Gene Autry demonstration Glog that brought back memories of my childhood and introduced a new generation to the singing cowboy!

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m at a Catholic university, and we are starting an online EFL program for a seminary in Vietnam. It involves about 125 seminarians and four students in our master’s program.

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

A: Using COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) in online programs. There’s a growing body of literature about moving from corpus to classroom, but I’m not sure we have a set of best practices for teacher-mediated, corpus-based, online instruction.

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

A: Be sure to network with colleagues, and the CALLIS is a great place to start.


Sandy Wagner

Sandy is assistant professor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. She is currently involved in the Language Technology Evaluation and Application division and provides training and mentoring for integrating technology and language acquisition. Sandy has been involved with CALL for many years as a steering committee member, past chair, and Electronic Village coordinator. She also facilitates TESOL's Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certification PP103: Teaching Reading and Writing Online course.

Affiliation: Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, Monterey, CA

Years in the CALLIS: 6 years

Q: Favorite platform?

A: Mac OS

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

A: Definitely search engines and specifically, Google and Google Apps

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

A: The participants in my technology workshops always have a favorite technology resource to share that I had not yet discovered. Networking takes on new meaning in CALL as it brings exposure to many unexpected sources of information.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

A: My wiki site ( The site has allowed me to provide helpful resources for others, including online training and sample activities using Web 2.0 tools.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: My current projects include iPad/iTouch applications for language learning, Sakai learning management system (LMS) courses, and another wiki,, showcasing Web 2.0 tools and sample applications that develop language proficiency.

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

A: I would like to see more research on the impact of CALL on learning outcomes and the types of pedagogical applications that best meet the development of language proficiency. Too many times technologies are introduced and utilized without an awareness of how best to use their functions and capabilities or knowledge of their effect on language development.

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

A: Start simple with technology resources familiar to you and let the technology creatively support your teaching practices.

Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?

A: My funniest CALL-related incident was during a recent Web 2.0 workshop. I uploaded a YouTube exercise video to create an activity, not realizing that I had not muted my sound. When I clicked on the play button, needless to say, the silence in the room was definitely broken, although it did wake up the group.


Sandra Annette Rogers

Sandra has been teaching for 20 years. She’s actively involved with the Electronic Village Online (EVO) and currently serves on the coordination team. You may have read some of her CALL-related blogs on TESOL. She freelances for and In addition, Sandra runs a virtual nonprofit to help the unemployed find work on

Affiliation: Teacherrogers Consulting

Years in the CALLIS: 2 years (2009-2011)

Q: Favorite platform?

A: Well, in the past newsletters this referred to the computer operating system. I use Windows XP, but it’s not really my favorite. As an online teacher, I’d like to add that my favorite learning management system platform is eCollege (Pearson).

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

A: That depends on my resources for the project. Camtasia Relay for screencasting with a budget because I can edit and add closed-captioning. for screencasting without a budget―no editing feature so you have to do retakes! Screencasters help you meet the standards for quality online instruction, such as virtual tours, lecture capturing, demonstrations, one-on-one specific help, and student presentations and/or intros.

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

A: I didn’t realize that the CALLIS helped create the Principles and Practices of Online Teaching certificate courses and that some of the CALL members actually teach the classes, too.

Q: What was your favorite CALL creation?

A: I’d have to say my e-portfolio blog that I created in Vance Stevens’ Multiliteracies EVO 2010 session. It has become my go-to place for everything I do―my landing strip! I blog about my trials and errors with integrating technology into education and post all of my projects there.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Besides training moderators as an EVO coordination team member, I’m also mentoring the PLN/PLE moderators for #2012evo. I continue to blog for TESOL, my eportfolio, and my nonprofit. For BrokeButNotForLong, Inc., I’ve decided to migrate all of our content to Google sites like Blogger for Blogging4Broke to save money. We recently received a Google grant for free AdWords, so you should be seeing more of Broke in online searches in a few months. For my own career, I’ve launched Teacherrogers Consulting for Literacy, Language & Social Media Solutions.

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

A: I’ll echo what Andy Bowman said back in 2008: “More computer-like devices created specifically for language learning.” And I want to help create one, so give me a call!

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

A: Take the Electronic Village Online free professional training in January!

Q: What is your funniest CALL-related incident?

A: OK, since Laine (Helaine) Marshall has a good sense of humor, I’d like to describe our first face-to-face encounter. I was running to a session at the TESOL convention in New Orleans when I passed her by. I turned around because I recognized her face from her thumbnail photos on Yahoo IM. She became a great mentor to me during my first attempt at moderating a session for EVO in 2009. However, I wasn’t sure it was her because of her petite stature. Laine had become such a giant in my mind that I didn’t expect her to be so small! I explained this to her, and we both laughed because she didn’t expect me to be so tall.

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


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