March 2019
On Call



A happy new year indeed with all the good news to report!

Our foremost newsworthy announcement—twofold proud—is in sharing with you that not only has Justin Shewell been awarded the 2019 D Scott Enright Award for his CALL-IS Service, but he will be serving on the upcoming TESOL Board. Justin always has and continues to serve the CALL-IS wholeheartedly.

We carried out our first webinar collaboration with another international association—IATEFL. On 9 November from 1–5 pm GMT, we collaborated with the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group in a joint interactive online event entitled The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in English Language Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Either Friend or Foe?. Around fifty participants interacted with organizers Georgios Vlasios (CALL-IS SC member), Christine Sabieh (CALL-IS Chair), Sophia Mavridi (IATEFL LTS Coordinator), and Heike Philp (IATEFL LTS) and speakers Karen Price, Gilbert Dizon, Ron Lee, Abir Ghenaiet, Robert Szabo, and Tarek Besold debating the pros and cons of AI in the education setting.

The CALL-IS continues to collaborate with the strands as well as develop its own CALL activities. This year at the convention we will have three locations to carry out the Electronic Village and Technology Showcase sessions. In support of all this development, the webcast team is busy planning the necessary steps to ensure the outreach is made possible to all participants interested in integrating technology in their education settings. The Electronic Village will be located in the Exhibition Hall. Placed in another area, the Technology Showcase sessions have been diversified a bit this year, given that the Academic and the Intersection Sessions will also be held in another place. For example, different this year, the Technology Showcase will have five Hot Topic sessions this year; one hot topic session will be a panel discussion entitled Technology and the 6 Principles: An Oversight?The role of technology in TESOL's most successful publication this year--The 6 Principles--was not addressed. The panelists will address the role of technology vis a vis each of the principles. The other four Hot Topic sessions will have presenters discussing, for 15 minutes, hot topics related to current tech-issues or country specific tech-issues. Likewise, to showcase the year-long efforts of the EVO team and the topics of interest made available to TESOLers through the Electronic Village Online sessions, two Technology Showcase sessions will be scheduled to share The Best of EVO 2019. In the third location, the CALL-IS Intersection sessions are entitled Open Educational Resources (OER) in K-12 Education: Balancing the Nexus of Infinite Possibilities with Instructional Efficiency (CALL-IS with EE-IS) and The Blended Learning Classroom and the ESL Teacher (AE-IS with CALL-IS and Video PLN), and our Academic session is entitled SMALL - Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning and will be in collaboration with Video PLN as well.

Interest remains high when it comes to technology integration in the many teaching/learning spaces. As CALL-ISers, we continue on our mission to enhance the learning or the learning space with technology. We remain thankful that the CALL-IS is able to attract presenters and appeal to large numbers of attendees. The Electronic Village and Technology Showcase remains central to all those interested in technology; TESOL organizing committee allocates our space and we situate ourselves and set up base and make the most out of it—attracting keen supporters and curious newcomers. As I said in previous newsletters, we function as a family, flavored and unique, and we speak one language! We are all engaged in our own CALL world… we come together from all parts of the world to share a passion—a way of life. And I as do many of us make a physical appearance at the TESOL convention, reunite for CALL: We meet, we brainstorm, we decide, we socialize, we network…

See you in Atlanta!


Dr. Christine Sabieh
CALL-IS Chair 2018-2019

Dr. Christine Sabieh, Full Professor at Notre Dame University, is an American who lives in Lebanon. She is a Rotarian (PP 2014) and a Paul Harris Fellow. Her memberships include ASIACALL (a Past President for 5 years, Lebanese Psychological Association (Founding member & a Past President for 3 years), former TESOLArabia (Testing SIG Member at large), AACE, WACRA, & TESOL (CALL-IS: serving SC & EV). Currently, she is the CALL-IS Chair-elect.


Jennifer Meyer

Maria Tomeho-Palermino

Greetings CALL-IS community,

We are excited about seeing you at the upcoming TESOL conference in Atlanta! We wanted to take this opportunity tell you a little about the special sessions we have organized with the Adult Education Interest Section, Video PLN, and the EEIS-K12 Interest Section. As our Primary Session, we are pleased to offer an InterSection Panel on Open Educational Resources (OERs) with the EEIS-K12 Interest Section. This session will take place on Thursday, March 14, from 9:30am -11:15am in Room A315 in the Georgia World Congress Center. This panel will feature professionals from CALL, Elementary, and Secondary Educational settings, discussing how OERs can be most effectively utilized, both in instructional as well as administrative settings. Next we have our panel with the Adult Education Interest Section and the Video PLN on Blended Learning, which will take place on Thursday, March 14, from 4:00-5:45 pm in Room A315. In this session, you will learn about Blended Learning models, advantages and disadvantages of blended learning programs, and pathways towards implementation. Finally, we are pleased to announce our collaboration with the Video PLN to bring you an Academic Session panel on SMALL (Smart Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) instructional and administrative applications. This session will take place on Wednesday, March 13, from 1:00-2:45pm in Room A315.

All of our InterSection Panels and Academic Sessions will take place in room A315 and will be webcast via our YouTube Special Sessions channel. Please visit our site starting early March to find more information about our webcasting schedule for TESOL 2019. In addition to the sessions in Room A315, we will also be webcasting selected sessions from the Technology Showcase and Electronic Village, both located in the Expo Hall. Come by and visit us live to watch panels, learn more about CALL, receive hands-on webcasting training or experience webcasting live in our “open seat” at the webcasting table.

Speaking of webcasting, if you are interested in learning how to webcast or joining our webcasting team, no previous experience is necessary.To learn more about what webcasting is and how we do it, you should stop by the Technology Showcase in the Exposition Hall and learn what webcasting is all about. We will begin webcasting Wednesday, March 13 in the morning, and this will continue until the end of the conference. You may even want to consider assisting when you visit. We hope to see you there! Please send an email to receive information about viewing a recorded version of the training or for any questions about how you can volunteer for webcasting or other information about the CALL-IS.

We look forward to collaborating and learning with you in Atlanta.

Jennifer and Maria,
Your CALL-IS CoChair Elects

Jennifer Meyer is an ESL teacher at Edmondson Elementary School in Brentwood, TN, USA. She has been teaching ESL/EFL in the USA and Europe for 20+ years. She is currently pursuing a PhD in literacy studies at Middle Tennessee State University. Her research focuses on professional development for general education teachers working with ELs, EL students with special needs, and K-12 CALL applications.

Maria Tomeho-Palermino is a lecturer in Global Pathways at Northeastern University where she teaches matriculating undergraduate and graduate students. She has been teaching and doing teacher training for well over 30 years. Currently, she is also doing consulting and is developing online materials for business professionals.



 Suzanne Bardasz

From Suzanne

Hello CALL-ISers! We are pleased to share with you the latest edition of “On CALL”. After a great TESOL convention last year in Chicago, we are excited for this year’s TESOL convention in Atlanta. To prepare for this upcoming convention, we have letters about the CALL-IS leadership and how to present in upcoming TESOL conventions, including the Electronic Village (EV). We also have articles about tools such as Explain Everything as well as reviews on two listening platforms and Kindle in the classroom. All of these articles will help you think of other ways to engage and bring new life into your classroom.

We hope that this edition of the newsletter will inspire you to think of ways to incorporate technology in your classroom contexts and to get more involved in our IS. There are many ways that you can get involved in this IS and in TESOL such as writing an article, watching a webcast, or reviewing an app. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any ideas or suggestions for this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Larry Udry 

From Larry

Hello CALL-ISers!

I hope you’ve had a chance to slow down and enjoy some time off this Winter. If you haven’t already, please make sure you see the sidebars in this issue for links to an advanced copy of the EV Program and signup sheet to volunteer in the EV. While there, please take time to take the poll. This poll is a revisit to a previous poll question from March 3, 2015. Suzanne thought it might be interesting to see if the results differ now. You can see the results from March 3rd, 2015 below. We’ll compare the results of these polls in our next edition.

Screen Shot from March 2015 (click image to enlarge)

As Suzanne mentioned above, a newsletter cannot be produced without the contributions, in ways big and small, of a lot of people. A big thanks to our far-flung Steering Committee headed ably by Dr. Christine Sabieh in Lebanon (Past Chair), and Maria Tomeho-Palermino in Boston and Jennifer Meyer in Tennessee ( Co-chairs). And joining the ranks after the conference will be Heather Benucci in Alaska and Abe Rashad in Athens, OH ( Co-chairs elect). Also thanks to all the contributors to this edition: Dr. Valerie Sartor of the TESOL Endorsement at the University of Akron; Waheeb Albiladi, a PhD student in the TESOL program at the University of Arkansas; Eric Bodin, an ESL Instructor University of Iowa City and Jose Franco of the University of Zulia in Venezuela. Last, but definitely not least is the Newsletter Editing Team, whose second set of eyes I’ve come to depend on (more than my own): Suzanne Bardasz (UC Davis), Grazzia Mendoza (Zamorano University- Honduras), Sandy Wagner (Defense Language Institute), Skip Gole (ESOL teacher Montgomery County Public School System- Maryland), and two newcomers from the University of South Florida: Patrick Mannion and Babak Khoshnevian.

Soon I will be handing the editorship over to the very capable Suzanne Bardasz. As I look back over the last ten years plus as editor, I have seen many changes in our IS. The most surprising thing to me thing that should come as no surprise is the IS’s vibrancy. Yearly, this IS is involved in so many projects that to mention a few would be to fail to mention some. The level of commitment and dedication to teaching and to professional growth is inspiring and has always prompted me to do more.

If there is something that you would like to see in our newsletter, or if you’d like to join the Newsletter Editing Team, contact either Suzanne Bardasz or Larry Udry.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you soon.


Suzanne Bardasz currently works at UC Davis Extension IEPP in Davis, CA, where she mainly teaches upper-level composition classes as well as classes in the English for Science and Technology (EST) program. She previously taught English at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea for nearly 5 years.

Larry Udry works at Divine Word College, a small Roman Catholic seminary for missionaries in Epworth, Iowa. He has published the CALL-IS newsletter and has served on the CALL-IS Steering Committee since 2009. Recently, he published an environmentally themed ESL e-text with Kendall Hunt and is now working on a second edition. Prior to his position at Divine Word College, he worked in UT Martin for 11 years, where he published the TNTESOL Newsletter.



User-friendly, portable digital technology has changed the way we teach and learn (Churchill & Wang, 2014). The internet age has allowed information to become easy to locate and access. “Twenty-first-century technologies are also about the portability of mobile digital devices which now have the potential to allow any-time access” (Male & Burden, 2014, p. 424). Unsurprisingly, iPads and Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular in many U.S. K–12 schools. These devices offer educational applications (apps), built-in accessibility features with user-friendliness for a diverse populations, and strong levels of support (Draper Rodríguez, Strnadová, & Cumming, 2014). Significantly, iPads and other tablets make it easy for English language learners (ELLs) to generate work and demonstrate comprehension. Such digital tools support diverse learning styles by providing creative ways to demonstrate understanding and proficiency.

Explain Everything and iPads

Because culturally and linguistically diverse student populations continue to increase in the United States, TESOL educators must identify instructional approaches that support our students. We need to educate teachers to use digital devices and software effectively. This means using technology that matches the tasks we designate to our ELLs. Moreover, technological choices would not only address learning in regard to cultural and linguistic differences, but also help ELLs to succeed academically, socially, and, eventually, economically. Our ELLs gain mastery using cutting-edge tech tools, and they also become adept at cooperating and collaborating with others in a face-to-face and distance environment using technology. Both are imperative for their future success in today’s workforce (Leu, Kinser, Coiro, Castek, & Henry, 2017).

Little is written concerning the effective and specific use of technology for ELLs because instructional software specifically designed for ELLs is lacking. But software such as Explain Everything, loaded on devices such as Chromebooks and iPads, work well for both mainstream students and ELLs alike. Explain Everything generates learning experiences that genuinely reflect the reality and skills needed for the 21st-century (Leer & Ivanov, 2013), allowing ELLs to engage in stimulating and technologically infused learning.

What Is Explain Everything?

Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard application, relatively new and little known to many TESOL educators. This intuitive and user-friendly tool can produce high-quality video tutorials. According to a description from the iTunes Apple Store, Explain Everything is an “easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool with real-time collaboration that lets users animate, record, annotate, collaborate, and explore ideas, knowledge and understanding.” Recordings can be easily converted to a MP4 file or published to YouTube or the cloud, all which are compatible with most learning management systems for K–12 and university settings.


The use of technology has positive benefits for students from culturally and linguistically different backgrounds (Crescenzi, Jewitt, & Price, 2014). According to Waxman and Padron (1996), effective instructional technology programs for ELLs must include

  1. flexibility to be used with students with varying levels of English proficiency;

  2. introducing and reinforcing vocabulary with a contextual framework;

  3. opportunities for students to speak, listen, read, and write; and

  4. opportunities for students to communicate with each other in meaningful ways (Waxman & Padron, 1996).

Technology helps ELLs build confidence as well as understanding because it has the ability to motivate without judgment. For teachers, technology can help them tailor the learning to meet all students’ needs and rates of learning. This helps ELLs gain more autonomy, and it helps teachers to offer fast feedback. All in all, the process enhances ELLs’ sense of mastery, responsibility, and control. Technology also offers a rich linguistic environment—it is easy to install translators, and the intuitive interface gives students the agency to make predictions as visuals and sounds are combined. With increasing technology, the role of teacher as authority figure decreases, while the power and learning styles of students are enhanced. Before this can happen, however, students must gain access to technology, and teachers must be educated to use it appropriately in the classroom (Norris, Sullivan, Poirot, & Soloway, 2003).

How I Used Explain Everything

Crescenzi, Jewitt, and Price (2014) describe how iPads promote successful learning among young, diverse students. Likewise, Maich, Hall, van Rhijn, and Henning (2017) studied how K–12 content teachers used iPads in their classrooms and found that many teachers spent as much as 30% of their day instructing via iPads. Their students felt comfortable and engaged using the tablets; however, the varying skill levels among students were perceived as a barrier.

Since May 2018, with the help of a federal grant that supports training K–12 educators to gain a TESOL endorsement from the state of Ohio, I have been also training these teachers to use Explain Everything as an educational tool to support ELL learning in their K–12 classrooms. Teachers have tried the following activities: 

  1. Create instructional videos for their ELLs.

  2. Scaffold the creation of ELL-made videos that demonstrate knowledge of content and language objectives.

  3. As a class, ELLs with their teachers create welcome videos for new students arriving from other countries.

These teachers have also demonstrated how they teach specific skills using a best practices protocol, called SIOP, here.


Explain Everything has great advantages: It is portable, intuitive, and cost effective—but like other technology, it can be difficult for teachers to adopt. Two factors intrude. My teachers reported that their school districts changed tech protocols regularly. Consequently, due to shifting politics and perspectives regarding technology, teachers lacked enthusiasm for learning yet another device that is touted as an innovative tool. Second, Explain Everything, despite being intuitive, requires a significant time investment to master all its features. My cohort teachers needed extended time and practice to learn to use the software. They recognized the value but lacked time to intensively learn and practice.

Finally, we must consider the digital divide. Many ELLs have no iPads, or even internet access at home, so their chances of practicing Explain Everything after a class session are often nil. For those interested in adopting this software and other iPad technology, I suggest that teachers apply for grants. Also, teachers who have mastered the device could also offer demonstrations at in-service trainings to persuade their colleagues.

Future Research

Research indicates that teaching and learning for ELLs might improve as a result of using technology in the classroom. More descriptive, correlational, and especially experimental research is needed to validate this premise. Additionally, longitudinal studies are needed to research how ELLs’ cognitive and affective outcomes change over time as a result of using technology (Padron & Waxman, 1996). Specifically regarding iPads and Explain Everything, other issues to consider include finding effective ways to train TESOL educators to gain necessary tech skills and abilities, and understanding and overcoming factors hindering TESOL teachers from using technology.


Churchill, D., & Wang, T. (2014). Teacher’s use of iPads in higher education. Educational Media International, 51(3), 214–225.

Crescenzi, L., Jewitt, C., & Price, S. (2014). The role of touch in preschool children’s learning using iPad versus paper interaction. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 37(2), 86–95.

Draper Rodríguez, C., Strnadová, I., & Cumming, T. (2014). Using iPads with students with disabilities: Lessons learned from students, teachers, and parents. Intervention in School and Clinic, 49(4), 244–250. doi:10.1177/1053451213509488

Leer, R., & Ivanov, S. (2013). Rethinking the future of learning: The possibilities and limitations of technology in education in the 21st century. International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 5(4), 14.

Leu, D. J., Kinzer, C. K., Coiro, J., Castek, J., & Henry, L. A. (2017). New literacies: A dual-level theory of the changing nature of literacy, instruction, and assessment. Journal of Education, 197(2), 1–18.

Maich, K., Hall, C. L., van Rhijn, T. M., & Henning, M. (2017). Teaching and learning in two iPad-infused classrooms: A descriptive case study of a dual classroom, school-based pilot project. Exceptionality Education International, 27(2).

Male, T., & Burden, K. (2014). Access denied? Twenty-first-century technology in schools. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 23(4), 423–437. doi:10.1080/1475939X.2013.864697

Norris, C., Sullivan, T., Poirot, J., & Soloway, E. (2003). No access, no use, no impact: Snapshot surveys of educational technology in K–12. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(1), 15–27. doi:10.1080/15391523.2003.10782400

Padron, Y. N., & Waxman, H. C. (1996). Improving the teaching and learning of English language learners through instructional technology. International Journal of Instructional Media, 23(4), 341–354.

Dr. Valerie Sartor is in charge of the TESOL Endorsement at the University of Akron; in addition to TESOL courses, she also teaches instructional technology and literacy classes. In 2014–2015 she served as the Global TESOL Fulbright Fellow in Russia.


Over the last decade, the use of technology-based programs and applications among language teachers and learners has increased dramatically. As a language learner and a current ESL teacher, these online-based websites have guided my learning journey and facilitated my teaching process. These tools allow for a more authentic and enjoyable way of teaching and learning. Even though computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is a promising field that can be used to develop all language domains (Roussel, 2011), I present here my experiences in relying on CALL to develop one language skill, listening.

Using these web-based tools in learning and teaching English listening allowed me to overcome boundaries in language classrooms, such as the lack of authentic language learning materials. Roussel (2011) mentions that learning language skills through CALL has many advantages for language learners, such as learning autonomy, flexibility, and repetition. As such, Roussel encourages teachers to prepare guidelines and provide opportunities for ESL students to use CALL to develop their language abilities. Following are some of the beneficial and helpful online-based websites I encourage language teachers and learners to use to practice listening. These platforms are ideal learning sources for ESL, EFL, and English for specific purposes language learners.


English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO) is a website that is designed to allow language learners to practice and develop their listening skills. The website includes thousands of English audio materials that can be accessed freely by language learners using internet-equipped devices. This digital library provides listening activities and quizzes for learners with different language proficiency levels. Besides the regular listening file, the website also allows students to practice their oral skills in various forms, such as the following:

  • One Minute English: Students can watch and listen to speakers from around the world and then answer a question in a 1-minute segment.

  • Mixer: Students can listen to six different speakers share their opinions about same topic. Then, they have to answer some questions based on these opinions.

  • SixPix Game: Listeners interact with a short segment by matching audio with the best pictures that describe it.

  • News Center: Students listen to an animated short news segment and answer the provided questions.

  • Scenes: These are mini-series segments featuring everyday activities. Students can listen to them and answer some questions featuring these activities.

  • STeP: This activity combines listening with reading speed skills. Students have to listen to an audio segment and then do reading tests in a limited time.


ESL-Lab is another website devoted to providing language learners with various listening activities that examine different topics and fields. The website was created by Randall Davis, an ESL language specialist who has many years of experience in teaching English and educational technology and in teacher training. Similar to ELLLO, the website includes thousands of audio files that can be accessed freely via internet-equipped devices. These different accessibility options make it easy for language learners to use the website anytime and anywhere. The website provides listening practice for language learners at all proficiency levels. The website allows language learners to practice their listening comprehension using these sections:

  • General Listening Quizzes: Students can listen to a wide range of everyday conversations about different topics. This section includes listening activities with three levels of English proficiency: easy, medium, and difficult.

  • Basic Listening Quizzes: The section is for students with low proficiency levels (beginners and intermediate). Students can listen to short conversations and then take basic and short quizzes.

  • Listening Quizzes for Academic Purposes:This section is designed for students who are taking language examinations such as the TOEFL or TOEIC. It includes lectures, interviews, and long conversations for students with high intermediate and advanced proficiency levels.

  • 20-Minute ESL Vocabulary Lessons:This part contains vocabulary lessons. Students can listen to a 20-minute segment and then read and practice a list of vocabulary on different topics.

  • Language Learning and Life Tips:Here, students can listen to a long segment about one life-skill. Before listening, students are asked to read some discussion questions and try to find the answer within the lecture.

The Benefits of Using These Websites

From my perspective as a language learner, using ELLLO and ESL-Lab allowed me to shift from developing my listening skills using commercially constructed textbooks into a more authentic language learning environment. ELLO is an active community for thousands of language learners from more than 100 countries. Users can share their English learning experiences in a meaningful and enjoyable way. Also, ESL-Lab is a massive learning library that contains hundreds of interesting and enjoyable listening files loaded with activities and quizzes.

These two sites are useful resources for beginners, intermediate, and advanced language learners to practice their listening skills. For teachers, using ELLLO and ESL-Lab increases the authenticity of their teaching practice. Instead of asking students to listen to scripted audio files, these websites provide opportunities for students to listen and share their experiences, ideas, and opinions on several topics with other students from around the world. Even though there are many other beneficial websites to practice listening skills, such as Quizlet, Audio Puzzler, Listen and Write, and Breaking News English, I, as a language learner and teacher, used ESL-Lab and ELLLO because of the variety of topics and the sense of engagement these websites provide for language learners and teachers.

The Challenges

Even though these two websites are beneficial regarding learning and teaching English listening, they have some limitations. To begin with, these learning sites are effective in developing language skills, but they lack the complexity that enables teachers to use them as tools to improve students’ critical thinking skills or to address creativity. Moreover, both sites require constant internet access. Some of the classes I taught lacked internet accessibility, which made it difficult to use any type of web-based platform as a teaching tool. Also, not all language learners have regular access to the internet, making it difficult for them to use similar websites outside of class. Additionally, the quality of some audio files uploaded on both websites needs to be improved. Listening to a clear file is vital for language learners to be able to practice their listening skills effectively.

Significantly, the objectives behind creating and designing these digital libraries stem from having a freely accessible library for language learners to develop their listening abilities. ELLLO and ESL-lab target ESL\EFL language learners with low or high language proficiency levels and, to a lesser extent, students who focus on passing English proficiency exams. Even though these two websites include listening activities for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced language learners, they lack the complexity and difficulty that students who seek to pass language exams need to practice. Also, even though the two websites provide authentic language, they might not be academically challenging for students with higher proficiency levels.

Pedagogical Implications

There are many pedagogical implications of using these sites for language learners. One is providing language learners with ample exposure to comprehensible input (Krashen & Terrell, 1983). The engaging and authentic listening experience allows for more natural ways of language learning. Another pedagogical implication is moving from more teacher-centered to more student-centered language teaching and learning. Provided they have internet access, language learners can access these sites anytime and anywhere to practice and assess their listening abilities without their teachers’ supervision. Blake (2009) mentions that online-based English learning allows for a more student-centered approach, which promotes autonomy in language learning. Also, ELLLO and ESL-Lab can be used to improve students’ listening comprehension and achievement. These websites have been the focus of many studies that examine their effectiveness as English teaching and learning tools. To illustrate, in a study by Palangngan, Atmowardoyo, and Weda (2016), it was found that the use of ELLLO had a significant impact on students’ listening comprehension and achievement. Similarly, Kılıçkaya (2011) mentions that ESL-Lab is a useful source that includes authentic materials dedicated to language learning support. Ultimately, it is important for teachers to look for the most engaging and authentic platforms that promote effective language learning. ELLLO and ESL-Lab are examples of what CALL can provide for language learners for the development of listening.


Blake, R. J. (2009). The use of technology for second language distance learning. The Modern Language Journal, 93, 822–835.

Kiliçkaya, F. (2011). Improving pronunciation via accent reduction and text-to-speech software. In T. Koyama, J. Noguchi, Y. Yoshinari, & A. Iwasaki (Eds.), WorldCALL: International perspectives on computer-assisted language learning (pp. 85–96). New York, NY: Routledge.

Krashen, S. D., & Terrell, T. D. (1983). The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Aleman.

Palangngan, S. T., Atmowardoyo, H., & Weda, S. (2016). English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO) as a Supporting Media in Learning Listening. ELT WORLDWIDE, 3(1), 51-62.

Roussel, S. (2011). A computer assisted method to track listening strategies in second language learning. ReCALL, 23(2), 98–116.

Waheeb Albiladi is a PhD student in the TESOL program at the University of Arkansas. He has 8 years of experience in teaching ESL/EFL. His research interests include technology in English teaching and learning, ESL, EFL, bilingual education, and educational leadership.


i+1, sustained silent reading, read-alouds, academic language. Stephen Krashen has introduced many of these phrases to us, and he again has made his case for developing high levels of literacy in a short article in the California School Library Association’s CSLA Journal (2018). One of his recommendations is that there should be “well-funded and well-supplied libraries everywhere” (p. 18). It seems that Jeff Bezos and the engineers at Amazon have been thinking the same thing! Though perhaps they mean the libraries to be “self-funded and Amazon supplied” through the form of the Kindle e-reader. So how do Kindle e-readers work in the ESL context?

I used a Kindle e-book in my college level ESL Reading class for the extended reading portion of the coursework. We used the novel The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. I also required the students to buy the audio book in order to experience the “immersive reading” feature. I did not require the students to buy a Kindle device because the free Kindle App was available for them to read and listen to the book, and I wanted to keep the costs down. I had two Kindles that I brought to class to let the students try, and several students bought Kindles during the class. In addition, some students had Kindles before we began the class, so about half the class had Kindle devices and half did not (no one bought a hard copy of the book). Following is a list of some of the features on a Kindle, and my evaluation of their pros and cons for ESL students.

Kindle Feature Evaluation for Use in ESL Reading

Word Wise: Shows simplified vocabulary above difficult words.
Pro: Helps students learn difficult words easily by building English to English semantic relationships.
Con: Gives hints in different languages - this may not be good for more advanced learners.

Vocabulary Builder: Remembers dictionary lookups.
Pro: Allows easy review of new vocabulary in different formats including flashcards with dictionary information and the original context.
Con: Teachers do not have easy access to student vocabulary investigations.

Dictionary: Provides dictionary entry for a word with an extended press.
Pro: Specific dictionaries (including learner dictionaries) can be associated with this feature. Provides dictionary information very quickly and easily.
Con: Multilingual dictionary options available – this may not be good depending on teacher goals.

Notes: Tags reader notes to a word or phrase.
Pro: Written record of observations or questions can be useful later in class discussion. Notes can be exported.
Con: Easy sharing of notes/highlights may lead to misrepresentation of how much thinking a student has done.

Wikipedia: Provides information from Wikipedia with an extended press.
Pro: Easy identification of cultural information such as place names or people, which allows students to understand the story more easily.
Con: Information can be wrong or misleading.

Audio Book: Provides audio of written text and highlights phrases as they are spoken.
Pro: Allows integration of reading and listening. Increases sensory input for students and makes more memorable. Allows for hands free homework!
Con: Not available on every device. Adds cost. Quality varies.

Common Student Objections and the Instructor’s Response

I don't like reading off a screen: I haven’t known anyone who tried using the basic Kindle (not a Kindle Fire) that didn't change their opinion of reading from a screen. The screen really feels like you are reading from paper.

Kindles are too expensive: The basic version (doesn't have audio capabilities) can be bought refurbished for US$60 or sometimes US$40 when they are running a special. This is within the range of an ESL textbook, but also provides access to many cheap or free books. Also, the Kindle app for a smartphone is free and provides full access to audio book integration.

Conclusion and Reflection

At the end of the semester, I had my students write feedback with the prompt: What did you like/not like about using the Kindle version of a novel? Of the 14 students, 13 said they liked the Kindle version. I think they liked it because the Kindle makes extended reading more accessible by lowering the barriers to increased comprehensibility of input (mainly with Word Wise, Dictionary, and Vocabulary Builder). The incorporated audio book option also gave more variety of input. If I do this again, I will be more purposeful about requiring students to listen and read at the same time, instead of giving them the option (however, I am not sure how I would verify this). I was surprised by the usefulness of the Wikipedia lookup features and how it drew students into the story if they knew just a little more information about places or references to historical people.

For the ESL Reading class, the Kindle lacks features that would allow teachers to be more involved in student learning (note to Jeff Bezos) such as being able to compile the words that students look up for review or evaluation purposes or being able to verify how much audio students had listened to. Also, the availability of multilingual input may hinder the students’ development of English semantic relationships and mask low proficiency (but it could benefit, too). Overall, I think that the Kindle shows lots of promise for helping students to develop English proficiency and, despite my objections, I would not hesitate to use it in an ESL Reading class again.


Krashen, S. (2018) Do libraries and teacher librarians have the solution to the long-term English language learner problem? CSLA Journal, 41(2), 16–19.

Eric Bodin has taught ESL in Ames, USA; Almaty, KZ; Istanbul, TR; and now Iowa City, USA. He believes electronics will not replace teachers, but will make them more effective, which will result in more literates, more multilinguals, and better communication worldwide.


José Franco

Kara Mac Donald

This article seeks to highlight the importance of corpus linguistics as an increasingly influential procedure in the field of language analysis and also to promote the use of AntConc as an option to conduct precise and sophisticated language analyses with respect to two key elements: a) the creation of raw corpora from learners’ written production and b) the analysis of such corpora to determine and categorize errors and their causes to design more effective correction strategies and writing instruction.


According to Froehlich (2015), AntConc is a concordance software package for linguistic analysis of texts. It is self-contained; freely available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux; and highly maintained by its creator, Laurence Anthony. It contains very important features, such as keyword in contextview (KWIC), clusters, collocates, frequency word list, keyword list, and search operators. AntConc is also the third most used concordance software for corpus linguistics around the world. This software allows researchers and language teachers to create and develop their own corpora and also analyze them. It offers researchers and language teachers independence in terms of corpus content and source selection; they can create their own corpora from any type of textual objects, including students’ written production.

AntConc and Corpus Linguistics

If we think of what corpus linguistics is today, we may answer that it is a relatively new field in language learning closely related to the use of computers and the internet to access huge collections of texts. Yet, it has been around for almost a century, considering the first attempts of lexicographers and dictionary-makers to collect examples of language in use to help accurately define words since at least the late 19th century (Bennett, 2010). In fact, with the advent of computers, what has changed is the way we collect those samples of language, which has led to the construction of the large electronically stored corpora we are used to employing today. For the purpose of this article, a learner corpus will be considered as electronic collections of texts produced by English language learners (ELLs) upon which some general linguistic analysis can be conducted (Granger, 2008).< p>In relation to corpora and learner corpora analysis, AntConc has become considered one of the most employed tools by linguists and researchers to develop language analyses. However, as the content of this article suggests, this tool is also employed by language teachers because of its features and utility in language analysis.

Learner Corpora and Error Analysis in Classroom Instruction

Learner corpora serve as a source of data for researchers and teachers, which is essential in the error analysis field; no analysis can be made without a sample from a determined learner or group of learners. Thus, collecting students’ samples of written work to create a learner corpus is the first step any teacher needs to take toward the employment of error analysis to enhance written error correction.

The identification and analysis of errors can reveal a plethora of factors that may affect students’ linguistic production so that teachers can design effective remediation strategies and pedagogical interventions to correct such errors. Granger (2008) states that learner corpora “can be used to develop pedagogical tools and methods that more accurately target the needs of language learners” (p.1).Such needs can be understood as the gap they need to fill to be competent writers/speakers. In relation to writing, most common errors are related, among other factors, to spelling and misuse of prepositions.

Hence, learner corpora along with error analysis by means of AntConc can be viewed as an effective strategy to identify features in students’ written production that are not easily identified by merely correcting their written work. Significant error correction must go beyond correction to just grade students’ linguistic performance. Through the use of AntConc, the possibility for teachers to improve and adapt their practice to align with students’ real needs remains open-ended.

The Creation of Raw Corpora From Students’ Written Production

Learner corpora contain all the characteristics of a corpus. However, the main difference between learner corpora and EFL corpora, according to Seidlhofer (as cited in Granger, 2008) “lies in the researchers’ orientation towards the data and the purposes they intend the corpora to serve” (p. 1). With respect to the latter aspect, I suggest the purposes of a corpus play a crucial role in its design and development; it often determines most of its characteristics (e.g., size). Yet, there is nothing for teachers to worry about if the corpus is limited in size and scope, as what matters is that it represents the learners and serves the teacher’s purpose or purposes as even a single learner corpus has diverse potential uses. In general, learner corpora or mini-corpora with pedagogical purposes are generally small in comparison to other commercial or academic corpora available online. So much so that nowadays, teachers and researchers employ the term mini-corpora to refer to learner corpora, or claim that a determined research investigation is framed within a mini-corpus approach when employing learner corpora as a methodology to gather the required data from a determined group of learners or even from a single learner (Ragan, as cited in Granger, 2008; Gould, 2009). Therefore, all students’ written production of a determined class group can be collected during a semester or academic period to create a learner corpus or mini-corpus, which are generally analyzed as a whole; however, teachers can analyze the written production of a learner or learners with specific characteristics or linguistic background.

Language naturalness, on the other hand, is another important feature in a corpus, which, in fact, can represent a great challenge for teachers and researchers to gather reliable data to create a corpus. In this sense, Granger (2008) explains that learner production data can display diverse degrees of naturalness, which may rank very low in tasks such as reading aloud or fill-in-the-blanks, but may rank much higher in informal interviews or free compositions. Data reliability can be also affected by the intervention of automated spell/grammar checkers of word-processing programs if, for example, analysis is focused on the use of prepositions by foreign language learners.

The Employment of AntConc in the Analysis of Raw Learner Corpora

The creation of learner corpora implies basically the following processes: a) students’ data collection, b) data conversion into text-plain files (no tagging or annotation is needed in raw learner corpora), and c) analysis. For the purpose of this article, only the frequency word list, the keyword in contextview (KWIC), and the collocates features will be referred to in this section. The word list feature shows, among other data, the total number of files that compose the corpus, the total number of word tokens as well as the word types along with their respective frequency. Function words are more likely to show higher frequency levels within a corpus in comparison to content words, which allows teachers to detect mistakes in spelling (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.Word list feature analysis. (Click image to enlarge)

However, the concordance feature highlights how particular words appear in context (see Figure 2). These results were displayed by clicking on to in the word list; they show all language patterns in which the preposition to is employed. This is a very useful feature to determine what specific errors are linked to the use of a search word in the corpus.

Figure 2.Results for to in the concordance feature. (Click image to enlarge)

Words with a high likelihood to appear before or after to are recognized by AntConc as collocates (see Figure 3). The collocates feature menu also displays the frequency of such word partnership in the corpus. By clicking on a specific word or by searching it, users can observe its collocates in the concordance line or lines.

Figure 3.Collocates for to.

The main difference between the cluster and the collocates feature is that the former shows the adjacent words before and after the search word (see Figure 4), and the collocate feature shows all the words whose frequency in the corpus implies a high degree of cooccurrence likelihood.

Figure 4. Clusters after the word to.


This article aimed to provide teachers and researchers a starting point to exploit the potential of such valuable areas as the language corpora and error correction that can be complemented by means of AntConc to enhance language instruction. Little is known about language corpora; it is still considered as new research area. Thus, teachers and researchers require new experiences in and considerable knowledge of the field to produce “useful and usable results” (Tono, 2003, p. 806). With this in mind, future research on language corpora should focus on essential aspects such as design principles, theoretical scaffolding, and data reliability.


Bennett, G. (2010). Using corpora in the language learning classroom. Ann Arbor, MI. Michigan University Press.

Froehlich, H. (2015 June 19). Corpus analysis with AntConc. Programming Historian. Retrieved from

Gould, T. (2009). Assessing lexical production in NNS-NNS casual conversations: A mini-corpus approach. Sophia Junior College Faculty Journal, 29, 25–45.

Granger S. (2008). Learner corpora. In A. Lüdeling&M. Kytö (Eds.),Corpus linguistics. An International Handbook(Vol. 1; pp. 259–275). Berlin, Germany: Walter de 5 Gruyter.

Tono, Y. (2003). Learner corpora: Design, development and applications.In D. Archer, P. Rayson, A. Wilson,& T.McEnery (Eds.), Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics 2003 Conference (pp. 800–809). UCREL technical paper number 16.Lancashire, England:Lancaster University. Retrieved from


José Franco is an assistant professor at Universidad de Los Andes, in Trujillo State, Venezuela. He holds an MEd in TEFL. His main interests include ICT, corpus linguistics, and lexicon.

Kara Mac Donald is an associate professor at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. She conducts preservice and in-service faculty training and offers academic support to students. She earned a masters in applied linguistics, TESOL, and a doctorate in applied linguistics.




The CALL- IS Newsletter, on CALL, encourages submission of many types of articles related to CALL: software, website or book reviews, announcements, reports on conferences, presentations or webcasts that you might have participated in. If you have suggestions, ideas, and/ or questions, send them to Suzanne Bardasz or Larry Udry.


Articles should

  1. Have the title in ALL CAPS.

  2. List a byline: author’s name with hyperlinked email, affiliation, city, country, & an author photo. (in that order).

  3. Include a 2-3 sentence (or less) teaser for the Newsletter Homepage.

  4. Be no longer than 1,750 words (includes bylines, teasers, main text, tables, and author bios). Articles longer than 1,750 can be included, but will not be copyedited.

  5. Contain no more than five citations.

  6. Have a 2- to 3-sentence author biography at the end of the article.

  7. Follow the style guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (APA style).

  8. Be in .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt format.

All figures, graphs, and other images should be sent in separate jpg files.

  1. If the author includes a photo, it must be:
    • A head and shoulder shot

    • A jpg

    • Width = 90px, height = 120px

    • Clear, clean, professional, appropriate to the article

    • Preferably including the person's name who took the shot.

  1. Have hyperlinks that have meaningful urls.

  2. Accurately and completely credit sources, including students. Do not take online content (including photos) from other websites without attribution. Contact me for the permission forms.

  3.  Get written permission for borrowed material (including photos) and send the signed permissions forms. Contact me for the permission forms.

If you´ve forgotten what our newsletter looks like (and if you are a current member of TESOL), here is a link, so you can see for yourself.

According to Michelle Kim, TESOL’s Professional Learning Coordinator,

Book reviews should be commentary/critical, not merely summary, and must include elements such as assessment of the writing, the content, the research/evidence provided, the book's usefulness, etc. The summary portion should, really, make up less than half of the text. Here's a great article on academic book reviews from USC: "Writing Academic Book Reviews." Additionally, here's a good basic academic book review outline from the UNC Writing Center:

  • First, a review gives the reader a concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.

  • Second, and more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content. This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.

  • Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience would appreciate it.



Statement of Purpose

TESOL’s Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALLIS) exists to define issues and standards in the field of computer-mediated language instruction, promote research and development in the area of computer-based language learning, and disseminate information about CALL to ESL/EFL educators worldwide.

CALL-IS 2018–19 Community Leaders

Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section



Email Address


Christine Sabieh


Maria Tomeho-Palermino


Jennifer Meyer


Claudio Fleury Sasse

Past Chair

Heather Benucci

Steering Committee Member


Jose Antonio Da Silva

Steering Committee Member


James May

Steering Committee Member


Ellen Dougherty

Steering Committee Member


Samuel Adams

Steering Committee Member


Marta Halaczkiewicz

Steering Committee Member


Taira Nieves  Steering Committee Member  19-21 
Abraham Reshad  Steering Committee Member  19-21 
Georgios Kormpas  Steering Committee Member  19-21 

Justin Shewell

Electronic Village and EV Program Book Manager

Christine Bauer-Ramazani


Larry Udry


Suzanne Bardasz


Suzan E. Stamper

Community Manager