TSLL 2017 Abstracts

TSLL 2017: Session Abstracts

Below are the abstracts for parallel sessions arranged by date/time. Poster session abstracts and plenary abstracts are found on their respective pages. To get the most out of the conference, attendees are encouraged to consult the schedule overview (web or pdf), which includes all sessions, keynotes, breaks and events.

locations: a- Gallery Room, b- Gold Room

Friday, September 22, 2017


10:15 – 10:40 AM: Breakout Session 1

01a: Exploring Automated Scoring of Non-Native Spontaneous Speech

Ziwei Zhou, Iowa State University

The advancement of speech technology has, to some extent, prompted the development automatic assessment of language and speaking proficiency. Due to the trade-off between construct-relevance/ -complexity and computational feasibility, the focus of automated scoring of speaking proficiency has been set to answer the fundamental question: Is it possible to develop automated procedures for identifying evidence of speaking proficiency? (Zechner et al., 2007). Recently in the context of language testing, there is revitalized interest in studying fluency, which is a fundamental component to speaking proficiency (Ginther, Dimova, and Yang, 2010; Bhat, Hasegawa-Johnson, and Sproat, 2010; Bosker, Pinget, Quene, Sanders, and de Jong, 2012). Using the UIUC rated speech corpus (N = 184), this study first investigates the extent to which fluency features (automatically extracted from Praat script) can be classified based on the assigned fluency scores using machine learning methods (Naive Bayes, SVM, Decision Tree, Logistic Regression, etc.). Results indicate that Gaussian Naive Bayes and Random Forest reached the highest F-score (0.67), followed by Logistic Regression and Decision Tree. Considering the possibility that fluency scores may be affected by other linguistic domains such as prosody and vocabulary, this project also extracts various prosodic and lexical features. Finally, in order to conform to the continuous nature of assigned fluency score, feature vectors are fed into linear regression model under the standard pipeline of ETS’ RSMTool system. Speech features and speaker’s demographic information (e.g. gender and L1) are combined in the interpretation of the test scores.

01b: The Language Resources of Reflection: Appraisal Analysis of Student Reflective Writing

Kimberly Becker, Iowa State University

ePortfolios are a widespread practice in both first and second language communication courses. Research notes that ePortfolios enable student responsibility for learning, requiring self-reflection. In an effort to evaluate students’ reflections about ePortfolios, this study examines L1 and L2 undergraduate student reflections from a systemic functional (SFL) approach by employing Martin and White’s (2005) appraisal theory. AF is manifested primarily in the interpersonal function of SFL and examines how evaluative language is employed. Student-generated reflections were collected and qualitatively analyzed using the principles of the attitude portion of appraisal theory. Discourse analysis was undertaken to explore the lexicogrammatical realizations of affect, judgement, and appreciation, and the extent to which evaluative language functions in student reflective writing. Use of the appraisal framework illuminated the social, emotional, and evaluative meanings of linguistic patterns. Results provide insights into the language resources of reflective writing and explore effective and authentic reflective practice in multi-modal communication skills courses. The study’s implications extend to both curricular and programmatic design by discovering the ways in which students appraise themselves, their communicative and technological skills, and the value of assignments and provide insight into the affordances of ePortfolios as teaching, learning, and assessment tools.


10:45 – 11:10 AM: Breakout Session 2

02a: Language use as a window to understanding L1 differences in L2 writing

Liberato Silva dos Santos, Rosalie Hirch, Sowmya Vajjala, Iowa State University

This paper investigates language use patterns in written texts as a first step in analyzing native language (L1) influence on the written productions by non-native English speakers (NNES). N-gram frequencies were analyzed in written texts available from the TOEFL11 corpus of non-native English writing (Blanchard et al., 2013). A training corpus of 11,000 texts comprising approximately 3.5 million word tokens, as well as a test corpus of 1,100 texts comprising approximately 350,000 word tokens were analyzed for n-gram frequency. Exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to analyze the data. The results show variables (n-grams) loading into factors determined by native language and proficiency level. The results also show groups of native languages clustering together based on n-gram frequency and usage. The groupings are seen even in the writing samples of high proficiency learners. Additionally, these findings also identify overuse and underuse of n-gram patterns across L1s. Hence, the results of this study can provide useful insights into ESL instruction that can be customized to learners with different native language backgrounds. In addition, these findings are useful in the development of a native language identification tool for NNES writing which is useful in other applications such as forensic linguistics and stylistic studies.

02b: International, Interdisciplinary, Interconnected: a Decade of CALL Research through Bibliometric Connections

Kelly Cunningham, Iowa State University & Steph Link, Oklahoma State University

Interdisciplinary perspectives continuously impact the study of language and technology. These perspectives help shape the intellectual boundaries that develop across years of research. However, a systematic exploration into the formulation of these boundaries has yet to be conducted and given the wealth of CALL research, it can be difficult for researchers and practitioners to conceptualize the field as a whole. Our research utilizes bibliometric techniques to demonstrate the conceptual evolution of CALL and look at key subfields, interdisciplinary influences and international collaborations in the field.

Using VOSviewer, a software tool for constructing and visualizing bibliometric networks, and bibliometric and text-based data from four top CALL journals (CALICO Journal, ReCALL, CALL & LLT), we explore the development of concepts and connections related to technology in second language learning. Through this analysis and constructed visualizations, the disciplinary and geographic influences and boundary crossing patterns become clear. Drawing from techniques such as bibliometric coupling, co-occurrence, co-citation and co-authorship analysis, the influence of major disciplines, researchers, institutions, and countries in the field of CALL can be captured. This bibliometric research can show conceptual focus over time, the key subfields of CALL, the dominant influences in those subfields and international partnerships. Going beyond this, analysis can show how CALL draws from multiple disciplinary traditions and how CALL journals are situated in larger research fields. Using bibliometrics this study offers researchers and practitioners snapshots of the last decade of CALL from multiple perspectives.


11:15 – 11:40 AM: Breakout Session 3

03b: Tailoring writing pedagogy in light of ESL students’ pausing behavior during the writing process

Hui-Hsien Feng, Iowa State University & Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen, Iowa State University

Fluency is a widely accepted indicator of language ability and development. Traditionally, writing fluency has been measured as the number of words written per minute, but with keystroke-logging technology, writing fluency can be captured in terms of sequences of bursts and pauses in text production (e.g., Chukharev-Hudilainen, 2014; Leijten & Van Waes, 2013; Spelman Miller, 2006; Wengelin, 2006). To our knowledge, very few studies have investigated pedagogical usefulness of analyzing fluency of keyboarded text production and feeding this information back to the student. For one, Ranalli, Chukharev-Hudilainen, and Feng (2017) have reported a case study on helping ESL students during teacher-student conferences understand their own writing process by watching simulated video-recordings of composition and looking at visualizations in the form of so-called “process graphs.” The participants perceived this approach beneficial and awareness-raising but also noted the difficulty of interpreting the process graphs if without prior training. This presentation offers another approach to using writers’ pausing behavior for writing pedagogy. In this case study, we investigated the change in three ESL undergraduate students’ writing process after being shown static images of their text overlaid with different shades of red representing their pausing behavior. After writing the first essay, the participants were instructed to write an outline at the beginning and not to pause for low-level cognitive processes, such as lexical retrieval and syntactic planning, for their second essay. Afterwards, they could choose how to write their third and last essays. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted to discuss their writing process. Preliminary results show that participants decided to use the newly-learned approach to write the last two essays, and believed applying this approach lowered their cognitive load so they could pay more attention to the content of essays. Implications for practice and future research directions will be discussed.

03b: The creation and use of native-speaker video-clips to test learners’ L2 pragmatic competence

Alexandra Shaeffer, University of Iowa

This paper explores the process of creating and implementing short video-clips of native speakers in the target language to test learners’ oral and aural L2 pragmatic competence. The researcher discusses the affordances and difficulties of creating the video-clips, as well as how to administer them. Although research (Cohen & Olshtain, 1993) suggests that on-line (i.e., oral and aural) tasks are a more accurate indicator of learners’ pragmatic competence and that the resulting data produced resembles natural speech more closely than data produced in off-line (i.e., writing and reading) tasks, few studies using the former task type exist (Gallaher, 2014; Lee, 2009; Murphy & Neu, 1996; Nguyen, 2008). To respond to the research gap, this paper draws from an ongoing experimental study on the production and perception of the speech act of complaints by advanced L2 French learners, using video-clips with native-speaker actors. Using the experimental study on L2 complaints to highlight the affordances of using native-speaker video-clips to test L2 pragmatic competence, this paper argues the need for more L2 pragmatic research using on-line tasks (e.g., video-clips) across proficiency levels and languages. The researcher will discuss preliminary results from the ongoing study to suggest possible future directions for testing L2 pragmatic competence. Pedagogically, the paper concludes with the potential benefits of and suggestions for incorporating video-clips into the language classroom to increase learners’ L2 pragmatic competence.


1:00-1:25 PM: Breakout Session 4

04a: Bridging cultures: Using popular social media for telecollaboration

Anastasia Izmaylova, Simpson College

Telecollaboration is believed to be one of the most convenient ways to bring authentic language and culture into the foreign language classroom. The continuous spread of internet technologies around the world makes intercultural exchanges between language learners easier and more accessible every day. While previous studies used a variety of online tools as platforms for such exchanges, most research predates today’s collaborative web technologies. At the same time, some researchers (Helm & Guth, 2010) suggest that given the affordances provided by Web 2.0 tools for language learning, it is essential to explore so-called Telecollaboration 2.0, or online exchanges through the collaborative web tools, such as blogs, wikis, and social media. This presentation reports on a telecollaboration project between college-level American learners of Spanish and Colombian learners of English. The online exchange was conducted via Facebook over the course of eight weeks. Constructed as a many-to-many interaction, all the communication took place in a private Facebook Group. Learners’ interactions, portfolio-based reflections, and pre- and post-project surveys and interviews were analyzed to identify the ways this social networking site affected students’ perceptions and participation in the exchange. In this presentation I will discuss how learners’ attitudes towards telecollaboration were shaped by the implementation of Facebook, as well as the challenges and affordances of using Facebook Groups for online intercultural exchanges.

04b: The usefulness of synchronous and asynchronous teacher e-feedback in ESL composition 

Estela Ene, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Thomas Upton, IUPUI

Electronic feedback (e-feedback) has gained attention in recent years due to the rapid growth of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in language classes. However, research in this area is limited and focuses primarily on e-feedback amongst peers (Arnold, Ducate & Kost, 2012; Tuzi, 2004) or tutors and tutees (Zourou, 2011), and much less on teacher e-feedback in ESL writing (Ene & Upton, 2014). This mixed-methods study explores the questions: a) What kind of e-feedback do teachers of ESL writing provide asynchronously on digital drafts written by students; b) What kind of e-feedback do they provide synchronously via online chat room conferences; c) How effective is teacher e-feedback?; and d) How do students and teachers perceive e-feedback? Drafts with e-feedback from three teachers were collected from 70 ESL students, mostly of Arabic and Chinese background, enrolled in a freshman composition EAP program. E-feedback was collected from each draft. Asynchronous e-feedback consisted of comments made by the teachers with Microsoft Word’s “Comment.” Synchronous e-feedback was collected from online writing conferences. Teacher e-feedback types were classified according to focus and style, student revisions were analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of the teachers’ e-feedback, and participants’ perceptions of the e-feedback were investigated using a survey. We found that teachers relied on directive and metalinguistic feedback (Ene & Upton, 2014). When asynchronous and synchronous e-feedback supplemented each other, e-feedback was perceived as more useable. The study illustrates the overall usefulness of teacher e-feedback, which is both similar to handwritten teacher feedback (Ferris, 2011), and different.


1:30 – 1:55 PM: Breakout Session 5

05a: Telecollaboration, Investment and Identity in the German Classroom 

Carly Lesoski, Michigan State University

Telecollaboration allows students to cross boundaries without ever leaving the comfort of their home or institution. Research into the affordances of telecollaboration show its efficacy for various aspects of language acquisition (cf. Stockwell & Levy, 2001; Yanguas, 2012), as well as development of intercultural competence (cf. Schenker, 2012). This paper presents case study data highlighting the possibilities for the developments in students’ identities, and investments (i.e. identity, capital and ideology (Darvin and Norton, 2015)). For this study, the written spoken interactions during a telecollaboration project between an upper-level German course in the US and an English course at an applied teaching college were archived. Following a pilot study, this phase engages further with data from a female US-American student, Andrea. Andrea began the telecollaboration project with a deficit-based speaker identity, despite her strong self-identification as a German-American, i.e. she spoke negatively of her German speaking and writing abilities. She increasingly revealed a developing identity of a capable German speaker, highlighting the benefits of her ability to speak German on future career prospects. As shown in a follow-up interview 1 year after the completion of the project, her experience with the telecollaboration increased her confidence, and thus supported her efforts to create a network of German speakers, with whom she could communicate. As a result of this case study, this paper argues that these developments may help students to cross boundaries not only linguistically and culturally, but also from unconfident, deficit-based speaker identities, to confident, asset-based identities.

05b: Dynamic Assessment through Google Apps 

Anna Mikhaylova, University of Iowa; Alexandra Shaeffer, University of Iowa; Céline Rose, University of Iowa

This paper explores how to use Google applications to perform dynamic assessment. First, we provide an overview of sociocultural theory (Lantolf & Beckett, 2009) and dynamic assessment (Poehner, 2008) ideas that teaching and assessment practices should be integrated in the classroom. Unlike traditional assessment, dynamic assessment captures both learners’ abilities that are fully developed and those in the process of development (Antón, 2009). Linguistic research has shown that dynamic assessment practices are applicable across the four language skills and across different language learning environments, such as tutor-learner (Aljaafreh & Lantolf, 1994) and learner-learner (Oskoz, 2005), face-to-face and via asynchronous (Shrestha & Coffin, 2012) and synchronous computer-mediated communication (Darhower, 2014). This paper sheds light on how to both teach and assess the writing and speaking skills with the Google apps Hangouts and Docs. In May 2016, the New York Times reported that more than half of primary- and secondary-school students in the nation use Google Apps. This paper shows that the Googlification of the classroom can be accompanied with the use of Google Apps for dynamic assessment. Google Hangouts provides a platform for verbal interaction between learners, and Google Docs can foster written communication, but both apps have the option for asynchronous and synchronous computer-mediated communication. The learners’ production can be shared with the instructor and dynamic assessment can take place at any point, which demonstrates the pedagogical benefits of using Google Apps.


2:00-2:25 PM – Breakout Session 6

06a: Pedagogical Insights for the Implementation of Telecollaborative Tandem Exchanges

Brianna Janssen Sanchez, University of Iowa

Telecollaborative tandem exchanges, which are interactions between geographically separated learners studying the other’s language, can promote real-life language use and the development of intercultural competence. This presentation draws on data from an exchange between U.S. and Mexican college students who interacted half the time in Spanish and half in English. The researcher analyzed moments of interpersonal engagement and the use of interactional resources in one of four virtual exchanges that took place over one semester. This presentation explores the pedagogical insights that resulted from one of the most important findings of this study, that the relationships built through this context are both dynamic and complex. According to the principle of reciprocity in tandem learning, participants switch between the roles of native speaker (NS) expert and non-native speaker (NNS) learner as they invest equal time, effort, and interest in each language part of the chats. However, with less focus on reciprocity, participants are free to engage in exploration of self and other through co-construction of pair discourse. Program designers, coordinators, and teachers can focus on the way the context allows for dynamic ways of interaction and relationship building and that “the process of relationship and community building in telecollaboration might often take precedence over pedagogical roles” (Darhower, 2008, p. 65). The researcher suggests that instructors participate in discussion of the importance of engagement as well as interactional resources that can help participants establish and maintain intersubjectivity and build a relationship with their partner before, during, and after the exchanges.

06b: The effectiveness of synchronous WCF in collaborative writing on the accurate use of English articles

Taichi Yamashita, Iowa State University

Written corrective feedback (WCF) has been attracting many SLA researchers and L2 practitioners (Bitchener & Storch, 2016). However, from the teachers’ perspective, its time-consuming nature does not usually pay off (Yang, Badger, & Yu, 2006). For WCF to be more effective, it should be provided during a task (Polio, 2012; Shintani, 2016; Shintani & Aubrey, 2016) and be engaging (Ferris, 1995). One instructional technique is to provide WCF during collaborative writing, assuming that learners would be collaboratively engaged in a problem-solving process of WCF. However, the effects of WCF during pair work have not been investigated well enough (Wigglesworth & Storch, 2012). To fill this gap, the present study examined the effects of WCF in collaborative writing on the accurate use of English articles. 16 ESL students at an American university worked on two timed animation description tasks in pair using Google Docs (i.e. 40 minutes in total). The experimental group (n=11) received indirect WCF during the task, while the comparison group (n=5) did not receive WCF at any point. Their oral interaction was audio recorded by QuickTime, and the screen of each computer was also recorded by QuickTime. A repeated measures ANOVA for the results from a pretest and posttest indicated that the experimental group significantly outperformed the comparison group with a large effect size. Since the study is in progress, the result from a delayed posttest will be also presented. Additionally, the recorded pair interaction and screen recording will be discussed.


Saturday, September 23, 2017


9:00 – 9:25 AM: Breakout Session 7

07a: Using What’s App as an ICT Tool in Learning Compound Nouns among Intermediate EFL Learners

Bahman Gorjian, Department of ELT, Abadan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abadan, Iran

The current research attempted to determine whether Whats App as a new application in smartphones has a significant impact on improving English as foreign or second language (EFL/ESL) learners’ knowledge of compound nouns. To this end, 120 Iranian homogeneous male and female intermediate EFL learners were selected among the research population (n=250) based on their performance on the Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT). Then, the students were divided into two equal groups of control (n=60) and experimental (n=60). Each group was divided into two sub-groups (15 males and 15 females). Then, a researcher made-pretest was administered to measure the learners’ knowledge of compound nouns in the two groups. After that, the participants in the experimental group used Whats App in order to practice the compound nouns. In this way, the researcher sent the compound nouns and their synonyms for learning and practicing via the text messages through using Whats App. Then, the learners worked on compound nouns in their cell phones. The learners continued the acquisition of compound nouns by sending the messages to their classmates. However, the participants in the control group received instruction on compound nouns through the conventional classroom activities such as definitions and sentence completion tasks. After the treatment which lasted 13 hours in a semester, both groups were examined by a post-test of compound nouns. Two-way ANOVA, Independent and paired samples t-tests were used to analyze the data in the pre and post-tests comparing the groups and their sub-groups of male and female participants. The results indicated that the experimental group who utilized Whats App significantly outperformed on the post-test. Moreover, the findings showed that the females were better than the males in learning the compound nouns among the Iranian EFL learners; however, there was not a significant difference between the male and female learners. Finally, pedagogical implications of the study suggest that Whats App can be a facilitative technique in teaching vocabulary and compound structures to EFL/ESL learners.


9:30 – 9:55 AM: Breakout Session 8

08a: EFL Distance Tutoring: Building Cultural and Language Authenticity for Chinese English-Language Learners through Gap and Corpus Analysis of Chinese EFL Textbooks 

Matthew DeFelice, University of Northern Iowa

Private online English-language tutoring has risen in demand, and The People’s Republic of China is at the forefront of this booming EFL (English as a foreign language) market. Information and communication technologies (ICT) have created exciting opportunities for foreign-language teaching and distance learning with China. Instructors should be aware of how their unique situation can offer a chance for improved authenticity in their learner’s language learning experience. EFL contexts often make it difficult to provide instruction and material with authentic language and cultural scenarios, which can result in students not being exposed to common or useful English. Additionally, standardized testing washback and large class sizes limit the use of communicative language teaching (CLT) in Chinese English classes. EFL distance tutoring allows for one-on-one instruction that creates situations for EFL instructors to build a more authentic context without having to physically bring the learner to an English-speaking environment. This paper aims to demonstrate ways of improving authenticity for English-language instructors engaged in distance learning with Chinese English-language learners (ELLs) by examining like levels and sections of two widespread Chinese English textbooks and comparing them against word-frequency and contextual data provided by The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Specifically, adjectives are used to model language and context instructors can add into their online lessons their demographic of students might otherwise miss.

08b: Validity evidence in support of genre-based AWE

Elena Cotos, Iowa State University; Sarah Huffman, Iowa State University; Stephanie Link, Oklahoma State University

Judgments about the effectiveness of CALL, in general, and of AWE, in particular, must rely on theoretical assumptions about ideal conditions for language and skill acquisition (Chapelle, 2001). It is also important to assess the learning potential of the various affordances of such technologies in view of multifaceted empirical evidence derived from their intended uses in target contexts. Scholars have thus been increasingly investigating theory/research-driven inferences that can be used to develop validity arguments for AWE (Chapelle, Cotos, & Lee, 2015; Xi, 2010). Our mixed-methods study adheres to these efforts, focusing on the use of rhetorical feedback generated by a genre-based AWE system for scientific writing implemented in academic writing instruction. We outline a chain of inferences about the interpretations and uses of the feedback, propositional warrants associated with the inferences, and specific assumptions underlying the warrants. In this paper, we focus on the assumptions of the utilization inference in order to investigate the usefulness of the system’s rhetorical feedback in the revision process. Data obtained from 12 participants include process data (on-task screen recordings, student-RWT interaction logs), introspective data (stimulated recalls), perception data (pre-/post surveys), and writing product data (first and last drafts). The results show that automated rhetorical feedback and scaffolding features: are meaningful and clearly interpretable, stimulate modifications needed to improve discourse quality, provide necessary metacognitive assistance, and motivate willingness for repeated use. Overall, these findings posit implications both for AWE-supported teaching of writing and, more broadly, for articulating a theory of AWE evaluation.

References: Chapelle, C. A., Cotos, E., Lee, J. (2015). Validity arguments for diagnostic assessment using automated writing evaluation. Language Testing, 32(3), 385-405. Xi, X. (2010). Automated scoring and feedback systems: Where are we and where are we heading? Language Testing, 27(3), 291–300.


10:00 – 10:25 AM: Breakout Session 9

09a: The emergence of social media discourse among Ghanaian university students: Implications for the acquisition of academic literacy

Joyce Anku, Valley View University; Professor EK Klu, University of Venda, South Africa Professor GSK Adika, University of Ghana

This study investigated the nature of Ghanaian university students’ linguistic behaviour on social media and its impact on their acquisition of academic literacy. Accordingly, the study adopted a qualitative method and a netnographic approach in exploring, describing and explaining the subjects’ language choices on social media. In addition, the sociocultural theory and the theory of error analysis served as the philosophical underpinnings which guided the research. A total of one hundred and eighty eight (188), undergraduate students drawn from two universities in Ghana – the University of Ghana, and Valley View University – participated in the study. It was found that frequent and prolonged use of social media discourse does impact negatively on the academic literacy of students. The findings also indicate that social media use overtime becomes addictive and this directly results in limited time span and low attention span of students. Again, the study found that over engagement on social media discourse leads to a general breakdown in both sentence and discourse structure of academic writing resulting into uncontrolled deviant spellings, omission and misuse of punctuation marks and capitalisation, as well as a high level of colloquialism. Despite these negative influences, it was found that there are some positive potentials of social media that can be harnessed to support academic literacy. The study, thus, recommends that the affordances of social media communication should be retooled to support the teaching and learning of academic literacy.

09b Building hybrid pronunciation models for L2 pronunciation training

Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen, Iowa State University; John Levis, Iowa State University; Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna, Texas A&M University; Sinem Sonsaat, Iowa State University; Alif Silpachai, Iowa State University; Ivana Lucic, Iowa State University; Ziwei Zhou, Iowa State University; Shaolin Ding, Texas A&M University; Christopher Liberatore, Texas A&M University; Guanlong Zhao, Texas A&M University

In 2002, researchers proposed that the best voice for learning L2 pronunciation was a voice that was similar to that of the learner, a so-called “golden speaker” (Probst, Ke, & Eskenazi, 2002). In this presentation, we describe our initial attempts to develop pronunciation training for Spanish-speaking ESL learners using the Golden Speaker Builder (GSB), an interactive online tool that allows L2 learners to build a personalized pronunciation model: a version of their own voice but with native-like pronunciation features. We first describe the process of building a golden speaker model, which uses accent conversion to synthesize speech with the voice quality and pitch range of the L2 learner, and the prosody and segmental characteristics of a native speaker. Next, we report on a first iteration of pronunciation training based on Hardison (2004). Synthesized speech was used for pronunciation training with eight Spanish-speaking learners of English.  We report initial findings about learners’ interactions with the GSB interface, their improvement in pronunciation accuracy, and the lessons we learned that are being built into a second iteration of the GSB. References: Hardison, D. M. (2004). Generalization of computer-assisted prosody training: Quantitative and qualitative findings. Language Learning & Technology, 8(1), 34-52. Probst, K., Ke, Y., & Eskenazi, M. (2002). Enhancing foreign language tutors–in search of the golden speaker. Speech Communication, 37(3), 161-173


10:30 – 11:25 AM: Poster Session – see poster session abstracts here


1:00 – 1:25 PM: Breakout Session 10

10a: Increasing the Critical Thinking of TESOL Students in Asynchronous Online Discussions

Esther Smidt, West Chester University; Timothy Kochem, West Chester University

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is far more than an alternative for other discourse mediums, such as the telephone, mail, or face-to-face; it is the new medium for constructing and preserving human relationships (Kerr & Hiltz, 2013). Following this premise, along with the development of the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000), we sought to examine (1) the interaction patterns evident in online discussions, (2) the online discourse outcomes of collaborative learning, and (3) the students’ perceptions of social, cognitive, and teaching presences within their courses. For this presentation, we focused on the asynchronous discussion board postings of teacher candidates taking a TESOL course and how educators may further develop critical thinking through CMC. Using the Community of Inquiry framework and Critical Inquiry Analysis, both developed by Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000), to analyze discussion board postings, we identified a number of common themes: (1) the effectiveness of self-labeling posts in terms of cognitive stages, (2) a general progression of comfort with student-student interactions, (3) the impact a single utterance has on the labeling of cognitive stages, and (4) the effects of time and experience on collaborative learning. Analysis of each progressive week shows increases in the number of cognitive stages being implemented; e.g., the more rigorous integrator phase is seen more often in latter weeks. Teacher and social presences play an integral role in the students’ experience of cognitive presence. These insights provide an infrastructure for educators to further develop critical thinking in discussion board forums.

10b: CANCELLED  Making It Work for Them: A Technology-enhanced Educational Innovation in Rural Pakistan  Samina Yasmin, University of Arizona

 


1:30 – 1:55 PM: Breakout Session 11

11a: The (lack of) sustainability of CALL tools: Is there life after publication? 

Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen, Iowa State University

The life cycle of many promising CALL tools, especially those developed by researchers in the field, often ends after the study is completed (the paper is published, the dissertation is defended, the grant funding lapses, etc.). Few language learning tools continue to exist and enjoy widespread adoption beyond the original research project. This paper offers a case study of three CALL tools developed by the presenter over the last six years, including (1) a pair-associate vocabulary learning system, (2) a high-variability phonetic training system, and (3) an automated writing evaluation system. Specific focus on the life cycle of these three systems after the initial research and development phase will allow to explore the reasons for and the implications of the general lack of CALL tool sustainability. Arguably, these issues contribute to the expansion of the gaps among the research, the development, and the implementation strands within the very field of CALL. Critical reflection on this case study leads to suggestions on the way forward. These include (1) clearly defining the purpose of software development efforts in CALL and setting realistic expectations; (2) understanding technology transfer mechanisms and their (lack of) suitability for CALL projects; (3) optimizing dissemination of the outcomes of CALL research and development efforts to teachers and program administrators; (4) identifying viable models for sustainable deployment and implementation of CALL tools that show promise.

11b: Task complexity in math problem solving tasks: FTF vs. SCMC

Zihan Geng, Texas A&M University; Zohreh Eslami

The present exploratory study aims to investigate the interactive effect of technology and task complexity on English language learners’ L2 narration in the area of content-based language learning. A math word problem with two versions (i.e., simple and complex) was designed and utilized in this study. The task complexity was manipulated along +/- reasoning demand. Sixteen college students, 8 pairs, were involved in this study. Each pair was consisted of one English language learner (ELL) and one English native speaker (ENS). Four pairs carried out both simple and complex tasks in a face-to-face (FTF) mode while the other four completed the tasks in a synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) through Google Doc. Immediately after each task, the ELLs were asked to write down the description of the solution to the math problem. The measure of accuracy and complexity of their narrations were carried out afterwards. The findings showed that in the simple task, the ELLs in the FTF group tended to have much more accurate and complex English output than the SCMC group. In the complex task, the FTF group also outperformed the SCMC group in accuracy while the SCMC group had more language complexity than the FTF group. The interactions during the tasks in both modes were also discussed.