Friday, December 26, 2008

Experts experiences...The role of the teacher (as author)

In this occasion, I would like to introduce one of the most experienced teachers in the role of CALL materials creators. I am sure that many of you will know of her existence, at least in the web... Her name is Isabel Pérez. She is from Granada and you can find most of her work in her very famous website:

As you may have read in the chapter 4 of your book, the possible teacher roles described by Herz (1987) comprise 4 different levels. Which level do you think Isabel has acquired after having a look at her materials?

Friday, December 12, 2008

A rather interesting article dealing with software to learn languages

I have jest received this article posted in Papyrus which could be of interest for you... What do you think? Any comments?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tutor-Tool Framework

According to Levy (1997:178), a tutor-tool framework is offered as a mechanism for addressing a number of concerns in CALL, the most far-reaching being the belief that all CALL is of the computer evaluates the student input and the presents the new material accordingly.

What do you think about this model already invented by that time? Do you think that now in the 21 century, this CALL can be seen easily in a CALL context? Could you give any example? Could find any information on the Internet to know more about this topic?

Monday, December 1, 2008

EXAM practice 3

This time, we will do something different...We will make use of a webquest and the wiki created for our course to practice this question:

CALL Materials

Click here and follow the instructions given in the webquest.

You could do it in groups or individually. You choose...

Friday, November 28, 2008

EXAM practice 2

Imagine that you have just delivered your piece of paper with the exam in it. Try to answer this question using the comments option.

Write about the following topic:

Hardware and software: authoring (10 marks)

Rememeber the more students you do this the better you'll prepared you exams. Some of these questions could be asked them in the exam.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What's a MOO??

No... It is now a cow...;). It is an acronym which stands for "Multiuser Object Oriented". According to Levy (1997), "these learning environments may be place dependant, as with video-conferencing, for example, or place independent, as with IRC chat. They range from simulations which utilize the web of connections that make up the internet, to virtual worlds where students can roam around and interact with each other, and their virtual environment".

One of the most interesting MOO used for educational purposes in perhaps TappedIN. Once there, you could set up your own office to meet your students, book a conference room to hold a formative chat with colleagues, or even organize virtual parties. Have a look at its calendar of events!

In order to have a read some articles or visit more MOOs to know more about them, or go through the experiences told by other language teachers who have made use of them to teach languages...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Graham Davies and CALL

Having a look at your textbook in order to prepare the exams, I thought It could be a good idea to get in touch with some of the people mentioned in this book ... I met Graham Davies some time ago, and I asked him to take part in this blog.

He has been involved in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) since 1976. In 1982 he wrote one of the first introductory books on computers in language learning and teaching, which was followed by numerous other printed and software publications.

In 1989 he was conferred with the title of Professor of CALL. He retired from full-time teaching in 1993, but I continued to work as a Visiting Professor for Thames Valley University until 2001. I was the Founder President of EUROCALL, holding the post from 1993 to 2000:

He is currently a partner in Camsoft, a CALL software development and consultancy business, which was founded in 1982:

He has lectured and run ICT training courses for language teachers in 22 different countries and I sit on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees.

He has been actively involved in WorldCALL since its beginning in 1998. WorldCALL is a worldwide umbrella organisation that aims to assist countries that are currently underserved in the area of ICT and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages:

He still have the status of Emeritus Professor of Computer Assisted Language Learning and he does occasional external examining of MPhil and PhD students. He also keep himself busy by editing the ICT for Language Teachers website at:

He is currently investigating the possibilities of language learning and teaching in Second Life. I am the EUROCALL Executive Committee member who is responsible for maintaining EUROCALL's Headquarters in Second Life, which you can find at this SLURL:

Now, that you know more things about this so famous CALL expert, time for you to make some questions... As you could imagine he has achieved a never ending CV

I would like to ask him about his implication with "Storyboard"or any other project from that time. Also, I would like to ask him about the beginings of Eurocall. Tell us something about its origins.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

EXAM practice 1

Open your books and imagine you have to answer the following question:

CALL in the 90s (10 marks)

Now, using the "comments" option to answer this question.

Take into account that you have only 60 minutes to do it.

Good luck!

Monday, November 3, 2008

TANDEM projects from the point of view of language experts

As you may have read in your book, International email TANDEM Network was created in 1993 by Helmut Brammarts using the CMC (Computer Mediated Communication) in order to practice the foreing language with native students.

However,TANDEM method is not anything obsolete and part of history of CALL. On the contrary, it is something very live and still attractive for many teachers like Margarita Vinagre, a professor from the University Antonio de Nebrija, Madrid (Spain). Have a look at some of the articles she has written on this topic and feel free to ask her anything you would like to know about TANDEM:

(the link below has been taken from dialnet. If you are a UNED student, you could subscribe in order to visualize more options from this online datebase).

** We will give Margarita the possibility to discuss this topic with you here, in this blog, using the comments option. Anay questions for Margarita?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CALL Associations

I imagine you have read something related to something called EUROCALL or CALICO in the introductory chapter from your book. These are two of the most important CALL associations in the world. They have their own publications, annual conferences, SIG (Special Interest Groups), newsletters, etc, in the same way other professional associations do.

The first one, EUROCALL stands for European Association for Computer-Assisted Language Learning and it is the main authority of CALL in this continent. There is also another one called Learning Technologies (an IATEFL Sig) named in the past "Comp IATEFL SIG, since for this association the concept of CALL has now changed. EUROCALL has also a relevant publication, called ReCall.

CALICO is the equivalent in the American continent.

Here you are other CALL associations:

Language teachers vs software developers?

According to the following quote from Mike Levy (1997:1):

Developers in user-friendly human-computers interfaces and higher-level languages and authoring systems insulate the developer from the lower level workings of the computer, allowing comparatively complex applications to be written with relative ease.

Do you actually think that applications to create quizzes like "Hotpotatoes" are perfectly easy and intuitive to use stuff for language teachers or they need some special training and knowledge to use them?

Use the comments button to answer to this question either in English or Spanish.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A very good PPT to introduce CALL and its history

Hi everybody!

How are you? Just a few lines to suggest you a very good presentation on this topic. Though it is more related to the second unit of the subject I have uploaded it to the "contents" section of the virtual course:

Any comments? Dis you like it?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Una cronología de las Tecnologías para la educación

Here you are a very good chronology in Spanish of the history of technology in education to have a clear idea of the great advances of CALL in this field. Can you see PLATO project at the very beginning? Can you see that UNED is mentioned long time ago like a hit in the history of technology in education?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did we achive this ten years later?

Read the following quotation from the Introduction chapter of your book and comment the questions below...

The software then has to reach the students and be used on a regular basis. Here there is a twofold problem: on the one hand the equipment might not be able to get access to the material because the cost of the equipment is prohibitive (Levy, 1997:2).

Do you think that language teaching has get to integrate technology in its curriculum completely in the 21st century? Are we exactly in the same situation than ten year before? Do you think that the first sentence of this quote is an utopia? Do you think the cost of the software and hardware to be used nowadays is prohibitive?

** Reply to all these questions using "comments"

Monday, October 13, 2008


Bienvenidos a este blog creado para completar los conocimientos que vayáis adquiriendo en este curso. En principio utilizaremos este blog para comentar citas del libro que utilizaremos como manual del curso: Computer-Assisted Language Teaching, de Mike Levy (1997). Luego iremos enlazando todo lo que aprendamos a la situación del CALL actual, de tal forma que este magnífico libro escrito en 1997 nos sirva de enlace con la situación altual del uso de las nuevas tecnologías aplicadas a la enseñanza-aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras.