NEALLT 2009 - Lafayette College


Teaching, Learning and Assessing with Technology

April 3 - 5 2009

Lafayette College

Easton, PA


Conference Program

All Conference events (with the exception of dinners) will be held in Pardee Hall on the Lafayette College Campus.

For a map, click here.
For directions, click here.

Friday, April 3

1 - 4 p.m.

Limited Enrollment


Pardee Hall

Pre-conference Workshop

Revolution for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
Claire Bradin Siskin & Marc Siskin (University of PIttsburgh; Carnegie Mellon University)

Workshop participants will learn about the flexible and easy-to-use software tool Runtime Revolution ( and hopefully be inspired to use it. Several examples of its capabilities will be demonstrated. Participants will then be guided through the process of creating a simple module that incorporates text, images, audio, and  video. They will be provided with a CD, handouts, and online resources to extend their knowledge. Revolution is available for PC, Mac, and Unix. Materials that are created with one platform can be used with all the other platforms


4:30 - 5:30

Registration and reception in the Max Kade Center (Pardee 429)


Optional Tour of the FLLRC


Dinner reservations at Rivergrill - a la carte ... please indicate if interested on registration form.

All Conference events (with the exception of dinners) will be held in Pardee Hall on the Lafayette College Campus.

For a map, click here.
For directions, click here.


Saturday, April 4

8:00 - 9:00

Registration & Breakfast (in the Encounter Space (Pardee Hall 418)

9:00 - 9:20

Max Kade Center
            (Pardee Hall 429)

Welcoming Remarks

9:20 - 10:20

Max Kade Center


Keynote Address:

Eportfolios for communication skills and intercultural

Darren Cambridge

Prof. Cambridge will examine some of the ways eportfolios are being used to promote and assess the development of communication skills and intercultural competence in diverse contexts in North America and Europe. Through social, multimedia reflection, learners are documenting their skills and cultivating relationships that support their personal and intellectual development with increasing fluency. Examples include the European Language Portfolio, ACE’s Assessing International Learning, AAC&U’s VALUE, the Skilled Immigrant ePortfolio, and ePEARL.

for more information

10:30 - 11:10

Session 1

Pardee 429

Distance Learning for the Less Commonly Taught Languages: A pilot Project
Van Deusen-Scholl & Graves (Yale University)

In this presentation, we will report on a pilot project to teach the less commonly taught languages through distance learning technology. We will present the results of a collaborative project with the Autonomous University of Zacatecas to teach first-year Nahuatl through a distance arrangement using Skype and Elluminate. The project will be evaluated from a programmatic, pedagogical, and technological perspective.


Pardee 401

Teaching French culture with Technology
Kight (Haverford College)

I teach an annual introduction to contemporary French culture. While I base the class on a textbook, most French culture textbooks are at least several years out of date, so no longer reflect contemporary French culture accurately. In an effort to insure that the course deals, as advertised, with contemporary French culture, I have turned to the Web and technology. My syllabus is entirely on the Web, and features links to a copy of the textbook annotated by me to bring it up to date. These annotations exploit the potential of hypertext and downloads of Word or PDF documents. The use of Dreamweaver to develop the pages allows for the insertion of QuickTime audio files from French radio and other sources. In addition, I offer a series of Flash clips from the French news, downloaded from the Web and presented in a JavaScript player and playlist and annotated; these allow students to experience a “snapshot” of French culture as it develops over the 15 weeks of the course while acquiring the information required to understand what they see. These videos can be added to or subtracted from as warranted, and the structure makes it easy to update the course from year to year.

What I propose to do at NEALLT is to demonstrate how technology can be effectively used in developing an introductory culture class. This demonstration would in turn lead to a discussion of the pros and cons of presenting culture this way, offering the participants—including myself—a chance to brainstorm more effective ways to do so. It could also lead to a fruitful discussion of the fair use issues involved in using ephemera, such as newspaper articles or television videos, both for short-term (1-semester) use and for long-term (the life of the course) archival use.


Pardee 419

Visualize World…Commerce: A task-Based computer-Mediated Approach to Business Spanish
MGeoffrion-Vinci (Lafayette College)

Gone are the days of the rote memorization of textbook facts expounded on by the sage on the stage! With the help of technology, students can immerse themselves electronically in a host of culturally authentic environments to learn about the practices and protocols of global commerce. This 30-minute presentation will demonstrate how students in a Business Spanish course develop interpretive, analytical and presentational communicative modes through interactive group activities using the Internet, PowerPoint, SynchronEyes™ and the Smart Board. Participants will get hands-on experience with an English version of a student-centered group project involving simulated travel arrangements for a CEO contemplating a new company branch in Mexico. Skill development, tips for level-specific variation, and assessment rubrics will also be discussed.


11:15 - 12:10
Session 2
Pardee 418

Panel: Multimedia narratives and how we assess them
Jones, Toulouse (Swarthmore College; Lafayette College)

Digital Storytelling started out as a series of faculty and staff development workshops on Swarthmore's campus ... we've taken the basic concepts of storytelling and adapted them for use as projects for language classes. Starting with a mid-term exam for a freshman seminar taught in english, we've also used the technique successfully in various Spanish and Japanese classes at different levels. The projects are cool, the technology simple and there's lots of room to vary the technique to test specific vocabulary and grammatical structures, or to leave things open for students to be creative. We'll show examples of projects and have time for discussion.


Pardee 401

Computer Testing on a Blackboard site: Pitfalls and Promises
Lage-Otero (Trinity College)

Current course management systems like Blackboard offer a robust –yet easy to use– suite of assessment tools to gauge learners’ language proficiency level. These testing tools allow instructors to combine multimedia elements with a wide variety of testing items ranging from simple true/false questions to more complex and open-ended items. Additionally, instructors can monitor productive (written and oral) and comprehension skills at regular intervals throughout the semester in order to adjust instruction accordingly. Remarkably, in spite of the availability of the tools, the number of instructors who take advantage of this functionality to conduct formative and summative evaluation of students’ progress is rather limited. This presentation will discuss how an introductory language course integrated this functionality to deliver quizzes and exams throughout the semester. The presenter will show examples of the various steps taken to create the tests and discuss lessons learned from this experience.


Pardee 419

RefWorks; An online tool for managing research projects
Metzger (Lafayette College)

RefWorks is a web-based application that enables users to create a database of bibliographic references and automatically format those references into a bibliography. Many colleges and universities provide institutional subscriptions to RefWorks for faculty, student, and staff use. At Lafayette, we currently have close to 500 individuals in various disciplines using RefWorks to manage long-term research projects such as honors theses, compile group bibliographies for classes, and simplify the process of generating in-text citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word.

In this 45-minute hands-on demonstration, participants will learn how to: set up RefWorks accounts; directly export references from online databases; manually enter references; add file attachments and personal notes to references; and generate bibliographies in standard citation styles.

Session limited to 18 participants.


12:15 - 2:00

Lunch - Pardee Hall 1st floor Hall is included with your registration.

Technology and Vendor Showcase: Take it for a drive

Ongoing during lunch and PM sessions. Feel free to drop in to rooms 418 and 419 as well as the East and West Lounges of the 4th floor. Student assistants will be available for help with software.

Current submissions include:

  • Atkinson (Rutgers): Photostory
  • Burger (Rutgers): Photostory
  • Donnell (Lafayette): Using Comic Life to show narrative discourse in Don Quixote.
  • Galarza-Sepulveda (Lafayette): Scaffolding Spanish poetry with Audacity
  • Lalande (Lafayette): Subtitling film: using World Caption or iMovie
  • Rosa (Lafayette): French Documentaries and dialogues with  PulpMotion and iMovie
  • Sajez (Lafayette): Russian narratives with  PulpMotion and iMovie
  • Venuto (Lafayette): Layering Chinese fluency with  iMovie
  • Also available: the Lafolio template (html and WordPress), Sanako’s Media Assistant, Smart Boards Synchron Eyes software, various proficiency samples

Vendors Owl Testing software and Chester Technologies solutions will have Displays and Demos. Please stop by and talk with representatives from these companies. NEALLT thanks them for their support and sponsorship


2:00 - 2:40

Session 3

Pardee 421

Brave New e-World?: The Lafayette college World Languages Portfolio Initiative
Geoffrion-Vinci & M. Toulouse (Lafayette College)

Through a year-long series of faculty development workshops, faculty-student collaborative research, and student technology clinics, the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at Lafayette College is presently involved in the construction of an electronic portfolio as a highly innovative department-wide assessment tool for students of language. In increasing use in North American and European academic institutions, the Language Portfolio is a personalized and responsive/reflective record of development and progress that each student can take from class to class and level to level of language study during her or his college career. Ultimately, this archive also serves as a valuable record of achievement for the Lafayette graduate to share with future employers or graduate schools, both nationally and abroad. We will explore the history, theoretical underpinnings, and pedagogical implications of electronic portfolios as they relate to collegiate language-learning, one of the final frontiers that has yet to incorporate this tool into its methodological structure.


Pardee 401

Using WordPressMu as an effective ePortfolio system
Bentley (Lafayette College)

The electronic portfolio has an increasingly important role in the assessment of student learning and provides students with the ability to document their learning during their college years. One of the common struggles is deciding on a platform that is:

  • Easy to use and support
  • Flexible enough to contain various types of rich media content
  • Cost effective
  • Retained by the institution though portable enough for a student to carry forward to graduate school or their career path

Through examples and discussion, this session will look at WordPress multi-user as a viable e-portfolio solution students, faculty and departments can use to easily integrate text, images, audio, video along with additional content produced using other Web 2.0 technologies such as SlideShare, YouTube, Google Maps, Skypecasts, social bookmarking lists and others.


2:45 - 3:25

Session 4

Pardee 429

The Guest on the Screen: Bridging Institutional and International Boundaries
M. Lamb-Faffelberger (Lafayette College)

Instructors in the foreign language and literature department of small liberal arts colleges typically work with limited resources of authentic linguistic materials and cultural experiences. The creative and resourceful use of technologies allows students to access both first-hand and first-rate information when negotiating the values and traditions of other societies in this increasingly interdependent world. It also makes it possible to offer American students a broad and diverse curriculum and exposes them to a range of fields of specialization and scholarship. Moreover, innovative teaching methods and learning approaches not only prove stimulating and exhilarating to the instructor but also to the students.

To this end, a team of FLL professors from Colgate, Lafayette, and Vassar developed a model for using different kinds of communication technologies in the FLL classroom with the potential for widespread application in liberal arts institutions. In two inter-campus literature seminars, we utilized low cost video conferencing coupled with course management systems (Blackboard. Moodle), chatsrooms in MOOs or MUDs and wikis. The collaboration reached across campuses, disciplines, and cultures to share resources and expertise. A high level of teamwork among the faculty and the IT staff here and overseas were a major factor in this project’s success.

The seminars taught in Fall of 2005 and 2007 focused on German drama, its contemporary production at leading German theaters (e.g., the Thalia theater in Hamburg), and methods of literary interpretation while not losing sight of our students' need to refine their language skills. The students directly engaged in spirited conversations with world-renowned artists, actors, and theater directors as well as scholars who not only generously shared their knowledge and perspectives but also reported that they enjoyed being "virtual" guests in the American classroom. In addition, our students and their European counterparts greatly benefited from their conversations with each other.


Pardee 401

Challenges and development of Oral proficiency Tests
Ngame (Yale University)

Tremendous progress has been made in second language acquisition and the focus of language teaching is increasingly articulated in terms of communicative competence. However, as Magnan (1991) maintains, classroom tests are still “largely focused on discrete points of grammar and mastery of isolated components of knowledge and skills despite the fact that the profession has been advocating communicative language teaching practices for years.” This paper will present both challenges and new opportunities in the development of oral proficiency testing in French.


3:30 - 3:45
3:45 - 4:25

Session 5

Pardee 429

Social Networking: Language Learning for a new Age of Learners
E. Dixon, H. McFie-Simone, F. Serra, C. Philippon-Daniel (University of Pennsylvania)

This session will focus on promoting interactional language learning, improving accuracy and increasing student participation through computer-mediated communication (CM), social networking tools, and digital video. We will emphasize the intersection of pedagogy and technology as well as the shifting learning paradigm that is occurring in education through collaborative online environments. This panel consists of the following presentations:

  • “Blended learning through commercial and non-commercial applications”,
    Edward Dixon (German)
  • “From Threaded Discussions to Encounters in 2nd Life: An Italian
    Journey”, Helen McFie-Simone and Fulvia Serra (Italian)
  • “French news broadcasts and outside-of-class interaction using CMC”, Chantal Philippon-Daniel (French)


Pardee 421

Blogs as e-Porfolios
Matthias & Lischke (Cornell University)

This session will introduce a new form of e-Portfolio used at the Department of German Studies of an American University. Students begin their Portfolio with their first course of the German Language Study Program and continually work with it throughout their language learning at the university. In addition, the use of the portfolio can be continued apart from the university in terms of life-long learning.

Presuppositions for this type of portfolio have been the possibility for ongoing work with the portfolio even after German language courses from the university, the students' autonomy and responsibility for the portfolio, interaction between student and teacher, as well as the integration of the three language portfolio components, described in the Common European Framework of Reference.

All this could be provided through the Web 2.0 technology of Weblogs using the software Wordpress. Students’ examples will be presented, as well as positive and negative experiences which have occurred during the implementation.



4:30 - 5:15

Session 6

Pardee 421

Portfolio Assessment
Husseinali (Yale University)

This paper describes my personal teaching experience using portfolios with fourth semester students learnign Arabic as a foreign language (AFL). Twenty three students were enrolled in this class. In previous semesters, these students were used to taking weekly quizzes to assess their learning of material covered over the period of the past week. In this study, I offered students the option of either taking weekly quizzes which accounted for thirty percent of their final grade or preparing a portfolio based on weekly assignments. The portfolio carries exactly the same percentage of their final grade, 30%. All students in the class chose to prepare a portfolio rather than take weekly quizzes. Most of the assignments were drawn from outside material; however some were from the class textbook (Bustard, part two).

At the end of the semester, two types of feedbacks were obtained: a survey, and students’ own reflections and evaluation of the portfolio approach. Seventeen students took the end of semester survey and twelve students sent their reflections.

In my presentation, I will first describe the challenges I met during the planning phases. Then, I will describe some of the tools I devised to help me manage portfolios and keep track of all students work throughout the semester. After that, I ill present students’ feedback and reactions to the portfolio approach. Finally, I will present my conclusions as well as some suggestions regarding using portfolios in AFL classes.



Pardee 401

Longitudinal Perceptions of Efficacy and Value in the French language requirement
Mills (University of Pennsylvania)

Numerous authors have cited the importance of program evaluation in college foreign language programs (Bernhardt, 2006; Houston, 2005; Morris, 2006; Norris, 2006; Sullivan, 2006; Wright, 2006). The purpose of this presentation is to present an evaluation of students’ longitudinal perceptions of efficacy and value as they progress through the French language requirement. As the Standards of Foreign Language Learning provide a definition and role of foreign language education in American education, these standards were used as the basis to evaluate the longitudinal development of students participating in the language requirement. At the beginning and end of each language requirement course, students were asked to evaluate their perceived competence or “self-efficacy” in the areas of communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. In addition, students were asked to evaluate their “perceived value” or their perceived importance, interest, and enjoyment in the above areas to determine if the language requirement has encouraged an appreciation for French language and culture. The results of this longitudinal assessment can provide the coordinators and department with valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of the language requirement curricula which may assist in future curricular revisions. This session will present the results of this research and practical ways in which this longitudinal assessment can be adapted to assess other language programs.


Optional Tour of FLLRC


Dinner @ Pearly Bakers (Optional, pre-registration required!)

Sunday, April 5

8:30 - 9:00

Breakfast (West Lounge)

Pardee 418

What’s in a Wordle?  Mapping and Visualization Tools for Dynamic Presentations
C. Evans (Skidmore College)

I plan to demonstrate several sites that offer free mapping and visualization tools that can aid students and faculty in conveying the cultural context for presentations and visually spice up their powerpoint shows.

I will be showing sites that I learned of at a presentation by Andy Wallis (Whittier College) at a NITLE Workshop on Globalization of the Curriculum hosted at Whittier in November 2008. Following the NITLE conference, I returned to campus and showed the tools to students in my Languages Across the Curriculum (French) class as a means of making their final projects more dynamic. Students in my 1-credit LAC class each choose a class they are taking in English for which they do readings in French throughout the semester. Many of the students are majors in International Affairs, reading in French on political issues across the globe. Their work culminates in a final multimedia presentation (usually ppt) for their peers. The students were very pleased to use the tools as a means of adding interest to their presentations.

Among the tools are sites that enable users to create tag clouds, wordle, and sites for mapping data sets


Pardee 429


Panel: The Importance of Public Relations and some Great Ideas for reaching out
Evans, Barth and Jones (Skidmore, Hamilton and Swarthmore Colleges)


Pardee 429


Your Turn (Open Mic)

Opportunity To Ask Questions, Seek Advice, Present Issues


Noon - 1:00

Business Meeting & Optional Box Lunch