Friday, April 24

1:00-4:00 pm

Modern Language Resource Center

Porter Hall

OPTIONAL Workshop ... please sign up with registration if interested.

Language Tools using LiveCode
Marc Siskin, CMU and Michael Jones, Swarthmore College

This workshop will cover how to create tools for use with iOS, Android, Windows and Macintosh computers. LiveCode is an open-source application development program that uses English-like commands to provide interaction using images, video, text and audio.

Hemingway's café

Welcome Reception (4:30 - 6:30 pm) at Hemingway's Café
3911 Forbes Avenue

Saturday, April 25

8:15 – 9:00

Porter Hall A level


9:00 – 9:15

Porter Hall Room A20


Marc Siskin, Host and NEALLT President, Carnegie Mellon University

9:15 – 9:30

Porter Hall Room A20



9:30 -10:30

Porter Hall Room A20

9:30 - 10:30

Keynote Speaker:

Sharon Scinicariello
University of Richmond, VA

From Reel-to-Reel to BYOD:  Balancing Continuity and Change in the Language Center


10:40 - 11:10

Porter Hall Room A20

Bring Your Own Device. Create Your Own Apps.

Claire Siskin

LiveCode is a flexible software tool that permits language educators and their students to create their own language learning activities. There is now an open source version, so LiveCode can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes. The development tool itself runs on PC, Macintosh, or Linux. The activities for learners may be exported to these platforms, IOS, and Android as well, so they may be deployed on desktop computers, smartphones, or tablets.

The presenter will demonstrate some activities to show the capabilities of LiveCode. To make the process even easier for teachers, she has created several templates in LiveCode to show some of the possibilities. The templates are available as a free download. She will also demonstrate the process of converting a LiveCode file to a mobile application. She will focus on the Android tablet since file management is easiest on this device.

Porter Hall Room A21

Creative Concoctions: Expressive Activities for Higher Order Thinking, Student Agency, and Cultural and Linguistic Learning in the Spanish Intermediate Classroom

Felipe Gomez and Maria Jose Arrufat-Marques

Carnegie Mellon University

A large number of research studies have demonstrated that deep learning is developed by using higher-order learning skills such as "creating". This presentation draws examples of creative assignments from an ongoing Intermediate Spanish course taught jointly at Carnegie Mellon University by an instructor and a student in the SLA M.A. program as part of the M.A. teaching apprenticeship. In particular, the presentation showcases assignments in which students can create fables, blogonovelas, or tinker with the process for making horchata de chufa. These examples have been selected to examine ways in which principles of the flipped classroom (e.g. advanced reading/viewing and assignments) and scaffolding are being used in this class in order to promote higher order thinking, (i.e., moving beyond remembering and understanding to applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Anderson and Krathwohl 2001)) while providing opportunities for agency, expression (Angelo & Cross, 1993), and effective cultural and linguistic learning on the part of students.

BREAK 11:10 - 11:30


11:30 - noon

Porter Hall Room A20


Porter Hall Room A21

Global Learning: Language Instruction for Short-term Study Abroad Experiences

Luba Iskold
Muhlenberg College

The presenter will discuss the initial findings from an interdisciplinary study conducted by three faculty and two students with the help of a Faculty Center for Teaching Grant.  The aim of this project was to develop an institutional model for supervised self-guided study of the basics of modern languages that are not offered as traditional language courses on campus.  Throughout the planning stage, the group (1) examined similar established programs at other institutions,  (2) conducted an analysis of  institutional needs and resources, and (3) explored the mechanisms for student accountability and reward. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the proposed model. Attendees’ feedback and suggestions are encouraged.


12:05 - 12:35

Porter Hall Room A20

Training Writing Tutors to Help ESL Students

Betsy Lavolette
Gettysburg College

The number of international undergraduate students in US higher education institutions in increasing. Many of these students, regardless of their TOEFL scores or matriculation status, need help with their writing. To meet their needs, institutions typically have a writing center staffed by peer tutors. These tutors may get some training in tutoring native English speakers with their writing, but have little knowledge or prior experience working with ESL writers. One way to address this problem is for second language acquisition experts, such as the language center director, to provide training for writing center tutors. In this presentation, I give an overview of two workshops I held for writing center tutors, including one on practical techniques for working with ESL writers and one on using the Corpus of Contemporary American English to help ESL writers improve their own writing. Feedback from the tutors and the writing center director will be examined.

Porter Hall Room A21

Vocie and Diction as a Hybrid: Four Years On

Sean Patrick Palmer
LaGuardia Community College

Voice and Diction is a required course for our Communication Studies major and it is the only class at the college that focuses on pronunciation skills, so it attracts both native and non-native speakers of English.

Since I have been teaching this class in the hybrid environment for four years now, I feel that I have some insights in teaching a speaking skills class in this environment. I had to adapt the course to the hybrid environment, restructuring the class and the assignments. Also, I have had to tangle with new and different administrative issues.

Overall, it's a challenge, but teaching Voice and Diction in the hybrid environment can work, and work well.

LUNCH 12:35 – 2:00


2:00 - 2:30

Porter Hall Room A20

Telling Stories on a Shoestring: Using Voice Memo for Language Learning

Lisa Britton
University of Pennsylvania

How can you encourage more spontaneous and meaningful communication in the classroom using an everyday mobile application? How can students discover a more authentic voice as a second language learner? This presentation demonstrates how a brief recorded story in the classroom provides the text around which students evolve from spontaneous storyteller to critical reader. Learn how to scaffold a storytelling session in the classroom using a simple voice memo application that engages students to participate progressively as spontaneous narrators, careful listeners, meticulous transcribers and critical readers of their own and others' stories.

Porter Hall Room A21

Extending the LCTL classroom: The Shared Course Initiative in Practice

Steve Welsh
Columbia University Language Resource Center

The Shared Course Initiative is a collaboration between Columbia, Cornell, and Yale to supplement their traditional face-to-face offerings of less commonly taught languages (LCTL) with a model of synchronous language instruction across distance. The SCI model emphasizes a small, highly-interactive, communicative classroom environment for language learning. Currently in its third year, the SCI is offering instruction in 16 languages across the three institutions using high definition videoconferencing (HDVC) technology to connect their classrooms.

In this presentation, I will provide an overview of some of the administrative and technological components of this interinstitutional initiative. I will report some findings on program design, including designing spaces for shared language instruction through videoconferencing and implementing shared course management environments across institutions. I will conclude by proposing best practices for meeting  the pedagogical challenges for instructors posed by this model of language instruction.


2:35 – 3:05

Porter Hall Room A20

International Virtual Tandem Exchange: The Use of E-mail and Skype, peer-to-peer correction, and Reflective Assignments to Develop Students' Linguistic and Intercultural Skills in a Multi-Section Intermediate Course

Silvia Amigo-Silvestre
Cornell University

Since the fall of 2013, in collaboration with instructors at the Universidad de Caldas (Colombia) and instructors at Cornell University, we have been conducting a Virtual Tandem Exchange between students of English at Caldas and students of Spanish at Cornell.  In this presentation I will describe:
•    The challenges and successes that we have had setting up an exchange of this nature.
•    The use of E-mail and Skype, peer-to-peer correction, and reflective assignments to promote linguistic development.
•    The use of an ethnographic approach to promote intercultural development.

Porter Hall Room A21

Student Full Agency over Learning Arabic through Technology in an Elementary Class

Abeer Aloush
University of Pennsylvania

The purpose of this paper is to show how to give students full agency over their learning through technology. Oral language is not just speaking. It is a large set of skills that encompasses listening comprehension, understanding and producing complex language at different levels, vocabulary and word knowledge, grammatical knowledge, phonological skills, and so much more. I will examine in my paper how words go together and make meaning then students are better able to understand what they read and produce stories. This daily scenario is used after the second week of learning Arabic– with no background – to help students progress in the language and to enhance their speaking skill at a very early stage.  I show videos with pictures and individual words to students in class. By recycling the words only through prepositional phrases, the entire class will collaborate in making a story from the random words and pictures they watch moving in front of them. In spite of the limited vocabulary of students at this stage, storytelling can be made. In my methodology, students will start learning Arabic by forcing technology and simple rules of grammar in a strategic way. I will prove through my paper based on a survey that I did in my elementary class that we can promote extensively and effectively oral language in the classroom. After it is correctly guessed, the students say, spell, and write the definition of the word together on the board.  The storytelling will grow lesson after lesson and will include a wider scope by adding elements such as verb conjugation, verb root, and learning the suffix and prefix system. Not to forget to mention that the videos that I use in the f2f classroom were mainly created as course content materials of the online elementary Arabic that is offered at University of Pennsylvania that I designed, developed and taught since 2012.

BREAK 3:05 - 3:20


3:20 – 3:50

Porter Hall Room A20

Integrating the Flipped Classroom with CALL in a Chinese Course

Sue-mei Wu
Carnegie Mellon University

This presentation will explore how QR (Quick Response) codes can be used in  a flipped language teaching and learning environment students learn a significant amount of content by themselves outside of the classroom. This enables class time to be devoted to learner-centered, personalized guidance with more language interaction and communicative activities replacing traditional lecturing. The integration of CALL technology in language instruction can help promote a more successful flipped language learning environment.

This presentation will discuss how to integrate CALL technology with a flipped teaching method in a Chinese course. It will introduce a set of Chinese online learning materials tailored to help learners of Chinese improve their speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar, and culture learning. The presentation will demonstrate samples of these online learning materials and provide strategies on using them or similar tools in a flipped teaching strategy in a language curriculum. Opportunities, issues, and challenges associated with the flipped learning environment and with creating Chinese online learning materials will also be addressed.

Porter Hall Room A21

Differentiating Instruction With Technology in Upper Level Chinese Language Courses

Shijuan Liu
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Usually there are fewer students in the upper level Chinese classes after students meet their foreign language requirement. Students with different Chinese proficiency levels sometimes have to be grouped together in the same class due to the limit of Chinese faculty resources and other reasons. This paper discusses tools and strategies that the author used to differentiate instruction with the assistance of technologies in mixed level Chinese language courses she has taught.

While differentiated instruction has been widely discussed in the context of K-12 classrooms (e.g., Roberts & Inman, 2013; Tomlinson, 1995), very limited literature has been found on study of this important topic in the post-secondary context and Chinese language classrooms. Challenges in using differentiated instructions will also be shared. The paper provides implications for teaching and learning of Chinese and other foreign language, especially in similar context, and contributes to the literature on differentiated instruction and technology integration.


3:55 – 4:25

Porter Hall Room A20

BYOC (Blend Your Own Content): Differentiating the Blended Advanced Language Class

Lillyrose Veneziano Broccia
University of Pennsylvania

Advanced Italian II is a course designed to complement the first part of a sequence, but also to be able to stand on its own.  The main focus is Italian Politics from the 1960s to the present.  Students in this course read historical and literary texts and watch biographical films.  They meet face-to-face with the instructor twice per week and they engage in online group work once per week.  This blended approach to not only speaking in the target language, but also to communal writing projects, has enhanced the quality of student work both inside and outside the classroom.  The sense of responsibility to oneself as well as to the group as a whole is fostering a feeling of community and collaboration that is clearly beneficial in terms of meaningful interpretation and application of the cultural and linguistic content; retention and appropriate reuse of the information being presented, researched, and shared; confidence-building and a sense of well-being.  Students are guided toward particular periods or themes and are asked to research topics on their own.  They post information written in their own target language, images, and videos and also present their findings to their peers.  Class discussion stems therefore from content chosen by the students themselves, thereby ensuring their genuine interest in the conversations both in person as well as online.  Our in-class meetings lead to written discussions and voice/video recordings posted online, and then into collaborative written documents, online group meetings, and over-arching projects.  This presentation will demonstrate how the content and language course can extend beyond the classroom and past the limitations of a rigid curriculum through Differentiated Instruction and Blending.  Examples of Curriculum Design and Student work will be offered.

4:30 pm

Optional Tour of the Modern Language Resource Center


6:30 - 8:30 pm

Optional Conference Dinner

at Church Brew Works

See registration for details


Sunday, March 26

8:30 – 9:00


9:30 – 10:00

Porter Hall Room A20

Creating Custom Software Tools for Research and Instruction

Marc Siskin (CMU)

Faculty use the facilities in the Modern Language Resource Center at Carnegie Mellon University to collect research data. The presenter supports these endeavors with custom designed applications using tools such as LiveCode. This allows researchers to target the stimuli presented and to collect only the data that they need. Data might consist of mouse clicks, text, audio, video, and images as well as response timings and other types of selections. Instructors can also design applications to target problematic linguistic features. For example, upper level students may need to review their grammar skills. They can do so with the extra practice afforded by these especially designed tools.

The presenter will demonstrate some of the instructional and research tools developed for faculty and researchers at CMU. These tools can be easily modified by the faculty to add content or to refine the data collected.

10:15 – 11:15

Porter Hall Room A20

Small and Medium Language Resource Centers Panel

Marc Siskin (CMU), Betsy LaVolette (Gettysburg College) and Michael Jones (Swarthmore College)

A panel on managing small and medium-sized resource centers from the point of view of directors with newer and older centers

11:30 – Noon(ish)

Porter Hall Room A20

Your turn ... an open forum for discussion and questions.

Noon - 1:15

Porter Hall Room A20

BUSINESS MEETING and LUNCH (requires extra registration)