Midwest Association for Language Learning & Technology  
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            Nebraska - North Dakota - Ohio - South Dakota - Wisconsin 

Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Michigan - Minnesota - Missouri
    Nebraska - North Dakota - Ohio - South Dakota - Wisconsin
MidWest Association for Language Learning Technology

MWALLT 2020 - Presentation Abstracts

The abstracts below are listed in order of presentation by session number and stream. A graphical presentation of this schedule can be found on the Program Schedule.

Session 1 - 10:00-10:30

1A. Teaching L2 Speech with Technology: What Tools Are Available and How Do Teachers Choose?

Debra M. Hardison, Michigan State University

Technological innovations contribute to second-language communication skill development. Digital tools can provide both auditory and visual input to engage both senses. Users can see a) waveforms (graphic representations of sound waves) to visualize consonant or vowel duration, b) spectrograms to see characteristics of formants (represented by horizontal dark bands of energy at different frequencies), and c) fundamental frequency (i.e., the acoustic correlate of vocal pitch) to show tonal movement at the lexical level or across larger domains of speech. In the past two decades, studies involving focused training using these tools with high variability stimulus sets have demonstrated significant improvement in learners' perception and production abilities, and generalization of successful training to novel input. Topics have involved tone in Chinese (Chun et al., 2015), intonation in French and English (Hardison, 2004, 2005), the contrast between stops and their intervocalic variants in Spanish (Olson, 2014), durational contrasts in Japanese consonants (Motohashi-Saigo & Hardison, 2009) and vowels (Okuno & Hardison, 2016), and ultrasound imaging for French nasal vowels (Inceoglu, 2019). Careful selection of materials, training protocols, and feedback types are important decisions for teachers. In lieu of creating stimuli, users can also take advantage of several existing websites, mostly involving English, to improve segmental perception (e.g., Sounds of Speech, English Accent Coach, Seeing Speech, etc.). This paper will outline the available displays, research findings supporting their use, and guidelines to assist teachers in selecting tools to supplement instruction. It concludes by expanding modality considerations to auditory-tactile input for low vision/blind learners.

1B. Building an Effective Blended Learning Environment: Redesigning TCFL Classes with VoiceThread

Hong Li, Emory University

According to Garrison and Vaughan (2011), the basic principle of blended learning is that “face-to-face oral communication and online written communication are optimally integrated such that the strengths of each are blended into a unique learning experience congruent with the context and intended educational purpose.” Based on the framework, principles, and guidelines for blended learning offered in the above work, Chinese classes at Emory were redesigned to integrate face-to-face and online components, aiming to place students at the center of their own learning and to optimize student engagement and collaboration. This work was the result of close collaboration between faculty and digital-learning specialists focused on the use of VoiceThread (, a versatile online tool that allows asynchronous communication in digital formats. In intermediate Chinese classes, we created interactive assignments based on the contents of each lesson that required students to interact online with both instructors and peers prior to class. In advanced Chinese classes, complex topics required more in-depth student engagement to construct meaning than what is possible in a typical lecture. Using VoiceThread, we created videos introducing cultural backgrounds, providing grammar and vocabulary explanations, and requiring students to complete learning tasks. This presentation will introduce the designs of the blended learning curriculum at Emory, share specific examples and student feedback, and reflect upon future directions.

1C. Salón de clase: Writing and Implementing an OER Textbook for Spanish for Specific Purposes

Giovanni Zimotti, University of Iowa
Fernando Castro Ortiz,
University of Iowa

The last decade has seen a rise in popularity of language courses developed for specific professions (e.g., Spanish for healthcare, German for engineering). However, the few textbooks published for these courses are expensive, inappropriate for the level of the students (either too basic or to advanced), and do not follow current pedagogical approaches. Moreover, many of them lack any interactive online components. An obvious solution for this problem is the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) textbooks that are freely available for students, and that can be easily modified by other instructors to meet the needs of their institutions.

Thanks to a grant from the University of Iowa Libraries, we have been designing Salón de clase, an intermediate Spanish textbook for education professionals. The textbook is being developed in Pressbooks (, a flexible and adaptive book production software. To add a layer of interactivity and self-assessment for the students, the majority of the activities of the textbook are being developed using the H5P framework ( This presentation reports on the design and implementation of Salón de clase in a fourth semester course of Spanish at the University of Iowa. We highlight the positive aspects of adopting an OER textbook, the challenges encountered while designing the textbook, and the solutions adopted to overcome these technical problems.

Session 2 - 10:40-11:10

2A. Are YouTube and Netflix One-Stop Shops to Learn a Language?  Learners' Beliefs About Videos

Curtis A. Green-Eneix, Michigan State University

Due to growing access to content through websites such as YouTube and Netflix, audiovisual material has received notable interest recently within the field of second language acquisition. This is particularly due to the multiple affordances that this content provides, especially captions. Captions are the text-overlay that mirrors the content’s audio to assist viewers in understanding the native language in which the video is produced and through which conveys its message (Robin, 2007). Scholarly literature focusing around audiovisual material and the use of captions to develop an additional language (L2) has been largely beneficial (e.g., Winke, Sydorenko, & Gass, 2013; Yeldham, 2018). However, there has been little investigation focused on the language learners’ beliefs about using videos and the supportive captions to learn an L2. This lack of investigation is notable due to research indicating that learner beliefs can inform varying aspects of learning a language, such as the strategies used to learn an L2 (see, Kalaja & Barcelos, 2013).

Therefore, this study aims to understand the language learning beliefs students have about using audiovisual material with captions to learn an L2. The study consisted of 16 survey responses from students studying five different languages with two group interviews consisting of four foreign language learners at a Midwestern research university. The findings suggest that learners have mixed views toward using audiovisual material and captions within and outside of the classroom to learn their L2. Potential implications focus on how audiovisual material could be utilized effectively within and outside of the classroom.

2B. Cooking up a Russian Game with Samovarka

Annalise Rivas, Gustavus Adolphus College
Jeremy Robinson, Gustavus Adolphus College
Sonja Quimby, Gustavus Adolphus College

This presentation explores digital game-based learning of Russian language and culture through the protoype of the game Samovarka: The Missing Treasure of Tula. This game can be utilized both as a classroom activity as well as for self-study. This type of learning platform is generally unavailable for Russian language and culture, especially when considering that much of Russian 19th-century literature is not presented through any digital media. The game allows students to use different modalities to explore some of the frequently-held stereotypes concerning Russia, the Russian language and Russian literature by immersing themselves in a fairy tale world come to life on screen. In order to reach a more diverse audience, the game can be played in English or Russian. Presenters will discuss the process and challenges of creating this game, including considerations of student learning outcomes, applications for the game, and further development.

2C. Redesigning Acceso: Lessons Learned and Next Steps

Amy Rossomondo, University of Kansas

This presentation reports on the process of redesigning a successful OER (Open Educational Resource) for intermediate-level Spanish studies to ensure continued relevance in its second decade. Through the collaboration of academic support staff, graduate students and faculty and with the support of the Open Language Resource Center, the web-based Acceso ( was redesigned in 2019 to improve the flipped-curriculum. This new edition integrates content and language study to promote second language development, to develop critical cultural literacy and to provide opportunities for students to investigate and reflect upon differing cultural meanings and perspectives.

The presentation presents the process and results of formative assessment that guided the redesign process and pointed to targeted improvements with respect to both content and technology. The presentation also describes the improvements that were made and offers examples for the audience to explore on their own mobile device to consider how the curriculum could be adapted to their own educational contexts. The conclusion of the presentation will reflect on lessons learned throughout the redesign process and outlines future steps for Acceso, including plans to expand extra-institutional collaboration through a structured editorial process that ensures that the resource remains relevant and sustainable far into the future.

Session 3 - 1:00-2:00

3A. The (In)accessibility of Language Learning Technology: Lessons from the Classroom and Online

Caitlin Cornell, Michigan State University
Dustin De Felice, Michigan State University
Carly M. Lesoski, Wayne State University

Making language learning technology accessible for language learners with disabilities requires proactive planning through a Universal Design lens, as well as ad hoc reactive accommodations practices. The panelists will discuss lessons learned in accessible teaching and learning as they relate to the use of technology in foreign/second language learning environments. Panelists will explore the unique challenges for learners with disabilities in both face-to-face and online language learning environments (e.g., in the online environment, all students have fewer context cues and avenues for assistance and scaffolding). Panelists will also discuss their own experiences with accessible teaching and outline practical advice for attendees.

3B. Lightning Talks

Using Instagram to Collate a Personal Dictionary

Emily Weider, University of Iowa

Communication is rooted in vocabulary; if speakers have words, they can negotiate meaning. Nancy Guilloteau (2010) has demonstrated that pertinent, repeated encounters with words improve recall. Long-term success in learning an L2 thus requires habitual second-language practice, which social media facilitates. Instagram ( has been shown to aid in the development of vocabulary but, as Ali Erarslan (2019) and Talip Gonulal (2019) have indicated, it has yet to be thoroughly studied as a language-learning tool. These sources as well as the Communicative Language Teaching approach (Lee and VanPatten, 2003) underscore that students retain the second language better by identifying and translating terms that they use frequently. Building on that premise, this project explores Instagram's potential function as a space for collating words and applying them to visual, written, and dialogic contexts.

Specifically, this project defines a continuous activity in which students supplement the vocabulary provided in the textbook. Each week they locate five words related to the unit. When they casually encounter a term that they wish to know, students take a picture and research a suitable translation. Then, they would post the image with a sentence caption on Instagram, where they would converse with their peers. Both the personal and assigned vocabulary lists would appear in classroom quizzes and games, thus centering learning around the students. As an interactive dictionary, Instagram therefore encourages out-of-class engagement and promotes sustained second-language communication.

Technology: Can It Help Reduce Second Language Learning Anxiety?

Hossam Elsherbiny, University of Minnesota

A substantial amount of research has shown a positive correlation between anxiety and learners' inability to acquire a second language (Woodrow, 2006; MacIntyre & Gardner, 1989). Second-language anxiety affects up to one half of learners (Worde, 1998) and may compromise the rate of acquisition of the language or discourage learners from pursuing their language studies. One of the primary factors that trigger second-language anxiety is communication apprehension (Horwitz et al., 1986), which is directly connected to learners' self-image and their fear of negative judgment. This brief talk will discuss communication apprehension as it relates to course projects and activities that emphasize speaking skills. By introducing free technology tools that account for learners' anxiety, this presentation aims to provide examples of activities that can boost students' speaking skills while making the learning context less stressful. The presenter will demonstrate how free smartphone applications, such as Chatterpix, Stop Motion, and Google Maps can be used to dissipate feelings of anxiety and bolster self-confidence.

Connecting Everyday Cultural Knowledge: Expository Essays, Excel, and Extroversion

Kevin Anzzolin, University of Wisconsin - Stout

This presentation showcases a midterm project used in intermediate Spanish courses to introduce students simultaneously to Excel and to expository essays, while hopefully helping them to overcome shyness. The ‘Three E’s’ project—which stands for “Exposición, Excel y Encuesta”—is in keeping with those pedagogical activities described in Darcy Lear’s Integrating Career Preparation Into Language Courses (2018). It aims to enhance Spanish acquisition through the inclusion of professional know-how, computational awareness, and critical thinking skills in modest but meaningful ways. It requires students to formulate two research questions, to use those questions to take a survey among friends and family, to graph their results in Excel, and finally to discuss their findings via an expository essay. The two research questions are meant to query how everyday activities can help to promote cultural knowledge and, perhaps, to break down interpersonal barriers. Surveys may ask interviewees how often they listen to music in a foreign language, whether they eat ethnic food, and whether they know individuals who speak a language other than English at home. The ‘3 E’s’ project provides a framework for thinking about ‘empirical’ knowledge-gathering and asks students to produce more rigorous and professional Spanish compositions through the exploration of a particular mode of discourse—expository writing.

Guaranteeing Students Review Online Feedback Through Self-Evaluative Follow-Up Surveys

Lake Mathison, Rutgers University

Instructor comments on written and spoken practice is a time-consuming but crucial element of student-instructor interaction, even more so in asynchronous online courses where it is the only form of direct, personalized feedback. But students must see the feedback in order to learn from it, and how can we guarantee that they do so? This presentation will discuss a tactic for ensuring that students review instructor comments. Adapting the “delay the grade” strategy to the online environment, students must submit a self-evaluative survey after reviewing instructor feedback on their VoiceThread ( assignments, providing an opportunity to reflect on their strengths and possible areas for growth as well as to ask clarification questions. The session will include reflection on the effectiveness of the technique and the potential for modification and broader application.

3C. Digital Humanities and Social Media in the L2 Literature Classroom

Rebecca Bender, Kansas State University
Melinda Cro, Kansas State University

This panel will demonstrate the potential represented by harnessing social media and digital humanities tools in the L2 literature classroom. Through a scaffolded, reflective approach that integrates technology and digital literacy into the communicative L2 literature classroom, DH tools and social media applications enhance approaches to literary analysis and create alternatives in the domain of the “un-essay.” Approaching L2 literature through a digital means helps students to engage with texts in ways that both enrich and challenge close reading strategies. Panelists will offer an overview of their pedagogical approaches to L2 literature, a demonstration of several assignments, and descriptions of effective assessment strategies that value both collaborative teamwork and reflective practices. The panelists will also underscore the importance of exploring a range of assignments that evoke the skills of the “traditional” term paper in innovative ways.

Presenter 1 takes a semiotic approach to incorporating Snapchat ( that moves students in the L2 literature classroom from reading and analyzing novels like Don Quijote to “snapping and mapping” literary journeys with KnightLab’s StoryMap ( Presenter 2 describes uses of various DH tools, such as pre-reading activities for Voltaire’s Candide using VoyantTools (, the benefits and challenges of transposing textual data to tabular data, and alternative means of visualizing the textual using tools like RAWGraphs ( and Palladio (

Session 4 - 2:10-2:40

4A. Transferring a Language Module into an Online Course: The Process and Key Take-Aways

Magdalyne Akiding, Michigan State University

The need for online language courses is continually increasing even among LCTLs. To address these needs, we worked to transfer a Swahili language module into an online course as part of the LCTL Partnership Project ( The goal of this ongoing grant-based project is to develop language materials for learners of selected LCTLs that will be available to the public as Open Educational Resources (OERs). This presentation focuses on the process that we undertook to transform one Swahili module into an online course. It touches on the following areas: essential technologies for online language courses, using OERs, developing a course syllabus that divides module content into lessons, deciding on individual vs pair or group activities, addressing accessibility and presence matters in an online course, and preparing assessment tasks and criteria. The presentation concludes with key take-aways that we observed in this process. 

4B. “I felt more at ease”: How Social VR Impacts L2 French Learners' Anxiety and Oral Production

Trisha Thrasher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Previous research has found that virtual technology reduces foreign language anxiety (Melchor-Couto, 2016 & 2018; Mroz, 2015; Wehner, Gump, & Downey, 2011). However, although studies have examined the potential of virtual worlds, the use of virtual reality (VR) headsets to reduce anxiety has yet to be explored. This mixed methods study addresses this research gap by investigating whether and how the social VR application VTime ( influenced language anxiety and oral production in 28 intermediate French learners enrolled in a university oral expressions course.

A language background questionnaire and foreign language anxiety questionnaire served to establish participants' baseline. Participants then engaged in 4 comparable three-way peer-to-peer consensus building speaking tasks over an 8-week period: 2 in VR and 2 in the classroom. All tasks were audio-recorded. Immediately following each task, all participants completed a questionnaire where they assessed their anxiety level. Moreover, addressing Teimouri, Goetze, & Plonsky's (2019) call to complement subjective self-reported anxiety data with objective physiological measures, salivary cortisol levels and heart rate data were collected from a sub-sample of 6 participants during all sessions. Upon completing the study, participants responded to open-ended questions targeting their opinions regarding VR. Results will highlight whether and how VR environments impact anxiety and participants' production. Moreover, qualitative responses will provide insight into participants' perceptions regarding the affordances, as well as the drawbacks, of immersive technologies for language learning.

4C. Digital Storytelling and Augmented Reality Experiences in L2 Classrooms

Razi Ahmad, University of Kansas

Today's tech-savvy students appreciate and prefer technology-mediated interactive learning environments over traditional classrooms. Indeed, modern technological innovations increasingly provide new possibilities of effective teaching and learning. The presentation will begin with an overview of a number of available resources, facilitative of digital storytelling and augmented reality experiences that can be effectively used as pedagogic tools in a foreign language classroom to enhance students' engagement with the lessons. After an overview of available resources, the presentation will provide a detailed discussion of a relatively new and free platform called Metaverse ( It will demonstrate how Metaverse allows teachers and students to create interactive storyboards for presentational and interpretive modes of communication and to engage in task-based activities for an enhanced learning experience. Interested audience members will have an opportunity to get hands-on experience. 

Session 5 - 2:50-3:20

5A. Digital Magazines: A Publishing Project for World Language Classrooms

Daniel Verdugo, Huron High School (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Deborah Gaiefsky, Johns Hopkins

A digital class magazine is an innovative approach to connect World Language classrooms with target language communities. Responding to current events and students' interests engages students in the cultural life of their communities and develops key language skills. Digital publishing projects are ideal for collaboration at the class, department, and district levels.

In this presentation we will explore Ñ! (, an award-winning educational project that features original content created by students of Spanish as a Second Language to develop biliteracy skills, language proficiency, and critical thinking. See how the magazine is designed using Google Slides (https:/ and published digitally as an Open Educational Resource.

5B. Chinese Literacy Development through Read-Along Videos

Diane Neubauer, University of Iowa

Chinese literacy development is often considered the most challenging aspect of learning and teaching Chinese (Everson, 2016; Ke & Li, 2011). Research has found correlations between learners' ability to read Chinese characters aloud with comprehension of the meaning of those characters (Everson, 1998; Shen, 2005). However, most independent assignments for learners may include limited aural-to-written connections beyond single word or character practice through electronic flashcards. One possible solution is through short, story-based texts that are read aloud by an instructor and then provided for students to use independently. Read-along videos can be a primary or supplemental means of developing students' Chinese reading comprehension and Chinese character recognition in a format that allows differentiation for the needs of different students in a Chinese language class. This presentation will share examples of Chinese read-along videos for different levels of Chinese language learners. The presenter will demonstrate technology that can be used to create and share these videos, the aspects of text composition, and how learners can maximize their use of such videos to develop their reading comprehension and character recognition.

5C. Online Translators as a Pedagogical Tool

Andie Faber, Kansas State University

Online translators (OT) such as Google Translate ( or Reverso ( are seemingly omnipresent in language learning; their increasing accuracy makes it difficult to determine if a text was produced by student or machine. Considering this technology shows no sign of disappearing, researchers suggest it's time to work with, not against, OTs (Groves & Mundt, 2015). This presentation will highlight two separate studies.  In the first study, language instructors in higher education (n=32) responded to a survey about OT use in the L2 classroom. While 75% of instructors report prohibiting OTs on assignments, 94% perceive students use them at least occasionally; moreover, many instructors shared that they felt powerless to change student behavior. The second study takes a Constructivism Learning approach (Bada, 2015), which takes into consideration students' attitudes and beliefs as it provides them with interactive experiences analyzing the target language and OTs. Students were asked to translate English phrases into Spanish using three OTs: Google Translate, Reverso, and SpanishDict ( They analyzed the resulting output, identifying linguistic forms and explaining the appropriateness of each translation. Upon finishing the analysis, students determined the best translation, choosing from one of the machine translations or providing one of their own. We found that 77% of student groups decided to provide their own translation of the target text, citing inadequacies in the machine-translated options. Results from this activity, as well as pre- and post-activity surveys, indicate that incorporating OT into class assignments can help students better understand the shortcomings of OTs, think critically about OT output, and empower students to have confidence in their linguistic abilities.

Session 6 - 3:35-4:05

6A. DIY Resources for Learning German: New Corpus-Based Open Educational Materials

Nina Vyatkina, University of Kansas
Schirin Kourehpaz, University of Kansas

Electronic corpora are large, systematically organized collections of naturally occurring texts. For language learners, corpora present a rich source of examples of how their target language is used. Many contemporary corpora are equipped with user-friendly search and visualization tools that learners can use under teachers' guidance or on their own. However, corpora are still rarely used in teaching practice. One of the reasons is the paucity of corpus-based pedagogical materials, especially for languages other than English. Our talk addresses this gap by presenting the first iteration of open access teaching and learning modules developed on the basis of and with links to an open access German corpus.

The modules focus on certain German structures that have been shown to be challenging for learners (e.g., adjective endings, verb-preposition collocations). They can be used as supplementary materials for learning new structures and for deepening the knowledge of previously learned structures (i.e., for learners at different German proficiency levels). This work has been informed by the “three I’s” pedagogical principles shown beneficial for data-driven language learning (Carter & McCarthy, 1995; Laufer, 2017; Leow, 2018): rich Input (exposure to many real-life examples), guided Induction (induction of rules from data analysis), and active Involvement (independent work that requires cognitive engagement and deep processing of the material). We will also share learners' reactions from our project pilot.

6B. Bringing Dakota Revitalization into the Digital Age

Wayne Joseph Bendickson, University of Minnesota

The Dakota language is an oral language and is traditionally passed down from parent to child. The Dakota language program at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is celebrating 49 years of producing the next generation of speakers and working toward Dakota language revitalization. However, with skyrocketing tuition costs it is difficult to recruit students and maintain adequate enrollment levels. To increase enrollment the Department of American Indian Studies partnered with Liberals Arts Technology & Innovation Services and the College of Liberal Arts Language Center to offer classes via video conferencing starting in the fall 2018 semester. This paper focuses on the way video conferencing has influenced teaching strategies and the classroom experience for students in class and online. I connect the rising need and benefits of video conferencing with the implementation of new learning strategies that attend to remote learning. My discussion also offers suggestions for the supplemental materials and resources needed to support students in online learning. I also think broadly about the implications of video conferencing in the future of Dakota language and its burgeoning role in future language instruction. In the end, I argue that online learning can help us reach non-traditional students that do not have access to college classes due to monetary, travel, and educational factors.

6C. HelloTalk: Making Intercultural Communication Happen

Anastasia Izmaylova, Drake University

Telecollaboration projects are a popular practice that provides learners with an opportunity to interact with native speakers in authentic or semi-authentic situations, to practice their language skills outside of classroom, and to develop their intercultural competence and autonomous learning skills. However, establishing class-to-class intercultural contact can be a daunting task for instructors, given conflicting schedules, different time zones, and frequent misalignments in the curriculum. In addition, some instructors may simply not have a foreign classroom contact. One of the possible solutions to these problems may be the free mobile app HelloTalk ( This app connects language learners with native speakers of the target language, who are also language learners themselves. HelloTalk is built for a two-way learning experience, where each user fulfills both the role of a language expert and a language learner. It supports various modes of communication, including synchronous and asynchronous text and voice chats, as well as peer text correction. In this session, the presenter will describe the different functions and tools of the app and discuss its application in projects for three different levels of language classes. Presenter will also share problems encountered in these projects and suggest ways to minimize them. Finally, students' attitudes toward the projects and the app itself will be discussed.

Session 7 - 4:15-4:45

7A. Combining Physical and Virtual Spaces: Collaborative VR Gaming and Language Learning

Felix Kronenberg, Michigan State University

Virtual reality has received more and more interest in recent years in language education. As exciting as this area might be, we are still at the beginning of investigating the possibilities. There is always the danger of faddishness in such unexplored fields, but there is also the potential of normalization. In this presentation, I will present a concrete learning scenario for a third year German course using an information gap approach and the commercial VR game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes ( I will share lessons learned and highlight distinct affordances of similar VR applications.

7B. Giving a Face to Cultural Competency: Telecollaboration in Online Spanish for Social Work

Lake Mathison, Rutgers University
Iris Cardenas,
Rutgers University

This presentation will discuss a newly-developed online Spanish for Social Work course. We will describe how the course was developed, its target language learning audience, and the (a)synchronous technologies that it relies upon for content delivery and interpersonal interaction. Special attention will be paid to presenting the telecollaborative component of the course. After engaging with authentic social services-related documents and websites, students use their new knowledge and vocabulary in simulated conversation through VoiceThread (, practicing communication techniques from basic Q&A for filling out forms to complex paraphrasing and empathic responses for client counseling. Each unit culminates in live virtual coaching sessions with native Spanish speakers through LinguaMeeting ( During the session, students practice communication techniques in real-time and also discuss the unit's cultural information with their coaches, gaining personal perspectives to complement the more abstract lesson material. Students thus broaden their worldview and develop cross-cultural competency to prepare them for authentic interaction with Hispanic communities, an important component of both social work education and world language learning. The presentation will include excerpts of the first cohort of students' reflections on the value of the coaching sessions, some lessons learned thus far about implementation, and an interactive discussion of integrating telecollaboration into world language instruction from beginning language to content courses.

7C. Harnessing Technology for Service Projects in University Language Courses

Elizabeth Deifell, University of Dubuque
Pilar Marcé, University of Iowa

Service-learning designated courses require long-term planning in coordination with community organizations. However, it is possible to integrate real-world social engagement in language courses not necessarily designated as service-learning. This presentation will explore how digital technologies may facilitate tasks designed for communication, intercultural learning, and civic action in university language courses. We will explain the design of meaningful projects using examples from language content courses in Spanish. These include using wikis to transcribe archival materials in Spanish for the university libraries, creating Google Maps ( with multimedia bilingual annotations to make local connections to Hispanic history and culture, and recording videos of campus for potential Spanish-speaking students and their families for the Office of Admissions. Project-based, interdisciplinary, collaborative tasks are designed for students to learn content, effective oral and written communication skills, intercultural competence, and 21st century interpersonal skills, including teamwork and problem-solving through meaningful action. Assessment rubrics will be provided.


MWALLT is a regional affiliate of IALLT (International Association for Language Learning Technology), established in 1965, a professional organization dedicated to promoting effective uses of media centers for language teaching, learning, and research.

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