Midwest Association for Language Learning & Technology  
      Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Michigan - Minnesota - Missouri      
            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 2023 Conference Program and Abstracts

The conference will be conducted through the Zoom conferencing platform. Links will be provided the day before the conference through emails to those who have registered.

All sessions will be recorded for later viewing by members.

Click the Session number to jump down to the abstracts for that session.


Stream A

(Stream Host: Iowa)
Zoom Link TBD

Stream B

(Stream Host: Kansas)
Zoom Link TBD

Stream C

(Str Host: Northwestern)
Zoom Link TBD

8:00 CST


Session 1

8:20 CST

(15 min)

YouTube, TikTok and VoiceTube: Tools for Introducing Bilingual and Multilingual Speech Models in the Language Learning Classroom

Becky Kato
University of Michigan

The multi-uses of Padlet

Angelina Craig-Flórez
Columbia University

Zoom discussions for asynchronous online courses: An alternative to written forums 

Kristine Munoz
University of Iowa

Session 2

8:40 CST

(15 min)

The use of Animaker and Flipgrid in learning Arabic

Amal El Haimeur
Aya Fayed
University of Kansas

Canva: Design Inspiration for Language Classrooms

Wenjing Huang
George School

Video Creation for for Busy Instructors: Storyblocks Maker  

Jill Huang
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session 3

9:00 CST

(15 min)

Language Center Tip of the Day Blog

Beth Kautz
Anna Hubbard
Univ of Minnesota

Using Padlet to Collect Student Feedback

Terri-Jo Woellner
Emily Sposeto
University of Denver

Integrating Technology in Chinese Character Instruction

Wei Gong
Wesleyan University

Session 4

9:20 CST

(15 min)

Accessibility and Universal Design in the Second Language

Silvan Plattner
Kansas State University

Understanding the Psychology of Competitive Learning: Using Kahoot and other quiz platforms to enhance class performance among language learners

Harshita Srivastava
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Ludwig as a tool for improving students' written proficiency

Aline Yuri Kiminami
Universidade Estadual de Maringá (State University of Maringá)

9:40 CST

(20 min)

VR Chat
OER Chat
General Chat

Session 5

10:00 CST

(30 min)

I spy something #invisible: Using Instagram to sharpen second language learners’ pragmalinguistic awareness

Amanda Dalola
University of Minnesota

Digital Media Projects using Augmented Reality (AR) 

Amelia Ijiri
Indiana University -Bloomington
Use of technology within the extracurricular setting of a conversation club

Diana Avdeeva &
Caroline Stea

University of Arizona

Session 6

10:35 CST

(30 min)

Virtual Reality Explorations in Spanish and Portuguese

Juliano Saccomani Claudia Quevedo-Webb
University of Chicago

Collaborative Online International Learning: A Versatile Approach to Language Learning with Project Based Language Learning through Virtual Exchange

ThuyAnh Nguyen
University of Michigan

The Let’sTalk Project: The Rise, Challenges, and Outcome

Anna Kolesnikova
University of Iowa

Session 7

11:10 CST

(15 min)

Communicative Virtual Reality Games for Language Learning

Felix Kronenberg
University of Michigan

Interactive activities with H5P

Dolores Barbazan Capeans
Columbia University

The Lieutenant Nun and Her Journey Through America

Abraham Salas
University of Iowa

Session 8

11:30 CST

(15 min)

Engage and Entertain with Plotagon: Supporting language teaching with animations

Mert Dinc
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

A story box a celebration in a Paracosm 

May George
Smith College

Building interaction and engagement with Mentimeter

Cynthia Kilpatrick
Peggy Semingson
The University of Texas at Arlington

11:50 CST

(20 min)


(all are welcome/encouraged to attend)

12:15 CST

(30 min)



Stream A

(Stream Host: Iowa)
Zoom Link TBD 

Stream B

(Stream Host: Wisconsin)
Zoom Link TBD 

Stream C

(Stream Host: Minnseota)
Zoom Link TBD 

Session 9

12:45 CST

(30 min)

Posting with purpose: Approaches to social media in literacies-based world language teaching 

Brianna Janssen Sanchez
Southern Illinois University

Online dictation activity to improve students’ orthographic acquisition in L2 Japanese 

Ayaka Matsuo
Purdue University

Open Educational Resources:The new LCTL DOORs Project

Danielle Steider
Rajiv Ranjan
Emily Uebel
Michigan State Univ

Session 10

1:20 CST

(30 min)

Our journey to Create a Self-Assessment Tool for Language Learners using the Can-Do Statements 

Giovanni Zimotti 
Claire Frances

Promoting an inclusive approach with tips on accessibility using technology 

Joe Dale
Independent Language Consultant

Integrating Technology in the Arabic Classroom via Culture Portfolios 

Ghada Badawi
Armani Hassan
New York University

Session 11

1:55 CST

(15 min)

Enhancing L2 vocabulary knowledge through data-driven learning technologies 

Ella Alhudithi
Iowa State University

Repurposing Edunovela for Business Spanish 

Elizabeth Langley
Fort Hays State University

The UMN Somali EPT: A new model for course placement tests 

Carter Griffith
Anna Hubbard

Univ of Minnesota

Session 12

2:15 CST

(15 min)

Leveraging technology to enhance reflection in L2 writing classes 

Ella Alhudithi
Iowa State University

Phonology, Fluency, and Perception - using praat in the language classroom 

Macy Maas
Azul Trejo Zetina
University of Iowa

Using Mango Languages in self-instructed language courses 

Anastasia Izmaylova
Grinnell College

2:30 CST

(15 min)

General Chat

Social Media Chat

Session 13

2:45 CST 

(30 min)

Ideas for Asynchronous Language Learning 

Maria Slusarek
University of Iowa

Rewriting a story –  COVID edition 

Kazue Kurokawa
New York University

Duolingo vs. Hellotalk: Adapting MALL to the classroom 

Talley Caruso
Univ of San Francisco

Session 14

3:20 CST 

(30 min)

Developing Policies to Deal with Online Translators 

Errol M. O'Neill
University of Memphis

Using Technology for Assessment to Encourage Creative Language Use 

Mansi Bajaj
Yale University

The use of ePortfolios in first year courses for cultural development 

Diogo Cosme
Salt Lake Community College

3:55 CST

(10 min)


Conference Evaluation

*** Session Abstracts ***

A. Welcome  8:00 CST (15 min)


Session 1  8:20 CST (15 min)

1A.YouTube, TikTok and VoiceTube: Tools for Introducing Bilingual and Multilingual Speech Models in the Language Learning Classroom

Becky Kato (University of Michigan)

Rather than viewing the language learning process as having the final goal of attaining native speaker status, pronunciation teaching should work toward the view of language learning as continuing throughout one’s lifetime, where users are able to draw upon multiple models for their speech performance. This view also places the language learner as a bilingual or multilingual speaker whose linguistic competence and performance are influenced by their multiple languages (Pennington, 2021). However, the English teaching profession continues to reflect a monolingual bias in language acquisition and teaching (Ortega, 2010), where there is almost a complete absence of pronunciation materials that employ multilingual voices as models causing a reliance on the “native speaker” accent (Walker & Zoghbor, 2015). Therefore, as language teachers, we should consider how to provide materials that will present learners with accessible language models that are more likely to resonate with their experience as language learners (Murphy, 2014). This presentation will introduce three tools that can be used to present bi-lingual and multilingual speech models in the language learning classroom. I will share how YouTube, TikTok, and VoiceTube were used in my advanced EAP pronunciation course to provide a variety of speech models. Through using these resources as tools for pronunciation analysis moving toward productive pronunciation tasks such as shadowing, dubbing, and class presentations, students can create a “tool kit” for self-study that they can take beyond the classroom.

1B. The multi-uses of Padlet

Angelina Craig-Flórez (Columbia University)

One of the positive aspects of the remote learning experience during the pandemic was that it forced us, pedagogues, to find new ways to collaborate remotely with our students, and among them. We could no longer ask students to come up to the board to write an answer, we had to be very clear and organized in our lesson plans, we had to find ways for them to share their in-class work in real-time during our zoom meetings. Padlet became indispensable in my zoom sessions and has continued to be central in my in-person classes. Whether to present, organize, share, create, brainstorm etc., the multi-uses of Padlet have become a new constant in my teaching. In the following presentation I will share examples of the many uses of Padlet to improve the teaching and learning experience whether in-person or remote.

1C. Zoom discussions for asynchronous online courses: An alternative to written forums 

Kristine Munoz (University of Iowa)

Written discussion boards are a staple of most online courses and many in-person ones. The goals of these activities usually center on having students engage with course material outside of class time, in the case of in-person courses, or to show understanding and ability to apply course concepts in an interactional space. Written discussion boards can achieve certain goals quite well, such as holding students accountable for doing assigned reading before they come to class. In that form they are easy to grade and avoid taking up in-person class time with reading quizzes. Ideally, higher-level objectives (such as encouraging analysis and critical thinking) might also be achieved through well-designed discussion prompts and clear rubrics for evaluation that focus students’ responses to those goals and to responding interactionally, rather than mindlessly. Often, however, written discussions get bogged down by asymmetrical student posting: some post promptly, then have to wait for stragglers to respond before they can continue in a planned sequential exchange. I use students’ familiarity with Zoom to build synchronous online conversation-based discussions, even in a fully asynchronous online course. They sign up in a Google doc for a time that works with their schedules to meet online for 20-30 minutes in groups of 3-5, do written preparation that they turn in separately, and then record and upload prompt-based discussions. This method has particular utility in online language classes which do not otherwise provide speaking practice, and grading the videos need not take any longer than evaluating written discussions.


Session 2. 8:40 CST (15 min)

2A. The use of Animaker and Flipgrid in learning Arabic

Amal El Haimeur and Aya Fayed (University of Kansas)

In this presentation, I will talk about the role of technology in enhancing interpretive mode and learning vocabulary. Khalidiyah (2015) claimed that animated videos improve students reading comprehension, motivate them, stimulate their interest and increase their curiosity. I use both animaker and flipgrid to create interactive videos. I used animaker to create animated videos that summarized vocabulary using animation technique. For example, I use it using target vocabulary of a lesson to create a story about the main character Aya. Then students need to interpret the meaning of the animated story by answering listening comprehension questions. Also, I used animaker to create fun stories with pictures to engage students in learning family members. Then based on the animated video students need to respond to questions related to Aya’s family. Using animated videos attract the student’s attention. Sound combined with animated videos can positively impact students learning and engage students in learning successfully. Flipgrid is also an engaging effective tool in enhancing the interpretive mode and presentational mode as well. The video can be followed by listening comprehension questions or involving the students to present their story. Both Animaker and flipgrid improve the learning outcomes of Arabic and increase motivation as well.

2B. Canva: Design Inspiration for Language Classrooms

Wenjing Huang (George School)

Canva for Education is a free tool for educators and students and makes it easy to create, collaborate and communicate visually in the classroom and beyond. This presentation will briefly introduce how to use Canva tools and share examples in different levels of Chinese classes of using Canva for student’s presentational mode such as creating greeting cards, social media posts, multimedia posters, infographics, certificates, and webpages. In this presentation, participants will learn basic features in Canva for Education, ideas to engage students in presentational work, assessments, or projects from different topics in the Chinese curriculum, and modify some of the examples into their own language classrooms.

2C. Video Creation for Busy Instructors: Storyblocks Maker 

Jill Huang (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

The use of videos in online courses is essential for a number of reasons. As instructional materials, videos touch on several principles of multimedia learning (Mayer, 2009); impact student motivation, particularly in their ability to capture and maintain interest (Keller, 2010); and are one way to incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) (CAST, 2011) by providing multiple means to represent information to enhance equitable learning for all users. However, creating attractive, professional-looking videos can be time-consuming or beyond the skill-set of many instructors. This presentation will introduce the instructor’s favorite user-friendly video editor / maker, Storyblocks Maker, and describe how it was used to create videos in an online ESL Business Writing course. As part of Storyblocks, a subscription service for stock images, audio, and video, Storyblocks Maker helps even the not-particularly-tech-savvy users create polished-looking videos in a short time.


Session 3   9:00 CST (15 min)

3A. Language Center Tip of the Day Blog

Beth Kautz and Anna Hubbard (Univ of Minnesota)

The Language Center Tip of the Day began in March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic shifted all teaching and learning to an online format. During that tumultuous time, the blog supported language instructors with one small tip, complete with step-by-step instructions and screenshots, every few days. Topics included anything having to do with teaching and learning in the new instructional environment, ranging from using Google Docs and breakout rooms in Zoom, recording video feedback in the LMS gradebook, motivating students to turn their cameras on, to creating activities and building community with Jamboard. Now in its third year, the Tip of the Day blog has changed platforms and broadened its focus to encompass hybrid and in-person instructional settings as well. In our presentation, we will discuss our collaborative process for creating blog posts, share sample posts, explain our shift last year to a new website and blog platform, and interpret feedback and user statistics from our readers.

3B. Using Padlet to Collect Student Feedback

Terri-Jo Woellner and Emily Sposeto (University of Denver)

Padlet is an easy-to-use tool that professors can leverage to collect feedback in a transparent and actionable manner. It offers the opportunity for students to respond to course evaluation questions anonymously but while participating in the learning community. This presentation will share sample usages and evaluation questions while discussing best practices for framing student feedback questions. Presenters will also share experiences in responding productively to student comments, concerns and suggestions.

3C. Integrating Technology in Chinese Character Instruction

Wei Gong (Wesleyan University)

Chinese character writing is challenging for the beginner-level Chinese as a second language learners in the U.S., since it is linguistically distanced from English. Many students and even language instructors consider character writing a burden to Chinese language study. It is indeed that people don’t handwrite much nowadays in this digital time; however, it is still essential to know how to handwrite characters to understand the structure of the characters. The learners would understand better that a Chinese character consists of components rather than linear or graphic. The instructor can integrate technology in Chinese character instruction, and the character writing practice can be more approachable and fun. And the students can practice anytime and anywhere. In my presentation, I will demonstrate how I adopt gif. pictures, videos, and phone apps, including “Stroke Order” in my Chinese character instruction.


Session 4   9:20 CST (15 min)

4A. Accessibility and Universal Design in the Second Language

Silvan Plattner (Kansas State University)

In my Presentation I would like to talk about different activities which could be used in second language classes to learn about the topics: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), accessibility, and disability. My presentation would include brief summaries of research on UDL and the importance of representation in the classroom especially when it comes to disability but would focus on different activities including authentic texts and an app called 'Wheelmap' to learn about accessibility and disability in the target language. I connect the ideas of UDL and accessibility because the term ‘Universal Design’ is often used in architecture in connection with accessibility. The learning goals of the proposed activities are for students to learn about disability and accessibility in the target language but also think critically about their own learning. After identifying a shortcoming in representation of disability and accessibility in the Textbook used at K-State I designed a lesson plan based on a supplementary text. It is a video on disability and accessibility where a journalist interviews a woman in a wheelchair and discusses representations and perceptions of people with disabilities as well as tools to overcome certain challenges. The main tool they discuss is an app called 'Wheelmap' which can be used to track which buildings, bars, restaurants, bus-stops, etc. are wheelchair accessible. Combining authentic texts, and activities using the app 'Wheelmap' creates engaging learning opportunities and encourages students’ critical thinking when it comes to representation, accessibility, Universal Design, and their own learning.

4B. Understanding the Psychology of Competitive Learning: Using Kahoot and other quiz platforms to enhance class performance among language learners

Harshita Srivastava (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Language learning may be a tedious activity for every individual who struggles to retain information. Sitting for hours altogether and attempting to memorize a list of vocabulary is never a solution. While activities involving music and art have often proved to be effective in helping with better retention; one of the most underrated methods in language teaching is making use of the inherent competitive side of human beings that exists naturally. For some, the desire to perform the best might provide necessary motivation, whereas for others, a simple competition with oneself may drive them towards achieving higher goals. Technological tools and platforms such as Kahoot may be used in a very effective way in order to bring out the most using the inherent competitive side of most individuals. Firstly, Kahoot comes with a very interactive and user-friendly interface which instantly stirs the interest of the class. Secondly, with the leader board and scoring system, it creates an automatic motivation within the quiz-takers to find themselves in the top spot and feel a sense of achievement. This presentation, therefore aims to analyze the impact of online quiz platforms like Kahoot upon the mind of language learners and to assess the improvement in performance before and after using these tools in a language learning classroom. In the presentation, I also intend to include some real feedback from my students at the University of Michigan where I have used Kahoot for vocabulary enhancement, learning numbers, and other topics connecting images/videos with sentence construction.

4C. Ludwig as a tool for improving students' written proficiency

Aline Yuri Kiminami (Universidade Estadual de Maringá / State University of Maringá)

Ludwig ( is a freemium sentence search engine based on corpora that can be used to find sentences in authentic contexts, translate them into English, compare their frequency and paraphrase them. It offers advanced search options, such as wildcard, frequency compare, find the missing word and word order. Ludwig is an interesting way to incorporate corpora tools into the English language instruction for speakers of other languages, mainly with the goal of improving students’ writing skills, but it can also be relevant in translator training classes. This approach is known as Data-Driven Learning (DDL) and it has been increasingly popularized due to the advancement of education-focused technology (Boulton, 2010; Scott, 2010; Pérez-Paredes, 2020; Crosthwaite, 2020; Frankenberg-Garcia, 2021, among others). In my presentation, I would like to show the way Ludwig can be used in class as a DDL tool, its features and usefulness for improving students' written productions and translation skills.


Session 5  10:00 CST (30 min)

5A. I spy something #invisible: Using Instagram to sharpen second language learners’ pragmalinguistic awareness

Amanda Dalola (University of Minnesota)

Language textbooks traditionally lack a systematic approach for exposing learners to culturally specific sociopragmatic information. Often this information is relegated to brief cultural notes that are decontextualized and overgeneralized treatments of culturally relevant phenomena. As a result, learners develop an incomplete understanding of these concepts because their understanding of them is based on the simple transfer of cultural constructs relevant in their native language culture, even though they are essential elements for competent and autonomous use of the target language. This study attempts to bridge the gap between first- and second-language cultural representations via a series of guided visualization tasks in French and English using the photo-based social media application, Instagram. Results demonstrate that participants greatly refined their definitions of both abstract and concrete nouns in the target language, by citing a greater variety of more nuanced and culturally specific examples in their explanations. This demonstrates that the visual contextualization of the activity helped to develop participants’ awareness of the culturally specific meanings attached to words in a foreign language, suggesting that the exercise was successful in developing the oft-cited “invisible culture” (Kramsch 1998, 1993).

5B.  Digital Media Projects using Augmented Reality (AR) 

Amelia Ijiri (Indiana University -Bloomington)

Teaching with immersive technology is poised to be one of the pivotal pedagogy discussions of the decade. With ongoing empirical research to create best practices, this emerging technology still needs to be explored for educational purposes, thus narrowing the gap between technology and educational innovation for future generations. In this 15-minute tech tip presentation, we will use a free online augmented reality app, Blippar, to add an augmented reality layer to digital humanities projects accessible on mobile phones by explaining our case study in augmenting a campus art exhibition catalog and bringing an AR scavenger hunt to campus. This research aims to help designers of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments think about how to construct a synergistic set of immersive qualities that will work together to create the type of immersive experience best suited to one's learning and participation.

5C. Use of technology within the extracurricular setting of a conversation club

Diana Avdeeva and Caroline Stea (University of Arizona)

Technology is one of the most effective and engaging tools in language teaching and learning. Nowadays, modern technology has progressed so far as to be able to provide practically limitless opportunities for various modalities of language practice and communication. It seems especially needed for students’ speaking practice, as, arguably, one of the most challenging skills to develop when learning a foreign language. Aiming at providing additional, extracurricular speaking practice in the Russian language, a Russian speaking club has been launched at the University of Arizona. The club promotes a more inclusive outlook on the Russian-speaking communities, especially in the light of the ongoing war in Ukraine as one of the russophone communities. The club largely employs technology during its sessions and outside the classroom. The primary technological means used by the club include the video conferencing software Zoom and Telegram, a messaging service. Zoom allows the club to welcome guests from different cultural Russian-speaking communities, which provides the members of the club with exposure to rehearsed and spontaneous speech, while also broadening students’ horizons with regard to the diversity of the russophone community. Telegram, as the most popular messaging platform among the younger generations, provides students with access to the Russian-speaking Internet space and facilitates students’ own activities and initiatives there. Thus, the technological means that are being used by the conversation club help students enhance their language skills, and create immersive language experiences within the setting of the club.


Session 6  10:35 CST (30 min)

6A. Virtual Reality Explorations in Spanish and Portuguese

Juliano Saccomani and Claudia Quevedo-Webb (University of Chicago)

This presentation will showcase examples of the technological and pedagogical virtual reality materials that we have created, designed, and implemented in intermediate Portuguese and Spanish language classes in the Romance Languages and Literatures Department at the University of Chicago. We will also provide information about the Virtual Reality and Language teaching project funded by the College Curricular Innovation Fund and the Exploratory Teaching Groups at the University of Chicago. This collaborative project aims to provide an innovative form of instruction through the design of Virtual Reality (VR) materials for language instruction. We will also talk about current partnerships and future plans for the project.

6B. Collaborative Online International Learning: A Versatile Approach to Language Learning with Project Based Language Learning through Virtual Exchange

ThuyAnh Nguyen (University of Michigan)

In the session, I will present and discuss a Collaborative Online International Learning language exchange between students in the Vietnamese language class at University of Michigan with Vietnamese students from Schools and Universities in Vietnam in the Project Based Language Learning Module on Education. Students from University of Michigan will produce media products in Vietnamese such as brochures, websites, videos about College Life at Universities in the United States. They will collaborate with Vietnamese students to complete their education projects where Vietnamese students will also act as audience to give feedback and to support University of Michigan students to improve their Vietnamese language projects. The collaboration between students will happen virtually with the support from various tools and applications from Google applications, Viewpoint, Zoom and other online applications. The collaboration project offers the opportunities for students to communicate in both English and Vietnamese to improve their academic knowledge and language proficiency. The virtual collaboration will bring students closer together when they get engaged in real world and authentic tasks and assignments where the virtual experience will become real life experience through meaningful practice and interaction between students as study teams working on their projects.

6C. The Let’sTalk Project: The Rise, Challenges, and Outcome

Anna Kolesnikova (University of Iowa)

This presentation discusses the challenges and successes of Let’sTalk: a virtual exchange project between US learners of Russian and Russian learners of English. The beginnings of this project go back to 2013 when the author connected the first cohort of participants in a blog/interview exchange project to discuss important social and cultural issues. Over time, these cultural exchanges transformed into a virtual exchange project that also targeted language practice. This new focus on bilingual conversations about various areas of everyday life and culture brought new challenges and new successes that this article will discuss, along with the project’s implications for computer-mediated communication as a tool for foreign language acquisition overall. In 2020, the Let’sTalk project thrived with the most regular and productive meetings it had ever had. The US university that housed the project partnered with a university in Russia for regular bilingual meetings and collaborative tasks that were integrated into pre-existing course curricula. The article discusses the set-up of this bilingual virtual exchange project and how students used various interactive tools for virtual communication and collaboration (Flipgrid, Zoom, Telegram, and interactive collaborative whiteboards), the factors that influenced participants’ engagement, as well as ways to overcome challenges with technology and engagement. This presentation article also presents an open educational resource (OER) for Russian language learners that resulted from this project. This OER provides listening practice based on authentic recordings of Russian college students, thus, giving learners a unique opportunity to listen to the real language of young Russians.


Session 7   11:10 CST (15 min)

7A. Communicative Virtual Reality Games for Language Learning

Felix Kronenberg (University of Michigan)

This session is about the asymmetrical cooperative multiplayer virtual reality game “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.” I will share experiences from 3 years of playing this game with students, including pre- and post tasks.

7B.Interactive activities with H5P

Dolores Barbazan Capeans (Columbia University)

In this presentation we will take a look at some H5P activities that I use when teaching Spanish: we will see some examples for working on the grammar and the vocabulary. I will include some tips so these activities can be easily implemented in any language classroom. 

7C. The Lieutenant Nun and Her Journey Through America

Abraham Salas (University of Iowa)

This project helps students learn Spanish while learning culture and history about South America. It is an interactive map of the journey that Catalina / Antonio de Erauso did when going to the New World escaping from a closed and extremely conservative society. The goal of the project is to bring more attention to a book that is not very well known even though it depicts a new reality and a new way of living a life. At the same time, students are exposed to the preterit tense in Spanish and are able to practice it; and learning some of the history of those early years of the Spanish conquest in South America. This project is helpful for students of Elementary Spanish learning about the preterit tense. This interactive map can be used as a source of input with meaning for students while showing them a small part of the history of South America. It is also helpful for professors teaching colonial literature to undergraduate students in Spanish because it is better to show them where everything happened, it gives them a better idea of location and how long Erauso’s journey really was.


Session 8  11:30 CST (15 min)

8A. Engage and Entertain with Plotagon: Supporting language teaching with animations 

Mert Dinc (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

Drawing students’ attention to language topics, keeping them engaged and helping them retain information is possible with the help of technology. In this presentation, I will introduce a web-based storytelling tool, “Plotagon”, part of the Sweden-based Bublar group. Plotagon can be accessed using a Google account and using any text or script, teachers can create scenes according to students’ needs, considering their current level and their potential. With Plotagon, users can focus on a specific content area, a grammar concept, or a language skill in an interactive and communicative way. In this presentation, I will discuss the process of creating a Plotagon story animation and share experiences and reflections of its implementation in the language classroom. Additionally, I will provide an example of one lesson delivered in the middle school English as a Foreign Language learning context where Plotagon was used for teaching unit vocabulary. Throughout the lesson, students were engaged in the content and willing to participate in the activities. Additionally, students found the animation very interesting, appealing and enjoyable (as supported by their applause at the end of the lesson). I will end the presentation with a discussion of the benefits and considerations of using Plotagon animations for interactive communicative lesson designs in the language classroom.

8B. A story box a celebration in a Paracosm 

May George (Smith College)

The stories we share form the basis for how we think about the world and live. Stories are a good way to pass the cultural knowledge. In this study, the stories of celebrations in a paracosm are used as a mean of learning the language and convey meaning in an artistic way. The paracosm involves both real and imaginary world. It is an interface that involves different personas, inventing different types of characters. It uses critical thinking, analysis, imagination and creativity. The main objectives of the study are to use different ways to share passions, fears and joys, and find common ground with others through creating imaginary representations. Language learning requires practice and assisting the new generation to explore their vision in a unique way. This means of delivering story can lead to produce the language in a natural way because it involves the excitement and wonder elements. Augmented technology is used to display the stories and interact in an interactive way.

8C. Building interaction and engagement with Mentimeter

Cynthia Kilpatrick and Peggy Semingson (The University of Texas at Arlington)

Mentimeter is a digital tool that provides a virtual slide deck with embedded questions and polling options to boost student engagement and interaction in and out of the classroom. In this session, the presenters will discuss the advantages of Mentimeter in helping get students involved in active learning in HyFlex scenarios that include students in face-to-face, synchronous online, and asynchronous online modalities. First, we examine the competitive quizzing option and show how it can be used for knowledge checks, comprehension questions, and concept practice. We then provide an overview of the other possible interactive question types, including word clouds, scales, rankings, and open-ended questions, and provide examples of ways that we use these to better understand what our students know. Finally, we discuss the flexibility of Mentimeter as a virtual slide deck that students can access from their phones or other devices both in class and out of class, and explore ways to do a more “slow-paced” or asynchronous format that allows students to access results even when they are unable to attend in real-time. Participants will gain experience from a student perspective and leave with concrete ideas on how to implement different activities and tasks within Mentimeter.


A. BUSINESS MEETING  11:50 CST (20 min)

(all welcome/encouraged to attend)


Lunch Break  12:15 CST (30 min)


Session 9  12:45 CST (30 min)

9A. Posting with purpose: Approaches to social media in literacies-based world language teaching 

Brianna Janssen Sanchez (Southern Illinois University)

World languages literacies-based pedagogies support integration of authentic texts in the classroom, texts that students experience and engage with on a daily basis in their physical and virtual worlds. Social media platforms provide opportunity for teachers’ integration of culturally and linguistically rich texts (e.g., Tick Tock videos, memes, Snapchat Images, Facebook and Twitter postings, YouTube comments) to support interpersonal, interpretive and presentational modes of communication. While the benefits of explicit instruction of safe and appropriate social media practices (both for producing and consuming texts) is critical for students’ development of 21st century digital literacies skills, bringing social media experiences into the classroom is complex and requires thoughtful planning, creativity and a willingness to explore technology platforms to support related objectives. In this presentation, I will explore approaches to integrating social media texts in the language classroom in two ways: 1) use of curated social media texts for students to analyze in class guided by the instructor and 2) student created social media simulations using a variety of web resources. Participants will explore websites and apps that are created purposefully for simulated social media interactions (e.g., Fakebook, Twister, TextingStory) and web-resources that can be adapted to replicate social media interactions (e.g. Wakelet, Padlet, Google templates). The ideas and tools explored in this presentation allow users to simulate interactions with social media texts for diverse audiences in a safe way, and to explore the linguistic and cultural complexities of texts in world languages.

9B. Online dictation activity to improve students’ orthographic acquisition in L2 Japanese 

Ayaka Matsuo (Purdue University)

Research shows that dictation is an effective teaching method to promote L2 students’ orthographic acquisition, vocabulary knowledge, grammar structure, listening, and reading comprehension. One of the difficulties of Japanese as L2 is the orthographic acquisition of kanji (i.e., Chinese characters used in Japanese), especially in upper-level classes. To help students better learn kanji, I implemented kanji dictation homework and tests this semester in an intermediate Japanese course at Purdue university. For both activities, an online platform developed specifically for dictation activities was utilized. The platform not only enables teachers to upload their dictation audio but also to change the pause durations (e.g., same as the test). Students completed the homework and practiced for the tests using the platform. In the presentation, I will present the activities from both the teacher’s and students’ viewpoints. To share the teacher’s viewpoint, I will include what and how many sentences were included in each homework and test, how often the homework was assigned, how I decided the pause durations for writing, how the tests were graded, any difficulties, and future improvements. As for students’ viewpoints, I will share their responses to an online survey about the activities such as how long it took them to complete a set of homework, how many times they had to practice to get satisfying points on the test, whether or not they enjoyed the activities, whether or not and to what extent they perceived the activities to be effective in L2 Japanese learning, and suggested improvements.

9C. Open Educational Resources:The new LCTL DOORs Project

Danielle Steider, Rajiv Ranjan, and Emily Uebel (Michigan State Univ)

This session provides up-to-date guidance on how to search for and use Open Educational Resources (OERs), highlighting the brand new LCTL DOORs (Downloadable Open Online Resources) project, launched 2022. DOORs are activities in English that are meant to be converted - not simply translated - to the target language. (Instructors assess if an activity would be linguistically and culturally relevant if converted.) The DOORs database is a free, open educational resource that is searchable by topic, ACTFL mode, level, and skill. Activities are ideal for giving students additional practice with various topics/structures and are designed so even instructors with limited pedagogical training can implement them. Participants will learn how using open resources and embracing a spirit of collaboration can sustain and promote high quality LCTL instruction. In addition to ample time for general questions and answers, a portion of the session is devoted solely to hands-on experience, where we plan to have participants experiment with the DOORs database, share additional resources, and reflect on their own challenges so that they can immediately implement information from this session in their teaching. Examples of teacher use of the activities in the classroom with student feedback will be included as well.


Session 10  1:20 CST (30 min)

10A. Our journey to Create a Self-Assessment Tool for Language Learners using the Can-Do Statements 

Giovanni Zimotti and Claire Frances (The University of Iowa)

This presentation describes our journey in creating a free for all self-assessment tool for language learners. This tool is based on the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can Do Statements. Our presentation will first introduce the Can-Do Statements and will provide some theoretical background regarding the importance of self-assessment and goal settings. The second part of our presentation will describe our journey into creating this tool, and how we are using it at the University of Iowa.

10B.  Promoting an inclusive approach with tips on accessibility using technology 

Joe Dale (Independent Language Consultant)

In this presentation, Joe Dale will explore a range of tools which help all learners to access their learning. The aim of the session is to raise awareness amongst language teachers about the different accessibility features which are readily available in popular tools such as Word and PowerPoint, Google Docs and Slides, Book Creator etc and how these can cater to the varying needs of all learners to provide inclusive language learning. Joe will give a practical demonstration of each tool explaining how it can be used in the classroom for all learners. The workshop gives practical ideas on how teachers can support all learners both in and out of the classroom.

10C. Integrating Technology in the Arabic Classroom via Culture Portfolios 

Ghada Badawi and Armani Hassan (New York University)

The presenters will show how tech tools were used to showcase culture portfolios of Arabic students at New York University (NYU). Students from Beginner to Advanced levels were asked to explore different aspects of Arabic culture outside the classroom. They were given the freedom to follow their own interests and encouraged to come up with their own topics, but some topic suggestions were made to them via a shared list. Sample topics included exploring iconic figures of Arabic music, traditional wedding ceremonies, clothing, landmarks of Arab cities, famous Arab soccer players….etc. They were then asked to work on an electronic Culture Portfolio, either individually, or in groups, to shed light on aspects of culture they were curious to engage with. Students had the freedom to choose the digital format of the culture portfolio, whether it be a PowerPoint, essay, etc., and all portfolios were to be uploaded to our shared platforms. Two effective digital platforms were chosen for the purpose of this project: Padlet and Flipgrid. These tools housed the students’ Culture Portfolios and allowed them to read/watch and comment on one another’s submissions. Once students had uploaded their Culture Portfolios and engaged with at least two others, they were asked to share a list of new Arabic key words they learned in the respective fields they had explored. These key words were compiled in a class google doc. The presenters of this case study will share examples of the students’ work across different Arabic levels, along with students’ feedback.


Session 11  1:55 CST (15 min)

11A. Enhancing L2 vocabulary knowledge through data-driven learning technologies 

Ella Alhudithi (Iowa State University)

Studies on second language acquisition have consistently demonstrated that engaging learners in opportunities for deepening vocabulary knowledge allows them to reach high comprehension and proficiency levels (Milton, 2009; Nation, 2001). Accordingly, their learning goes hand-in-hand with the number of word occurrences; the more a word is repeated, the greater the learning. Recently, the data-driven learning approach has increasingly shown great promise in empowering learners with vocabulary tasks tailored to their individual needs. In this session, the data-driven tool Text Lex Compare will be explored to demonstrate how it provides meaningful, personalized repetition opportunities that promote learners' long-time learning. The tool focuses on comparing two texts or more to identify all similarities and variations in their use of lexical features. Through a recycling index system, the tool lists all lexical words shared between the texts as well as those unique to one text. The tool also stores wordlists from BNC (British National Corpus) and COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English) and uses a novel index system to generate the percentage of words according to their frequency types (e.g., K1 'the first 1,000 most common words in English'). During this session, attendees will receive an overview of the tool, a demonstration activity, and suggestions for how the tool can promote vocabulary knowledge and empower learners to recognize different features of words.

11B. Repurposing Edunovela for Business Spanish 

Elizabeth Langley (Fort Hays State Univ)

In this presentation, I will offer a reimagination of the use of Edunovela in a Business Spanish context. While Edunovela is traditionally used for lower-level language teaching, the thematic content of Gran Hotel–one of the telenovela-based program options available on Edunovela–dovetails well with a variety of Business Spanish topics, including modes of communication, travel and lodging, family-run businesses, workplace organization, marketing, and hiring. Additionally, the program allows students to review pertinent vocabulary prior to viewing the clips that make up episodes, read Spanish-only subtitles while viewing episodes, slow down clips to make speech more comprehensible, and check their comprehension through questions at the end of each clip. These linguistic accessibility features help bridge the gap between proficiency level differences in the same class and, thus, allow all students to benefit from the program. At the same time, the themes of the episodes support typical Business Spanish topics in a reimagined, engaging, and input-rich way. Ultimately, this presentation shows how Edunovela can be repurposed for higher-level coursework in Spanish for specific purposes.

11C. The UMN Somali EPT: A new model for course placement tests 

Carter Griffith and Anna Hubbard (Univ of Minnesota)

A rising need arose to assist incoming UMN heritage Somali speakers determine their course placement in the Somali language sequence. To address this need, the Language Testing Program, Language Center, and African American and African Studies Department collaborated to create the Somali Entrance Placement Test (EPT). The Somali EPT is a course placement test designed to assess a student's current proficiency in Standard Somali and place them into the appropriate course based on their abilities. The Somali EPT was created using Qualtrics and is delivered through the existing Language Testing Program’s administrative website. The test includes two main sections. Students who score sufficiently high on the first section continue to the second section, resulting in a shorter test for some students. Course placement is determined by a student’s first section score. In this presentation, we will expand on the motivation for this instrument’s creation. We will describe the instrument itself: the scoring system, the automated cut-off functionality, and will briefly demonstrate the student-facing experience. We will also discuss how students are intended to incorporate their results in their course registration and language learning processes.


Session 12  2:15 CST (15 min)

12A. Leveraging technology to enhance reflection in L2 writing classes 

Ella Alhudithi (Iowa State University)

Research on L2 writing has shown self-reflection to be vital in empowering learners to voice interests, articulate discoveries, retain learning, transfer knowledge, and share improvements. Yet, the majority of reflection opportunities offered to learners are geared towards traditional, one-way communication (e.g., a three-paragraph essay to be read by a teacher). An approach that can leverage such opportunities is communication-based technology (e.g., Padlet and Flipgrid). Integration of such technologies can empower learners with opportunities to (1) engage in two-way communication (posting, commenting, liking, polling), (2) develop a sense of shared purpose and belonging, (3) experience a lively environment for connections and improvements, and (4) use multimodal resources (audio, motion, image, text). This session provides detailed descriptions and examples of how such technologies leverage L2 reflection writing. The first part of the session offers an overview of reflective elements of writing, the second demonstrates a reflection writing activity using communication-based technologies, and the third discusses the affordances these technologies offer to L2 writing classes. The attendees will leave the session with tips and resources on how to adapt such reflection environments to their teaching contexts.

12B. Phonology, Fluency, and Perception - using praat in the language classroom 

Macy Maas and Azul Trejo Zetina (University of Iowa)

Two of the most commonly difficult areas of improvement for second language learners are perception and pronunciation. Repetition, exposure to authentic input, and articulatory exercises are a few ways in which these issues have been traditionally addressed in the language classroom. Merging linguistic tools, such as the phonological analysis software Praat, we can implement a new way of understanding, visualizing, and addressing second language learners’ perception and pronunciation in the target language. This presentation proposes a sample lesson plan that incorporates basic phonological instruction of the resilabification process in casual spoken Spanish along with listening, writing, and oral production activities to pair with Praat.

12C. Using Mango Languages in self-instructed language courses 

Anastasia Izmaylova (Grinnell College)

Numerous colleges and universities across the United States have been implementing self-instructed language learning programs as a way to support students interested in less commonly taught languages. While there is some variety in the ways these programs are structured, many of them share similar characteristics, such as a common syllabus for students to follow, practice sessions with native speakers, and accountability. In this session, presenter will discuss the self-instructed language program at Grinnell College and its use of Mango Languages, an online language learning platform, as a primary text for students in the beginning levels. Presenter will describe different functions and tools of Mango Languages, demonstrating the benefits and drawbacks in the context of a self-instructed, peer-tutored language program. Presenter will also discuss students’ attitudes toward the platform, as well as their language learning outcomes as measured by the computer version of the Oral Proficiency Interview.


Session 13  2:45 CST (30 min)

13A. Ideas for Asynchronous Language Learning 

Maria Slusarek (University of Iowa)
Asynchronous instruction does not require the simultaneous participation of students and instructors. Researchers and educators continue to question how to approach language learning within the asynchronous modality. This presentation provides an overview of effective models for asynchronous language learning based on the presenter's seven years of online teaching experience in higher education. Audience members of all teaching modalities will leave the presentation with ideas and strategies about course structure, teacher presence, student investment, multiple types of interaction, and alternatives to discussion boards.

13B. Rewriting a story –  COVID edition 

Kazue Kurokawa (New York University)

In 2020, COVID-19 shook the world. There was no way to escape its impacts anywhere you lived, and the environment of education was no exception. Upon returning to in-person classes in 2021, when students were able to see their classmates and professors in person again, I thought it would be meaningful to face the impact of COVID-19 at the individual level. In fall 2021, as an experiment, in my 4th year level Japanese language class, I assigned a collaborative assignment to create a story for students to tell their own experience with COVID-19. First, we read a story named “Kamisama (God)” written by Hiromi Kawakami, an award- winning novelist in Japan. Then we read another story by Kawakami named “Kamisama 2011”, which was re-written after the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011. Then I had the students tell which part was re-written using the web-program Perusall. After discussing the difference between the two works which was rewritten after a significant event, I had asked them to collaborate and rewrite Kamisama 2011 based on their experience through COVID-19.

13C. Duolingo vs. Hellotalk: Adapting MALL to the classroom 

Talley Caruso (Univ of San Francisco)

Mobile-assisted Language Learning (MALL) apps have unleashed the potential for education beyond the classroom. In this talk, I will provide a comparison of Duolingo versus Hellotalk as it relates to student learning styles, intercultural competence, and learner motivation. I will finish by providing digitally-based communicative activities that can be adapted to your learners' needs.

Session 14  3:20 CST (30 min)

14A. Developing Policies to Deal with Online Translators 

Errol M. O'Neill (University of Memphis)

Since the launch of Babel Fish in 1997, language teachers have been trying different strategies for dealing with student use of online translators. With approaches ranging from banning and punishing translator use, to encouraging students to use online translators as a learning tool, no consensus has been achieved about what role (if any) online translators should play in language classes. Faced with the reality that nearly 9 out of 10 students admit to using online translation even when it's expressly prohibited, as well as the impossibility of completely preventing students from using translators on work completed outside the physical classroom, a growing number of researchers recommend allowing students to use online translators in some fashion and to some extent. This session will discuss specific examples of policies that instructors reported in a recent survey conducted by the presenter that discourage, tolerate, or encourage online translator use, as well as a five-step approach to broaching the topic of online translators with students that is adapted from a study of 309 Spanish and French L2 students. This information will help attendees to develop their own policies related to online translators that they can choose to use with their students. 

14B. Using Technology for Assessment to Encourage Creative Language Use 

Mansi Bajaj (Yale University)

The language classes have started to use online tools for assessment in the recent years. This paper will call attention to the need for language teachers to use technology as a learning tool, and for assessment in a language class. This approach motivates students to focus on the task, thus assessments become incidental and stress-free learning experience. This approach is motivating for the students and helps attain the goals of a language classroom. This approach puts learning predominant to assessment. This gives the students a feeling of accomplishment and progress. Using the tools effectively is imperative for successful accomplishment of the objectives of language assessments. The presenter will discuss some online tools like,, YouTube and TikTok for language assessment. The presentation will also talk about the assessment criteria for some tasks which can generate noticeably greater desire to generate higher comprehensible language output.

14C. The use of ePortfolios in first year courses for cultural development 

Diogo Cosme (Salt Lake Community College)

Cultures, comparisons, and communities are three out of the five C’s from ACTFL’s World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2015). While upper division courses often integrate in-class cultural discussions in the target language, many lower-level courses lack moments of comparison and reflection among communities due to the low proficiency level of the students. The complexity of cultures requires discussions to be held in the shared language. Because of that, some educators prefer to avoid cultural lessons in the classroom since they would take precious time from exposure to the target language. Even more difficult is the case of hybrid and online classes ­­­- when there are short to no asynchronous sessions to discuss complex cultural elements. In this session, I will address the use of Cultural ePortfolios for first and second-semester language courses with a three-part semester project: a Google Earth Tour for cultural awareness, online discussions for cultural competency, and a reflection essay posted on a web page to help students translate their cultural development to actions (cultural competency). The goal is that the ePortfolio becomes a multimedia diversity statement that students can use for scholarship and/or job applications.


Wrap Up  3:55 CST (10 min)

    Conference Evaluation


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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