SOCALLT 2013 will be held April 11-13 on the campus of Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth! The theme for this conference will be:


SOCALLT 2013’s program of sessions offers 27 different sessions:

  • 1 keynote address (60 minutes)
  • 5 workshops (60 minutes)*
  • 2 panel discussions (60 minutes)
  • 2 long presentations (60 minutes)
  • 15 individual/joint presentations (30 minutes)
  • 2 product/exhibitor demonstrations (30 minutes)

*Unlike many conferences, workshops are included as part of your registration fee. All attendees may attend any session at SOCALLT 2013!

1 Keynote Address (1 hour)

Dr. Greg Kessler, Ohio University

“Ubiquitous Computing, Collaboration and the Future of Second Language Writing

We live in a world with varied emerging technologies and contexts in which
we can practice writing. This new media landscape offers unique opportunities
for language teachers and learners. Navigating these resources can often be
confusing or overwhelming. Consequently, it can be difficult to identify the
potential of these emerging contexts. This talk will focus on opportunities to
expand writing practices by incorporating creative, collaborative and
constructive contexts and tools. The presenter will also explore a variety of
suggestions for writing activities and practices within these new and emerging
writing contexts.

5 Workshops (1 hour)

Anna Love-Wilde, Fort Smith Public Schools

“Latest & Greatest Tools for Foreign Language Teachers”

objective:  to demonstrate digital tools presenter has successfully used in her class to engage students and promote learning.

will include:   teaching with Twitter, simple game creation tools and examples of class uses, Google Voice, storytelling tools (online and Ipad), resources for reading and listening practice  (Nulu Languages)

Anna Love-Wilde, Fort Smith Public Schools

“Interact with Your Students with Socrative”

objective:  to demonstrate the many uses of Socrative to actively involve your students in class discussions.   Focus on speaking and writing skills.

Presenter will conduct a mock class in which participants use their own devices (smart phone, Ipad, laptop) to participate in polls, writing activities, responding to story prompts, expressing opinions, etc.

Anna Love-Wilde, Fort Smith Public Schools

“Teaching in a 1-iPad Classroom”

objective:   to demonstrate how an iPad can be an effective teaching and learning tool in a language classroom

presenter will demonstrate apps proven to be successful in her classroom to improve students’ skills

including:   Tinytapp, Dragon dictation, Storywheel, Akinator, 7 Little Words, Skitch, Educreations, and more

Rachael Gilg, Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL), University of Texas at Austin

Arthur Wendorf, Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL), University of Texas at Austin

“SPinTX: An Open Spanish Video Repository with Tools for the language Classroom”

This workshop will introduce SPinTX, a new website containing authentic videos of oral Spanish and tools to help language educators integrate the videos into lessons and activities.

The SPinTX website includes over 300 video clips of interviews of native and heritage speakers of Spanish living in Texas. Each of the videos is accompanied by a complete transcript that has been annotated with thematic and metalinguistic information as well as synchronized closed captions. In addition, the SPinTX website offers innovative tools for educators to easily create activity sets based on the videos, and to share their customized materials through the community section of the website. All materials available on the site can be freely used under a Creative Commons license.

Participants will learn how to:

* search or browse for a video clip that contains target themes, grammar and/or vocabulary,

* interact with an annotated transcript to highlight parts of the text that include target grammar and/or vocabulary,

* automatically generate customized cloze activities from the video transcripts,

* quickly and easily create activity sets consisting of videos and associated materials,

* share custom activity sets through a public URL,

* access open source tools for annotating video corpora in Spanish and other languages.

Joanna Schmidt, Texas Christian University

“Integrating New Media into the Classroom: Practices, Tools, and Technology”

Are you looking for ways to bring new media or multiliteracies to your students but are not sure where to start? Do you wish you had time to find the basic resources you would need to update or create new, innovative assignments? If so, come to this session in which Joanna Schmidt, the Assistant Director of the New Media Writing Studio at TCU, will introduce you to some core concepts for creating and evaluating new media projects. In addition, you will be shown some free tools and tutorials you can use to help you develop project ideas to take back to your classroom. This session will exhibit a number of multimodal options and will be a combination of demonstration and collaboration, featuring technology resources to help you and your students create assignments that range from basic videos to podcasts to websites using mostly freely-available software and dual platform (PC & Mac) options. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops if possible and share additional tools they use with attendees. No specific technological expertise is required.

2 Panel Discussions (1 hour)

Delia Méndez Montesinos, University of Texas at Austin

Jane Johnson, University of Texas at Austin

Celina Nevárez, University of Texas at Austin

Mina Ogando-Lavín, University of Texas at Austin

“Effectively engaging students through analytical lab activities”

Participants will examine innovative lab activities for beginning and intermediate levels of college Spanish.  In these analytical activities, students typically work on a series of steps that guide them from listening and identification of grammatical structures and other features of spoken language, to practice of these same features, to self-assessment of their oral performance. Participants will engage in a discussion of how the activities were developed and how they enhance student learning as well as the roles of students and instructors in the completion and assessment of the activities. The entire group will/ Participants will also comment on videos of students working in the lab as well as student results over the past two years in order to gather ideas for designing their own activities.  Although the focus of these lessons is Spanish and they were created for the university level, they can be modified for use with other world languages regardless of the academic level.

Marie Schein, Texas Christian University

Greg Kessler, Ohio University

Hajime Kumahata, Rice University

Carl S. Blyth, University of Texas at Austin

Kurk Gayle, Texas Christian University

Innovative Practices in Teaching L2/ESL Writing”

Teaching L2 and/or ESL/EFL writing is a labor of patience and perseverance and demands that we fully commit to empowering our students, helping them enjoy writing in a different and, giving them the chance to become effective writers.

In this session, practitioners will share a variety of proven techniques and theories that have energized their teaching practices and motivated their students to write.  From collaborative practices, ePortfolios, Open Education Resources, or Offline/Online tools, the panelists will present their most successful methods and engage the audience in a conversation about best practices.

2 Long Presentations (1 hour)

Georges Detiveaux, Lone Star College–CyFair

“Tablets on Campus: Deploying Tablets in Teaching & Learning”

Does your campus have tablets available for faculty and student use? Lone Star College-CyFair offers tablets for long term (semester) and short term (4-hour) use. I will present our iPad Pilot Program, where faculty apply to be accepted to a semester-long pilot program, our short term student and teacher iPads, our iPad training program (offered at our main campus and our satellite center), and our new Nexus tablet classroom set semester-long checkout program (which will first be used during a study abroad program this summer). I will share links to all apps and tasks presented in our current training curriculum, and I will discuss challenges associated with managing large amounts (and different types) of tablets in an educational setting.

Louise Stoehr, Stephen F. Austin State University

“Using Technology to Promote Multiculturalism in the Langauge Classroom: Berlin als interkultureller Text

Summer 2010, the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) sponsored the Neuer Blick, Neue Stimmen (New Viewpoint, New Voices) seminar on cultural diversity in Berlin, Germany. The 30-minute video Berlin als interkultureller Text (Berlin as Inter-Cultural Text) presents four distinct cultural voices and perspectives on this culturally diverse city, making it attractive for not only language but for a larger audience interested in European diversity. The video and accompanying Arbeitsblätter (worksheet packet) were produced as a final project for the seminar, and are now available through the AATG online shop.

One major factor that makes this project attractive to everyone interested in application of technology to language teaching is how the video was created. My two colleagues and I had between us two hand-held video recorders, two photo cameras, and iPhoto software installed on my MacBook. The final video project demonstrates how it is possible with access to very basic technology to create a final product that is at once aesthetically pleasing, and engaging. It informs in a manner that comfortably sets the stage for classroom discussion and student writing about race, ethnicity, and diversity in modern Germany.

In this session, the video will first be presented in its entirety after which the discussion will focus on technical aspects of creating such a product for language and culture instruction for all languages at all levels. The accompanying worksheet packet will be available for interested participants.

15 Individual/Joint Presentations (30 minutes)

Brandon Walters, R. L. Turner High School
Kari Perkins, R. L. Turner High School

“Project Based Learning in the World Language Classroom”

Learn what exactly Project Based Learning looks like in a World Language classroom, become familiar with the steps it takes to run a successful PBL unit, and see some example projects and helpful tools to make PBL work for you.

Lana Rings, University of Texas at Arlington

“The Visual Web: Enhancing Cognitive Concepts in Foreign Language Learning”

Visuals are said to add an enhanced dimension to the cognitive aspects of learning, and when used well, can facilitate deeper and longer lasting learning.

This session will describe the results of using native and foreign language web image search engines in a foreign language course on intercultural communication. After having heard audio clips, read transcriptions, and created mind maps of German native speakers’ impressions of U.S. American behavior, and conversely U.S. speakers’ impressions of German behavior, students were required to search web images for various topic-related concepts in both “Images” and “Bilder.” They were then required to work in pairs to describe and compare the images on the two websites. They reported their findings on the blackboard, which were then discussed in class. Toward the end of the semester, they were asked to explain in writing what they had learned through their exploration of the concepts in visual form on the web.

The session will begin with a short introduction and presentation of the theory behind the use of visuals, followed by a description of the approach, delineating all activities in the sequence. The results of student searches, as well as student descriptions of their learning will be presented. Finally, benefits and caveats will be presented, together with implications for the efficacy of such work.

Mary Helen Hill, Fort Worth ISD

Erwin Santiago, Fort Worth ISD

“Instant Feedback via Technology”

Are you struggling to keep up with the grading of pen and paper assessments? Why not let technology do the work for you? You don’t need to be a computer whiz or a techno-guru to utilize these innovative tools. Easy to use, in many cases with little to no preparation required, we will guide you to the resources that will give you the feedback that you need.

This will be a hands-on presentation, where a mock-classroom environment will allow participants an opportunity to immediately utilize the resources described. Participants will walk away with the tools they can incorporate into their lessons on Monday morning. Presenters will obtain feedback from participants throughout the session, utilizing the same tools being demonstrated, as well as answer any questions they might have.

Romana Hughes, Texas Christian University

It Can Be Done: Teaching a Foreign Language Course Online”

This presentation will discuss TCU’s faculty development model for successful teaching online, introducing best practices and example assignment solutions for online learners.  TCU faculty are required to complete three courses (LearningStudio Boot Camp, Teaching Online, Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning), have an assessment of the developed online course, meet specific requirement for student and faculty course activity and engagement.  This presentation will demonstrate TCUs tools that have been developed to take a faculty member through the a professional development model to become a master online instructor.

Karen Kelton, University of Texas at Austin

Nancy Guilloteau, University of Texas at Austin

“Leveraging Free Tools and Content to Build an Intermediate French Course”

Creating content for language classes has never been easier, thanks to rapidly changing tech tools. Presenters will demonstrate the free tools used to create a new WordPress site and course for intermediate learners of French: These include automatic YouTube captioning in French for interviews of French speakers on cultural topics, and Quizlet for effortless vocabulary lists accompanied by automatic audio recordings. They will also show how homework and in-class activities were created and/or remixed using OER that include songs and videos from the French websites TV5,,, Rhô, and YouTube.

The activities and videos (including an assortment of authentic documents from the websites mentioned above, as well as encounters with native speakers) are organized into five broad themes and tagged by communicative language function with links into Tex’s French Grammar for specific grammar explanations and interactive exercises.

The original goal was to create a complete course with no commercially created textbooks, but as a result of formative evaluation, the developers concluded that students needed a grammar handbook and cultural reader to anchor and provide context for the website content.

Carl S. Blyth, University of Texas at Austin

The Literary in the Everday: An OER for Creating Literacy Activities”

“The literary in the every day” is a set of foreign language templates in the form of an open educational resource (OER) that bridges the divide between lower level language courses and upper level literature  courses.  The goal of this presentation is to illustrate how language teachers, with the help of these templates, can develop their own reading and writing activities to highlight the metaphorical nature of language. The term metaphor is used in its broadest sense to encompass the ways in which language users create new meanings. The guiding principle for this project is that metaphorical language should be a part of foreign language study from the very beginning, and that this can best be accomplished by analyzing the “literariness” of everyday language. Grammar and vocabulary are the two mainstays of FL pedagogy at the introductory levels. And the concept of the literary in the everyday affords the basis for addressing another divide: the categorization of foreign language courses as skill-based rather than as content-based. Therefore, one of the many aims of this project is to advocate for the understanding that the content of a foreign language course is, simply, language.

Rafael M. Salaberry, University of Texas at Austin

Marti Quixal, University of Texas at Austin

“Enhancing authentic texts in online environments: A data-driven approach to second language learning”

There is a substantial amount of second language (L2) research that has focused on the pedagogical potential of visually enhanced input (VEI) through the use of typographical techniques (e.g., elements of text are bolded, underlined, colored, font size is increased, etc.). VEI has a number of purported features that may be crucial to help learners notice specific features of a particular target in the L2, thus they may be useful to help learners transform input to intake (e.g., Alanen, 1995, Jourdenais et al, 1995, Leeman et al, 1995). Nevertheless, the empirical data in support of the proposed benefits of visual input enhancement are not conclusive given the wide range of outcomes, conditions of study, methodological design, etc. (Lee & Huang, 2008). The main premise of VEI research is now being investigated in a more promising arena: the analysis of visually enhanced authentic texts delivered online along with the use of specific software that can dynamically enhance input (e.g., Meurers et al, 2010). The potential benefit of analyzing this new environment is given by the combination of unique positive features of online materials (e.g., fully contextualized with other media, constantly updated) and educational software (e.g., applicable to new pages, automatic creation of pedagogical activities). Thus, the analysis of the effects of VEI brings about the role of theoretical constructs that are inherently tied to the benefits of software programs applied to online environments: (1) increased motivation, (2) immediate feedback, and (3) independent learning. We will assess the potential effect of these new constructs as crucial independent variables that have varying effects on the acquisition and development of the L2. More specifically, we present ongoing research of the effects of a specific software technology (VIEW, Meurers et al, 2010) that is used to allow learners to select online texts and, more importantly, to allow them to automatically self-generate learning activities based on authentic texts.

Ellen Hsieh, Texas Christian University

“Chinese Accelerated Reader Initiative (CARI) with eCollege Application – A Case Study Proposal”

The purpose of this proposal is to design, develop and evaluate an online interactive Chinese Accelerated Reader Initiative (CARI) course. The goal of the curriculum is to increase reading skills for Chinese as a second language (L2) students at the university level in the United States. Specifically, the program is for L2 students at or above an intermediate level who are familiar with Pinyin and at least 100 Chinese characters. The study will use an existing online learning system, eCollege, to distribute the course.  All reading materials and quizzes will found and administered online.

Evan Bostelmann, University of North Texas

Lawrence Williams, University of North Texas

“Foreign Language Education in an Era of Ubiquitous Technology: A Survey and Case Study of Undergraduate Learners”

This presentation seeks to answer the following overarching research question: To what extent do undergraduate foreign language learners engage in ubiquitous learning in an era of ubiquitous technology? More specifically, the goal of this study is to determine ways in which learners take advantage of ubiquitous technology for required assignments vs. informal learning for personal or professional reasons. Three types of data will be presented: 1) a pilot survey of 230 intermediate-level undergraduate learners of French, Italian, and Spanish at the University of North Texas (UNT); 2) a case study of five learners of French who participated in a focus group session; and 3) a brief overview of trends in the use of mobile technologies in the U.S. based on large-scale surveys from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Highlights from the preliminary results of the survey given at UNT include the following: 1) Although 93% of respondents own a mobile device with 3G/4G/wi-fi capability, only 3.7% of these learners use the device for online homework assignments. Nonetheless, the results from the focus group session indicates that some learners do indeed use mobile devices (to varying degrees) for a range of activities related to developing cultural and linguistic competence. The presentation of the results from this project is intended to serve as a catalyst for discussion about the future of curriculum, teaching, learning, and assessment in an era of (increasingly) ubiquitous technology.

Marie Schein, Texas Christian University

Developing L2  Comprehension Skills Through Collaborative Reading Activities in Google Docs”

Most teachers and students would agree that learning to read authentic texts in the L2 is not easy.   Helping students  to « decode » texts in a foreign  language and learn through reading challenges us to find creative best practices to achieve this goal.

Google Docs is often used as a « sandbox » activity where students help each other to co-author a writing piece.  The same features and benefits of Google Docs can also also help students develop and improve their reading skills.

This session shows the various collaborative characteristics of Google Docs applied to reading to learn activities.   Furthermore,  session participants examine the capability of Google Docs to foster students’ progress towards reading more independently over time.  Participants  hear from and ask questions to students who have used Google Docs to read collaboratively.

Finally, participants have the opportunity to create assignments that could be completed with Google Docs.

Felicia Reimer, Dakota Ridge High School

Todd Reimer, Metropolitan State University of Denver

“Web Curation: Creating Specialized Content”

We live in an era of content abundance, a historically unprecedented time when available information significantly outpaces one’s capacity to access and make sense of it.  “Curation tools” empower users to create content destinations where students and other readers can access and interact with information focused on a particular topic.  This presentation will outline free resources and tips to empower teachers to curate their own online, digital magazine.  This talk will share two educators’ experiences using online web curation in creating their own sites for different purposes and readership.  ( and  This presentation will share how these destinations have been developed and utilized in directing students to the most useful and current digital resources  available; how these types of pages can help students make more meaningful connections to complex issues and content, and how students can immerse themselves into a wider intellectual and professional community.  Additionally, preliminary findings and feedback from high school Spanish 3 students who created their own online magazines will be reported.  Finally, this talk will highlight the ways in which curated websites allow faculty to connect and stay connected to students, and create powerful learning communities.

Participants will leave this presentation with information on how to create their own online magazine using scoop it, perspectives from two educators and their applications of web curation, and feedback from high school Spanish students who created their own sites as part of a class project.

Bettina Christner, Texas Tech University

Stefanie Borst, Texas Tech University

“Using a mobile phone app for learning German vocabulary”

Mobile phones are omnipresent in today’s society. However, their potential as a language learning tool continues to be underestimated. This study provides evidence of how a mobile phone app can offer flexible and accessible-anytime language learning.  Inspired by the studies of Stockwell (2008 and 2010), an investigation of the effectiveness of vocabulary learning via mobile phone apps was carried out. Study times, study places and individual learning habits of a group of twenty beginning level German students were recorded. Half of the students studied vocabulary with an app on their Smartphone over a 5 week period of time, while half studied via traditional methods. The data reveals that the flexibility of the mobile phone app did not only lead to a diversity of study places, but also led to a significant increase of the time students spend on learning vocabulary. Moreover, the students’ attitude towards the learning tool was highly positive. Ultimately, the high degree of flexibility, the accessibility and the ease of use made these apps an efficient learning tool.

Claire Bartlett, Clear Springs High School

“Does blogging contribute to the language learning experience?”

Blogging on a weekly basis in a language class may enable students to use the language they learn in a freer, more interactive and creative environment. Should blogging be included in a language curriculum? In order to better understand the language process behind students’ blogging, we will first look at research available on this topic and then look at common practices in universities and secondary education.  Based on literature reviews and personal teaching experience at a high school level, we will attempt to answer some of the following questions. At what language level can or should students start blogging? What should students blog about? Should student’ blogs be evaluated and if so, how? Does blogging offer benefits to the language class? Can a teacher measure students’ progress directly related to blogging? Are students motivated? How common is blogging in language classes in high schools or universities? What are teachers saying about blogging in a language classroom?  What do students think about blogging? Are today’s students sufficiently computer literate to blog? Looking at various options to answer these questions will hopefully help teachers and technologists make future curricular decisions for language learning.

Amy Uribe, Lone Star College–CyFair

“Dictionaries and Translators – Help or Hindrance?”

Students use them because they think they will help.  Teachers hate them because they hinder.  In this session, we will explore different online dictionaries and translators and learn how to teach our students to use (or not use) them.  Examples will be in Spanish, however the activities presented can be adapted to fit other languages.

Amy Uribe, Lone Star College–CyFair

“Teaching Old Dogs New (Technology) Tricks”

You like to use technology, but your colleagues are afraid of it.  You’re excited to get your hands on the latest and greatest program or gadget, but other professors are content with what they have been using and see no reason to explore options.  Sound familiar?  In this session, we will be discussing ways to “sell” technology and change to our colleagues.  Learn strategies to “teach old dogs new tricks” without scaring them away.  Attendees will be encouraged to share their own experiences and strategies.

2 Product Demonstrations / Exhibitor Sessions (30 minutes)

Dan Nickolai, Saint Louis University

Placement Test Development with SLUPE

This presentation will showcase SLUPE, a new software platform for creating adaptive language placement tests. The developer will be on site to discuss the development, challenges, and successes of the project. Question item development, test validation, and implementation of the tool will be covered throughout this session. All attendees will be invited to create a free account for test development at their own institutions.

Carl S. Blyth, University of Texas at Austin

eComma: A Web Application to Promote Collaborative L2 Reading”

Reading in a foreign language can be a lonely and frustrating experience.  If only learners could receive guidance and feedback whenever they encountered difficulties during the reading process. This vision is now a reality thanks to an open source web application called eComma that facilitates more social and collaborative forms of reading.  With the rise of mobile devices such iPads and Kindles, social reading has migrated from physical classrooms to virtual spaces. The goal of this presentation is to demonstrate social reading, an Internet-mediated collaborative activity during which a group of people synchronously read the same text together. To experience social reading first hand, audience members will read an online text and share comments in real time using eComma, an open source web application produced by the Center of Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL). Following this brief demonstration, a pilot study will be discussed to illustrate how students employ eComma’s suite of tools (e.g., textual annotation, tags, word clouds and heat maps) to arrive at a collaborative textual interpretation. Participants will gain an understanding of the benefits of social reading and will become familiar with eComma and other free Internet technologies that promote more social forms of reading.