Expanding learner potential – It’s your CALL!

Nicolas Gromik, Tohoku University


With over 100 presentations specifically addressing education technology, the JALTCALL Conference 2009 is the best internationally recognized venue to discuss Computer Assisted Language Learning. The conference will take place from 5 to 7 June at Toyo Gakuen University, located near Suidobashi station between Akihabara and Shinjuku on the Sobu line in Tokyo. This year’s guest speaker is Mark Warschauer, one of the most prolific contributors to the evolution of CALL policies, theories, and teaching practices. Readers not familiar with his papers can access them at <www.gse.uci.edu/person/markw/markw_papers.php>.

Through workshops and presentations, JALTCALL attendees will find topics that address their current educational settings or will discover something to exploit later in classrooms and research. The pre-conference workshops scheduled for Fri 5 June will start from 6:00 p.m. They offer practical training in a variety of areas, ranging from video editing, teaching with iPods, using audio software for speaking skills development, and much more.

The conference itself starts on 6 June and consists of a wide variety of both practical workshops and more theory-based presentations. The conference workshops provide more intense practical sessions addressing issues relating to particular software, hardware or computer-assisted teaching practices. Topics cover such areas as using Moodle, designing quizzes and games with HotPotatoes, or maximizing time used in a CALL lab.

Presentations include show-and-tell sessions, reporting on experiments conducted in high schools or at universities. Many presentations deal with improving listening comprehension or using the Internet to improve reading fluency. Some presentations report on experiments to improve typing speed or writing skills.

The conference site presents some of the most up-to-date computer facilities, which are likely to make this conference very productive and memorable. Publishers will be on hand with books and resources suitable for language learners, and the JALTCALL conference is the best venue to explore the latest software and online learning materials available.

In addition to bringing CALL enthusiasts together at one venue, the JALTCALL reception offers a great opportunity for attendees to network with presenters, publishers, and colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere. For early-bird registration the cost of the reception is included in the price of the conference, somake use of this excellent offer and join this special occasion to hear more about CALL in Japan and abroad. JALTCALL Conference registration opens in June, and the organizing committee would like to extend a warm welcome to this annual event. 

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