Category: Research

APA reference: TV show, movie

My students stumped me the other day by asking how to reference a TV Show (Sex and the City) and a movie (Legally Blonde). I did a bit of research to find some examples:

Crystal, L. (Executive Producer). (1993, October 11). The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour. New York and Washington, DC.: Public Broadcasting Service.

A Television Broadcast

Important, I.M. (Producer). (1990, November 1). The Nightly News Hour. [Television broadcast]. New York: Central Broadcasting Service.

A Television Series

Bellisario, D.L. (Producer). (1992). Exciting Action Show. [Television series]. Hollywood: American Broadcasting Company.

A Single Episode of a Television Series

Wendy, S. W. (Writer), & Martian, I.R. (Director). (1986). The rising angel and the falling ape. [Television series episode]. In D. Dude (Producer), Creatures and monsters. Los Angeles: Belarus Studios.

And for movies…

Smith, J.D. (Producer), & Smithee, A.F. (Director). (2001). Really Big Disaster Movie [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

Or if the movie is hard to get…

Harris, M. (Producer), & Turley, M. J. (Director). (2002). Writing Labs: A History [Motion picture]. (Available from Purdue University Pictures, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907)

These example come from Purdue’s OWL and

Outline for CALL: theory and practice

I. Implications of using CALL

II. CALL and SLA theory

III. My approach (this should put the activities I discuss into context)

1. Affective filter

2. Cognitive factors

3. Sociocultural considerations

IV. Activities

1. Epals:,

2. Vocabulary message boards:

Important quotes for CALL: theory and practice

Egbert, Chao, and Hanson-Smith (1999) state this idea clearly: “A theory of CALL is a theory of language acquisition” (p.3) and go on to explain “Educators do not need a discrete theory of CALL to understand the role of technology in the classroom; a clear theory of SLA and its implications for the learning environment serves this goal” (p.3).

Vale, Scarino, and McKay (1991), for example, write that the Australian Language Levels (ALL) project is based on eight principles of language learning:

Learners learn a language best when:

1. they are treated as individuals with their own needs and interests.

2. they are provided with opportunities to participate in communicative use of the target language in a wide range of activities.

3. they are exposed to communicative data which is comprehensible and relevant to their own needs and interests

4. they focus deliberately on various language forms, skills, and strategies in order to support the process of language acquisition

5. they are exposed to sociocultural data and direct experience of the culture(s) embedded within the target language

6. they become aware of the role and nature of language and culture

7. they are provided with appropriate feedback about their progress

8. they are provided with opportunities to manage their own learning. (p.28)

1. Learners have opportunities to interact and negotiate meaning.

2. Learners interact in the target language with an authentic audience.

3. Learners are involved in authentic tasks.

4. Learners are exposed to and encouraged to produce varied and creative language.

5. Learners have enough time and feedback.

6. Learners are guided to attend mindfully to the learning process.

7. Learners work in an atmosphere with an ideal stress/anxiety level.

8. Learner autonomy is supported. (Egbert et al., 1999, p.4)

Chapelle (2001) writes about students’ willingness to communicate (WTC): “a crucial goal of the learning process as developing learner’s interest in seeking out opportunities for communication and their willingness to communicate in these situations” (p.50

Schumann (1986) argues:

I also propose that any learner can be placed on a continuum that ranges from social and psychological distance to social and psychological proximity with speakers of the TL, and that the learner will acquire the second language only to the degree that he acculturates. (p.379)

Student A: …whenever talk with her and become to know about her, I become so happy and think that we can develop our friendship more deeper. I’ll continue to correspond with her, and it will be a good time both she and I.

Student B: I found a beautiful pen pal… We became so close to each other recently, and we exchanged our pictures…Recently, we started voice chatting on MSN so I could hear her voice. Her voice is so lovely… Anyway I really like her and hope we can keep in touch for a long time.

Student A: So, frequently , we talk about how Chinese is difficult to learn, how country where each people live now …and so on. Throught that courses of conversation, we can understand each other more closer. And we shared many chinese cultures like famous songs, movies. Sometimes, she introduced to me some famous singers in India, and I told to her many korean movies like Old Boy, My wife is gangster.. etc.

References for CALL: theory and practice

Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. White Plains: Addison Wesley Longman Inc.

Chapelle, C. (2001). Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition: Foundations for Teaching, Testing, and Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Egbert, J., Chao, C., & Hanson-Smith, E. (1999). Computer-enhanced language learning Environments: An overview. In J. Egbert & E. Hanson-Smith (Eds.), CALL environments: Research, practice, and critical issues (pp. 1-13). Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.

Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practices in second language acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford university Press.

Pederson, K.M. (1987). Research on CALL. In W.F. Smith (Ed.), Modern media in foreign language education: Theory and implementation (pp. 99-131). Lincolnwood: NTC.

Schumann, J.H. (1986). Research of the acculturation model for second language acquisition. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 7(5), pp.379-392.

Skehan, P. (1998). A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vale, D., Scarino, A., & McKay, P. (1991). Pocket ALL. Carlton South Vic: Curriculum Corporation.

Warschauer, M., (2003, October 17). The Allures and Illusions of Modernity: Technology and Educational Reform in Egypt. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(38). Retrieved May 10, 2005 from

Should I bother

I used to be pretty motivated to present and publish to beef up my resume. Now I don’t want to bother anymore. Today I got an email about an upcoming publication that’s supposed to include my paper and I forgot to include page numbers for a couple of quotes.

Of course the editors want the page numbers, but I can’t decide if it’s worth going to my office and searching for them. I suppose I’ll see if it’s easy, but if it’s not I don’t think I really need to publish this paper now. I’d rather spend my time preparing for classes (including making new materials) and building my business (just bought a grunge music forum and started a web directory plus network marketing is more lucrative than teaching and helps a bigger percentage of people more dramatically).

Computer Mediated Communication: Building Online Communities

For the ALAK 2004 International Conference CALL fair, 12/04/2004

Example online communities:

ESL go English practice message boards

Learn English grammar online

What you need to build one:

A website – your own domain name will cost about 10.00 US/year while hosting should be 8.00 US/month or less. If you tell me what your needs are, I can probably help you find something suitable.

Software – Message boards are the most popular form of online communities and you can see an old-fashioned one and a more modern one by following my links above. At first I preferred the older style because seeing the subject of every message in a thread seemed somewhat conversational to me. However, the modern ones look so much better and are easier to moderate, that I would sugeest one of these. There are a couple of good free choices.

A theme – The theme should give learners a reason to use your message board. Without an interesting theme, few people will be inspired to read and post messages. On one site I used the theme “English practice and suggest various discussion topics”. Hopefully visitors find one interesting enough to discuss. On my other site the theme is sharing examples of English grammar in use. If you can’t think of a new theme, you may be better off joining and referring people to an existing community. Building your own online community is hard work and without an interesting theme you are probably facing a steep uphill battle.

Who you need to build one:

At least one moderator/administrator – Someone has to delete spam, and reply to messages. Moderators and Admins make sure that the boards stay clean and that conversations keep going. This usually means that the admin will end up making hundreds or thousands of posts, far more than the average member of your community. This is not an easy job.

Forum members – People have to come to your message baords and post messages. You can make your students visit for homework, you can attract visitors with free online English learning exercises, you can advertise, you can get other web sites to link to you, or you can fight for search engine traffic. I’ve done all of these with the exception of advertising. It will probably take you quite a while (6 months minimum but probably more) to attract much search engine traffic, even if you know what you’re doing. If you’re learning as you go (that’s what I did) expect it to take even longer.

Do blogs help?

I’ve been adding blogs to my directory of ESL/EFL firendly blogs, and I feel it’s time to put these blogs to the test. I get the feeling that these could really help people engaged in online private tutoring. The student would find an interesting blog, read a few entries and discuss them with the tutor (via email, message board, instant messenger (IM), voice IM, video IM), and then post a response.

Reading and discussing the entries should aid fluency, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension.Through writing the response and analysing the language being used to compose the response we get some work on accuracy and help students express their thoughts with more complex grammar.

I wouldn’t mind having at least one partner to help me with this research project. I could find you a student in Korea and you could find me a student in your country. Then we could each write a case study after a few months. Hopefully our work would help determine if blogs really are good for helping students.

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Pilot wordsurfing study

An interesting study that you can be a part of. About keeping vocabulary notebooks and “wordsurfing”.

Future research project?

Martin Bygate has shown that task repetition facilitates more accurate and complex output. My research question is:

Does using message boards prior to a class discussion increase the accuracy and complexity of classroom interaction?

hypothesis: students who have written about a topic previously will produce more accurate and complex language during class discussions.

To find out: We’ll have to look at language produced in class.

Take a few discussion classes that are close in level and are doing the same topics. Let’s say we use 4. classes 1 + 3: discusses 1 topic normally and then discusses the next topic after writing about it on message boards. classes 2 + 4: discusses 1 topic after writing about it on message boards and then discusses one topic normally.

Example: The 1st topic is “staying helathy”. 2 + 4 classes have written about it previously and 1 + 3 haven’t. The langauge each class produces can be compared. 2 + 4 would be expected to produce more complex language. The 2nd topic is “keeping pets”. This time 1+3 have written about it and would be expected to produce more complex language during the class discussion.

If a particular class always performed better, than the difference wouldn’t be attributed to using message boards.

We could also look at one class over time: Do learners in a class generally produce produce more accurate/complex language in discussions after participating in message boards?