ISCL Oberseminar (Winter Semester 2009/10, Meurers)

Current Research in Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning


In this forum, we present and discuss current research in Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning. It is open to advanced students and researchers interested in this interdisciplinary field.

Email list: The external talks are announced on our email list. Please subscribe under to receive these announcements and other local announcements related to ICALL.

Previous semesters: A list of talks in the last semester can be found here: Summer 09

Course meets: Fridays, 10ct–12, in Seminarraum 1.13, Blochbau (Wilhelmstr. 19),


  1. Friday, 6. November: Planning and Berlin Learner Corpus workshop recap
  2. Friday, 13. November: How to communicate CL to prospective students
  3. Friday, 20. November: Annotating Article and Preposition Errors in Learner Language [Holger, Stefanie, Cornelius, Detmar]
  4. Friday, 27. November: The RTE 2009 Challenge and Text Analysis Conference Report [Ramon]
  5. Friday, 4. December: WELCOME as a tool supporting distributed learner corpus collection with the University of Kansas and the Ohio State University [Niels, Ramon]
  6. Friday, 11. December, 14ct (!):

    Prof. Ulf Schuetze (University of Victoria):

    Spaced Out: Do you really want to connect Cognitive Psychology, Psycholinguistics, SLA, and IT?

    The presentation explains the development of an online second language vocabulary program. The theoretical foundation is based on research on Working memory (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974; Gathercole & Baddeley, 1993; Baddeley, 2007) and speech production (Levelt, 1989; 1992; Levelt, Roelofs, & Meyer, 1999). For language acquisition, the most interesting aspect of WM is the so-called phonological loop - a device that rehearses a lexical item subvocally in order to match its lemma and form. An unsolved question is what type of rehearsal patterns are optimal for a lexical item to be moved to a more permanent memory storage. Studies have shown that rehearsal patterns should be spaced, that is, there is a time-delay between rehearsals (Landauer & Bjork, 1978; Cull, 2000; Carpenter & DeLosch, 2005). They type of spacing - regular or irregular intervals - is under discussion. Also under discussion is that these studies only tested short-term memory by measuring seconds. In second language acquisition, however, testing long-term memory is more interesting as learners will need to retrieve a lexical item successfully after a long period of time in order to communicate in that language. For that purpose an online program is currently being developed and tested with German as a Second Language students in Victoria, Canada. Preliminary results show a promising retrieval ratio of students in long-term memory for either type of spacing. In order to differentiate types of spacing in more detail, reprogramming will be required.

  7. Friday, 18. December:

    Jasmine Bennöhr (Landesinstitut für Lehrerbildung und Schulentwicklung, Referat Standardsicherung und Testentwicklung, Hamburg):

    A Web-based Personalised Textfinder for Language Learners

    The presentation is based on the M.Sc. thesis in Artificial Intelligence of the University of Edinburgh (2005) which describes the theoretical foundations for, and the implementation of, an application designed to help language learners – or teachers on their behalf – to find texts geared to individual ability and interests. For the purpose of providing learners with texts of suitable difficulty, a new formula is developed which measures both the ability of a learner and the readability of texts. A search-engine enables the supply of texts from an XML database according to a learner’s query. The database was created specifically for this application by semi-automatically downloading texts from a diverse range of online newspapers. An experimental evaluation of the application is carried out to identify its strengths and weaknesses with the hope of eliciting improvements in future work in this field.

  8. Friday, 8. January: More on annotating Preposition errors [Holger, Adriane, Stefanie, Cornelius, Detmar]
  9. Friday, 15. January: Search engines and web crawlers for language learners [Niels, Anas]
  10. Friday, 22. January: Stefano Rastelli (University of Pavia,

    Be careful what you wish for: The Pavia SLA-Tagging project

  11. Friday, 29. January:
  12. Friday, 5. February: Diagnosing Errors Made by Beginning Learners of German [Adriane]
  13. Friday, 12. February: Linguistic Evidence Conference in Tübingen
  14. Friday, 19. February: Authentic Text ICALL (ATICALL) and progress on WERTi [Ramon, Niels, Iliana, Adriane, Detmar]