Special Interest Group for Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning



Upcoming SIG event

Planned workshop in connection to SLTC 2018 in Stockholm.

ICALL mailing lists

There are two mailing lists that spread ICALL-relevant information: one run by EuroCALL/CALICO SIG-ICALL group (nlpcall@artsservices.uwaterloo.ca // nlpcall@watarts.uwaterloo.ca) and the other one run by BEA-workshop organizers (bea.nlp.workshop@gmail.com).

  • To join EuroCALL/CALICO list, contact Mathias Schulze mschulze at uwaterloo dot ca . You can freely write to the EuroCALL/CALICO list when you want to disseminate some call for papers/information or ask questions.
  • To join BEA-list, contact Joel Tetreault tetreaul at gmail dot com . BEA-mailing list spreads information in a digest form approx 4 times a year.

Recent SIG activities

ICALL projects

On the ICALL projects page you can see some active or completed ICALL projects, as well as add the ones you are working with.

Upcoming events in the field

  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.slate2017.org/">SLaTE workshop</a>, August 2017, Stockholm, Sweden
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~tetreaul/bea12.html">Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications</a>, Copenhagen, Denmark, September, 2017

Past events in the field

  • <a target="_blank" href="http://spraakbanken.gu.se/eng/Research/ICALL/3rdNLP4CALL" title="3rdNLP4CALL">3rd Worshop on NLP for Computer-Assisted Language Learning</a>, SLTC 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="https://www.uantwerp.be/en/conferences/antwerp-call/" title="Research Challenges in CALL">Research Challenges in CALL</a>, Belgium, Antwerpen, July 7-9, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uclouvain.be/en-cecl-lcss2014.html">Summer School on Learner Corpus Research: Corpus Approaches to Phraseology</a>, Louvain, Belgium; September 08-12, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://its2014.its-conferences.com/">Intelligent Tutoring Systems</a>, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; June 05-09, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cs.jhu.edu/ACL2014/">ACL</a>, US, Baltimore, June 22-27, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.eurocall2014.nl/">EuroCALL</a>, the Netherlands, August 20-23, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.coling-2014.org/">COLING</a>, Ireland, Dublin, August 23-29, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~tetreaul/acl-bea9.html">BEA9</a>, a workshop in connection to ACL, US, Baltimore, June 26 or 27, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://poltal.ipipan.waw.pl/">PolTAL</a>, Poland, Warsaw, September 17–19, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.uncg.edu/cmp/ArgMining2014/">ACL Workshop on Argumentation Mining</a>, Baltimore, USA; June 26, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.slpat.org/slpat2014">ACL Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SLPAT)</a>, Baltimore, USA; June 26, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~nlp/conll14st.html">CoNLL Shared Task on Grammatical Error Correction</a>, Baltimore, USA; June 26-27, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://alt.qcri.org/semeval2014/task5/">SemEval Task 5: L2 Writing Assistant</a>, Dublin, Ireland; August 23-30, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.coling-2014.org/tutorials.php">COLING Tutorial on Grammatical Error Correction</a>, Dublin, Ireland; August 24, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="http://www.interspeech2014.org/public.php?page=home.html">Interspeech Special Session on Tutorial Dialogues and Spoken Dialogue Systems</a>, Singapore; September 08-14, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="https://sites.google.com/site/nlptea1/">1st Workshop on Natural Language Processing Techniques for Educational Applications</a> (NLP-TEA-1), Nara, Japan; November 30-04, 2014
  • <a target="_blank" href="https://sites.google.com/site/nlptea1/shared-task">CLP-2014 Shared Task on Grammatical Error Diagnosis for Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language</a> (CFL), Nara, Japan; November 30-04, 2014
  • NIPS workshop on Data-Driven Education, USA; Lake Tahoe, December 10, 2013
  • ICCE 2013 (Bali, Indonesia; 18-22 November, 2013)
  • EACL , Sweden, Gothenburg, 26-30 April, 2014
  • Interdisciplinary symposium on human language technology for language learning (HLT4LL) (Videoconferencing between South Africa (Stellenbosch), Belgium (Kortrijk), and the Netherlands (Nijmegen); November 11-12, 2013)
  • The 8th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (Atlanta, GA, USA; June 13 or 14, 2013)
  • Native Language Identification Shared Task (Atlanta, USA; June 13 or 14, 2013)
  • CoNLL Shared Task on Grammatical Error Correction (Sofia, Bulgaria; August 08-09, 2013)
  • Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE) (Grenoble, France; August 30-01)
  • WorldCALL 2013 (UK, Glasgow; July 10-13, 2013)
  • EuroCALL 2013 (Portugal, ╔vora; 11-14 September, 2013)
  • ICALL in the Digital Age: Leveraging Natural Language Processing in an Increasingly Connected Learning Environment (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; May 22, 2013)
  • 2nd workshop on NLP for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (Oslo, Norway; May 22, 2013)

SIG-ICALL Purposes

Learning and teaching languages with the assistance of a computer, i.e. computer-assisted language learning (CALL), has become widespread since the early 1980s. Traditional CALL applications provide limited exercise types, along with limited ability to provide feed-back, because the exercises are static, i.e. pre-programmed, and the answers have to be pre-stored.

To try to overcome this disadvantage, some researchers have started to use techniques from the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) in CALL system, i.e. supplying CALL applications with some kind of intelligence. As a result, the interdisciplinary field of Intelligent CALL (ICALL), i.e. combining NLP and CALL, has emerged over the past 20 years or so.

There is an array of NLP resources and tools potentially available for re-use in ICALL applications for a number of languages, including Nordic languages, but this opportunity has so far remained relatively underdeveloped. It is surprising that existing NLP tools and resources do not tend to find their way into the language learning classroom, despite their obvious potential uses in language learning. The reasons may be twofold. On the one hand, there is a lack of interested sponsors. On the other hand, there is a general lack of awareness in the NLP community of the relevance of CALL applications to our field. While this seems to have changed for the better for English and a small number of other languages in the past ten years, it still holds true for the Nordic languages.

It seems that the few systems that have been developed for ICALL are either copyrighted and restricted by high licensing fees – and hence too expensive for universities and schools – or fall short of the required quality in linguistic or pedagogical functionality.

This situation calls for a change. In view of that, we would like to create a forum for those who are currently interested in this area, as well as to take steps to raise the profile of this area among other NLP researchers and developers.

We intend to engage in the following:

  • organize specialized workshops in association with computational linguistics conferences;
  • set up a mailing list for exchanging ideas and finding interested partners for potential studies/projects;
  • set up a wiki-page as a way to disseminate information on ongoing ICALL projects, applications, NLP tool-kits, lists of re-usable web services, conferences etc.

Related activities and SIGS

  • Pedagogically oriented CALL conferences
    • NLP SIG of EuroCALL is a European cousin of CALICO ICALL SIG (below). EuroCALL is primarily a pedagogical conference on computer-assisted language learning
    • ICALL SIG of CALICO is a North American cousin of EuroCALL NLP SIG. CALICO is also mainly oriented towards pedagogy of teaching languages with assistance of computers. To subscribe to their mail services, go to this page
    • International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) with 2 related strands: Artificial Intelligence in Education/Intelligent Tutoring Systems (AIED/ITS) and Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL)

Relevant conferences and related proceedings

Relevant journals

Related links

SIG chair

Elena Volodina, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Topic revision: r6 - 2017-05-23 - ElenaVolodina
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