Language Learning & Technology
Vol. 9, No. 2, May 2005, p. 1

Paginated PDF version

Welcome to Volume 9, Number 2, a regular issue of Language Learning & Technology. In this issue, we bring you five articles.

In "Communication Topics and Strategies in E-mail Consultation: Comparison Between American and International University Students," Sigrun Biesenbach-Lucas reports on a study that found quantitative and qualitative differences with regard to communication topics and communication strategies in e-mail messages sent by American and international students enrolled in a teacher-preparation.

In "Rapport-Building Through CALL in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: An Exploratory Study," Wenying Jiang and Guy Ramsey report on an exploratory study that draws on data obtained from the utilization of CALL in learning Chinese as a foreign language. Their study suggests that scaffolding in the form of rapport-fostering questions can help extend learner-teacher interaction beyond the face-to-face traditional classroom.

In "Missed Communication in Online Communication: Tensions in a German-American Telecollaboration," Paige Ware examines tensions that arise when students' attempts at online communication result in missed opportunities for engaging with their online partners. Through discourse analysis of online transcripts and extensive interview and survey data, she documents three main contextual tensions arising from the different socially and culturally situated attitudes, beliefs, and expectations that informed students' communicative choices in the online discourse.

In "Expanding Academic Vocabulary with an Interactive On-Line Database," Marlise Horst, Tom Cobb, and Ioana Nicolae used a set of existing and specially designed on-line computer tools intended to foster vocabulary retention by engaging learners in deep processing. Pre- and post-treatment performance on tests of knowledge of words targeted for learning were compared to establish gains, and regression analyses investigated connections between the use of specific computer tools and learning gains.

In "Integrating Corpus Consultation in Language Studies," Angela Chambers presents evidence from several publications and from her own study, which suggests that corpus consultation as a language-learning activity has many positive features, particularly in language-learning environments that stress learner autonomy and discovery learning. At the same time, she lists problems associated with the integration of corpus consultation into a complete language learning environment.

Our "On the Net" column deals with the timely topic of " Vocabulary Support for Independent Online Reading." In it, Jean LeLoup and Robert Ponterio examine several sites that can help students read on their own, such as, which turns every word into a link which opens a pop-up list of dictionary definitions for that word when the reader clicks on the word, and WordChamp, which provides essentially the same capabilities when the mouse moves over a word. LeLoup and Ponterio suggest that in addition to introducing students to such online vocabulary helpers, teachers also provide their students with instruction in the use of appropriate reading strategies.

In his column "Ajax and Firefox: New Web Applications and Browsers," Robert Godwin-Jones revisits the topic of Web technologies, since some alternative browsers are gaining significant market share, and both Apple and Microsoft are releasing OS upgrades which portend some interesting changes in Web development. Of particular interest for language professionals may be new developments in the area of Web browser based applications.

Klaus Brandl reviews Moodle ( The acronym stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. Moodle is a template-based open-source authoring system which is available free of charge and requires no licensing fee. According to the reviewer, Moodle provides a variety of excellent tools that can be used to enhance conventional classroom instruction.

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Dorothy Chun & Irene Thompson

Pamela DaGrossa
Managing Editor

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