The Computer Assisted  Language Instruction Consortium

Strengths

  • Small-Medium sized organization
  • Access to a community interested in using technology for language instruction and learning
  • Conference, Special Interest Groups, and Publications available

Overview

CALICO (Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) is “a premier global association dedicated to computer-assisted language learning.” Based in the United States, CALICO “…has an emphasis on language teaching and learning but reaches out to all areas that employ the languages of the world to instruct and to learn…” and …” is a recognized international clearinghouse and leader in computer assisted learning and instruction.” (See About CALICO) For a nice conversation about CALICO, listen to the podcast episode below in which I interview Randy Sadler (CALICO president) and Esther Horn (CALICO Manager).

Podcast with Randy Sadler and Esther Horn

Conference

One of the most important offerings of CALICO is the yearly conference, held at a different location each year, and tends to fall in May or June. The conference includes “hands-on workshops, plenary speakers, regular paper sessions, poster sessions, digital poster sessions/demonstrations, special interest group meetings, awards ceremony, and socials.” Individuals in attendance range from graduate students (and the occasional undergraduate student), to researchers, industry members, K-12 instructors, language center directors, and university professors.

The most recent conference was held earlier this month at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with the theme of “40 years of CALICO Towards open, sustainable, and multimodal CALL. Examples of workshop titles included It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Way that You Say It: Using AmPitch for Improving L2 Intonation, and Walking the Land: Urban Geoliteracy and Footsteps toward Impactful GIS-Enhanced Place-Based Language Learning. A couple of conference panels were entitled AI-based Tools and Instructed Language Learning: What Role Should They Play?, and Technology-mediated Crisis Response in Language Studies. Finally, two presentation examples included Effectiveness of Duolingo English Courses in Developing Reading and Listening Proficiency, and L2 Learning through Gaming: The Case of Russian Verbs of Motion. As you can see, there are a number of interesting technology and language teaching/learning topics. Even if you don’t have the chance to attend a conference, looking through previous presentation topics can be a great way to get ideas for teaching and learning. For an archive of previous conferences see the Conference Archives pages.

Special Interest Groups

Should you be interested in a specific area of study, as a member you may join one or more of the Special Interest Groups at no extra cost. As can be seen in the image below, there are groups listed for Computer-Mediated Communication Research, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Theories and Practice, Gaming, Immersive Realities, Language Teaching and Learning Technologies, Teacher Education, and Graduate Student special interest groups. If you are interested in getting involved with group leadership, this is a great opportunity that, relatively speaking, doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time. For example, I previously served as Chair of the gaming SIG.

Publications

The main publications available through CALICO are the CALICO Journal, Book Series, InfoBytes (open access), and Research Briefs (members only).

Image of CALICO Journal Cover

CALICO Journal

The CALICO journal is a fully refereed online only journal “devoted to the dissemination of information concerning the application of technology to language teaching and language learning.” Three issues are published each year. (See) Some articles are available for free in all issues, and currently archival issues from 2019 and back are available free of charge, but anything newer requires a subscription to access all content.

Membership

Membership ranges from $30 to $80 / year and situation, and includes full access to the CALICO Journal, discounts on other publications, and a discount on the yearly conference fees. (See About CALICO).

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