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).

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

Past events in the field

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:

Related activities and SIGS

Relevant conferences and related proceedings

Relevant journals

Related links

SIG chair

Elena Volodina, University of Gothenburg, Sweden