Utilizing Internet Resources and Activities
for Learner-Centered EFL Learning
Meei-Ling Liaw 廖美玲
English Department
National Taichung University
Jack Richards
30 Years of TESL/TEFL: A Personal Reflection
The emergence of humanistic methods: Selfaccess learning, self-directed learning, learner
Learner-centered teaching was contrasted with
teacher-centered teaching. i.e., teaching in
which primary decisions are carried out by the
teacher based on his or her priorities.
Learner-centeredness refers to the belief that
attention to the nature of learners should be
central to all aspects of language teaching.
Learner centeredness may be reflected by:
Recognizing learners’ needs, goals, and
 Recognizing learners’ prior knowledge
 Recognizing learners’ learning styles and
learning preferences
 Recognizing learners’ views of teaching
and the nature of classroom tasks
What does "learner-centered" education look like?
learners are active partners in the learning
 course/program/institution is continually
renewed through feedback from learners
 flexibility to accommodate the changing
schedules of all learners
To make it possible…
Tools (technologies) are available as the
learner needs them
 A variety of learning opportunities for
discussion - asynchronous and
synchronous, collaboration, interaction,
and multi-media capability
The Internet provides an unrestricted
number of sources of information and
data on most topics.
The Internet allows learners to seek
information, meet experts in their subject
matter, view information with webcam's,
participate with online activities, and gain
access to real documents.
World Internet Users and Population Stats
World Regions
( 2007 Est.)
% of World
Internet Usage,
Latest Data
% Population
( Penetration )
% of
14.2 %
4.7 %
3.4 %
882.7 %
56.5 %
13.7 %
38.7 %
346.6 %
12.1 %
43.4 %
26.4 %
231.2 %
Middle East
2.9 %
17.4 %
2.5 %
920.2 %
North America
5.1 %
71.1 %
18.0 %
120.2 %
8.6 %
22.2 %
9.6 %
598.5 %
Oceania / Australia
0.5 %
57.1 %
1.5 %
151.6 %
100.0 %
20.0 %
100.0 %
265.6 %
NOTES: (1) Internet Usage and World Population Statistics are for December 31, 2007. Copyright © 2000 - 2008, Miniwatts
Marketing Group. All rights reserved worldwide.
Internet World Stats reports that
TAIWAN TW - 22,858,872 population - Area:
36,175 sq km, Capital City: Taipei - GNI p.c.
US$ 13,392 ('99)
15,400,000 users as of June/07, 67.4%
penetration, per TWNIC.
at end-2004, the IDC Information Society Index
(ISI) rated Taiwan as having the world’s best
wireless Internet penetration.
Taiwan has undoubtedly one of the most
advanced telecommunications networks in
Autonomous Technology-Assisted Language
Learning (ATALL)
the development and use of technological
tools to facilitate foreign language (FL) or
second language (L2) learning
research on the development and use of
such tools.
The use of technologies and other resources to
foster learner autonomy
Supporting self-directed learning with an
electronic learning environment
Fostering autonomy through collaborative
language learning
can be used by students in conjunction
with formal L2 study or by learners who
are not taking L2 classes
 activities can be used as an integrated
component of formal L2 courses or for
supplemental study (and perhaps extra
credit) within L2 courses
 encompasses all forms of electronic
technology that can be used to facilitate
L2 proficiency.
A familiar tool: Rich Internet resources for autonomous
EFL learning
A New Tool: Using concordance programs
An approach to CALL that can be
considered innovative is the use of
concordance programs - dubbed Data
Driven Learning by Tim Johns. This
approach dates back to the early 1980s
and is now widely used, especially by
teachers of English for Speakers of Other
Languages (ESOL).
A concordance is a list of words taken
from a piece of authentic language
(corpus), displayed in the center of the
page and shown with parts of the contexts
in which they occur. This is also known
as a Key Word In Context or KWIC
Two things are required to produce a set
KWIC: A piece of concordance program
and a corpus of (electronic) texts.
 Examples of concordance programs
 Concordance
 MonoConc
 Simple Concordance Program (SCP)
 PhraseContext
What is a corpus?
corpus can be either just one text
or a collection of texts.
 How big a corpus needs depends on
what it is to be used for.
 Chris Tribble* argues that a
specialist micro corpus of about
25,000-30,000 words will be quite
adequate for most educational
Bilingual or multilingual concordances
are known as parallel concordances
 A corpus provides language workers with
evidence of how language is really used.
Traditional grammars and dictionaries tell
us what a word ought to mean, but only
experience can tell us what a word is used
to mean.
*Tribble C. (1997) "Improvising corpora for ELT: quick-and-dirty ways of
developing corpora for language teaching". In Melia J. & LewandowskaTomaszczyk B. (eds.) PALC 97 Proceedings, Lodz: Lodz University Press. Paper
presented at the Practical Applications in Language Corpora (PALC 97)
conference, University of Lodz, Poland: http://www.ctribble.co.uk/text/Palc.htm
List of uses of concordancing for language teaching*
The teacher can use a concordancer to
find examples of authentic usage to
demonstrate features of vocabulary,
typical collocations, a point of grammar
or even the structure of a text.
 The teacher can generate exercises based
on examples drawn from a variety of
corpora, for example gap-filling exercises
and tests.
Students can work out rules of grammar or
usage and lexical features for themselves by
searching for key words in context. Depending
on their level, they can be invited to question
some of the rules, based on their observation of
patterns in authentic language.
Students can be more active in their vocabulary
learning: depending on their level, they can be
invited to discover new meanings, to observe
habitual collocations, to relate words to syntax,
or to be critical of dictionary entries.
Students can be invited to reflect on
language use in general, based on their
own explorations of a corpus of data, thus
turning themselves into budding
* Information retrieved from http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod2-4.htm
Online concordancers and corpora
British National Corpus: The British National Corpus
(BNC) is a 100 million word collection of samples of
written and spoken language from a wide range of
sources, designed to represent a wide cross-section of
current British English, both spoken and written.
Collins Cobuild: Cobuild uses a corpus of about 200
million words of written and spoken UK, US and NZ
English in dictionary compilation. Collins Cobuild
corpora are now accessible only by subscription.
How can concordancing contribute to language
teaching and learning?
"Real" language and authenticity of the
learning context
native speakers’ use of the language
 Think about how you explain to your
students that people don’t “eat” medicine but
“take” medicine.
Analytical powers
hypothesis-testing device
Language awareness
encourage learners to "notice" forms, rather
than simply use them.
 Example: Students may notice that “very”
does not go before “like.”
Curiosity and learner independence
Example of concordance activity
Exercise A
 Search for “never+should”.
 How many hits did you get?
 Try other combinations, such as
“never+would”, “never+should”,
“never+could”, “always+could” etc. and
note how many hits you get.
 Write down some of the citations here:
Exercise B
 Now reverse the order. Search for
“could+never” etc.
 How many hits? _________
 As for the word order of small adverbs of
frequency and modals, the conclusion is that
_______________ usually precedes
 Look at the examples you noted in Exercise A.
Think of reasons why the author(s) used that
position of the adverb of frequency. Write them
Exercise C
 Use the same method to discover the
position of adverbs of frequency in
compound verbs.
 e.g. Never+has/has+never/always+could
etc. And now think about the answer to
this question: is there a difference
between UK and US usage?
An approach with a lot of potential: Internet based
Students can interact with real English
speaking audiences.
 Students are involved in writing and
reading with a purpose.
 Students are engaged in meaningful
learning activities.
Students are provided with opportunities
to communicate and interact in the target
language in real communicational
 Teachers have a tool to create
intrinsically interactive, motivating
 http://candle.ntcu.edu.tw/candle/
Resources for cross-cultural interaction and
project work
ePALS Classroom Exchange http://www.epals.com
Global Connections and Exchange Programs
GEM – Global Education Motivators
Global Gateway http://www.globalgateway.org.uk/
Global Junior Challenge
iEARN – International Education and Resource Network
iEARN-USA: http://us.iearn.org
iEARN International: http://www.iearn.org
iEARN Projects: http://www.iearn.org/projects/
TakingITGlobal http://about.takingitglobal.org/
Telecollaborate! http://nschubert.home.mchsi.com/
Journals dedicated to CALL
Language Learning and Technology (Online Journal)
ReCALL (European Association for Computer Assisted Language
CALICO Journal (Computer Assisted Language Instruction
Teaching English with Technology (IATEFL Poland)
CALL-EJ On-line (Online Journal)
Computer Assisted Language Learning: An International Journal
CALL Review: the SIG Journal (The IATEFL Special Interest Group's
IALLT Journal (International Association for Language Learning
JALTCALL Journal (Japan Association of Language Teaching -
(Taylor and Francis)
Computer-Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group)
ON-CALL (Australia) Archives only - now incorporated into CALL-EJ:
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Blackwell - Computer
Assisted Learning in general rather than CALL)
Professional Associations
CALICO: US-based professional association devoted to CALL. Manages a regular
annual conference.
EUROCALL: Europe-based professional association devoted to CALL. Manages a
regular annual conference.
IALLT: US-based International Association for Language Learning Technology.
IALLT is a professional organization dedicated to promoting effective uses of
media centers for language teaching, learning, and research. Manages regular
APACALL: Asia-Pacific Association for CALL.
JALTCALL: Japan-based professional association devoted to CALL. Coordinates
an annual conference and the JALTCALL Journal.
PacCALL: Professional CALL association in the Pacific: from East to Southeast
Asia, Oceania, across to the Americas.
PacCALL Australia: Australian Chapter of the Pacific CALL Association
Learning Technologies Special Interest Group The Learning Technologies Special
Interest Group of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign
Language. This UK-based group runs a variety of events and produces a regular
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, CALL Interest
WorldCALL: A worldwide association devoted to CALL and embracing other
leading professional associations. The WorldCALL 2008 conference will take place
in Japan.
SLaTE Speech and Language Technologies for Education

Utilizing Internet Resources and Activities for Learner