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How to Benefit Using ICALL?

How to Benefit Using ICALL? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL), the subfield of CALL integrating natural language processing and artificial intelligence, has typically equated language acquisition with the learning of linguistic patterns and grammatical structures. ICALL system, therefore, has focused on identifying and providing feedback to problems in student performance that are exclusively related to linguistic structures.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Omer Shahid R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Basis of L2 Acquisition

Some of these systems include learner models to adapt explanations, offer advice or decide on how a given student can advance through material. But the view of second language acquisition focusing on absolute linguistic abilities has the development of learner models that take into consideration the ability of students to perform language tasks. The strategies they must master to successfully use language in context; and their linguistic abilities relative to the linguistic context and the task.

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How does it Work?

The E-Tutor is an ICALL system that functions as an electronic workbook for German students at Simon Fraser University. E-Tutor is fully integrated into the language program and several papers have been written about its development and use. The student model of the E-Tutor keeps track of individual ‘grammar skills’ a student is acquiring, such as subject-verb agreement or the subcategorization and form of arguments. The system collects positive and negative evidence from the student’s production and uses it to keep an absolute score of the student’s knowledge of each grammar skill.

There is no overall classification of a student’s grammatical competence; the learner model keeps track of the student’s level of performance per grammar skill. To classify a student’s knowledge, the numeric performance scores are grouped into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. When the system identifies a specific grammatical error in the student’s input, it checks the level of proficiency of that student for the particular grammar skill concerned. the system then decides which feedback message to use. E-Tutor’s learner model is not based on a specific theory of SLA.

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It models the learner's language acquisition as the acquisition of individual grammar skills, which are modelled independently, without interconnection among them, using absolute scores for each one. ICICLE is a system developed to provide writing assistance to a native speaker of American Sign Language learning English as a second language. It receives short English essays written by the students and provides tutorial feedback on grammatical errors. The goal of student model(Steps of Language Acquisition in a Layered Organization Model (SLALOM) is to capture the status of the grammatical structures of English in terms of ‘acquired’, ‘being acquired’ and ‘un acquired’.

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The knowledge units of the SLALOM architectures are grammatical concepts connected to two sets of grammar rules, English rules and mal-rules. These knowledge units are grouped and hierarchically classified. The hierarchy proposed is based on studies in second language acquisition that showed stereotypical sequences in the acquisition of grammatical structures by learners of the same L1 community. This hierarchy is used to identify the current state of knowledge of a learner and to predict the next grammatical structures to be acquired.

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