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Towards an intelligent integrated language learning environment

Harald Wahl (Department of Information Engineering and Security, UAS Technikum Wien, Vienna, Austria)
Werner Winiwarter (Research Group Data Analytics and Computing, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
Gerald Quirchmayr (Research Group Multimedia Information Systems, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Computer‐assisted language learning (CALL) comes in many different flavors. The purpose of this paper is to focus on developing an integrated e‐learning environment that allows improving language skills in specific contexts. Integrated e‐learning environment means that it is a web‐based solution that performs language learning tasks using common working environments such as, for instance, web browsers or e‐mail clients. It should be accessible on different platforms, even on mobile devices. Natural language processing (NLP) forms the technological basis for developing such a learning framework. The use of NLP technologies, or in broader view artificial intelligence technologies, in CALL has also been dubbed intelligent CALL. The paper gives an overview of the state of the art in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

On the one hand, the paper explains creation processes for NLP resources and gives an overview of language corpora. On the other hand, it describes existing NLP standards. Based on the authors' requirements, the paper gives special attention to the evaluation and comparison of toolkits that can suitably support the planned implementation. In consideration of the evaluation results, the authors give a closer look at the system architecture of the CALL platform. An outlook at the end points out necessary developments in e‐learning to keep in mind.

Findings

Based on evaluation result, the authors have designed the framework architecture for the intelligent integrated CALL (iiCALL) system. A first prototype shows a web browser plug‐in communicating with the framework started in an Apache Tomcat server environment.

Originality/value

The paper presents an extended version of a paper that has been selected as one of the invited papers for journal special issue consideration at iiWAS2010. It focuses on the evaluation of several NLP toolkits which might be of importance for those who plan to integrate NLP technologies in their projects.

Keywords

Citation

Wahl, H., Winiwarter, W. and Quirchmayr, G. (2011), "Towards an intelligent integrated language learning environment", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 220-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/17427371111173013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited