By Edwige Simon, Online Learning and Instructional Technology Director at the International Center for Language Studies (Washington DC).
The 2022 Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) conference took place at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle (WA). It was the organization’s first face-to-face conference since 2019. This year’s theme was “Social Justice & Diversity in CALL.”
On Wednesday evening, keynote speaker Trond Nilsen (Entrepreneur, Researcher, and Software Engineer) kicked off the conference with a talk entitled “Developing Character in the Metaverse – Building Virtual Worlds That Help Us Become Better People”. In his address, Nilsen discussed his research on the therapeutic affordance of video games, such as managing stress, anxiety, and developing interpersonal skills.
Throughout the conference, 220 face-to-face attendees and 60 online participants listened to their peers and colleagues present their latest work in the field of Computer Assisted Language Learning through:
– a tech showcase
– 4 pre-conference workshops
– 10 poster presentations
– 73 face-to-face sessions
– 16 live online sessions
– and 17 asynchronous presentations.
The sessions covered a wide range of topics, including gaming in language education, geolocation, micro-credentials, mixed realities, professional development, Open Educational Resources, and Computer Assisted Language Learning research.
This year’s plenary speaker was Julie Sykes, Director of the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon. In her talk entitled “New Frameworks and Practices, Extending CALL into the Next Digital Age,” Dr. Sykes discussed the importance of going beyond proficiency and incorporating elements such as language variety, pragmatics, and digital discourses into our goals as language educators to serve our students better.
Between sessions, attendees visited the exhibition hall to (re)discover organizations such as Yabla, the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT), ImmerseMe, Avant Assessment, Duolinguo (the conference sponsor), Lingco, and Linguatorium Research Corporation.
The 2022 conference was a resounding success. Randall Sadler, CALICO President, expressed his gratitude for being able to host an in-person conference for the first time in three years. Face-to-face events such as this one are a unique opportunity to help the field grow: “At CALICO, intellectual engagement is high, but the atmosphere is also supportive and welcoming of new members. We are a true community of practice in this respect”.
Next year’s conference will be held in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota.