Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 19, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
May 19, 2004

Summer Conference Spotlights Carnegie Mellon's State-of-the-Art Language Programs

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will host the annual symposium of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), the only organization that represents language professionals interested in computer-assisted language learning. The conference will take place June 8-12. The theme of this year's conference is "CALL: Focusing on the Learner." It will draw as many as 500 people to campus.

"It's recognition that we're established in this field," said Chris Jones, a teaching professor of French and director of the university's Modern Language Resource Center.

Carnegie Mellon is a leading center of computer-assisted language learning, thanks to the Department of Modern Languages in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Language Technologies Institute in the School of Computer Science. The university offers the nation's only master's program in computer-assisted learning.

"We think that this is a tribute to the continuing work, and prominence, of Chris Jones in particular in the organization and in the field," said Dick Tucker, the Paul Mellon Professor of Applied Linguistics and head of the Department of Modern Languages.

Modern Languages faculty have developed a variety of interactive technologies to enhance their classes, including CD-ROMs, an Internet Café for Chinese language and a Web-based computer module about the Quebec city of Sherbrooke. One of the department's most ambitious undertakings is Language Online, eight Internet-based courses in French and Spanish. Tucker and Jones are co-directors of the program. Faculty at Carnegie Mellon have become adept at exploiting technologies that are created for other purposes, such as chat rooms, Jones said.

"Part of the focus of a group like CALICO is identifying tools, not always creating them, and coming up with innovative educational purposes," Jones said.

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