Anniversary News #7 (and final!)

IALLT 2005 to today

We have now caught up to our “present” in this series of IALLT anniversary newsletters. And just in time, because next week we will be gathering at Harvard to harness these 50 years of history and propel ourselves into the bright, unknown future of the next 50!

And this is exactly what we plan to do in the conference-ending plenary with a panel of three long-time IALLT members (Sue Otto, Judi Franz and Felix Kronenberg) as they converse among themselves and with attendees on how they picture our past influencing our roles in advocating and supporting language learning through technology into the future.

With that introduction, as you get ready for the conference, take a couple of minutes to review the three sets of perspectives that our panelists have so far shared and start percolating your own thoughts. Please feel free to post your own preliminary thoughts in advance of the session as well. We’ll have live polling for audience members to contribute to the conversation during the session as well.  Remember, the discussion starts now at .

 Today’s Quick Pic


 L-R: Andrew Ross; IALLT Anniversary Committee members Ed Dente, Sharon Scinicariello & Ron Balko; Past, then-current and future IALLT Presidents Peter Liddell, Ute Lahaie, Claire Bartlett and Harold Hendricks in  Ed’s back yard for the 2006 Summer Leadership meeting (he hosted IALLT 2007 at Tufts).

People and Places of IALLT

We have many current and past IALLT VIPs attending the conference in celebration of our  50thanniversary (including the folks in this issue’s QuickPic) and they will be part of the SelfieTag activity during the conference. You will know who they are by the stars on their name tags. More information once you arrive at the conference!

As an active IALLT member, you are also a VIP in making IALLT work—whether IALLT is helping you sort through issues, questions and/or transitions, or you are helping others inside and outside the organization advance the state of language learning technology. So we want to hear what IALLT means to you!

Share your thoughts with us in all the ways and formats you prefer: post to the blog now (link at bottom of this newsletter), send us a video in advance of the conference, and/or post your thoughts to the “IALLT is….” board at the IALLT Anniversary table in the exhibit hall.

It’s easy to send us a video!  It should be two minutes or less, preferably in the MP4 format.  Once you create your video, you can get it to us in any of several ways:  (1) deposit it in the committee’s Dropbox by going to and using the upload password IALLT1965; (2) posting your video to your personal website and sending us the link so that we can download a copy; or (3) posting it to YouTube and sending us the link to view/download.  (The name IALLTrivia is not a commentary on the importance of your contribution; it is the name of the contest for which the upload portal was created.)  We’ll post your video to IALLT’s YouTube channel.

Are you planning to blog at IALLT? Alex Waid is the official “blogger of the 2015 IALLT conference” TM, but the more the merrier, so  if you’re planning to blog and/or post photos, please let us know at  And remember to use the hashtags: #iallt50  #FLEAT6  #IALLTinnovates   #IALLT


Technologies of the Times


Social networks define the instrumental technologies of this period. While many of these networks were introduced prior to 2005, their numbers, ranges of affordances and impact have shaped social and educational experiences significantly.

In her 2007 Henderson Plenary, then IALLT President Barbara Sawhill addressed how these social networks “challenge the language teacher/technologist to examine critically” the current pedagogical practices. Given, as she states, “learning language is an inherently social activity” she asks whether students using these new tools for their social needs will “embrace the same tools as part of their academic experience?”

The answer since then is seen in both successes (the rise of open-access learning for example) and phenomenal failures (especially when technology is used for its own sake rather than in pedagogically-appropriate, meaningful ways) of such applications.

Nevertheless, what we do know for certain is that students are generally engagingin more time-on-task with these and other social media than they are with their targeted learning content. That suggests at least one critical role for the language educator/technologist/researcher: to find ways to structure language education so that it, too, engages students in productive social interactions with the goal of expanding communicative skills in languages other than their primary one.

 [Graphic from]



In her 2007 Henderson Plenary presentation, what category of tools does Barbara Sawhill cite as challenging pedagogical practices for language learning today?


Deadline for submission of your IALLTrivia answers is midnight EDT, Sunday, August 9.

The IALLTrivia winner* will be drawn and announced prior to the Henderson Plenary on Thursday morning.


* IALLT membership for a year and lots of kudos from your fellow IALLTers for your savviness about  all things language-technology-wise!


Submit your answer using the form on the anniversary blog or by sending your responses in an e-mail to


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Anniversary News #6

IALLT in the 80s to 90s

To prepare for this issue, I re-read a transcript from a 1994 TESOL panel that involved some of the IALL/T “movers and shakers” of those days.  The timing of this reading was opportune given I was on my way to the U.K. for a meeting with Language Center Directors and personnel from the greater London area. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together disparate Language Center personnel from a wide variety of higher ed institutions to share challenges and successes in their efforts to implement a Language for All program (a nationwide, politically- and legislatively-pressed initiative). These folks have big challenges to address in this implementation process and no IALLT-like organization of peers within which to share strategies. Their situation brought to mind one of Read Gilgen’s comments from the TESOL panel on the value of our organization:

We are lone people on our campuses. There is nobody on our campuses like us. So, unless we network with other people through our professional [connections], we really don’t have anyone to talk to. 

As mentioned in the previous issue, the late 80s represented a significant change in the professionalism and networking of our organization and its constituents. At this TESOL panel, Read shared some statistics that substantiated this observation:

First of all, we saw a huge jump from 23% PhD’s in ’76 up to 44% in ’88. There’s been a huge drop in ABD’s, a slight increase in masters’ and slight decrease in BA and post BA. So, basically, the educational level of language lab directors has increased fairly substantially over that 12 year period, at least.

He continues by describing the increase in female directors from 21% in 1976 to 43% in 1988, and the “decrease in the faculty appointment types, and a huge increase in administrative types—faculty support, or associate faculty, or whatever you want to call them…rather than having a tenured base in a tenure-giving department, they work from a different angle.”

These changes were taking place as the organization became a true national—and international—network, with the organization having renewed the association with our Japanese counterparts,  reestablished the FLEAT conference commitment, renewed the IALLT Journal “again as a real voice”, and created the LLTI listserv.

But what the confluence of reading and contemplating this document and attending the London meeting made me realize is that the “real” “real voice” of IALLT was, is and will be the collective power of each of us collaboratively sharing our time, expertise, experiences (both good and bad) and desire to help one another be successful. And I hope that our U.K. counterparts will be able to build an equally supportive human network as they endeavor to meet the challenges of the changes they are experiencing!

 Today’s Quick Pic





Read Gilgen & Ruth Trometer. Past Presidents and panelists for the TESOL 1994 session








People and Places of IALLT

So who were the panelists for that 1994 TESOL panel and do we know what they are up to now?

Trisha Dvorak (who was IALL President at the time; 1991-1993), chaired this session. She was Director of the Language Resource Center at the University of Michigan at the time and then moved on to other work at the University of Washington when her husband was transferred. Now retired, she is planning on attending FLEAT VI!

 Read Gilgen (U. Wisconsin Learning Support Center Director) was a subsequent IALLT president and is now retired and living in the St. George, Utah area. On a mission with his wife this summer, he is disappointed he won’t be able to join us for our 50th anniversary celebration at Harvard.

You’ve heard Ruth Trometer’s name before in these missives. As president from 1987-89, she initiated the biennial conference format. She retired from MIT several years ago and has spent much time before and since then sailing the high seas in her “home” boat.

Chris Jones has been at the Language Learning Resource Center at Carnegie Mellon for years (but this year will be his last.) Chris has been involved on a wide range of grant-funded, technology-founded language learning projects.

 I don’t have current information on the current location and activities of Brigitte Charloteaux (George Washington University) and David Herren (Middlebury), but if you do, please share with us on theIALLT@ 50 Anniversary blog!

Technologies of the Times

It’s not about the technology, but what you do with it that matters…

This was a common refrain of the period. The traditional, isolated language lab was giving way to a wider variety of technologies that helped address language learning in more communicative and task-based ways, but the “language lab” in its evolving form remained the predominant technology of the time.  The first IALL/T monograph, Task-Based Activities: A Communicative Approach to Language Laboratory Use (1988), provided models for moving language lab use away from the behavioral approach it was founded in towards uses that supported the communicative methodologies of the times.


During the TESOL panel, Read Gilgen (That name again- he seems to be the “leading man” of this issue!) identified the main reason he felt labs got a bad name in the 60s. The factor that he identifies is one that we and our organization have continued to address with our administrations to this very day.  What was the failure he names?  (See the transcript Whither the Language Lab).

Note: Deadline for submission of your IALLTrivia answers will be August 1st.  We will shortly be providing you with the submission form (with all the questions)—stay posted!


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Anniversary News #5: IALLT 1985-1994

People and Places of IALLT
1989 was a turning point in our organization as Ruth Trometer (M.I.T.) established the model for an independent, biennial conference for our organization. Previous meetings were held more as interest sessions in conjunction with AECT (Association for Educational Communications and Technology), ACTFL, and other organizations.


IALL President and 1989 conference host, Ruth Trometer (center) with Past President Sue Otto (left) and President-Elect LeeAnn Stone (right)

Each of the three days had a unique theme with multiple speakers:  Lab Design, Lab Management, and Using Media in the Lab. There were no break-out sessions–only plenary speakers. I (LeeAnn Stone) was tapped to present on task-based activities on the first day, but unfortunately, Judi Franz had rushed me to the emergency room on the Friday before the conference started. And, in these days before email and multiple other electronic communications tools, it took some time before Judi could let the organizers know what had happened. Every day I pleaded with the doctors to confirm that I would get released in time to attend! Two weeks later I was allowed to go home, well after the conference had concluded and with weeks of recovery yet to go!

This initial conference was such a success that Kathleen Ford offered to host the 1993 conference at UCLA. The “fun” there for our out-of-town guests was the small earthquake that California native Kathleen so creatively scheduled into the program!

And that was the beginning of a conference schedule that we have maintained ever since. More information about this first conference will soon be posted to the IALLT@50 blog, and we invite you to contribute your own memories of memorable IALLT conferences.

Today’s Quick Pics

cupholdera5 cupholderb5

Cup holder?

Technologies of the Times

Of all the technologies that have passed through our hallowed language center portals, the CD-ROM (first commercially produced in 1985) may arguably have been the most problematic from a user-orientation perspective. It was about the same size as the 5 1/4” floppy disc that preceded and paralleled it, and could (with some coaxing) be inserted into the floppy drive (how many of you readers had to extract a CD from such a drive at one time?). There was nothing clearly visual to distinguish a CD-ROM from a music CD, or from a CD-R. These user interface issues created a number of memic anecdotes, such as this customer calling in with a broken item on their computer:

Customer: I just purchased my computer last week and the cup holder is already broken. How do I go about getting that fixed?
Support: Did you say a cup holder?
Customer: Yes, the one attached to the front of my computer.
Support: I’m not sure I’m familiar with this. Is it something you received as a promotional item? Does it have any trademark on it?
Customer: No, it came with the computer. It says “4x”; is that the model?

The Tech Rep suddenly realized the caller had been using the load drawer of the CDROM drive as a cup holder and snapped it off the drive!

or , in the language lab…

Student: I can’t write to my disk!
Assistant: Let me take a look.
Student: See—it won’t let me write to the E: drive!
Assistant: Well… that’s a CD-ROM drive. You can’t–
Student: But I bought these disks at the bookstore!
Assistant: You see….you need a CD-R drive to use those, and…
Student: But this is a CD drive!

What a great example of the “affective filter” outside of language acquisition! There was nothing obvious to indicate that CD-ROM and CD-R drives use different types of lasers and optics or that CD-Rs cost a lot more than CD-ROMs (not to mention that few campus computers typically had CD-R drives in the first place). These were all simply “little round discs” that fit into the drive (and not always the correct drive!)


Around 1985 a well-known company in language lab circles from Dayton, Ohio produced a “reliable, portable, wireless language lab system”. What was the name of this company?

Also in the early 1980s, if you wanted to be on the cutting edge of portable language learning, you had to own one of these hand-held items from Sony.

Hints: Sharon Scinicariello posted an ad for this lab on the IALLT Facebook page on June 4th and for the other item on May 21.

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Anniversary News #4

IALL(T) in the early 80s

In the last issue, we talked about the transition of our organization from a national one (NationalALLD) to an international one (InternationalALL). In this issue, we take a small step back in our timeline to just before that name change to look in more detail at a pivotal event in precipitating that change: the first FLEAT (Foreign Language Education and Technology) conference.

In 1981 our Japanese counterparts in the Language Lab Association of Japan (LLA) hosted the FLEAT I conference in Tokyo. While our organization was becoming aware of its international reach given the number of members from outside of the U.S., the FLEAT collaboration proved a turning point in more ways than one, precipitating our name change. But it also made obvious the common challenges and aspirations we language technology educators have no matter where in the world we worked, and it set the stage for future international exchanges.

Coordinating this conference was no easy feat given the communications tools available at the time. And yet, how prescient the effort of that first conference was, in LLA president Yoshinobu Niwa’s words, to “to forge deep and solid friendships–memories of which we keep to this day”, for here we are in 2015, hosting FLEAT VI , once again bringing together colleagues from around the world.

Today’s Quick Pic





“Boy does that DVD look big. Must be the perspective.”
“That’s no DVD. That’s a laserdisc!”




People and Places of IALLT


A review of the FLEAT I program includes movers and shakers in IALLT’s history (Jackie Tanner, Sam Burggraaf, Charlie Phil Richardson) , past and future presidents (Victor Aulestia, Joseph Sheehan)—as well as eminent names in the field of language learning such as James Alatis (Ge0rgetown) and Wilga Rivers (Harvard), who wrote the “bible” of foreign language teaching.

Technologies of the Times: Videos and the Videodisc

Video in its several forms was a major theme at FLEAT I, including a presentation by soon-to-be IALL President, Victor Aulestia, on Videodisc Systems and the Learning of Languages and Cultures. Additionally, a “Video Festival” of student, instructor and publisher’s videos ran throughout the conference. These were all signs of the times when video was the technology star.

While videotape had entered the field before the 80s, the advent of a randomly-accessible form of video in the form of videodisc opened a whole new realm of possibilities. Videodiscs dominated language technology discussions at CALICO for the next 10 years, even spawning an IAV Sig within that organization. In the first issue of the first volume of the CALICO Journal, Larrie Gale explains the lure of the videodisc in this way:

…an interactive videodisc can be placed under student control and can 1) be used as a high density storage medium of still visuals, 2) display slow motion and freeze frame for the communication of critical skills, 3) provide random access capability of up to 54,000 separate still frames, or full motion/ full color video segments in two different languages or stereo with access to still frames or motion both possible on the same side of the same disc…two audio tracks are available instantaneously for two different languages, two different versions of the content, or for instantaneous feedback. Any frame on the disc can be located and displayed for the student within three seconds. In addition, the laser-read disc is durable and the video and audio quality are excellent. (MONTEVIDISCO: AN ANECDOTAL HISTORY OF AN INTERACTIVE VIDEODISC)

In the late 80s (Volume 7 Number 3), a committee of members of the CALICO IAV SIG published a Survey of Interactive Language Discs, which by that time had grown significantly from the list available in the early 80s. Although the videodisc player has taken the same exit as the eight-track player, the images, the sounds and the memories of a number of the products developed for that format still reverberate in mental and physical corners of our profession. See if any of these ring a bell for you:

  • Montevidisco
  • Disco Deutsch
  • Exito
  • Understanding Spoken Japanese
  • Système-D
  • A la rencontre de Philippe
  • French in Action (Did you know that the full program is available online at no cost?)
  • Destinos


Here is the question for this issue:  match the organizations in the right hand column (many of these should be familiar to you as well!) to their associated videodiscs/CD-ROMs in the left column. Note that the organization might match with multiple videodiscs and one program has two organizational affiliations. For help, check our Athelstan’s Videodisc reference document.

Videodiscs Organizations
Montevidisco The Annenberg/CPB Project
Disco Deutsch BYU Technology Transfer Office
Système-D Heinle & Heinle
A la rencontre de Philippe PICS
French in Action Yale University Press
Las chicas de hoy en día

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Anniversary News #3

IALLT in the 70s and 80s

IALLT began its life in 1965 as NALLD- the National Association for Language Lab Directors. Here, Joseph Sheehan, the last president of NALLD, describes the rationale for changing the name to IALL in the early 1980’s:

During July 1981 meetings in Montreal, many noted that the use of the term “National” for the Association was no longer descriptive since members came from over 25 nations. Additionally some felt that the phrase “Language Laboratory Directors” was non-inclusive as it was not descriptive of the positions held by many of the members. This topic resurfaced in August at the First International Conference on Foreign Language Education and Technology (FLEAT I) in Japan. Shortly after the conference, the NALLD board voted to authorize Sam Burggraaf, the Executive Director, to prepare a new constitution.

On November 28, 1981 the last meeting of NALLD was held and the next day the first meeting of the International Association for Learning Laboratories (IALL) took place, with President Victor Aulestia presiding.

Today’s Quick Pic

Tandberg IS-6 Lab introduced around 1974 (although the 80s hair dates this pic!). Note the Series 5000 open reel tape deck. Marketed as “transistorized, solenoid 3-motor tape decks”. Source:

(You can view the source video on how to use the student recorder of the Tandberg IS-6 in the Media Gallery of this site.)

People and Places of IALLT

In this issue we introduce two more members of the Anniversary Committee who are bringing these newsletters, the Throw Back Thursday items on Facebook and Twitter, and conference anniversary events to you. Their experiences reflect the diversity of entrée to the field and to this organization.

 Sharon Scinicariello

My high school language lab gave me my first opportunity to hear French spoken by a native speaker, and I was enchanted.  Unfortunately, the boring lab activities required by my college German classes quickly ended any interest I had in language learning technology.  A few semesters later, however, I was assigned as a graduate assistant to the Ohio University language lab, where I acquired some useful skills, began to see possibilities beyond rote exercises, and found a career–even though I didn’t know it at the time.  Over the years I’ve worked as both a faculty member and IT staff, and IALLT has always been my professional home, helping me develop knowledge and skills through a network of remarkable colleagues and friends.  Having helped organize the first IALLT conference, I’m enjoying looking back at the organization’s first fifty years and the amazing revolution in technology that has transformed what we’ll all be talking about this August.

LeeAnn Stone (Chair)

In 1986, I was two years into my position as Language Lab Director at U.C. Irvine when AECT came to town. There, I discovered a community of soulmates in the IALL organization; this served as the turning…and making point…of my career. I co-founded the Southern California Language Lab Directors Association (now SWALLT) and served in many IALLT leadership roles, including as President (1989-1991). As President, I re-established relations with our Japanese colleagues, and our ongoing FLEAT conferences. Although I left UCI and the language center in 1999, many of my closest friends and colleagues and best professional experiences are linked to IALLT. I currently lead the Custom Curriculum unit at Rosetta Stone.


Technologies of the Times: The tape cassette

I selected this address given by Renee Sharrow at the Northeast Conference in 1970 because it captures the struggle at the time of determining how to make useful the tool of 60s language learning methodologies (the “language lab system”) given the poor outcomes and logistical challenges of that period. But it also foretells a focus that continues to this day, which is on how we can harness technology to provide more individualized instruction.

Whether you are a language technologist (lab person, technology-using language instructor or other such character) who has been around since the 70s, a newbie in the field, or somewhere in between, I am pretty sure you will find content here that makes you chuckle in recognition and at how the past can continue to inform our present and future.



Here are this issue’s questions:

  • What two “exciting possibilities” does Renee Sharrow outline for “redefining the goals” of the language laboratory for the seventies (pp.29 and 32)?
  • Select a statement from this article and describe how it resonates for you and your practices today.  [This is a “freebie” since there is no “correct” answer here, and , if you post your answers to the IALLT@50 blog, we the gamemakers will share some of your insights as we continue our anniversary adventures!]




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Anniversary News #2: IALLT’s First Decade Continued…

We look back again at IALLT’s first decade (1965 – 1974).

 Today’s Quick Pics

early language labsWhat a change we have seen in the physical layout of the “Language Lab” from IALLT’s first decade to the present! We’ll look at now later, but while we’re still reminiscing on the sixties and seventies, here’s the standard that anyone thinking about the “language lab” would have had in mind:

Clockwise from top left: School of English Studies Folkstone Listening Room, 1965; Folkstone; Cleveland Heights HS, 1961

People and Places of IALLT

In this issue and the next, we are going to introduce the members of this Anniversary Committee who are bringing these newsletters, the Throw Back Thursday  items on Facebook and conference anniversary events to you. Their experiences reflect the diversity of entrée to the field and this organization.

Edmund Dente

In 1968, when I was a sophomore at Tufts University, I walked into the newly opened Chester Electronics Dial Access Language Lab(Tufts Audio Lab) to work on my Italian 001 material. After dialing into my first Speroni and Golino Italian Course lesson and listening to one side of “I grandi successi di San Remo 1967″ tape I knew I had found my calling.

By the time I finished the semester they had hired me on as a student assistant. It was forty years later that I retired as Director (save for a couple of years in graduate school in the ’70s.) By then I was the Assistant Director of AV Services for Arts and Sciences as well. But despite the sophistication of modern instructional technology, it is still the memory of splicing a foot of clear leader onto the beginning of a Scotch 5” reel of recording tape so that the remote dial-access tape deck sensors would know when to stop rewinding or setting up the workhorse Wollensak T-1500 tape recorder to a group study table that warms my heart!

It’s been wonderful to be a part of IALL/IALLT since then, and as coordinator for this year’s IALLT Pub Crawl, it will be a joy to see my long-time friends and colleagues again.

Ron Balko

I came into higher education in 1984 as a librarian/media center specialist at Concordia College after being involved in public libraries for five years.  Among the things at Concordia that I inherited from my predecessor was a Tandberg IS-9 cassette based language lab.  I hadn’t a clue about how to run a lab but I gave it my best shot. Sometime during 1988 or 1989 I got wind about a satellite language service called SCOLA and a group called IALL that was having a conference at MIT in Boston. I convinced the Dean I needed to go and the rest was history. I eventually became the Chief Administrative Officer for MWALL(T) for a few years and the IALLT Treasurer for eight more.  I will be the host for IALLT 2017.

Judi Franz

In late 1987, I found a job listing at UCI for someone with a language background, who also knew something about technology. Having just graduated with a BA in French, and having grown up surrounded by film projectors and slide projectors, I figured I was just the person for the job. I walked in the door, met a 6-months-pregnant LeeAnn Stone, and my destiny as a language technologist was sealed. After an 11-year apprenticeship, I ascended the throne vacated by LeeAnn, and became a language center director. During my 27 year tenure, we evolved from a small lab with typewriters, reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, beta max and U-Matic video to a center with over a hundred computers, digital audio and video production, teleconferencing, and a plethora of online resources. I was introduced to IALLT early in my career, when LeeAnn ran for Secretary and was elected President, and attended my first conference in 1999 at the University of Maryland. So many IALL(T)’ers took me under their wing and have become such dear friends and colleagues. They inspired me to grow professionally, and to give back to the organization. I have contributed to several publications, was on the Board from 2003-2009, hosted IALLT2011 and have been on many conference program committees. It’s an honor to help IALLT celebrate 50 years of collaboration and support of language technology professionals.

Technologies of the Times

Skip-back technology was made possible in the 1960s with the advent of the cassette tape. This functionality was well-suited to the dictations and audio-lingual listen-and-repeat drills that were a de rigueur component of language methodologies of the day. The Canon Repeat-Corder L cassette player, one of the earlier and most popular of these machines, was first advertised in the NALLD Journal (NALLD was the predecessor to IALL/IALLT) in the October 1970 issue.

Above excerpted from: Roby, W. B. (2003). Technology in the Service of Foreign Language Learning: The Case of the Language Laboratory. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 523 -541). Bloomington, Indiana: The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).


So while we don’t want necessarily get ahead of ourselves in our bimonthly exploration of our IALLT history, the chapter above is quite a good read! To answer this issue’s IALLTrivia questions, check out section 19.1.3, which deals with the 60s:

  • What international event spurred the U.S. to strengthen its language teaching efforts?
  • What federal action resulted in the “golden years of the language laboratory”?

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A Memory Shared by LeeAnn Stone

My Memories:  Circle of Life, of Technology, of Colleage-ship

I didn’t come across the cited article [cited in Anniversary News #1] until maybe 10 years ago, but it was a “blast from the past” even then.

When I first returned to UC Irvine in 1984 to run the then Language Lab, I was faced by a storeroom full of slide projectors, cables, and 100+ slide-filled carousels. Richard Barrutia, a charismatic, guitar-playing Basque, regaled me on the merits of the innovative program he and his grad students (Read Gilgen pre-eminent among them!) had developed so many years earlier.

It took me 2 years before I became actively involved with NALLD/IALL/IALLT and it was quite a few years later when the prescience of this early “CAI” project marked my conscience….and then, through IALLT, Read and I met.

One of the joys of a long career is to be able to look back and see the rich weave of elements, activities, and people through one’s life and I am super excited to see old friends at the conference this year!

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IALLT ’15/FLEAT VI: IALLT’s 50th Anniversary Conference

The IALLT Anniversary Committee invites you to join us as we take a retrospective tour of the times, the technologies, and the people who have influenced the development and implementation of language learning technologies and of the IALLT organization over the course of its 50-year history. For the next months, between now and the FLEAT VI/IALLT ’15 conference at Harvard in August, we are going to flash back to share highlights of IALLT’s history.

Additionally, as we take that tour, we invite you to participate in our IALLTrivia Hunt and submit your answers to enter a drawing to win an IALLT membership for the year.  (If you are a winner and your institution already covers your IALLT membership, you can sponsor a new member of your choice!)  The winner’s name will be drawn and announced at the conference.

And, of course, we invite you to contribute your own memories of IALLT and language learning technologies.  Click the Share Memories tab.  If you prefer to tweet your thoughts about IALLT’s anniversary, please use the hashtag #iallt50.

We kick off our Anniversary News with an item from IALLT’s  first decade (1965 – 1974).

old_lab_1 Today’s Quick Pic

Do you recognize the technology pictured here?  Do you know how this kind of language lab worked?  What is the earliest lab you remember?


People and Places of IALLT

You may know that in the 1960s, long before desktop or personal computers were in use, computer-aided language instruction was already a term and field of research.  Did you know that one of our past presidents was involved in some unique research on adaptive CAI involving dozens of controlled slide projects for the teaching of Spanish reading and writing?  Moreover, that research took place at a university that hosted one of our IALLT conferences!  For more on this project and to get answers to two of this week’s IALLTrivia questions, check out this blast from the past document.  The questions:  which past president and which university?

Technologies of the Times

In reading through the document, a manufacturer’s name familiar to “old-timers” pops up.  Although that company no longer exists, the audio recording technologies it developed were common in language labs across the country for years.  This company also trademarked a name that became the generic, commonly-used term for this process/product today.  Two more IALLTrivia questions:  What is the name of this company and what (audio-video) product did it name?  (Hint:  check out Wikipedia.)

Eager to join the celebration?  Registration for FLEAT VI is now open!  




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