TESOL 2019 Electronic Village Overview

Having just returned from TESOL, I am excited to share. Here is a special treat for those who were unable to attend TESOL this past week or even those who were there but unable to attend the events that took place in the Electronic Village (EV). All of those events are now available as archived recordings. The Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section (CALL-IS) offers a number of compelling and impressive events within the conference that provide insights and guidance for visitors who are interested in learning more about integrating technology into their teaching. These sessions essentially result in a complete CALL-focused conference within the larger TESOL conference with sessions all day every day. For many years, I spent nearly all of my time at the TESOL conference in the EV. It can be difficult to even keep up with all of the sessions in the EV.

The CALL-IS relies on a dedicated team of volunteers to stream, record, archive, and curate these sessions, and you will soon realize that we are all in their debt. I know I am personally grateful as I was only able to catch one of these sessions myself in person, but I have spent the past few days catching up on all that I missed. Here is an overview, including links to information about the presentation and presenters as well as links to the archived recordings. Readers can also find all of the archived sessions on the CALL-IS YouTube channel; I’ve linked directly to some of the recorded sessions or to further information about individual sessions.

Hot Topics

Each day begins with Hot Topics, a session that focuses on the latest trending topics in CALL, such as the following:

  • Communities of Practice
  • Online Teacher Training
  • Digital Writing
  • Teaching Reading Online
  • Augmented Reality
  • Social Media
  • Game-Based Learning

There is also a second Hot Topics session each afternoon. These sessions provide various perspectives from around the world on these current topics with detailed examples of practice. Some sessions are organized by theme, including “The Role of Technology and The 6 Principles,” “CALL to MALL,” and “Public Speaking Skill Development Online.” Other Hot Topics sessions address a variety of interesting issues, including the following:


  • Blogging as an Interdiscursive Tool for Building the Communities of Practice (CoP) Among K–12 ELL Teacher Candidates
  • Local Constraints in the Implementation of CALL Training for English Language Instructors in Pakistan
  • Massive Online Open Access Course and EFL Instructors’ Professional development in Pakistan


  • Comparison of Three Dual Language Frameworks from United States, Middle East, and Europe
  • Digital Multimodal Writing in ESL Classes
  • Successful Online Collaborative Writing Requirements


  • Incorporation of Instagram in Language Teaching
  • Use of Low-Cost Technology in English Language Classrooms in Rural India
  • Augmented Reality to teach EFL to Hearing-Impaired Students
  • Beliefs of Preservice ELL Teachers About the Benefits of Game-Based Learning

On the Cutting Edge: Graduate Student Panels

Wednesday and Friday also featured a session called On the Cutting Edge: Graduate Student Panels that focuses on the emerging research of graduate students. This collection of presentations was quite compelling and included a variety of current topics, such as


  • Integrating Google Suite for Education
  • Using Pokémon Go Augmented Reality
  • Computational Thinking Curriculum for Dual Language Learners and Multimodality in L2 Writing


  • Teaching Metacognitive Online Reading Strategies
  • Learners’ Attitudes, Learning Purposes, and Beliefs of Effectiveness Toward English Learning Through WeChat Add-ons

Mobile Apps

On Thursday and Friday, Mobile Apps sessions provided attendees with insights into numerous MALL options. On Thursday, topics included

  • vocabulary in reading studies (VIRS),
  • WeChat,
  • Busuu,
  • making intonation visual through the use of recorders,
  • Quizlet for reading fluency,
  • Flipgrid,
  • Bitmojis, and
  • video games.

On Friday, topics included

  • Knudge.me,
  • the CLIO App,
  • Airbnb app for authentic language in authentic tasks,
  • Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge App,
  • WeChat,
  • ClassDojo,
  • Master English Pronunciation via Mobile Apps,
  • Telegram Bot, and
  • Quizzizz.

Academic Session

Each year the CALL-IS Academic Session features a panel of scholars sharing their perspectives on a broad topic related to CALL. This year, the panel addressed the use of social media in language learning with the session “SMALL – Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning.” The presentations were framed with the explanation:

While CALL provides the access portal for online learning, SMALL furnishes the language learning experience with research-based benefits and learning outcomes that engage and motivate students through discussions and interactions in familiar social settings. Panelists present ways social media assists language learning, success stories, and SMALL’s impact.


The EV Hosted two InterSections. The first is focused on open educational resources (OER) in conjunction with the PK–12 IS, titled “Open-Education Resources (OER) in K-12 Education: Balancing the Nexus of Infinite Possibilities with Instructional Efficiency.” According to the summary:

The draw OER is impossible to resist in the age of diminishing budgets and the increasing digitization of knowledge.  This panel explores the pros and cons of OER in K–12 education, including implementation of OER products, training teachers how to use OER effectively, and protecting student personally identifiable information.  Furthermore, K–12 teachers will demonstrate key OER products they implement in instruction and collaboration.

The EV also hosted an InterSection event between the Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS), the CALL-IS, and the Video Professional Learning Network (V-PLN), titled “The Blended Learning Classroom and the ESL Teacher“:

During this InterSection, a panel of experts from CALL, AEIS, and V-PLN explore the concept of Blended Learning by first looking at its origin and then explaining best practices in multiple adult education settings. The V-PLN complete the presentation with short video clips of students giving testimonials of how this new concept has affected their learning.

The Developers’ Showcase

Each year, the Developers’ Showcase provides a rare opportunity to hear from those individuals who are designing their own CALL-based solutions. Over the years, this session has introduced audiences to emerging technologies that tend to influence numerous other developments. This year, presenters shared projects that included

  • pragmatic feedback through an academic advising simulation,
  • promoting independent pronunciation practice with “American English Sounds,”
  • making quizzes more secure using the Moodle Reader Plug-in and the MReader database,
  • using virtual reality in the classroom, and
  • audio tutorial for LiveCode.

The Electronic Village Online (EVO) Best of 2019

The EVO provides professional development CALL preparation online prior to the TESOL Convention. Every year, for 5 weeks in January and February, participants and ESOL experts engage in collaborative, online discussion or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These 5-week sessions allow a fuller development of ideas than is possible in convention sessions. EVO sessions are sponsored by a TESOL Interest Section or affiliate, an IATEFL Special Interest Group, or other groups or affiliates who provide no financial support. You can visit the EVO webpage to learn more. These sessions are an opportunity for those involved to share the highlights of that online experience.

Here is an overview of the program. I suggest you clear your schedule to catch up on all of this. It is incredibly engaging!

What EV sessions did you find especially interesting, useful, or important this year?

About Greg Kessler

Greg Kessler
Greg Kessler is professor of instructional technology in the Patton College of Education at Ohio University. He has written numerous books, articles, book chapters, and other publications. He has delivered keynote and featured talks around the world. His research addresses technology, learning, and language use with an emphasis on teacher preparation. He has held numerous leadership positions, including as Ohio TESOL president, CALICO president, and TESOL CALL IS chair. He is the editor of the CALICO book series, Advances in CALL Practice & Research, the Language Learning & Technology journal forum, Language Teaching & Technology, and many other comprehensive collections.
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2 Responses to
TESOL 2019 Electronic Village Overview

  1. Rosemary Schmid says:

    Greg, I cannot thank you, and all those unnamed folks who made EV 2019 happen, and now these resources! I am shaking my head in amazement. So remarkable a gift. I am going to use going through the videos, etc. as my reward at the end of my day.

    • Greg Kessler Greg Kessler says:

      Hi Rosemary, That is great! It is such an amazing and open community that I am sure you will find support if you reach out to one of the speakers for more information!

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