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BAAL-CUP seminar 2007-SOLE

This is the archived website for the BAAL-CUP Seminar on ‘Spoken Online Learning Events: The need for a new paradigm in languages research and practice’. The seminar was held at the Open University in Milton Keynes on 22-23 June 2007. Recordings of the event are still accessible via these web pages; however, any live participation links are no longer active.

 BAAL/CUP, Spoken Online Learning Events: The need for a new paradigm in languages research and practice 22-23 June 2007, at the Open University


Behind the hype and the unrealistic expectations surrounding e-learning, there is a genuine global expansion of online teaching and learning. And given the importance of interactions in both a cognitive and a socio-cultural model of second language acquisition, it is no surprise that language teachers have been pioneers in using computer-mediated communication.

This seminar will create a space for in-depth discussion and reflection about an area that is newly established and growing but as yet little researched: spoken online language learning. Drawing on theoretical expertise from the invited researchers, we expect to explore and address what is emerging as the major issue for oral learning of languages and cultures online: technologies have been developing faster than pedagogical and methodological reflection and practice is often still characterized by a trial-and-error approach.


  • To develop a shared understanding of a new disciplinary area drawing on a range of domains
  • To address major issues for oral learning of languages and cultures online
  • To address the limitations of existing pedagogical parameters for spoken online learning and teaching
  • To re-evaluate theoretical paradigms underpinning research in spoken interaction
  • To examine and extend the repertoire of analytical tools and methodologies
  • To bring together scholars in synchronous online interaction, online discourse, spoken interaction at a distance, communication studies, multimodality and the spoken mode, and online pedagogy
  • To establish networks of shared interests
  • To open up avenues of investigation and provide a stimulus for new research projects
  • To involve early career researchers by offering two student bursaries and by webcasting all discussions


Discussion will be led by 3 invited speakers:

  • Professor Cynthia White, Massey University (New Zealand);
  • Professor Dorothy Chun, University of California, Santa Barbara (USA), editor Language Learning and Technology;
  • Dr Glenn Stockwell, Waseda University, Tokyo (Japan).


The British Academy

Internationally supported by:
IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG