The Dorothy Chun Award For Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology was established in 2020 through a generous gift from Dorothy Chun administered by the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. The award is given to one Language Learning & Technology article published in a volume. The award criteria establish that the topic of the selected article should be about innovative Computer Assisted Language Learning research that may benefit a broad scope of language learners. The article is selected by a committee appointed by the director of the Center for Language & Technology and the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dr. Julio C. Rodriguez. A single award of $1,000 is given to the article author(s).
by Maritza Medina González and Debra M. Hardison
The 2022 award winner is presented by the 2022 Award Committee Chair, Nina Vyatkina, Ph.D., LLT Associate Editor:
It’s been an honor to serve as chair of this year’s committee for the 2022 Dorothy Chun Award for Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology, and it is with great pleasure that I present this year’s winner. This is the third year the award has been presented, and it has become one of the prestigious honors in the field, recognizing an article that provides an important critical and/or analytical insight that contributes something new to the CALL field.
There were many deserving articles in this year’s pool, and making the final decision was challenging for the committee. But in the end, the article Assistive Design for English Phonetic Tools (ADEPT) in Language Learning by Maritza Medina González and Debra M. Hardison was chosen as the winner. Medina González teaches English in Colombia, and Hardison is a faculty member at Michigan State University.
The article describes the process of creation of a series of tools for teaching phonetics and pronunciation as well as reports the results of an empirical study that tested the effectiveness of these tools, including learning gains and learner perceptions. The authors describe their ADEPT tools and pedagogical approach as follows: “Grounded in multisensory training efficacy, ADEPT involves auditory-visual-tactual integration through the use of visual-tactile IPA symbol cards and an auditory-visual companion website based on the Universal Design for Learning guidelines. Each card includes a symbol, description, and website reference number, all with braille notations. The website includes printed and audio-recorded information on the articulation of American English consonants and vowels, with recordings of each sound in isolation, syllables, and words”. The authors tested the efficacy of their approach with learners of American English in a Latin American country for 10 weeks and found a significant improvement in sound production accuracy as well as very positive learner perceptions, who called the ADEPT tools and approach “invaluable” for facilitating collaborative learning.
This article stood out to the Award committee because of its focus on an under-represented, under-studied, and – perhaps most importantly – under-served population: visually impaired language learners. Moreover, Medina González and Hardison strive to improve inclusion by enhancing collaboration among blind, low vision, and sighted language learners. Their study is innovative in its pedagogy that follows the principles of the Universal Design for Learning by combining physical and digital media and has the potential to impact broad populations by catering to a variety of learner needs and learning styles. Their approach to using International Phonetic Alphabet symbols for phonetics instruction can be applied to any language. Their study was conducted and reported in a rigorous manner and has implications beyond the sample at hand.
Congratulations, Maritza Medina González and Debra M. Hardison! We look forward to learning more about the implementation and impact of your research as well as new studies it may inspire.
Finally, the committee’s sincere gratitude goes to Dorothy Chun, whose generous gift made this award possible. We hope it inspires more groundbreaking research and look forward to meeting future winners.
Nina Vyatkina, LLT Associate Editor
by Liudmila Klimanova
The 2021 award winner is presented by the 2021 Award Committee Chair, Lara Lomicka Anderson, Ph.D., LLT Associate Editor:
This year, I was thrilled to be invited to serve as the Chair of the 2021 Dorothy Chun Award for Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology (https://www.lltjournal.org/dorothy-chun-award/). Dorothy has been and remains a professional inspiration to me – she is a respected researcher, mentor, and colleague.
The Dorothy Chun award is given to the best journal article published in Language Learning & Technology in 2021. The topic of the selected article highlights innovative Computer Assisted Language Learning research that may benefit a broad scope of language learners. There were a number of excellent articles, and the final choice was challenging. However, the majority of the votes by the committee went to the article: The evolution of identity research in CALL: From scripted chatrooms to engaged construction of the digital self by Liudmila Klimanova, University of Arizona.
Her paper examines how identity research has evolved in the past 30 years; she presents critical issues related to identity and outlines three historical periods that identify conceptual shifts over the years. These periods include: the communicative turn (roughly from 1995-2000), the social and intercultural turns (2000-2010) and the critical and multilingual turns (2010-2020). One goal of her article is to provide ways to merge identity studies with second language acquisition.
Dr. Klimanova’s article begins by defining key constructs such as identity, agency and self-concept, which are central to understanding L2 language speaker development. She then takes a deeper dive into how CALL developments have shaped language learners and their L2 identity over time. She concludes the article by offering new directions for studies on identity. First, the use of smartphones and tablets can help to facilitate research on positioning and identity. A second path that she suggests includes looking at how learners leverage their multilingual identities and position themselves through language and semiotic resources in non-institutional digital spaces such as gaming environments, fan-fiction areas and social networks. A third suggestion includes the exploration of contexts in languages other than English with participants who are in multilingual age groups of different backgrounds such as elementary school, adolescents and seniors. Finally, she recommends looking at language learner positioning and identity with multilingual configurations of non-educational social platforms such as tiktok and Instagram. She concludes by sounding a clarion call to develop new frameworks to explain and understanding the way humans, languages, and digital tools interact and engage.
Congratulations to the author Liudmila Klimanova. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the near future.
To conclude, I’d like to thank Dorothy for her generosity in endowing this award. It is our hope that the recognition it provides will serve the current and future recipients, the journal and our field as a whole.
Lara Lomicka Anderson, LLT Associate Editor
by Ines A. Martin, U.S. Naval Academy
The inaugural 2020 award is presented by the Award Committee Chair, Phillip Hubbard, PhD, LLT Associate Editor:
I am delighted to announce a new award from the journal, the Dorothy Chun Award for Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology. Dorothy Chun, Professor Emerita in Education and Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been one of LLT’s Editors-in-Chief since 2000, volunteering hundreds of hours of her time and expertise in support of the journal and its mission. As one of the pioneers of using technology for language teaching and learning, her contributions to the field include innovative research in L2 phonology and intonation, L2 reading and vocabulary acquisition, multimedia learning, and telecollaboration for intercultural learning. The award was made possible by a generous endowment from Dr. Chun.
I had the honor to serve as chair of the selection committee for this inaugural year. The committee was organized by Julio C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Language & Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, one of the sponsors of LLT. The committee reviewed a number of promising candidates in the three issues from Volume 24 (2020), and the final choice was not an easy one. In the end, the majority of votes went to Ines Martin for "Pronunciation development and instruction in distance language learning" (https://www.lltjournal.org/item/3135).
Martin’s paper explored two online groups of language learners of German during their first semester of university language study following the same overall curriculum. The treatment group received targeted pronunciation training over the course of the semester while the control group did not. To quote the author. “Learners who received targeted pronunciation training improved significantly from pre- to posttest and significantly outperformed learners in the control group on measures of perception and production accuracy at the end of the semester. These findings suggest that distance language instruction can benefit from including targeted pronunciation training.”
In terms of innovation, the paper represents the first major study comparing the effect of online language learning with and without focused attention to pronunciation. Additionally, it demonstrated the value of the particular method used by the researcher. In terms of potential broad impact, this method based on cued pronunciation readings uses widely available technology and can thus be readily incorporated by teachers of other languages and in other online learning contexts.
This years’ award winner, Ines A. Martin, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Languages and Cultures Department at the United States Naval Academy, where she teaches courses in German, French, and linguistics. In 2018, she received the Emma Marie Birkmaier Award for Doctoral Dissertation Research in Foreign Language Education from ACTFL. Her research focuses on instructed second language acquisition, with a focus on second language pronunciation, computer-assisted pronunciation training, and peer corrective feedback.
Congratulations Dr. Martin: we hope to see more of your fine work here in the future.
In closing, I would like to thank Dorothy personally and on behalf of the field of technology-mediated language learning for her unprecedented generosity in endowing this award. We look forward to seeing the next round of candidates for the prize, beginning with this issue from February 2021.
Phil Hubbard, LLT Associate Editor
Read more about our rankings here.