Overview

This document explains how to write CALL-SLT Lite courses. The basic functionality delivered by CALL-SLT Lite is speech-enabled prompt/response practice on the web. The student uses a normal browser to access a course, which consists of a number of lesson modules. Each lesson contains a set of steps. At each step, the system prompts the student, using text, multimedia, or a combination of the two; the student responds, and speech recognition is used to decide whether to accept or reject their answer. In simple versions, the prompts are independent of each other; typically, the student is given a piece of text in their own language (the L1) and has to paraphrase it in the language they are learning (the L2). In more sophisticated versions, the prompts form part of a coherent dialogue for a task like booking a hotel room or ordering in a restaurant.

Note

If you are not already familiar with CALL-SLT Lite, you are strongly advised to start by going to the CALL-SLT demos and resources page and trying it out yourself. There are several courses available, which are listed on the page along with instructions on how to access them. Some of them are very simple toy examples (we will describe a couple shortly). Others are sophisticated pieces of courseware which represent many person-months of effort, and have been used by hundreds of real students. Look around a little so that you get some idea of the kind of things that can be created with this framework.

CALL-SLT Lite is designed so that courses can be written by users ranging from basic computer-literate to expert. The functionality has accordingly been divided up into six increasingly sophisticated levels. You do not need to use all the levels to write a course; instead, the intention is that users adopt the functionality relevant to their purposes. As you’ll soon see, you don’t need the advanced levels to be able to write good courses (although they can of course be useful). What’s most important is to have a clear idea of what material you want to put in your course, so that it does something interesting and useful.

The levels are as follows:

  • Basic prompts and responses
  • Multimedia
  • Advanced prompts and responses
  • Basic scripts and multimedia
  • Gamification
  • Advanced scripts

The different levels are illustrated using example courses that you will be able to find installed on the CALL-SLT server.

The documentation is structured as follows: