Developing Web-based Foreign Language Learning Environments

June 11-22, 2001 Honolulu, Hawai'i



In two weeks, participants will acquire a working knowledge of the following issues in Web-based foreign language course design:

o Pedagogic orientation / approach
o Matching approach with available technologies
o Adaptive design of course tools within the 3-tier client/server framework
o Course administration
o Course delivery / instruction
o Evaluation of student performance
o Formative evaluation of course

Working adaptively from an existing model, each team of participants will design and produce a prototype for a freestanding Web-based language course for advanced learners, comprising a curricular outline, an interface design (or "course shell"), and at least one functional unit. Participants will also commit to participate in a videoconference in December 2001 to share the results of the implementation of the course designed at the workshop.


Participants will be chosen from institutions with a strong commitment to the development of Web-based foreign language education at the advanced level. Because of the range of skills demanded in the development process, ranging from curriculum development skills to computer programming, requirements for team members will be very specialized. Each team will comprise three members with the range of skills listed below.


Instructional design. Required skills: the ability to conceptualize Web-based options for adaptation of an existing classroom course, or the creation of a new course within a Web-based model. Available tools to be employed in the conceptualization will include student self-work options including work in a textbook or with software, guided research, or interaction with active Web pages; and group work options including postings in forums, word banks, and resource lists. Desirable skills include working familiarity with Web-based educational applications and a modicum of Web page creation skills.

Web page creation. Required skills: the ability to work with the instructional designer to translate the course design into HTML pages that will be structured into a "course shell" adaptively based on an existing model. Past experience in Web page and site design is essential, including mastery of the handling of character sets used in the target language in the Web-based environment. Desirable skills include experience with javascript and/or dynamic HTML, and a background in language education.

Programming. Required skills: the ability to adaptively create, on the basis of an existing model, a complete architecture for a Web-based advanced foreign language course using a 3-tier client/server model employing ColdFusion scripts as query handlers and the Microsoft SQL Server as a database, meshing with the Web pages created by the other team members to enable user forums, quizzes (including grade calculation, storage and retrieval), resource managers, course management tools (including student grouping, grading, and permissions), course evaluations, etc. Past experience in creating 3-tier client/server applications is essential. Desirable skills include familiarity with ColdFusion and the Microsoft SQL Server.

If your institution would like to send a team to this Institute, please contact:

Stephen Fleming
1859 East-West Road #106
Honolulu HI 96822
(808) 956-2533

The University of Hawai'i National Foreign Language Resource Center, supported by the US-DOE, offers Summer Institutes every year in topics related to foreign language teaching and learning, with participants drawn from across the nation. Many past workshops have featured a focus on language learning technologies and/or distance education. This year's Institute is also supported in part by a grant from the National Security Education Program (NSEP).

Participants in Summer Institutes pay a non-refundable registration fee of approximately $100 but also receive a stipend of approximately $800 per person to defray travel expenses. There are no tuition fees. Low-cost lodging is available on campus.