The joint workshop on Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) & NLP for Language Acquisition (LA) – shorthand NLP4CALL&LA – is an effort to provide a debate space and collaboration between two closely related areas. Both focus on language acquisition, related resources and technologies, that can support research of the language learning process as well as aim to bring interdisciplinary advantage to the field. Individual workshop areas are outlined below.
The area of NLP4CALL is applied in essence, where tools, algorithms, and ready-to-use programs play an important role. It has a traditional focus on second or foreign language learning, and the target age group of school children or older. The intersection of Natural Language Processing and Speech Technology, with Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) brings “understanding” of language to CALL tools, thus making CALL intelligent. This fact has provided the name for this area of research – Intelligent CALL, ICALL. As the definition suggests, apart from having excellent knowledge of Natural Language Processing and/or Speech Technology, ICALL researchers need good insights into second language acquisition (SLA) theories and practices, second language assessment, as well as knowledge of L2 pedagogy and didactics.
The workshop on Language Processing for Research in Language Acquisition (NLP4LA) broadens the scope of the joint workshop to also include theoretical, empirical, and experimental investigation of first, second and bilingual language acquisition. NLP4LA aims to foster collaboration between the NLP, linguistics, psychology and cognitive science communities. The workshop is targeted at anyone interested in the relevance of computational techniques for first, second and bilingual language acquisition.
The joint workshop series on NLP4CALL&LA has arisen in 2016 and has become a meeting place for researchers working on the integration of Natural Language Processing and Speech Technologies in systems supporting language learning and research around it, and exploring the theoretical and methodological issues arising during language acquisition.