ELF 2.0 Study – English as a Lingua Franca Discussions in the Web

Invitation to participate

Target groups:
(a) secondary school pupils who are non-native speakers of English
(b) university students who are non-native speakers of English
Proficiency level: Low to upper intermediate (A2 – B2)
Requirements: Internet, computer/laptop with sound/video, (simple) headset, webcam

In the EU project TILA (“Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition”), we are conducting case studies of discussions in English as a lingua franca (ELF discussions) in two web environments: the 3D virtual world of OpenSim and the videoconferencing platform of BigBlueButton.
The ELF discussions take place in small groups of three to five speakers from different countries and cultures. The discussion topics concern the speakers’ experience with social media such as facebook.
Questionnaires, replay of recorded discussions, and retrospective interviews are used to collect speaker profile information as well as comments regarding lingua-cultural divergences, communicative challenges, and strategic solutions.
The focus of analysis is on intercultural communicative interaction in non-native speaker English and on how pupils and students adapt to the conditions imposed by the respective technological environment.
Our ELF 2.0 study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential of telecollaboration for real and authentic communicative language learning and teaching beyond the face-to-face classroom. It is also expected to provide insights for pedagogical measures concerning learner preparation and teacher development.
@ Teachers of English: if you are interested in this study and some of your pupils or students might want to join one of the ELF discussion groups, please get in touch.

Contact: Kurt Kohn
Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media

Back from TESOL Arabia, Dubai, 14-16 March 2013

A GREAT conference experience – Interesting people, excellent insights – These were some of my favorites:

  • “Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central and Backward Design” (Jack C. Richards)
  • “Creating and Performing Jazz Chants” (Carolyn Graham)
  • “Ten Ways to Get Your Students to DO Something” (Ken Wilson)
  • “Learners in the 21st Century: Are they Any Different?” (Linda Price)
  • “The Price and Value of Education: A Dickensian Approach” (Luke Prodromou)

A big THANK YOU to the organizers Les Kirkham and Sandra Oddy.

And here are my own presentation slides:


TILA – Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition

On 24 and 25 January 2013, partners from 6 countries met in Valencia for the kickoff meeting of the new European Lifelong Learning project TILA.

TILA Kickoff MeetingThe aim of the TILA project is

  • to innovate and enrich language teaching programmes at secondary schools by introducing telecollaboration activities to facilitate intercultural communication with peers from other countries;
  • to implement (pre- and in-service) teacher training programmes that promote teachers’ pedagogical and intercultural competences in relation to telecollaboration through experiential learning in connection with task development, implementation and evaluation;
  • to explore the added value of telecollaboration activities for language learning and intercultural communication among young learners (aged 13-16).

TILA will offer actual practice and hands-on experiences in telecollaboration activities using video conferencing tools (e.g. skype or BigBluebutton) and virtual worlds created in OpenSim as well as asynchronous tools like blogs and wikis. It promotes professional teacher development by addressing technological, intercultural, pedagogical and organisational concerns for the successful integration of telecollaboration practices in language education.

Target languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

The TILA Consortium:
The Netherlands: Utrecht University (Coordinator); Berlage Lyceum in Amsterdam; 3D Learning Experience Sevices (3DLES)
United Kingdom: University of Roehampton; The Godolphin and Latymer School in London
Germany: Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media; Gymnasium Saarburg
Spain: Universidad de Valencia; IES Clot del Moro
France: Université de Paris 3; Collège La Cerisaie
Czech Republic: Palacky University

Associate partners: 42 institutions from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Italy

Mit “IVY” auf der Expolingua in Berlin

Expolingua 2012Berlin war wieder einmal eine Reise wert – im Anschluss an „Sprachen & Beruf“ (25.-26. Okt. 2012) hatten Petra Hoffstaedter und Kurt Kohn die Gelegenheit, am 27. Okt. 2012 im Vortragsprogramm der Expolingua (http://www.expolingua.com) über das EU- Verbundprojekt „IVY – Interpreting in Virtual Reality“ (2011-12) zu sprechen.

In IVY (http://www.virtual-interpreting.net) wird in der virtuellen 3D-Welt von „Second Life“ eine Trainingsumgebung für Geschäfts- und Kommunaldolmetschen entwickelt und didaktisch erprobt. In vielfältigen Kommunikations- und Themenszenarien können angehende DolmetscherInnen in den Arbeitssprachen Deutsch, Französisch, Griechisch, Hebräisch, Polnisch oder Russisch in einen Dolmetschauftrag praxisnah „eintauchen“. Potentielle Kunden von Dolmetschdiensten werden mit den Besonderheiten verdolmetschter Kommunikation vertraut gemacht und auf die Arbeit mit DolmetscherInnen vorbereitet.

Die in IVY verwendeten Dolmetschübungsmaterialien basieren auf den multimedialen Interviewkorpora des EU-Verbundprojekts „BACKBONE – Corpora for Content and Language Integrated Learning“ (www.uni-tuebingen.de/backbone). In unserem Vortrag sind wir eingangs auf das Dolmetschübungspotential der BACKBONE-Korpora eingegangen. Danach haben wir die in „Second Life“ entwickelten IVY-Trainingsmodi „Exploration“, „Übung & Simulation“ und „Life-Interaktion“ vorgestellt sowie erste Evaluationsergebnisse besprochen.

Präsentation: “Dolmetschen und Dolmetschtraining in der virtuellen 3D-Welt von Second Life”

EXPOLINGUA 2012 in Berlin

Vom 26. – 28. Okobter 2012 findet in Berlin die 25. EXPOLINGUA statt.

EXPOLINGUA 2012Wir möchten Sie hier besonders auf drei Vorträge zum Übersetzen und Dolmetschen hinweisen, die am Samstag, den 27. Okt. von 11:30 bis 14:00 stattfinden:

Das Berufsbild des Übersetzers
Djengizkhan Hasso
Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ)

Das Berufsbild des Dolmetschers
Bärbel Sachse
Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ)
Verband der Konferenzdolmetscher (VKD)

Dolmetschen und Dolmetschertraining
in der virtuellen 3D-Welt von Second Life
Prof. Dr. Kurt Kohn, Universität Tübingen
Dr. Petra Hoffstaedter, Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Sprachlernmedien

Laden Sie sich hier das vollständige Vortragsprogramm herunter:
Vortragsprogramm der EXPOLINGUA 2012

Weitere Informationen zu Ausstellern und Vorträgen sowie zu Veranstaltungsort, Öffnungszeiten und Preisen finden Sie in dem EXPOLINGUA-Flyer sowie auf der EXPOLINGUA-Webseite.

STZ Sprachlernmedien at the Steinbeis-Tag 2012

Steinbeis-Tag 2012

With 65 exhibitors, an accompanying programme, numerous lunch presentations, and a splendid dining and dancing event in the Liederhalle, the annual Steinbeis-Tag in Stuttgart, 28th September 2012 was a great success.

At our own exhibition stand, we presented results from our collaborative EU project “IVY – Interpreting in Virtual Reality”.  Our visitors came from small and medium enterprises, consultancy agencies and business schools. In addition to the virtual training opportunities IVY provides for interpreting trainees, visitors were especially interested in the information and awareness raising support for potential interpreting clients. IVY’s focus on making interpreting clients familiar with the possibilities and constraints of business interpreting, thereby enabling them to accommodate their own communicative behaviour to the interpreting situation, was appreciated as a key to communicative business success.

Steinbeis-Tag am 28. September 2012

Am 28. September findet der diesjährige Steinbeis-Tag statt. Auf der Ausstellung des Steinbeis-Tages werden wir Ihnen unter anderem unser aktuelles EU-Projekt vorstellen:

“IVY – Interpreting in Virtual Reality”

In IVY wurde eine virtuelle Trainingsumgebung für Dolmetscher entwickelt.  In der 3D-Welt von „Second Life“ können Dolmetscherstudenten und Kunden von Dolmetschdiensten in praxisnahen virtuellen Szenarien ein reichhaltigen Reservoir an Übungs- und Explorationsmaterialien nutzen.
[Download IVY Flyer]

Besuchen Sie uns an unserem Stand:
28.09.2012, 11 – 17:30 Uhr

Haus der Wirtschaft
König-Karl-Halle (2. OG, Stand 21))
Willi-Bleicher-Str. 19
70174 Stuttgart


Interpreting in Virtual Reality

EU Lifelong Learning Progamme,
Project 511862-2010-LLP-UK-KA-KA3MP

Das Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Sprachlernmedien ist Partner in dem von der Europäischen Kommission geförderten Verbundprojekt IVY („Interpreting in Virtual Reality“).

Ziel  des Projektes ist die Entwicklung einer virtuellen Trainingsumgebung für das Geschäfts- und Kommunaldolmetschen sowie für Kunden von Dolmetschdiensten.

Um dem wachsenden Bedarf an flexiblen Trainingsmöglichkeiten für die Ausbildung von Geschäfts- und Kommunaldolmetschern zu begegnen, wurde in dem Projekt IVY: „Interpreting in Virtual Reality“ eine Online-Trainingsumgebung entwickelt.

In der 3D-Welt von „Second Life“ lassen sich Umgebungen und Situationen gestalten, in denen  Nutzer mit einem sogenannten Avatar repräsentiert sind und miteinander interagieren und kommunizieren können. Diese Funktionen wurden in IVY für die Schaffung von „Trainingsräumen“ genutzt, in denen praxisnahe virtuelle Szenarien mit unterschiedlichen Explorations- und Übungsmodi sowie einem reichhaltigen Reservoir an Dolmetschmaterialien zur Verfügung stehen.

Zielgruppen: Dolmetschtrainer, Dolmetschstudenten, Dolmetschdienste, Kunden von Dolmetschdiensten

Sprachen: Englisch, Deutsch, Französisch, Griechisch, Hebräisch, Polnisch, Russisch

University of Surrey (GB)

Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza (Polen)
University of Cyprus (Zypern)
Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Sprachlernmedien (D)
University of Bangor – (GB – Wales)
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (D)
Bar Ilan University – (Israel)


IVY – Flyer

The IVY project has been funded with support from the European Commission.The project information on this website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



“BACKBONE – Pedagogic Corpora for Content and Language Integrated Learning”  is a European project funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP KA2 Languages 2008-2010).

BACKBONE developed web-based pedagogic corpora of video-recorded spoken interviews with native speakers of English, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Turkish as well as non-native speakers of English as a Lingua Franca.

Interview topics range from culture and region to education and health, business and technology. Interview transcripts are pedagogically annotated with regard to thematic, grammatical and lexical properties relevant for language learning and teaching.

BACKBONE Pedagogic Corpora
Links to the interview video/sound recordings, complementary websites and ready-made  interview-based learning modules provide further pedagogic enrichment.The pedagogically annotated and enriched corpora are available free of charge and can be accessed in a variety of pedagogically motivated search modes via the BACKBONE Corpus Search interface.

The BACKBONE corpus tools – Transcriptor, Annotator, Virtual Resource Pool, Corpus Management Tool, Corpus Seach – are available under a GNU General Public License  for customized BACKBONE-type corpus creation.

For more information about the BACKBONE corpus tools and the BACKBONE partnership including reponsibilities and credits, please visit the official  BACKBONE website.

The BACKBONE project has been funded with support from the European Commission.The project information on this website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

EU Projects

The Steinbeis Transfercenter Language Learning Media (Sprachlernmedien) has been and is partner in several projects in the EU Lifelong Learning Programme:

TILA – Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition (Jan 2013 – June 2015)

EVIVA – Evaluating the Education of Interpreters and their Clients through Virtual Learning Activities (Jan 2013 – Dec 2014)

IVY – Interpreting in Virtual Reality (Jan 2011 – Feb 2013)

BACKBONE – Corpora for Content & Language Integrated Learning (Jan 2009 – Feb 2011)

icEurope – Intercultural Communication in Europe (Dec 2008 – Jan 2010)