Conference article

Waste not; want not: Towards a system architecture for ICALL based on NLP component re-use

Elena Volodina
Språkbanken (Swedish Language Bank), University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Lars Borin
Språkbanken (Swedish Language Bank), University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Hrafn Lofsson
School of Computer Science, Reykjavík University, Iceland

Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir
School of Humanities, University of Iceland, Iceland

Guðmundur Örn Leifsson
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, Iceland

Download article

Published in: Proceedings of the SLTC 2012 workshop on NLP for CALL; Lund; 25th October; 2012

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 80:6, p. 47-58

Show more +

Published: 2012-11-12


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


It is a surprising fact that; despite the existence of various mature Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools and resources that can potentially benefit language learning; very few projects are devoted to development of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) applications. This paper presents an on-going collaborative project whose overall aim is to develop an opensource system architecture for supporting ICALL systems that will facilitate re-use of existing NLP tools and resources on a plug-and-play basis. The two language teams – Icelandic and Swedish – have tested the architecture design by implementing two ICALL applications which convincingly show how principles defined by Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA); with web services as implementation technology; can benefit re-use of existing NLP components in ICALL applications. This paper introduces the project; provides the theoretical and practical background; describes the different paths adopted within the two language teams; and presents the first results.


No keywords available


Luiz A. Amaral and Detmar Meurers. 2011. On using intelligent computer-assisted language learning in real-life foreign language teaching and learning. ReCALL 23(1): 4–24.

Luiz A. Amaral; Detmar Meurers; and Ramon Ziai. 2011. Analyzing learner language: towards a flexible natural language processing architecture for intelligent language tutors. Computer Assisted Language Learning 24(1): 1–16.

Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir. 2008. Kennsla tungumála á netinu: Hugmyndafræði og þróun Icelandic Online [The teaching of languages through the Net: The ideology and development of Icelandic Online]. Hrafnaþing 5: 7–31.

Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir. 2004. Teaching morphologically complex languages online: Theoretical questions and practical answers. CALL for the Nordic languages; ed. by Peter Juel Henrichsen. (Copenhagen Studies in Language 30.) Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.

Kristín Bjarnadóttir. 2005. Modern Icelandic inflections. In H. Holmboe; editor; Nordisk Sprogteknologi 2005; 49–50. Museum Tusculanums Forlag; Copenhagen.

Lars Borin. 2002. What have you done for me lately? The fickle alignment of NLP and CALL. In Proceedings of the EUROCALL 2002 preconference workshop “NLP in CALL”. Jyväskylä; Finland.

Lars Borin. 2006. Sparv i tranedansen eller fisken i vattnet? Språkteknologi och språklärande. Från vision till praktik: Språkutbildning och informationsteknik; ed. by Patrik Svensson. Rapport 1:2006; Nätuniversitetet. 25-49.

Lars Borin and Anju Saxena; A. 2004. Grammar; incorporated. CALL for the Nordic languages; ed. by Peter Juel Henrichsen. (Copenhagen Studies in Language 30.) Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur. 125–145.

Lars Borin; Markus Forsberg; and Johan Roxendal. 2012a. Korp – the corpus infrastructure of Språkbanken. Proceedings of LREC 2012. Istanbul: ELRA. 474–478.

Lars Borin; Markus Forsberg; Leif-Jöran Olsson; and Jonatan Uppström. 2012b. The open lexical infrastructure of Språkbanken Proceedings of LREC 2012. Istanbul: ELRA. 3598–3602.

Rod Ellis; Helen Basturkmen; and Shawn Loewen. 2002. Doing focus-on-form. System 30: 419–432.

Thomas Erl. (2005) Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts; Technology; and Design; Prentice-Hall; USA

Trude Heift. 2003. Multiple learner errors and meaningful feedback: A challenge for ICALL systems. CALICO Journal; 20(3); 533–548.

Marie Hinrichs; Thomas Zastrow; and Erhard Hinrichs. 2010. WebLicht: Web-based LRT services in a distributed eScience infrastructure. Proceedings of LREC 2010. Valletta; Malta: ELRA.

IMS (2006). IMS Question and Test Interoperability overview. Version 2.1 Public Draft (revision 2) Specification. IMS Global Learning Consortium. imsqti_oviewv2p1pd2.html (Retrieved on 29th Juny; 2012).

Sofie Johansson Kokkinakis;. 2009; Readability and multilingualism. Multilingualism; Proceedings of the 23rd Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics;. Studia Linguistica Upsaliensia 8 (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis). 323–324

Ola Knutsson. 2005. Developing and evaluating language tools for writers and learners of Swedish. Doctoral thesis in human-computer interaction. KTH; Stockholm.

Steven Krauwer. 2003. The Basic Language Resource Kit (BLARK) as the first milestone for the language resources roadmap. Proceedings of SPECOM 2003. Moscow.

Hrafn Loftsson. 2008. Tagging Icelandic text: A linguistic rule-based approach. Nordic Journal of Linguistics; 31(1); 47–72.

Hrafn Loftsson and Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson. 2007a. IceParser: An incremental finite-state parser for Icelandic. In J. Nivre; H-J. Kaalep; K. Muischnek and M. Koit (eds.); Proceedings of the 16th Nordic Conference of Computational Linguistics (NODALIDA-2007). Tartu; Estonia.

Hrafn Loftsson and Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson. 2007b. IceNLP: A natural language processing toolkit for Icelandic. In Proceedings of InterSpeech 2007; Special session: "Speech and language technology for less-resourced languages". Antwerp; Belgium.

Ulrika Magnusson and Sofie Johansson Kokkinakis. 2008. Quantitative measures on student texts. Papers from the ASLA Symposium in Stockholm; 7-8 November; 2008; Association suédoise de linguistique appliquée (ASLA); Language and Learning (ASLA:s skriftserie nr 22). 43–56.

Teresa Martín-Blas and Ana Serrano-Fernández. 2009. The role of new technologies in the learning process: Moodle as a teaching tool in Physics. Computers & Education 52 (2009); p.35–44

Noriko Nagata. 2009. Robo-Sensei‘s NLP-based error detection and feed-back generation. CALICO Journal; 26(3); 562–579.

Kristina Nilsson and Lars Borin. 2002. Living off the land: The Web as a source of practice texts for learners of less prevalent languages. Proceedings of
LREC 2002. Las Palmas: ELRA. 2002. 411–418.

Jörgen Pind; Friðrik Magnússon; and Stefán Briem. 1991. Íslensk orðtíðnibók [The Icelandic Frequency Dictionary]. The Institute of Lexicography; University of Iceland; Reykjavik.

Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson. 2008. Icelandic language technology ten years later. In Proceedings of “Collaboration: Interoperability between People in
the Creation of Language Resources for Lessresourced Languages”; SALTMIL workshop; LREC 2008. Marrakech: ELRA.

Anju Saxena and Lars Borin. 2002. Locating and reusing sundry NLP flotsam in an e-learning application. LREC 2002. Workshop Proceedings. Customizing knowledge in NLP applications: strategies; issues; and evaluation. Las Palmas: ELRA. 45-51.

Latha Srinivasan and Jem Treadwell. 2005. An overview of service-oriented architecture; web services and grid computing. Hewlett-Packard Development Company; V02; 11/2005.

Elena Volodina. 2010. Corpora in Language Classroom: Reusing Stockholm Umeå Corpus in a vocabulary exercise generator. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Elena Volodina and Lars Borin. 2012. Developing a freely available web-based exercise generator for Swedish. EuroCALL 2012 Proceedings; Gothenburg.

Elena Volodina; Hrafn Loftsson; Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir; Lars Borin; and Guðmundur Örn Leifsson. 2012.Towards a system architecture for ICALL. In G. Biswas et al. (eds); Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Computers in Education. Singapore: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Peter Wood. 2008. Developing ICALL tools using GATE. Computer-Assisted Language Learning; 21:4; 383-392.

Citations in Crossref