Portrait of Thomas Koller
PhD thesis
  Koller, Thomas (2007): Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Plurilingual ICALL System for Romance Languages Aimed at Advanced Learners. Dublin City University, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.

Abstract (pdf, 53kB)
TOC and Introduction (pdf, 134kB)
Bibliography (pdf, 116kB)
Project group title
  Integrating Techniques from Computational Linguistics into Computer Aided Language Learning
Funding
  IRCSET Basic Research grant / Embark initiative
Supervisors
  Prof. Josef Van Genabith
Monica Ward, M.Sc.
PhD description
  The target of my Ph.D. dissertation was the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a plurilingual ICALL (Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning) system for French, Spanish and Italian. I investigated how techniques from Computational Linguistics are likely to enhance the simultaneous learning of these languages. 

In several European projects (EuRom4, Galatea, Galanet, EuroCom) didactic materials were developed to teach intercomprehension of several Romance languages (mainly orientated towards intercomprehension of written sources), but there are no plurilingual ICALL systems based on several Romance Languages to date (cf. Gamper and Knapp, 2002). Therefore this system will be a valuable extension to existing plurilingual learning materials for Romance languages. 

The literature on Didactics of Plurilinguism (e.g. Meißner and Reinfried, 1998) and Plurilingual teaching of Romance languages (Klein and Stegmann, 2002) shows that a combined approach to teaching Romance languages is very promising. It can exploit the similarities between these languages in many ways in order to teach them contrastively and to raise the language awareness of the learner. 

The system was targeted to learners who are at an advanced level in speaking at least one of the described Romance languages. These learners have to be familiar with general grammatical properties of this language (e.g. form and use of tenses, sentence patterns, use of prepositions). Equivalent properties of the other languages are then taught via comparison.
References:
EuroCom: http://www.eurocom-frankfurt.de/
EuRom4: http://www.hyperbul.org/numero5/proj/
bonvi5.htm#eur
(Italian)
http://ancilla.unice.fr/~brunet/pub/texteangl.html (English)
Galatea: http://www.u-grenoble3.fr/galatea/
Galanet: http://www.galanet.be/
Gamper, J. / Knapp, J. (2002): A Review of Intelligent CALL Systems
Klein, H. G. / Stegmann, T. D. (2002): EuroComRom - The Seven Sieves: How to read all the Romance Languages right away. Aachen: Shaker Verlag [Editiones EuroCom, Vol. 5].
Meißner, F.-J. / Reinfried, M. (eds.) (1998): Mehrsprachigkeitsdidaktik. Konzepte, Analysen, Lehrerfahrungen mit romanischen Sprachen. Tübingen: Narr.