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Graham Davies

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About Graham Davies

  • Birthday 06/02/1942

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    I began my career as a teacher of German and French in secondary education in 1965, moving into higher education in 1971, where I taught German (and also English as a Foreign Language to students training to become professional translators) until 1993. I have been involved in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) since 1976. In 1982 I wrote one of the first introductory books on computers in language learning and teaching, which was followed by numerous other printed and software publications. In 1989 I was conferred with the title of Professor of CALL by the Academic Board of Ealing College of Higher Education (later integrated into Thames Valley University). I retired from full-time teaching in 1993 but I continued to work as a Visiting Professor for Thames Valley University until 2001. I was the Founder President of EUROCALL, holding the post from 1993 to 2000. I am a partner in Camsoft, a CALL software development and consultancy business, which was founded in 1982. I have lectured and run ICT training courses for language teachers in 22 different countries and I sit on a number of national and international advisory boards and committees. I have been actively involved in WorldCALL since 1998 and I currently head a working party that is in the process of setting up WorldCALL as an official organisation that aims to assist countries that are currently underserved in the area of ICT and the teaching and learning of modern foreign languages. I am fluent in German, I speak tolerable French, and I can survive in Italian, Russian and Hungarian. I enjoy golf, skiing, walking my dog (a retired racing greyhound) and travelling. I used to scuba-dive regularly - my last dive was on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 - but now I just swim at my local fitness centre.

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  1. SLanguages 2008 Online Conference, 23-24 May 2008 The SLanguages 2008 Conference brings together practitioners and researchers in the field of language education in Second Life for a 24-hour event to celebrate languages and cultures within the 3D virtual world. This second annual event is entirely free and takes place on the EduNation islands within Second Life. Take a tour of the venue: http://www.slanguages.net/venue.php Starts 18.00 GMT, 23 May 2008 Ends 18.00 GMT 24 May 2008 Further information and registration form at: http://www.slanguages.net The ICT4LT site contains an intro to teaching and learning languages in Second Life, with a brief report and screenshots of the SLanguages 2007 Conference: http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod1-5.htm#secondlife I have just started a new thread on the SLanguages 2008 Conference at in the ICT4LT blog: http://ictforlanguageteachers.blogspot.com CALICO 2008, 19 March 2008 I made a small contribution to a workshop at the CALICO 2008 conference in San Francisco on 19 March 2008. The workshop was entitled Virtual Worlds and Language Teaching: Real Ideas for a Virtual Classroom. I made my contribution from my home in the UK via Second Life. I was able introduce myself briefly, using voice chat, to the workshop participants gathered together at "Renoir's Roost" on one of the EduNation islands. A wiki relating to the workshop, with lots of useful links and information has been set up by the workshop leader, Randall Sadler: http://sl4calico.pbwiki.com I am becoming more and more impressed by this technology as a means of holding "virtual" meetings. At the same time as the workshop was taking place I was conversing via Skype with a friend in Abu Dhabi - and later we continued our conversation via Second Life. CMC SIG Conference, Padua, Italy 17-19 April 2008 I shall be giving a short intro to the EUROCALL HQ in Second Life at EUROCALL's forthcoming Computer Mediated Communication conference in Padua, Italy, 18 April 2008, GMT 17.30. Further information can be obtained via the CMC SIG discussion list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMC_SIG/
  2. I used to teach at Thames Valley University (TVU). Mars - which had a large factory near to the Slough campus - was one of TVU's sponsors. I believe they donated quite a bit of money to TVU.
  3. Well, there is/was a Wimpy Professor of Management Studies... Oops, wrong Wimpy! I meant Wimpey, of course.
  4. CMC is a hot topic in Modern Languages right now. The last two EUROCALL conferences (2006 and 2007) each had a Virtual Strand that enabled people to participate at a distance. I especially appreciated the 2006 Virtual Strand as I was recovering from major surgery at the time and could not travel to Spain to attend the “real” conference. The archives are still available, complete with streaming videos of the plenaries: 2006 Blog: http://eurocall2006blog.blogspot.com/ 2006 Wiki: http://eurocall2006.wikispaces.com/ 2007 Virtual Strand: http://vsportal2007.googlepages.com/ At the 2007 EUROCALL conference a CMC SIG was set up. It now has a very active discussion list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMC_SIG/ EUROCALL's CMC SIG will be holding its first regional conference in Padova, Italy, 17-19 April 2008. Further information in the above discussion list. EUROCALL has also set up a headquarters in Second Life. We aim to use the HQ for informal meetings and, in the future, for training courses and teaching. Here is the SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/EduNation%20III/9/29/22/ Yesterday evening, while I was setting up furniture in the EUROCALL HQ, I noticed that David Richardson was online, so I offered to teleport him to my location and we were able to chat using SL’s recently introduced voice chat facility. Just after he left I was visited by an old friend who had picked up the above SLURL from an email. His voice chat was not active so we came offline and I skyped him, using audio and video comms. We are really fortunate in having such useful comms tools available to use free of charge. In recent months I have made use of the following comms tools: - blogs (every day) - wikis - podcasts and vodcasts - Flashmeeting - Skype with video (my Skype name is groovyguzi) - Ventrilo audioconferencing - Second Life text chat and voice chat. There appears to be a great deal of work being done with such tools in the secondary schools sector in the UK. Take a look, for example, at: - Joe Dale’s blog entitled “Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom”: http://joedale.typepad.com - The MFLE blog, Learning and Teaching Scotland: http://ltsblogs.org.uk/mfle/ http://ltsblogs.org.uk/mfle/category/ict-b...casts-software/ - Ewan McIntosh’s blog (Ewan is a key mover and shaker in CMC in the secondary schools sector in Scotland): http://edu.blogs.com (where I picked up his announcement about TeachMeet08, 11 January 2008, London BETT show: http://www.teachmeet.org.uk) I can foresee great potential with this new technology, especially in language learning and teaching. All we need is a bit of imagination!
  5. Oops! I meant "in Padova, Italy, April 2008" (I type faster than I think). "
  6. There is a great deal of activity going on in the area of Computer Mediated Communication right now, especially in Modern Languages. EUROCALL has set up a CMC SIG, which has a very active discussion list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMC_SIG/ I notice that David has already made a contribution about his activities in CMC. EUROCALL's CMC SIG will be holding its first regional conference in Padova, Italy, April 2006. Further information in the above discussion list.
  7. David dropped into the new EUROCALL HQ this evening in his Second Life avatar guise. We were able to chat using Second Life's voice chat. Just after he left an old friend dropped in. We used text chat for a while - his voice chat was not activated - so I contacted him via Skype. We chatted, free of charge (of course) for around an hour. His webcam was activated, so I was able to see him as well as hear him clearly. I can foresee great potential with this new technology, especially in language learning and teaching. All we need is a bit of imagination.
  8. I forgot to mention that there is a lively thread on Second Life going on right now in EUROCALL's CMC SIG discussion list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CMC_SIG/
  9. I've recently taken part in another audioconference in Second Life, using voice chat. The theme of the conference - or rather "tour", which was led by Graham Stanley of The British Council - was the use of quests in language teaching. EUROCALL now has an HQ in EduNation III, Second Life. The building is still empty, but it will be furnished it during the next few weeks. If you have already downloaded the Second Life software and wish to locate the EUROCALL HQ just paste it into your browser's address box: http://slurl.com/secondlife/EduNation%20III/9/29/22/ This will enable you to teleport to the front porch. Turn right round and you should see the EUROCALL logo on the wall next to the front door. Click on the door to open it and then have a look round. It is possible to hold meetings and run training courses, etc in the EUROCALL HQ (and many other places) using voice chat, text chat and visuals (PowerPoint, videos, etc), but there doubtless many more interesting things that can be done. I can meet you at the HQ at a pre-arranged time for a chat. Just a reminder that if you are new to Second Life then there is an expanded Section 14.2.1 in Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT site that should help get you up to speed: http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod1-5.htm
  10. I am a retired (Emeritus) Professor of Computer Assisted Language Learning, but I continue to maintain and update the ICT for Language Teachers website at http://www.ict4lt.org, which was initiated by my former university, Thames Valley University, London. I do occasional consultancy work in the area of ICT and language teaching and learning and I sit on a number of national and international committees. I am a partner in Camsoft, a business that develops and retails software for Computer Assisted Language Learning. A less boring summary of my life, with hyperlinks to my activities and information on the other members of my family (who are also my business partners) is on the Web at: http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/whoare.htm Alternatively, have a look at my personal wiki, which also includes an audio recording about myself: http://grahamdavies.wikispaces.com
  11. Hello, Chris! I attended Maidstone Grammar School from 1953 to 1961. I got A-Levels in French, German and Latin and then went on to study German with French at Queen Mary College, University of London. Your modern languages staff may be interested in what an old boy of the school has achieved. See my CV here: http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/cvgd.htm They may also be interested in linking to the website that I maintain: ICT for Language Teachers http://www.ict4lt.org I am now resident in Berkshire, but I visit my brother and his family on regular occasions. They live in the Maidstone area. Regards Graham Davies Emeritus Professor of Computer Assisted Language Learning
  12. I have just got back from the EUROCALL 2007 conference at the University of Ulster, Coleraine - followed by a tour of the North and North West of Ireland by car. This conference was probably one of the most stimulating EUROCALL conferences that I have attended since EUROCALL first became an official professional association in 1993. The keynotes were all good, and all of the regular sessions that I attended were interesting. This year's online "Virtual Strand" was more elaborate than in the previous year. The bloggers were more active and all of the keynotes were streamed and are now in the process of being archived. Several of the regular sessions were captured with the Lecturnity software, and there were three virtual presentations via live chat. A number of podcasts have also been made available. You can catch up with the main Virtual Strand events here: http://vsportal2007.googlepages.com/ We were blessed with good (for Ireland) weather, entertained by an excellent Irish/Scottish band and a fabulous dancer after the gala dinner, and we danced ourselves to exhaustion at the Ceili. Many of us also managed to fit in a trip to Bushmills Irish Whiskey Distillery and the Giant's Causeway. You can't do that online! It's great to see Northern Ireland blossoming again. The tourists have returned, and there are signs of an economic boom everywhere. We crossed the border several times, but now the army watchtowers have gone and it's no different from moving from one county into another in the rest of the UK - apart from the changes from miles to kilometers and different road signs.
  13. David, see my most recent posting in the Modern Languages section in the Education Forum. Patrik Svensson has been working in this area for several years, and he's not a million miles from you, namely at Umeå University, where he is Director of HUMlab: http://www.humlab.umu.se/patrik http://www.eng.umu.se/vw/ re the Virtual Weddings Project in Active Worlds, which is a virtual world predating Second Life.
  14. OK, I'll look for you on my next visit. Presumably you know about Patrick Svensson's work. He is Director of HUMlab, Umeå University, and has worked in the area of virtual worlds and language learning for some time. There was a well-known project he set up within Active Worlds, for example. See: http://www.humlab.umu.se/patrik Svensson P. (2003) "Virtual worlds as arenas for language learning". In Felix U. (ed.) Language learning online: towards best practice: Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger. See also Lesley Shield's work. Lesley used to be an Open University tutor: Shield L. (2003) "MOO as a language learning tool. In Felix U. (ed.) Language learning online: towards best practice: Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger. Lesley and I are members of the EUROCALL Executive Committee. We are both involved in the Virtual Strand of this year's EUROCALL conference in Coleraine. I'll be helping Lesley to run a workshop on blogging for beginners - part of which will be delivered online. You can join the conference's Virtual Strand free of charge via EUROCALL's website: http://www.eurocall-languages.org http://www.eurocall2007.com
  15. I sometimes hang around EduNation Island in the early evening, around 6-7pm. You can search for me under my avatar's name, Groovy Winkler.
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