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Call for Software Reviews in Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German

Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German invites contributions to its new Software Review section. The journal invites 1000-word reviews of any commercial or openly accessible software for learning and/or teaching German, for an initial December 1 deadline. Software here is broadly defined to include:

  • commercial websites, CDs, or apps associated with published textbooks of German as a second/foreign language
  • stand-alone language learning software, e.g. Rosetta Stone
  • non-profit sites or apps, e.g. Deutsch für Dich
  • social network-enhanced and gamified CALL sites, apps, and services, e.g. Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu, Memrise, or Mango Languages, including lesser known sites like AccellaStudy, Internet Polyglot, Learnalanguage.com, Fluentu.com, or Polylingu.al
  • open educational resources for technology-enhanced German learning/teaching
  • non-educational games, e.g. Die Siedler Online, with inclusion of discussion of wraparound or supplemental pedagogical materials

Reviews should be directed at an audience of German instructors and learners. They should follow a format of 1) basic information including title, publisher, developer, price, format, platform, etc., 2) summary of structure and features, and 3) critique. However, because of the variation of software available and limitations of length, reviewers may adapt the format as they see fit, or adapt a CALL review framework of their choice (see Hubbard, 2006 at http://web.stanford.edu/~efs/calleval.pdf for a review of review frameworks).

 

Reviews should address questions such as:

  • How user-friendly and customizable is the software interface?
  • How adaptable is the software to informal/self-directed and/or formal/classroom-based uses?
  • What foreign language pedagogical frameworks or SLA theories are reflected in the software design?
  • How genuine or authentic (or authenticatable) is the language covered? How authentic or biased are cultural representations?  
  • How comprehensive is coverage with regards to skills areas, culture and pragmatics, genre and register variation, etc.?
  • How does the software provide feedback and assess learning?
  • What are the strengths and shortcomings of the software?
  • Would you recommend this software to learners and/or teachers of German?

Interested reviewers should contact Jonathon Reinhardt at jonrein@email.arizona.edu with inquiries, suggestions, and review requests. Note that review copies of software, besides free trial versions, are of limited availability. Reviewers are normally expected to secure or purchase their own copies or subscriptions to the extent that they can do so independently.

 

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