CALL survey, cont. (38)

Tue, 21 Mar 89 18:03:06 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 753. Tuesday, 21 Mar 1989.

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 89 10:33 EST
From: J. K. McDonald <MCDOJK@QUCDN>

Language: Italian
Program: Q'VINCI used at Queen's University at Kingston, Canada,
by my colleague D.L. Bastianutti and myself between 1980 and 1987.
Support: IBM mainframe, on APL (4.0) through 100 terminals around
campus. Still in mainframe memory though unused since my retirement
in 1987. Demos: at ICCH in 1985 (Provo), various Ontario locales,
Warwick in 1986 (v. Noemi Messora).
Description: Home-grown generative program to accompany primary and
secondary levels of LL ancillary to classes; any textbook, any
lexical range and frequency as instructors determine. All input
controlled by instructors, lexical and syntactic exercises usually
in question and answer format, restrained diagnostics, score and time
kept. Machine randomly produces, e.g., "Puoi dargli il quaderno?/
Si', posso darglielo." Ratio of preparation time to student user
time: about 2 or 3 to 1; no programmer standby needed.
Comment: Restricted to Queen's mainframe, APL not favoured for
future development of program, part of database locked in code and
not transferable to other languages. THEREFORE, back to drawing
board. Now called just VINCI, micro version is being readied. The
program is rewritten in C, and language-specific databases (lexicon,
morphology, syntax) are outside code. Interdepartmental cooperation
has led to beginning of French version. Italian is being reborn.
Spanish is a live gleam in the eyes of its genitori.