Keynote Speakers

Phil Hubbard

Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Stanford University, USA 

CALL: We Make the World Better

As an organization at the interface of technology and human language learning, EUROCALL has chosen to orient more toward the human side in its 2024 conference in Trnava. I aim to be true to that choice, building on three assumptions: 1) better communication among people makes the world better, 2) learning others' languages leads to better communication, and 3) the purpose of CALL is to make learning others' languages better. This chain of assumptions leads to the inescapable conclusion that CALL makes the world better. I begin by describing six ways in which CALL can make the process of language learning better. That means that there are six ways that an individual in this field can directly contribute to making the world better. I then discuss several avenues for making an indirect contribution to the field (and still helping to make the world better). I conclude by noting some of the personal, institutional, and ethical challenges we face in moving forward on this path. My goal is for the audience to come away from this talk reflecting on ways in which their current and future CALL activities can help us fulfil that promise.

Yuliana Lavrysh

Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine

Education for Peace Through Internationalization at Universities and Virtual Exchanges: Key Educator Competences

In an increasingly interconnected world, education for peace has become a vital component of higher education. Internationalization at universities serves as a powerful mechanism for enhancing students' global awareness and intercultural competence. Virtual exchanges, in particular, have emerged as innovative platforms, making international education more accessible and inclusive.

In the presentation, we will explore the role of internationalization and virtual exchanges (VE) in fostering peace education at universities, highlighting the critical competences educators need to effectively teach for peace. The research identifies key competences required by educators to successfully integrate peace education through internationalization and VE. These competences include intercultural communication skills, digital literacy, the ability to design and facilitate collaborative online learning activities, and a deep understanding of global issues and peacebuilding concepts. Through this exploration, I will share insights and practical recommendations for universities seeking to enhance their peace education efforts through internationalization and virtual exchanges.

Branislav Bédi

Project manager at Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies where he, i.a., coordinates the teaching of Icelandic at universities in the world, and a CALL instructor at the University of Iceland, Iceland

The Renaissance of Humanities in a Technology-Driven Society

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about innovative ways in language education. From the famous imitation game, known as the Turing test in the 1950s, to using generative AI-driven tools today, technology has significantly enhanced the effectiveness of language learning. AI's ability to imitate human knowledge has made teaching and practising languages much easier. It can be said that the AI element in CALL has withoug doubt transformed language education by supporting more individualised and tailor-made approaches, providing better access to language learning resources, and making these resources more available than ever before.

In today's technology-driven society, access to language education is no longer limited by distance, thanks to the internet. The plethora of online tools empowered by large language models (LLMs) appears to provide the ultimate answer to the Turing test question: "Can machines think?" This talk will explore the human aspect of developing and utilising AI technology in CALL and highlight the important role of the humanities at the intersection of digital technologies and language pedagogy, while reminding the audience of how humans acquire knowledge and skills in languages. By doing so, this talk aims furthermore to remind the audience of the fundamental ways humans acquire knowledge and skills in languages and how technology can enhance this process more effectively.