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Thomas Michael Cobb (2015 January)

Professor, Département de didactique des langues,
Université du Québec à Montréal

4449 ave de l'Esplanade #5
Montréal, H2W 1T2, Canada
Phone: 514.987.3000.2743#
E-mail: cobb.tom@uqam.ca


  Research themes    

  • Complex knowledge acquisition (e.g. lexicon)
  • Second language reading and vocabulary
  • Literacy in academic achievement
  • Instructional adptation of linguistic & cognitive technologies
  • Computer assisted learning
  • Internet programming (Perl, Javascript, PHP)
  • Development education (Mideast, Africa)
  • Technology transfer and integration

  Output Summary 1997-    

  • 60+ peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters in educational technology, literacy education, or applied linguistics, including 18 empirical studies (some multi-part with computer software), 7 theoretical studies, and 2 book reviews; 24 peer-reviewed conference presentations; 16 invited plenaries; a multi-plane interactive Website which accesses data-driven learning tools and principles for learners, teachers, course developers, and researchers worldwide attracting 10,000+ pages/day, 15,000+ visitors/week.

  Education   ^  

  • PhD Educational Technology - Concordia University, Montreal, 1997
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Education in English (Distinction) - Univ. of Wales, 1979
  • MA English - University of Manitoba, 1975
  • BA (Honours) English - University of Manitoba, 1972

  Teaching   ^  

May 1997-2015

Université du Québec à Montréal
1998-2015     Professor, dép de linguistique et de didactique des langues
1997-1998     Coordinator of English sector, Ecole de langues



LAN 2140 Intermediate English Reading
LAN 3140 Advanced English Reading
LAN 4150 Advanced Literacy for TESL teachers
LIN 1232 Teaching Speaking & Listening
LIN 2330 Teaching Reading and Writing
LIN 2340 Advanced English Grammar
LIN 3345 Second Language Acquisition
LIN 4410 Language Teaching & Technology
LIN 2131 Communication Technologies in the Teaching of ESL
LIN 6310 Testing and Evaluation
LIN 3334 Text
LSM-5210 Supervision of internship for adult ESL learners
LNS-2103 Supervision of internship for primary ESL learners
LNS-2xxx Supervision of internship for secondary ESL learners
LIN-2236 Teaching English Vocabulary


LIN 8229 Teaching & Technology
LIN 9960 Connectionist Models of Language Processing
LIN 8225 Acquisition des langues secondes
LIN 8226 Acquisition et enseignement du vocabulaire
LIN 8235 Projet de Mémoire
DDL 8000 Méthodologie de recherche

Departmental and University Service 1998-2008

Program development; online testing (1997-2006); supervision of contract instructors; technology committee; several hiring committees in both Dept. de Linguistique et de didactique des langues and in Ecole de langues; co-organizer for guest speakers, 1999-2004; webmaster for Departmental Website, 2001- (including a major restructuring in 2007); member of Comité des programmes en enseignement des langues secondes (2005-); member of Comité des programmes d'études (2007-); member of member of Comité d'attribution des bourses (UQAM) (2007-2008). .

External Service 1998-2015

Regular reviewer for
  • System
  • Educational Technology Research
    & Development (ETR&D)
  • Canadian Modern Language Review
  • Language Learning
  • Language Learning & Technology
  • English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Journal
Occasional reviewer for
  • Language Testing
  • Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
  • Oxford University Press
  • Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
  • SSHRC (Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada)
  • FQRSC (Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture)


Developer of The Compleat Lexical Tutor (www.lextutor.ca) Website, which is consulted by 1500+ learners, teachers, and researchers every weekday and night worldwide and is cited regularly in research publications and presentations at major conferences.

Webmaster for ACLA-CAAL website www.aclacaal.org Nov 04 - June 2005; Co-webmaster for AAAL conference website 1999; language and technology strand coordinator for AAAL 1999; reviewer for AAAL 2000; reviewer for AI-Ed 99 conference submissions.

External examiner for PhD or MA dissertations at Université de Montréal (June, 2000, PhD; May 2011, PhD), University of Ottawa (April, 2005, MA), Carleton University (September, 2008, MA; and May 2011, MA), Haifa University, Israel (2010, PhD); Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (January 2013, PhD); Simon Fraser University, British Columbia (March, 2015, PhD)

External assessor for grant applications, Open University of Hong Kong (2001-2); SSHRC grant application (December, 2005); Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC, Montreal, January, 2010); Canada Research Chair, for the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI, Univ. Ottawa, March 2012); German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF, February, 2014); Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, P R China (January, 2015).

External evaluator for tenure and promotion applications Haifa University, Israel (November, 2002); Washington University in St Louis (October 2006); Brigham Young University (October 2006); Iowa State University (September 2007); Yarmouk University (Jordan, August 2008); University of Calgary (November, 2010); Ohio State University (November, 2011); University of Saskatchewan (August, 2015).

Adjunct professor McGill University, Dept of Education, 2006-2010

Submission reviewer for symposium Les nouvelles technologies et le traitement automatique des langues au coeur des dispositifs d’apprentissage, organised by le Groupe de Recherche en Ingénierie de la Langue (GRIL) de l’Université d’Ottawa (2005) for presentation at 72e Congrès de l’ACFAS, Université du Québec à Montréal, 10-14 May 2005; SLA strand reviewer for AAAL (American Association of Applied Linguists) 2014 (Portland, Oregon).

Co-Editor for special volume on vocabulary research, for Canadian Modern Language Journal, 2005; Area Editor for Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Technology and Language, 2010-2012.

Sabbatical report, 2005-2006


Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman; instructor; instructional designer; Macintosh lab developer.
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; coordinator of reading program in ESP (English for Specific Purposes, medicine).
University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; coordinator EFL and remedial writing.

  Contract & consulting   ^  


Brigham Young University
External Evaluator
Dept. of Linguistics and English language
Nov 5-7

Miami Dade College
2 Day Workshops - Professional Development
Oct 9 - 12

Temple University Japan
Distinguished Lecturer Series
Two week-end courses (Osaka and Tokyo)
Oct 27-28 and Nov 3-4
ORE (Observatoire des réformes en éducation)
Madagascar Project
Antananarivo, May 15-30
Teaching reform principles to ESL trainers
Ubisoft Gaming
Language consultant for My Word Coach
[box cover (pdf) | Game site | Interview (Fr, 7.1.08) L'UQAM 34(8)]
Temple University Japan
Distinguished Lecturer Series [DLS site | Blurb]
Two week-end courses (Osaka and Tokyo) Mar 31 and April 1
Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Two-week grad course, Computing and vocabulary teaching Dept. of Linguistics and Applied Language Study (LALS)
June 20 -July 14
Ontario Council on Graduate Studies
Evaluator for proposed MA Applied Linguistics, Brock University
January 6-9

McGill University, Montreal, Department of Education
Vocabulary research and pedagogy; summer graduate course.
May 4 to June 15; Tuesdays & Thursdays; 13:35 to 16:25

2002, 2003
McGill University, Montreal, Department of Education
Computers and language teaching; summer graduate course.

Concordia University, Montreal, TESL Centre; seminar on Educational Computing, as part of a symposium for visiting Danish teachers Second language learning and research in Canadian contexts.
Concordia University, Montreal, TESL Centre; Computers and language teaching (APLI-644); graduate course.
Division of Language Studies, City University, Hong Kong; Lecturer, coordinator of reading skills for translation and interpretation.
Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada; hands-on introduction to computer-assisted language learning for trainee teachers.
Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico; one-month course in computer-assisted learning for trainee teachers.
Department of MIS, Faculty of Commerce, Concordia University; CAL tutorial programmer.
Architecture Department, Sydney University, Australia; research assistant for cultural history project.
Agassiz Centre for Water Studies, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; funded research study in cultural history.

  Supported research   ^  

Aug 2015 - April 2019

ESRC Research Grant
(Economic and Social Research Council, UK)
Cardiff University, Ref 50850
Corpws Cenedlaethol Cymraeg Cyfoes (The National Corpus of Contemporary Welsh): A community driven approach to linguistic corpus construction
Under Principle Researchers Drs. Dawn Knight & Tess Fitzpatrick

June 2012 - May 2015

SSHRC/CRSH Standard Research Grant
RSO number: 1022255, Proj. numb.: 10002452, $60,000
Corpus linguistics: Investigating the development of academic literacy in grade 4 - 6
Under Principle Researcher Dr Hetty Roessingh, U. Calgary

2011 - 2014

SSHRC/CRSH Standard Research Grant
May 2011, File 410-2011-2465, $103,119
Two paths to second language literacy: targeted word study and cross-linguistic awareness
With Drs. Marlise Horst (Concordia) and Joanna White (Concordia)

Submitted 2009

Proposed Multi-Year US Study in Cognition and Student Learning
Promoting academic language skills in non-native and native students
US Dept. of Education grant application

Team: Ellis, Nation, Schmitt, Read et al

2005 - 2011 March

FQRSC Regroupement Stratégique  $26,325/year
(No. 2004-RS-87802)
Infrastructure grant
CSLP (Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance)

2004 - 2005

TESOL International Research Foundation
Priority Research Grant   US$ 20,880

With Marlise Horst (Concordia) and Diane Schmitt (Nottingham)
A comparison of computerized and traditional techniques for learning academic vocabulary
[Proposal summary]   [TIRF site]

Submitted 2004

Strategic Research Clusters Grant / Réseaux stratégiques de recherche
Language Acquisition

Crago, Spada, Genesee, Bialystock, principals
Visit website

2001- 2005

CSLP - Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance
(CEAP - Centre d'études sur l'apprentissage et la performance)
Concordia University, Principal investigator, institutional representative [Visit site]

CIRTA (Centre Interuniversitaire de recherche sur le Téléapprentissage)
Regular researcher [Visit site]

ORÉ (Observatoire des Réformes en Éducation)
Regular researcher [Visit site]


SSHRC/CRSH  (No. 410-2000-1283)  $69,000
Language awareness of Quebec TESL trainees: Implications for teacher training
(With Lori Morris, TESL Centre, Concordia University, Montreal)
[Plan and update]   [Final report]
UQAM   (No. Z-214-CB9-8-5)  $16,706  
Fonds spéciaux  nouvelles chercheures, nouveaux chercheurs
La récherche des besoins lexicaux en anglais par les étudiants d'anglais langue seconde au Québec.

  Publications   ^  

Google Scholar cites

In press/review/preparation

Cobb, T. (In press). Technology for teaching reading. In TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching

Schmitt, N., Cobb, T., Horst, M., & Schmitt, D. (in press; citable pre-publication here). How much vocabulary is needed to use English? Replication of Van Zeeland & Schmitt (2012), Nation, (2006), and Cobb (2007). Language Teaching.

Cobb, T. (In preparation). Toward teachability: Finding the high frequency zones across a language. Review paper.


  1. Cobb, T. & Boulton, A. (2015). Classroom applications of corpus analysis. In D. Biber & R. Reppen, Cambridge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics (pp.478-497). New York: Cambridge University Press. (Refs separate).

  2. Cobb, T. & Horst, M. (2015). Learner corpora and lexis. In S. Granger, G. Gilquin, & F. Meunier (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Learner Corpus Research (pp. 185-206). London: Cambridge University Press.

  3. 2014

  4. Cobb, T. (2014). Concordance Search, Fill in the Gaps, Computer Assisted Text Selection, Read It - Hear It - Look It Up, & Rapid Reaction (some with Horst & Nicolae), in New Ways in Teaching Vocabulary (Ed. Averil Coxhead). ALexandra, VA: TESOL Press.

  5. Cobb, T. (2014). A resource wish-list for data-driven learning in French, in French through Corpora: Ecological and Data-Driven Perspectives in French Language Studies (Eds. Henry Tyne, Virginie André, Alex Boulton, Christophe Benzitoun and Yan Greub). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars.

  6. 2013

  7. Crossley, S. & Cobb, T. & McNamara, D. (2013). Comparing count-based and band-based indices of word frequency: Implications for active vocabulary research and pedagogical applications. System 41, 965-981.

  8. Cobb, T. (2013). Frequency 2.0: Incorporating homoforms and multiword units into pedagogical frequency lists. In C. Bardel, C. Lindqvist & B.Laufer (Eds.), L2 vocabulary acquisition, knowledge and use: New perspectives on assessment and corpus analysis. Eurosla Monographs Series, 2 (2013). [PDF whole volume]
  9. 2012

  10. Cobb, T. (2012). Technology and learning vocabulary. Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

  11. Cobb, T. (2012). Bush, Vannevar: Hypertext past present and future. Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

  12. Cobb, T. (2012). Language and technology: Overview. Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
  13. 2011

  14. Cobb, T. & Horst, M (2011). Does Word Coach coach words? CALICO Journal, 28(3), 639-661. (Or from Calico).

  15. 2010

    Cobb, T. (2009-2012). Language & Technology editor for forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Gen. Editor Carol Chapelle, for 2012).

  16. Cobb, T. (2010). Preface (Fr and Eng parallel texts) to Loft Hanté Courseware (Groupe ECP, Univ. du Québec à Trois-Rivières).DE SERRES, L. et GROUPE ECP inc. 2010. Trousse pédagogique : Loft hanté. Québec : GRICS. (DVD de 80 minutes avec 20 capsules audiovisuelles; 100 jeux multimédias interactifs; 20 séquences pédagogiques totalisant 405 pages : préface de Tom Cobb - en français et en anglais (p. 18 à 24).

  17. Cobb, T. (2010).Learning about language and learners from computer programs. Reading in a Foreign Language 22(1), 181-200.

  18. Cobb, T. (2010).Review of by S. Gass & L. Selinker (2008). Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (3rd Edition). For Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development, 31(3), 323-325.

  19. Cobb, T. (2010). Instructional uses of linguistic technologies. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 3, 14-23 (Conference Proceedings for 3rd ELT Conference, "Tales out of School," May 5-8, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, N. Cyprus) [ PDF from ScienceDirect]

  20. 2009

  21. Cobb, T. (2009). Review of Se donner le mot: Trousse pédagogique. For Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(4), 645-647.

  22. Cobb, T. (2009). Internet and literacy in the developing world: Delivering the teacher with the text. In K. Parry (Ed.), Literacy for All in Africa Vol. 2: Reading in Africa: Beyond the School. Kampala: Fountain/African Book Collective.

  23. Cobb, T. & V. Stevens. (1996, reprint 2009). A principled consideration of computers and reading in a second language, in P. Hubbard, Ed., Critical Concepts in Linguistics, Vol II: CALL & language skills (Ch. 28, 204-229). New York & London: Routledge. [Critical Concepts Link | Volumes link]
  24. 2008

  25. LLT 2nd vocab special 2009, Call for papers.

  26. What the reading rate research does not show: Response to McQuillan & Krashen. Language Learning & Technology 12(1), 109-114.

    (Suite to McQuillan R. & Krashen, S. (2008). Commentary: Can free reading take you all the way: A response to Cobb (2007). Language Learning & Technology 12(1), 104-108. 'Computing the demands' 2007).

  27. Necessary or nice? The role of computers in L2 reading. In Z. Han & N. Anderson (Eds), L2 Reading Research and Instruction: Crossing the Boundaries. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

  28. Review of T. McEnery, R. Xiao & Y. Tonio (2006), Corpus-based language studies: An advanced resource book. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64(3) 523-525.

  29. 2007

  30. Cobb, T. (2007). Computing the vocabulary demands of L2 reading. Language Learning & Technology 11(3), 38-63. [PDF].

  31. Cobb, T. (2007). My Word Coach (Video game). Montreal: Ubisoft Inc. [Journal l'UQAM, Jan 08]

  32. 2006

  33. Horst, M & Cobb. T., Eds. (2006) Second special vocabulary edition of Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1) . [CAll for papers]

  34. Horst, M & Cobb. T. (2006) Editorial: Second language vocabulary acquisition. In Horst, M. & Cobb, T. (Eds), Second special vocabulary edition of Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 1-12 .

  35. Cobb, T. (December, 2006). Review of Nadja Nesselhauf (2005), Collocations in a Learner Corpus. For Canadian Modern Language Review. 63 (2)

  36. Cobb, T. Internet and literacy in the developing world: Delivering the teacher with the text. Educational Technology Research & Development, International Review section 54(6), 627-645. [PDF]

  37. Ovtcharov, V. , Cobb, T. & Halter, R. La richesse lexicale des productions orales : mesure fiable du niveau de compétence langagière. In Cobb, T. & Horst, M. (Eds). Deuxième édition spéciale sur le vocabulaire, Revue Canadienne des Langues Vivantes, 63(1), 107-125.

  38. Cobb, T. The old vocabulary, the new vocabulary, and the Arab learner. Proceedings of plenary talk for Vocabulary Symposium, TESOL Arabia, Dubai, April 2006.

  39. Cobb, T. & Horst, M. Review of Oxford Dictionary of American English and Genie CD-ROM.Language Learning & Technology, 10(1), 25-29.

  40. Cobb, T. Constructivism, applied linguistics, & language education, in K. Brown (Ed.,) Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd. ed., Vol 3, Foundations of linguistics (pp. 85-88). Oxford: Elsevier.

  41. 2005

  42. Cobb, T. The case for computer-assisted extensive reading. Contact, Special Research Symposium Issue 31(2), [PDF], TESOL Ontario, 2005.

  43. Horst, M., Cobb, T., & Nicolae, I. Expanding Academic Vocabulary with a Collaborative On-line Database. Language Learning & Technology, 9 (2), 90-110. [Download Pre-Pub; LLT > HTML, PDF].

  44. Cobb, T. Review of Michael Hammond, 2003, Programming for linguists: Perl for language researchers. London: Blackwell, for Canadian Journal of Linguistics.

  45. 2004

  46. Cobb, T. Review of Robert Stockwell & Donka Minkova (2001), English words: History and structure. New York: Cambridge University Press, for Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 7(1), 58-66.

  47. Cobb, T. & Horst, M. Is there room for an AWL in French? In Bogaards, P. & Laufer, B. (Eds.), Vocabulary in a Second Language: Selection, acquisition, and testing (pp. 15-38). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  48. Gaskell, D., & Cobb, T. Can learners use concordance feedback for writing errors? System, 32(3), 301-319. [ Text+Links | [PDF] | #3 on Hottest 25, Jul-Sep 04 ]

  49. Morris, L. & Cobb, T.Vocabulary profiles as predictors of TESL student performance. System 32(1), 75-87 . [PDF] | #24 on Hottest 25, Jul-Sep 05 ]

  50. 2003

  51. Cobb, T. Do corpus-based electronic dictionaries replace concordancers? In B. Morrison, G. Green, & G. Motteram (Eds)., Directions in CALL: Experience, experiments, evaluation (pp. 179-206). Hong Kong: Polytechnic University.

  52. Cobb, T. Review of Alison Wray, 2002, Formulaic language and the lexicon, Cambridge University Press, for Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 6(1), 105-110.

  53. Cobb, T. Analyzing late interlanguage with learner corpora: Quebec replications of three European studies. Canadian Modern Language Review, 59(3), 393-423.  [PDF ]

  54. 2002

  55. Cobb, T. Review of Ken Hyland, 2002, Teaching and researching writing, Longman Applied Linguistics in Action series, System 31 (1), 132-136. [PDF]

  56. Cobb, T. Review of Paul Nation, 2001, Learning vocabulary in another language. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 46 (3/4), 242-245.

  57. Cobb, T. Review of Norbert Schmitt, 2000, Vocabulary in language teaching. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5 (1-2), 173-177.

  58. 2001

  59. Zahar, R., Cobb, T., & Spada, N. Acquiring vocabulary through reading: Effects of frequency and contextual richness. Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(4), 541-572.

  60. Cobb, T., & Horst, M.Reading academic English: Carrying learners across the lexical threshold.  In John Flowerdew & Matthew Peacock (Eds.) The English for Academic Purposes Curriculum (pp. 315-329). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  61. Horst, M., & Cobb, T. Growing academic vocabulary with a collaborative online database.   In Morrison, B., Gardner, D., Keobke, K., & Spratt, M. (Eds)., ELT Perspectives on IT & Multimedia (pp. 189-226). Hong Kong: Polytechnic University Press. [ERIC Doc ...]

  62. Cobb, T., Greaves, C., & Horst, M. Can the rate of lexical acquisition from reading be increased? An experiment in reading French with a suite of on-line resources. In P. Raymond & C. Cornaire, Regards sur la didactique des langues secondes. Montréal: Éditions logique. [Aussi en français.]

  63. Cobb, T. Review of Lars Hermeren, 1999, English for Sale. Revue québecoise de linguistique. [PDF]

  64. 2000

  65. Cobb, T. One size fits all? Francophone learners and English vocabulary tests. Canadian Modern Language Review, 57 (2), 295-324.

  66. Cobb, T. & Horst, M. Vocabulary sizes of some City University students. City University (HK) Journal of Language Studies, 1, 59-68
  67. 1999

  68. Cobb, T. Applying constructivism: A test for the learner-as-scientist. Educational Technology Research & Development, 47 (3), 15-33. [PDF]

  69. Cobb, T. Review of Ljung (Ed.), 1996, Corpus-based studies in English: Papers from ICAME 17. Revue québecoise de linguistique, 27 (2), 187-193.

  70. Cobb, T. Breadth and depth of vocabulary acquisition with hands-on concordancing. Computer Assisted Language Learning 12, p. 345 - 360.

  71. Cobb, T. Giving learners something to do with concordance output. In Information Technology and Multimedia in English Language Teaching. Hong Kong: Polytechnic University Press.
  72. 1998
  73. Horst, M., Cobb, T. & Meara, P. Beyond A Clockwork Orange: Acquiring second-language vocabulary through reading. Reading in a Foreign Language 11, 207-223. (Original PDF

  74. Cobb, T.M. Review of C. Hill & K. Parry, 1994, From testing to assessment: English as an international language. British Association of Applied Linguistics Newsletter 55, 24-26.
  75. 1997

  76. Cobb, T. Cognitive efficiency: Toward a revised theory of media. Educational Technology Research & Development, 45 (4), 21-35. [PDF]

  77. Cobb, T. Is there any measurable learning from hands-on concordancing? System 25 (3), 301-315. [PDF]
  78. 1996

  79. Cobb, T. & Stevens, V. A principled consideration of computers and reading in a second language. In M. Pennington (Ed.), The power of CALL (pp. 115-136). Houston: Athelstan.
  80. Pre-1996 (selected)
  81. Cobb, T. Hypertext for the masses. CÆLL Journal 1 ( 1), 14-15 .

  82. Cobb, T. (1977) The meaning of nature: A survey of the Western approach. Agassiz Centre for Water Studies, Report #13 (145 pp), University of Manitoba (Archives Canada Record)

  83. Cobb, T. (1975) Henry Adams and American realism. University of Manitoba Mspace (Dissertations and theses) [PDF]

  Unpublished papers   ^  

Applied linguistics is not linguistics applied (Parallel English-French text).

Cobb, T. (In review). Building on the strengths of the Chinese learner with IT. For Language Teaching (Oxford University Pres) and for CUHK's (Chinese University of Hong Kong's) research journal Crosslinks.

Cobb, T. (In review). Adapting real Web content for adult learners with real needs. Submitted to CMLR Jan 2005, for special CALL edition.

Cobb, T. (In review). On chalkface & interface: A developer’s take on the classroom-distance metacomparison. Response to Bernard et al. comparison of effectiveness of classroom vs. distance education. Study and comment submitted to Erlbaum.

From concord to lexicon: Development and test of a corpus-based lexical tutor. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
Also in PDF from Theses Canada Portal
Analysis of vocabulary instruction in five EFL coursebooks. Sultan Qaboos University Technical Report.

CALL at Sultan Qaboos University Language Centre: Effectiveness evaluation. Sultan Qaboos University Technical Report.

  Published instructional materials  


Reading workbook to accompany B. Hatim & I. Mason, Discourse & the translator (1990, Longman). HK City University publication.
A cybernetic model of the Language Centre at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. Report published on the web as a sample for students in Educational Cybersystemics, Dept of Educational Technology.
(With Marlise Horst) Reading workbook for students of premedical English. Riyadh: King Saud University Press.

Basic Student Writing. Victoria BC: University of Victoria publication.

  Conference papers, demonstrations, workshops   ^  


GLoCALL 2015 Conference (Plenary, paper, & workshop)
Daejeon, South Korea
12 to 14 November 2015

Simon Fraser University, Dept of Linguistics Colloquium Series
Burnaby,British Columbia, March 12
Corpus Insights from Lextutor R&D, PPT, Handout

AAAL 2015, Toronto
The shape of the French lexicon by frequency and coverage, PPT


AILA Assn. internationale de linguistique appliquée
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, August 10-15
(1) Vocab Symposium, Aug 13 Adopting corpus-based tools from English to other languages
(2) Meta/Synthesis Symposium, Aug 13, with Alex Boulton, Using corpora in language learning :A meta-analysis of effectiveness and efficiency

TALC (14th Teaching and Language Corpora)
Lancaster University, UK, July 21
With Alex Boulton, Assembling the data on data-driven learning: A meta-analysis of design issues and outcomes

SPEAQ Campus (Societé pour la promotion et l'encouragement de l'Anglais L2 au Québec - Students' Version)
Molson Schoolof Business, 8 Feb 2014
Discussant - The role of technology in the ESL classroom

3rd International Conference on Second Language Pedagogies
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Feb 1, 2014
Opening Plenary, To Improve Learners’ Proficiency and Accuracy - Does Research Have a Role? PPT


AAAL 2013
Dallas, Texas - March 25-17
With Marlise Horst & Joanna White, Developing a useful measure of French-English cognate awareness

Sunshine State TESOL
Orlando, Florida
Teachers' Top 10 Uses of a Language Corpus +PPT
Workshop: Developing Web content with Lextutor

UQAM Ecole de langues - Journé d'étude - 21 mai
Que savons-nous de la compétence lexicale en langues secondes et etrangères?
10 façons d'utiliser un corpus de langue en classe de français

SPEAQ (Societé pour la promotion et l'encouragement de l'Anglais L2 au Québec)
Montreal, Hilton Hotel, 15 Nov 2013
Discussant - The role of technology in the ESL classroom

Vocab @ Vic
Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
19 December 2013
Plenary: A lot of banks: Can collocates tell them apart?


Learning Sciences Research Seminar
March 26 (Mon) 12-13h
Technology as applied research: Research findings are just step one

TESOL Conference
Philadelphia, PA

March 29, Thurs, 13-15h45
Colloquium: Transitioning IEP students to university reading
Talk: Technical vocabulary as a way into academic reading

March 30, Fri, 10-11h30
Colloquium: Using corpus resources and findings in ELT
Talk: 10 uses of a million word corpus in ESL

Yonsei (Korea) Corpus Symposium
Seoul, March 31
Invited video greeting here

Pan-SIG / JALT (Japan Assn. of Language Teachers)
Hiroshima, Japan
June 16-17 New Literacies: New challenges and opportunities for language learners [PPT | Video]
Learning French with a corpus [PPT]

Temple University Japan
Distinguished Lecturer Series - October/November 2013
Osaka - weekend course - Oct 27-28.
Tokyo - weekend course - Nov 3-4


Concordia University, TESL Centre ,
October 14, all day
Workshop for Teachers: Developing a complete online ESL vocabulary course at any level with The Compleat Lexical Tutor

Association for French Language Studies (AFLS: WWW),
Nancy, France, Sept 8-10
Invited plenary: A Resource Wish-List for DDL in French

AAAL 2011
Chicago, IL
Invited discussant for colloquium, The validity of vocabulary measures
27 March 2011

McGill CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media & Technology )
and CRLMB (Centre for Research in Language, Mind and Brain)
Feb 19: What patterns in corpora can tell us about the organization of music and language
Title of invited presentation: "Some things a corpus can tell us about a language" [PPT]

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
2011 APPLE Lecture (Applied Linguistics & Language Education)

Feb 11, Invited Lecture: "How the language teachers of the world built a data-driven, web based learning tool"
Feb 11, Research colloquium: Frequency 2.0: Applying corpus research intelligently [ppt]
+ Interview with T.Coll. Grad Students (with links to video files)

Ontario TESL Association
Feb 5, Wellington-Waterloo Winter PD Session [PDF]
Invited lecture: "Pathways through Lextutor: How language teachers combine routines"


TESL Alberta 2010
Past and future of Lextutor + workshop (PPT)
Nov 5, Edmonton

Sept 1-4, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Colloquium (B. Laufer) Researching vocabulary use: Insights from corpus analysis
With M. Horst & L. Collins: Teacher talk as lexical environment ( Abstract )
Sites: Conference |

Developing multidimensional methods for vocabulary assessment
May 20-21, Workshop, University of Stockholm
Invited Presentation: DDL 2.0: The challenge of homographs and frequent multi-words
Documents: Program | PPT

3rd Intl ELT Conference
May 5-7, Eastern Mediterranean University
Famagusta, N Cyprus
Invited Plenary: Instructional Use of Cognitive Technologies
Sites: Conference | PPT

Séminaire RALI-OLST
Groupe Recherche appliqué en linguistique informatique
Mar 31
Université de Montréal
Applying language technologies to problems in language instruction (PPT )

AAAL 2010
Mar 5 - 8
Atlanta, GA
Solving the homonyms problem in Vocabprofiles (PPT | Handout)

Centre for Faculty and Staff Development
Feb 8, 2010, Newnham Campus
What's new on Lextutor? ( PPT | Handout )


(Second Language Research Forum)
Oct 29 - Nov 1, Univ Michigan, E. Lansing
Invited Workshop: Making and using learner corpora Conference Site | PPT

7th Bridging the Gap between Teaching & Learning
Oct 16, Education, Concordia, Montreal
Invited Workshop: Using Lextutor

Concordia Applied Linguistics Redsearch Group
Oct 13, Does Word Coach coach words? What was learned from a video game

Apr 10-12, Content & Language
CNA-Q, Doha, Qatar
Language through content? Lessons from the past (PPT)

AAAL 2009
Mar 20-24
Denver, Colorado
Does Word Coach Coach Words? (PPT)


Universidad de Quintana Roo, Mexico
FONAEL (Foro Nacional de Estudios en Lenguas), Nov 9-12
Ponente Plenario (Plenary address)
What happens if you DON'T teach vocabulary? UQROO | PPT

University of Pittsburgh
Oct 3, Colloquium Series
Dept Linguistics/English Language Institute
Does My Word Coach coach words? Series | PPT

Centre de Formation de la Pointe-du-Lac
All-day workshop for CEGEP teachers: Teaching ESL with Technologies

With H. Roessingh (U. Calgary)
New York, NY, April
Poster: Vocabprofile for Kids
Docs: Handout | PPT


Washington University in St Louis
Invited lecture and workshop
Oct 22-23
St Louis, Mo
Lecture: Computing the vocabulary demands of L2 reading
Workshop: Multiplying the vocabulary supply with computing
Docs: Flyer | PPT | Workshop

CNA-Q 2007
College of the North Atlantic - Qatar
August 22-23
Doha, Qatar
Title 1: Developing and Testing a Technical Word List: How and why PPT
Title 2: What has the Arab ESL learner taught us? PPT

AAAL 2007
April 21-24
Costa Mesa, California
Co-organizer of Invited Colloquium (Conf site | Symposium PPTs)
Title: Getting the Word Out: Large-Scale Implementations of Vocabulary Research

AAAL 2007
Invited presentation
Title: Building Vocab Principles into a Mass-Distribution Video Game


TESOL Arabia 2006 (PDF Brochure, www.tesol.org, PPT plenary, PPT workshop)
March 27, 2006 Invited plenary speaker, Vocabulary symposium
Vocabulary Matters
Title: The old vocabulary, the new vocabulary, and the Arab learner

TCELT 2006 - "IT in ELT" (Brochure, PPT, Newspaper)
Northwest University, Shenyang & Chinese University, Hong Kong
June 1-2 and 5-6, 2006
Invited plenary speaker
Title: Building on the strengths of the Chinese learner with IT

ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council UK )Seminar
"Testing and teaching vocabulary in a second language setting"

Centre for Applied Language Study, Swansea University, UK
June 8-9, 2006
Invited plenary speaker
Title: What's needed now in vocabulary testing?

Concordia Workshop for In-Service Language Teachers
Title: L2 reading on a computer screen: Why and how (Blurb)
October 2006


SLRF 05 (Website)
Second Language Research Forum
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, Oct 7-9
Title: Advanced learners' use of cognates in receptive language processing

McGill University
AMLF - Arts Multimedia Language Facility
Montreal, May 13
Title: Lextutor.ca for French instructors (worksheet)

Iowa State CALL Club
(Carol Chapelle's Research Students)
Ames Iowa, May 1
Title: The case for computer-assisted extensive reading


TESL Ontario 2004
Research Symposium
Sponsor CCI (Canada Citizenship & Immigration)
Toronto, Nov 18-20
Title: Computer solutions to classic problems in L2 vocabulary acquisition - Abstract

University of Michigan English Language Institute
Brown Bag Series, 5 Oct 2004
Cracking the logical problem of building second lexicons

TELUQ - August 2004
Title: The Compleat Lexical Tutor for Translators
Two digital film sessions
For use in courses:
  * TRA 4010 - La traduction vers le français : une introduction
  * TRA 4030 - Outils, ressources et environnements d'aide à la traduction

CALS Annual Vocab Acquisition Group (VARG) Research Symposium
Centre for Applied Language Studies, Swansea UK, July
Title: Francophones' cognate avoidance: How deep is it? Abstract | PPT

TESOL 2004
Long Beach CA, Mar 31 - Apr 3
(click Preliminary Program)
Invited pre-conference research symposium participant
Symposium: Researching instructional and learning processes of L2 reading.
Title: Computer solutions to classic L2 reading problems
PPT: www.lextutor.ca/tesol_2004

AAAL 2004
Portland OR, May 1-4
Title: Concordance feedback for errors in writing.
PPT: http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/cv/ppt/aaal_04

SPEAQ Campus
Montreal, Jan 31
Ten things you can do with a text online.

Official Languages Programs
Montreal, Feb 1
Guided tour of online resources
Council of Ministers of Education/Conseil des ministres de l'éducation
Course Directors' Annual Meeting
Programmes Website

Atelier de formation pour les professeurs de langues
Université de Montréal, 16 avril 9-12
Apprendre du vocabulaire à l’aide d’un ordinateur en réseau
[ Affiche ]


Literacy Without Borders
3rd Pan-African Conference on Reading for All
Kampala, Uganda, August
Internet & literacy in the developing world: Delivering the teacher with the text.

SITSAT Montréal
3e Colloque régional pour l'intégration des TIC à l'éducation des adultes

Centre Clément, Comission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys
23 mai 2003
Using The Compleat Lexical Tutor's builder routines with your learners.

AERA (American Educational Research Association)
Chicago, 23-25 April

  1. Symposium discussant for Bernard, Lou, Abrami et al, Is distance education equivalent to classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature.
  2. (With Lori Morris) Vocabulary profiles as predictors of the academic performance of TESL trainees.

AAAL (American Assoc. of Applied Linguists)
Washington DC
The last word in resource-assisted reading.


McGill EGSS (Education Grad. Students Society) Conference
Directing the Winds of Change
November 9, 2002
Internet & literacy in the developing world.

TESL Nova Scotia
St Mary's University, Nova Scotia, November 15-16 2002
Plenary: Using IT to find and exploit i+1

TESL Alberta
University of Edmonton, Alberta, October 18-19 2002 (Conference site) Plenary: Information technology for designing comprehensible input

AAAL 2002
American Association for Applied Linguistics, April, Salt Lake City, Utah.

  1. Expanding academic vocabulary with a collaborative online database (with Marlise Horst).
  2. Vocabulary profiles as a predictor of TESL student performance (with Lori Morris).

Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition Colloquium
University of Haifa (Israel) / Leiden University (The Netherlands)
Leiden, March 15-17, 2002, with Marlise Horst, (visit conference site.)
Is there a GSL (General Service List) and AWL (Academic Word List) in French?

(Centre Interuniversitaire de recherche sur le Téléapprentissage)
Les Ateliers du Vendredi - 22 February 2002
Traduction du logiciel Compleat Lexical Tutor en français


YMCA Montreal Downtown, 11 December
Workshop for teachers
Introduction to computer assisted language learning.

SPEAQ 2001
(Société pour la promotion de l'Anglais langue seconde au Québec)
Ste-Hyacinthe, Québec, 3 November.
Using technology to pin down basic vocabulary and word banks in the MEQ's new curriculum.

Concordia-McGill Applied Linguistics Research Group
Research update, 9 October.

IT-MELT'01, Hong Kong
(Information Technology and Multimedia in English Language Teaching,
HK Polytechnic University, 1-2 June)
Growing an academic L2 lexicon with a collaborative online lexical database.
[Visit conference site.]

Centre d'Études Professionelles, St-Jerôme, Québec, April
Frequency and language learning: Using The Compleat Lexical Tutor

Études francophones, multimédia et internet
Centre d'études francophones Québec-Pacifique de Simon Fraser University
Conférencier invité / Invited speaker [Visit conference site].
Translating data-driven language learning into French, March 8-10

AAAL 2001
St Louis, Mo., February 15
Two mysteries of vocabulary acquisition, with Nina Spada

Groupe de recherche en ingénierie de la langue (GRIL), l'Université d'Ottawa
Can the rate of lexical acquisition through reading be increased: An experiment reading French with online resources, November 22

Rencontre en sciences cognitives, UQAM
Adaptations pédagogiques des outils cognitifs, September 15

École de langues, UQAM, Journée techno-pédagogique
Collaborative vocabulary with an online database, August 30

Vocabulary Acquisition Research Group, Swansea University, UK
Roles of frequency and context in vocabulary acquisition, July 10

Grammars of English, Concordia University
Grammars of English: Workshop on connectionism, March 21

Second Language Workshop and Seminar Series, University of Victoria (BC)
Data-Driven Language Learning On-Line, March 16

AAAL 2000
Vancouver, BC
Analysis of a corpus of Quebec learners' English, March 12

Second Language Institute, University of Ottawa
Data-Driven Language Learning On-Line, March 3

Symposium 2000 - Education for a New Century
Dept. of Educational Technology, Concordia University, February 11.
Keynote Address,
Is the computer following ETV and the language lab into the dustbin of ed tech history? 

UQAM, Teaching ESL in Developing Countries, 3 February.

IT-MELT'99, Hong Kong
(Information Technology and Multimedia in English Language Teaching, Polytechnic University, 6-7 November)
Giving learners something to do with concordance output.

SPEAQ (Société pour la promotion de l'Anglais langue seconde au Québec)
Toward a compleat on-line lexical tutor, 29 October.

CSLP Research Fair
Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia
Lexical access speeds for cognate and non-cognate words, 9 October.

AAAL 1999
Stamford CN
(American Association for Applied Linguistics)
Vocabulary size tests: One size fits all?

RASCALS-SPEAQ (CEGEP Vieux-Montréal, January)
(Regroupement au service des Cegeps en anglais, langue seconde - Société pour la promotion de l'anglais langue seconde au Québec)
Paradoxes of vocabulary acquisition

Seventh Annual ALC-GELI Convention, Havana
(Grupo de Especialistas en Lengua Inglesa de la Asociación de Linguistas de Cuba, December).
Vocabulary size tests.

CCALL3, Université Ste-Anne, Nova Scotia
(Third Canadian Conference on Computer Assisted Language Learning)
Breadth and depth of word learning through concordancing, June.

McGill Language Research Group
A gap in the lexicon: Hidden lexical needs of Francophone learners (with Ernie Bauer).

CSLP Research Fair
Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance, Concordia
Connectionism - what it looks like, how it works, interpreting its output.

TESL Centre, Concordia
Theory and practice of online language testing.

Concordia-McGill Applied Linguistics Research Group
Development of an instrument for measuring lexical access speed: Effects of feedback and practice on access times.

1997 FLEAT III, Victoria BC
(Foreign Language Education and Technology)
The learner as lexicographer (with Marlise Horst).

From concord to lexicon: Development and test of a corpus-based lexical tutor.

Lancaster University, UK.
Workshop/demonstration: Can concordance software be made learner-friendly?

DYFFRYN conference on lexis
Design for an empirical study of student concordancing.

TESOL 1996
Teaching English as a Second or Other Language, Chicago
Demonstration of TEXPERT v.3 text-manipulation software.

TESOL Arabia
Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
Importing reading tests into the Arabian Gulf: Analysing the task.
ETEC Student Symposium
Collecting user data in CAL: Why, how, and managing the volume.

TESOL (Atlanta)
Demonstration of TEXPERT v.2 text-manipulation software.

TESOL (New York)
Demonstration of TEXPERT v.1 text-manipulation software.

  Web Software (all categories)   ^  



Final migration of 1996 Texpert project to Web (full-sized corpus of graded readers for learner-comprehensible concordances; full list-to-user-glossary facilitation at List_Learn; incorporation of PET*2000 activities like ID words); first of several planned sub-domains on own servers (e.g., http://conc.lextutor.ca for rapid dedicated concordance output (1 second per million words of search), to be followed by dedicated VP server and others); revamped concordancer with one interface for English, French, and German, plus greater emphasis on collocation search; full German corpus named Braun and based on Brown corpus; a SAVE option on major tutorial authoring pages (Hypertext 1, Hypertext 2, VP_Cloze, N-Word Cloze)to allow teachers to make and house work for their students on Lextutor; incorporation of more than 30 corrections and suggestion proposed by users; completion or improvement of several minor routines (Randomization, Group Lex, MultiConc).


Word family unit of analysis for VocabProfile and increasingly throughout the system; Hypertext Bulder output links to three Reading-Plus activities corresponding to Meara's three dimensions of lexical competence (form, meaning, access); output links between several related programs (e.g., Tex_Lex_Compare output is forwarded on to VP); Range analysis extends to user-input texts; Familizer changes any word list into a family list; Keyword analysis; Vocabprofile inputs expanded to calculate coverage of domain specific lists...
Multi-Concord + Quiz Builder Provides either multiple concordances (e.g., for comparing behaviour of word pairs like shall and will) or multiple concordance exercise for learners (learners replace missing words from several contexts for the same word - a carryover from thesis work).

Spanish TTS On request from Spanish instructors at U de Montréal, Spanish text-to-speech capacity has been added to Lextutor and integrated into Spanish Hypertext routine (others to follow).

Suite of text utilities
Tag Stripper
To use web or other tagged texts for text analysis or input to Builder programs, the HTML tags may get in the way.

Story Concordance
A further development of the resource-assisted reading concept developed for Boule de Suif - clicked word shows not only dictionary-linked concordance for that word, but now also designates the chapters it will appear (has appeared) in, and in addition has made every word in the concordance itself clickable for further information.

Corpus Builder
When building a corpus for example of learner writing, it may be necessary to join several files into one. This utility allows combination of ten files, which can in turn be assembled in groups of ten...

Word family analysis added to VocabProfile (French and English).

Video Cloze
Teachers can make cloze passages with accompanying sound or RealPlayer video.

Reaction Speed Instrument
Related to the growing interest in access as a measure of lexical comptetence, this research instrument takes user inputs (e.g., words and non-words) and creates an experiment which captures user lexical decisions in milliseconds.

Text Concordance
Joining the several corpus concordance options on the site, this program lets users make a full concordance listing out of their own texts.

Phrase extractor
One of the discoveries of corpus linguistics that has impacted both general and applied linguistics is the amount of string or phrase repetition in English (discussed in review of Alison Wray, above, and learner corpus study (both 2003). The discovery came with computational analysis of large corpora, using software that remains generally unavailable. This routine gives users the general idea with their own (modest sized) input texts. Also in French.

By user request, finer categories or frequency analysis have been made available (mainly in the 1000-word level, including function and content, 0-500 and 501-1000). A French version has been developed (described in Cobb & Horst, In press, see above).

Vocab stats
By user request, simple statistics routines often used in lexical studies (descriptive, t-test, correlation, and Chi-square) have been adapted and included on the site and adapted to typical uses (for example, Vocabprofile comparisons by Chi-square are set up specifically for this purpose).

Vocabprofile Cloze Builder
Teacher or learner's text is transformed into a deletion exercise focusing on words at one of six frequency levels.

Homework assembler
By teacher request, an input system that allows students to contribute their assignments to a collective database and view each other's contributions conveniently.

N-Word Cloze Builder
By teacher request, a version of cloze builder that allows any text entry, auto-link to several additional information sources, related sound file if available, and split-screen for longer files so sound and answer-checking controls remain visible at all times. Also in French.

Group Lex v.4
Following user studies in several sites world-wide (College Militaire St-Jean; UAE University, Dubai; Hong Kong University, Cont. Ed, Concordia, Ecole de langues, UQAM) a number of modifications have been made:

  • Teacher editing facility
  • Intermediate screen allowing student preview and edit
  • Separation of entry and presentation screens to block double entries
  • Text-to-Speech for all words in database by click or drag for both words and phrases.

Additional Hypertext Builders
Builders have now been joined by several resource options, including the new Cambridge Advanced learner dictionary and a bilingualized Chinese dictionary. User links own text to a wide variety of reading resources including text-to-speech which can be accessed by clicking.

Text-to-Speech capacity added to Listlearn and Resource-Assisted Reading

Bilingual (parallel English-French) capacity is added to site generally (75% complete at January 2002)

Suite of bilingual for-teacher resources under development including
HYPERBUILDER - a make-your-own hypertext system which transforms user's text into a hyper-document linked to click-on resources (bilingual).

  Tutorial Software (up to 2003)  


Updates and additions
Export Lexical Database.
Stripped down PHP based version of lexical database developed for TESL-298 (below and described in Horst & Cobb, 2001) now available for free distribution (in use Hong Kong University project, November, 2001).

Online successor to PET*2000 (1995) system for vocabulary expansion. Full diagnostic tests, concordance-linked frequency lists with progress tests, full length texts with R-READ resource pack, frequency analysis software, full concordancing facility, and supporting research documents.

Class website for APLI-644, Computers and language teaching.

Class website for TESL-298, Academic vocabulary development.

Class website for LIN-9960, Introduction to connectionist models of language acquisition and processing.
Class website for LAN-4150, Advanced reading and writing for ESL teachers - includes lexical database (group lex) and student writing.
A 50-minute placement test measuring skills in three areas, in multiple choice and written format; paired with analysis routine which also performs ongoing item analysis. In three versions: general English, English for TESL trainees, and English for Specific Purposes (Dép. du tourisme et le hôtellerie, UQAM). Basis of research reported in Cobb (2000).
1995 PET*2000
Successor to PET*200; a corpus and concordance-based lexical tutor especially modified to introduce lower-intermediate learners to 2000 new words in multiple contexts.
Database where students can store/review/test themselves on words and contexts they have culled from PET*2000 corpus; includes set of five learner-designed practice activities.
1994 PET*200
A word list-driven subset of Texpert, adapted to introducing learners to 200 high-frequency words in multiple contexts through five practice activities of increasing complexity.
Two full-length, four-skill, multimedia versions of Cambridge University's Preliminary English Test (PET).
A vocabulary review tutor accessing a large database of words each fitted to a definition and example.
1991/93 TEXPERT
An integrated suite of more than a dozen text manipulation activities at three skill levels.
Video demonstration, 1993, Director Frank Roop
1992 ARABY
A parallel version of Texpert running in the Macintosh Arabic system.

  Cognitive simulations  


Using an algorithm of a few lines, this program simulates a common student strategy for answering reading comprehension questions, namely to find the clause in the text matching the greatest number of content words in the question and offer this as the answer. Program outcomes not significantly different from those of human learners.
This program performs phrase-structure question transformations through a simple all-purpose chunking algorithm, casting doubt on the need for specific innate knowledge in language learning.
This program simulates teachers' strategies and criteria for grading elementary written compositions, producing outcomes not significantly different from those of human instructors. It shows either how much a machine can do - or else how little some teachers do!
The program generates random strings of words, and a human operator teaches it which of these are acceptable English sentences. In a time the program generates almost entirely correct, novel sentences, showing how easily syntax can be acquired if negative evidence is provided.

  Research-oriented software

To 2001, then incorporated into www.lextutor.ca (above)

2001, 2004, 2006, 2013 WEB-BASED VISUAL VOCAB PROFILE

Text analysis program that breaks any text into lexical divisions (GSL, UWL, others) following research of Nation and colleagues. Like Nation's program VocabProfile, but available online and allowing colour as well as numeric visualisation of output. Also French version (2013)
RT Subjects inspect one of several dozen line drawings, then answer multiple choice questions drawing either a semantic or a grammatical distinction. Of particular interest is Francophone children's skill with his/her distinctions, as compared to their skill with semantic distinctions. The program records RT in milliseconds (from presentation of question to answer) and correctness of response. Developed for use in a doctoral project.
Self-report instrument that presents content words from a specified text for subject to indicate present knowledge of (0=I have never seen word, 1=I have seen word but do not know its meaning, 2=I think I know its meaning, 3=I know its meaning and can use it productively). Use reported in Horst, M., & Meara, P. M. (2000), Test of a model for predicting second language lexical growth through reading, Canadian Modern Language Review.
Text analysis program for Macintosh that breaks any text into lexical divisions (GSL, UWL, others) following research of Nation and colleagues. Like Nation's VocabProfile, but allows inspection of process rather than merely result, and runs on Macintosh rather than PC computers. Partially adapted for French as of January 1999.

Gathers data from students' right and wrong answers to receptive questions on an online test, producing a facility index for each question.
Students see either real English words or random string of letters, press a Yes or No key when they have decided, and computer records RT (reaction times) in milliseconds. Adaptable to numerous types of wordlists and feedback conditions.
Texts are analysed for their composition in terms of percentage of words at the 2000 frequency level, at the academic discourse level, or beyond either level.
A data-reduction program for making sense of large amounts of dribble-file data generated by students using CALL programs.

  Graduate supervision   ^  


Maria Zirkly, Les dictionnaires monolingues, bilingues et semi-bilingues en FLS : usage, niveaux des apprenants, effets sur l’apprentissage

Valentin Ovtcharov, Lexical correlates of success in civil service oral interviews (MA)

Natacha Bergeron, When can cognate awareness be taught? (MA)

Nancy Hebert, Francophone learners' cognate recognition and processing in and out of context (MA)

Hsing Fei Huang, Breadth vs. depth of lexical knowledge as predictor of reading ability? (MA, McGill, co-directed with Carolyn Turner).
Delian Gaskell, Can and will elementary ESL learners use concordance information to correct their own written errors?


Tim Dougherty, An investigation of the dual mechanism model of past tense formation: Does it apply to non-native speakers? (MA, McGill, co-directed with Carolyn Turner).
Rick Zahar, Examining conditions of incidental L2 vocabulary acquisition through reading. (MA, completed September 1999, McGill, co-directed with Nina Spada).



Diploma in French language and linguistics, Univ. de Paris - Sorbonne, 1983
Modern standard, School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC, 1989.

Colloquial Egyptian, McGill University, 1992.

Get updated version of this page at http://www.lextutor.ca/cv/       Last updated June 15, 2011