Workshop on Supporting eLearning with Language Resources and Semantic Data
May 22nd, 2010
Valletta, Malta

In conjunction with LREC 2010


Language resources are of crucial importance not only for research and development in language and speech technology but also for eLearning applications. In addition, the increasingly availability of semantically interpreted data in the WEB 3.0 is creating a huge impact in semantic technology. Social media applications such as Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook, provide us with data in the form of tags and interactions among users. We believe that the exploitation of semantic data (emerging both from the Semantic Web and from social media) and language resources will drive the next generation eLearning platforms. The integration of these technologies within eLearning applications should also facilitate access to learning material in developing economies.

The workshop aims at bringing together computational linguists, language resources developers, knowledge engineers, social media researchers and researchers involved in technology-enhanced learning as well as developers of eLearning material, ePublishers and eLearning practitioners. It will provide a forum for interaction among members of different research communities, and a means for attendees to increase their knowledge and understanding of the potential of language resources in eLearning. We will especially target eLearning practitioners in the Mediterranean Partner Countries.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:


Papers should be 5 pages long and submitted through the START Conference Manager submission site: https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/E-learning2010/. Accepted papers will be published in the workshop proceedings and should adhere to the style sheet. The templates for paper submissions are published on the LREC web site.

When submitting a paper from the START page, authors will be asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e. also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further information on this new initiative, please refer to http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?LREC2010-Map-of-Language-Resources.

Important Dates


14:30-14:45Words of welcome & IntroductionPaola Monachesi
14:45-15:05Language Resources and CALL ApplicationsHelmer Strik, Jozef Colpaert, Joost van Doremalen and Catia Cucchiarini
15:05-15:15Challenges for Discontiguous Phrase ExtractionDale Gerdemann and Gaston Burek
15:15-15:25Towards Resolving Morphological Ambiguity in Arabic Intelligent Language Tutoring FrameworkKhaled Shalaan, Doaa Samy and Marwa Magdi
15:25-15:45Language Resources and Visual Communication in a Deaf-Centered Multimodal E-Learning Environment: Issues to be AddressedElena Antinoro Pizzuto, Claudia S. Bianchini, Daniele Capuano, Gabriele Gianfreda and Paolo Rossini
15:45-15:55Deaf People Education: Crossing Linguistic Borders through E-LearningGiuseppe Nuccetelli and Maria Tagarelli De Monte
16:30-16:50BONy: a Knowledge Centric Collaborative Learning PlatformAlfio Massimiliano Gliozzo, Concetto Elvio Bonafede and Aldo Gangemi
16:50-17:00Social E-SPACES; Socio-Collaborative Spaces within the Virtual World EcosystemVanessa Camilleri and Matthew Montebello
17:00-17:20A Semantic Knowledge Base for Personal Learning and Cloud Learning EnvironmentsAlexander Mikroyannidis, Paul Lefrere and Peter Scott
17:20-17:30Semantic Annotation for Semi-Automatic Positioning of the LearnerPetya Osenova and Kiril Simov
17:30-17:50Facilitating Cross-Language Retrieval and Machine Translation by Multilingual Domain OntologiesPetr Knoth, Trevor Collins, Elsa Sklavounou and Zdenek Zdrahal
18:00-19:00Wrap up, discussion, plans for common projects

Abstracts of accepted papers

(Download the proceedings of the workshop)

Language Resources and CALL Applications
(Helmer Strik, Jozef Colpaert, Joost van Doremalen and Catia Cucchiarini)

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The current paper deals with the relation between language resources and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) systems: language resources are essential in the development of CALL applications, during the development of the system resources are created, and finally the CALL system itself can be used to generate additional resources that are useful for research and development of new (CALL) systems.We focus on the system developed in the project DISCO (Development and Integration of Speech technology into COurseware for language learning): we describe the language resources employed for developing the DISCO system and present the DISCO system paying attention to the design, the automatic speech recognition modules, and the resources produced within the project. Finally, we discuss how additional language resources can be generated through the DISCO system.

Challenges for Discontiguous Phrase Extraction
(Dale Gerdemann and Gaston Burek)

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Suggestions are made as to how phrase extraction algorithms should be adapted to handle gapped phrases. Such variable phrases are useful for many purposes, including the characterization of learner texts. The basic problem is that there is a combinatorial explosion of such phrases. Any reasonable program must start by putting the exponentially many phrases into equivalence classes (Yamamoto and Church, 2001). This paper discusses the proper characterization of gappy phrases and sketches a suffix-array algorithm for discovering these phrases.

Towards Resolving Morphological Ambiguity in Arabic Intelligent Language Tutoring Framework
(Khaled Shalaan, Doaa Samy and Marwa Magdi)

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Ambiguity is a major issue in any NLP application that occurs when multiple interpretations of the same language phenomenon are produced. Given the complexity of the Arabic morphological system, it is difficult to determine what the intended meaning of the writer is. Moreover, Intelligent Language Tutoring Systems which need to analyze erroneous learner answers, generally, introduce techniques, such as constraints relaxation, that would produce more interpretations than systems designed for processing well-formed input. This paper addresses issues related to the morphological disambiguation of corrected interpretations of erroneous Arabic verbs that were written by beginner to intermediate Second Language Learners. The morphological disambiguation has been developed and effectively evaluated using real test data. It achieved satisfactory results in terms of the recall rate.

Language Resources and Visual Communication in a Deaf-Centered Multimodal Elearning Environment: Issues to be Addressed
(Elena Antinoro Pizzuto, Claudia S. Bianchini, Daniele Capuano, Gabriele Gianfreda and Paolo Rossini)

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This paper examines some of the major problems linked to the task of designing appropriate multilingual e-learning environments for deaf learners (DL). Due to their hearing disability most DL experience dramatic difficulties in acquiring appropriate literacy skills. E-learning tools could in principle be very useful for facilitating access to web-based knowledge and promoting literacy development in DL. However, designing appropriate e-learning environments for DL is a complex task especially because of the different linguistic background and experience DL may have, and of the multimodal language resources that need to be provided and integrated (e.g. language produced in the visual-gestural or signed modality, in written texts, closed captioning for vocal language information). The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1) describe and discuss issues we believe need to be addressed, focusing on the limitations that appear to characterize several e-learning platforms that have been proposed for DL; (2) present and discuss ongoing research aimed at overcoming these limitations.

Deaf People Education: Crossing Linguistic Borders Through E-Learning
(Giuseppe Nuccetelli and Maria Tagarelli De Monte)

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The introduction of Web Technologies and the development and spread of portable devices has improved the quality of life of deaf people making distant communication easier. In particular, the development of online systems including video-messaging and the possibility to upload user generated contents, has given deaf people the possibility to rely on other, more direct, means of communication. Similarly, the development of e-learning platforms and their adoption in most Universities worldwide, is shaping the way education is conceived, leading to new and innovative systems merging in-class education with e-learning systems. Our contribution gives a first explanation of how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be a strategic resource to give deaf people equal educational opportunities focusing on the development of appropriate language skills, and the strategies through which these opportunities can become effective. Our experience is based on the results and outcomes of DEAL Project (Deaf people in Europe Acquiring Languages through E-Learning), carried out from Istituto Statale per Sordi Roma (ISSR - State Institute for the Deaf in Rome) with co-financing from the European Commission. The objective being that of creating an e-learning model for teaching foreign languages to deaf individuals in professional education, and giving new bases to researches in the field.

BONy: a Knowledge Centric Collaborative Learning Platform
(Alfio Massimiliano Gliozzo, Concetto Elvio Bonafede and Aldo Gangemi)

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In this paper we describe BONy, a technology enhanced platform for collaborative learning. Semantic technology, and in particular an RDF/OWL ontology, is used to integrate different modules of the system, allowing strong interoperability between linguistic data and structured knowledge. This allows us to develop intelligent advanced functionalities, including expert finding, mentoring and semantic search. Those functionalities largely exceed the capabilities of existing state of the art e-Learning platforms, for example allowing multilingual search. BONy is an unique showcase for the next generation semantic systems for e-Learning. The BONy platform is currently working as a free on-line service.

Social E-SPACES; Socio-Collaborative Spaces within the Virtual World Ecosystem
(Vanessa Camilleri and Matthew Montebello)

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This paper presents research based on a current study validating the effectiveness of the teaching and learning process in the context of virtual spaces. A report about teens and social Media (Lenhart, Madden, Rankin Macgill, & Smith, 2007) reveals that 93% of the teens who were interviewed use the Internet as a social meeting place. This, coupled with recent internet usage statistics, establishes "digital natives" as active participants in the design of new media as social collaborative tools. Would these social tools be effective in the e-learning context or will they form part of a wider knowledge management framework? The purpose of this study is to outline the design of the measurement of interaction processes in the virtual spaces used for e-learning.

A Semantic Knowledge Base for Personal Learning and Cloud Learning Environments
(Alexander Mikroyannidis, Paul Lefrere and Peter Scott)

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Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and Cloud Learning Environments (CLEs) have recently encountered a rapid growth, as a response to the rising demand of learners for multi-sourced content and environments targeting their needs and preferences. This paper introduces a semantic knowledge base that utilises a multi-layered architecture consisting of learning ontologies customized for certain aspects of PLEs and CLEs. A number of stakeholder clusters, including learners, educators, and domain experts, are identified and are assigned distinct roles for the collaborative management of this knowledge base.

Semantic Annotation for Semi-Automatic Positioning of the Learner
(Petya Osenova and Kiril Simov)

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The learner’s positioning with respect to a curriculum is of a great importance to the life-long learning (an informal learner needs to achieve a certain level of competency) as well as to the mobility learning (a student spending a semester in another university). In both cases it is necessary to determine learner’s prior knowledge. Thus, he might profit in an optimal way from the consequent learning process. The learner’s positioning requires grading of pre-course questionnaires by a tutor. This grading is tedious and time-consuming work. In this paper we present the first implementation of a knowledge-rich method for supporting the tutor in the positioning task. Our method exploits the potential of the semantic annotation with regard to the curriculum and the learner’s questionnaire answers. The annotation of the curriculum provides the level of the competence to be covered in the course, while the annotation of the questionnaire answers provides evidence for the learner competence per se. The final judgment is assigned to the tutor. The presented method might be well used also for the learner’s self-positioning with slight modifications only.

Facilitating Cross-Language Retrieval and Machine Translation by Multilingual Domain Ontologies
(Petr Knoth, Trevor Collins, Elsa Sklavounou and Zdenek Zdrahal)

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This paper presents a method for facilitating cross-language retrieval and machine translation in domain specific collections. The method is based on a semi-automatic adaption of a multilingual domain ontology and it is particularly suitable for the eLearning domain. The presented approach has been integrated into a real-world system supporting cross-language retrieval and machine translation of large amounts of learning resources in nine European languages. The system was built in the context of a European Commission Supported project Eurogene and it is now being used as a European reference portal for teaching human genetics.

Program Committee

Claudio Baldassarre (Open University)
Roberto Basili (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
Eva Blomqvist (ISTC–CNR)
Antonio Branco (University of Lisbon)
Dan Cristea (University of Iaşi)
Ernesto William De Luca (TU Berlin)
Philippe Dessus (University Pierre-Mendès-France, Grenoble)
Claudio Giuliano (FBK-irst)
Wolfgang Greller (Open University of the Netherlands)
Alessio Gugliotta (Innova spa)
Jamil Itmazi (Palestine Ahliya University)
Susanne Jekat (Zürich Winterthur Hochschule)
Vladislav Kubon (Charles University Prague)
Lothar Lemnitzer (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften)
Stefanie Lindstaedt (Know-Center)
Angelo Marco Luccini (INSEAD)
Manuele Manente (JOGroup)
Dunja Mladenic (J. Stefan Institute)
Mattew Montebello (University of Malta)
Jad Najjar (WU Vienna)
Valentina Presutti (ISTC–CNR)
Adam Przepiorkowski (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Mike Rosner (University of Malta)
Doaa Samy (Cairo University)
Khaled Shaalan (Cairo University)
Kiril Simov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Stefan Trausan-Matu (University of Bucarest)
Cristina Vertan (University of Hamburg)
Fridolin Wild (Open University)

Organizing Committee

Paola Monachesi
University of Malta, Malta and Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Alfio Massimiliano Gliozzo

Eline Westerhout
Utrecht University, The Netherlands