QuickAssist Extensive Reading for Learners of German Using CALL Technologies
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The focus of this dissertation is the development and testing of a CALL tool which assists learners of German with the extensive reading of German texts of their choice. The application provides functionality that enables learners to acquire new vocabulary, analyse the meaning of complex word forms and to study a word’s semantic and syntactic features with the help of corpora and online resources. It is also designed to enable instructors to create meaningful exercises to be used in classroom activities focusing on vocabulary acquisition and word formation rules. The detailed description of the software development and implementation is preceded by a review of the relevant literature in the areas of German morphology and word formation, second language acquisition and vocabulary acquisition in particular, studies on the benefits of extensive reading, the role of motivation in second language learning, CALL, and natural language processing technologies. The user study presented at the end of this dissertation shows how a first test group of learners was able to use the application for individual reading projects and presents the results of an evaluation of the software conducted by three German instructors assessing the affordances of the applications for students and potential applications for language instructors.