TESOL 2019

CALL-IS Academic Session



SMALL: Research, Practice, Impact of Social Media-Assisted Language Learning


Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. EDT

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Table of Contents



While CALL, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, provides the access portal to online learning, SMALL, Social Media-Assisted Language Learning, furnishes the experience with research-based beliefs and learning outcomes, engaging students through interactions in familiar social settings.  Panelists present ways social media assists language learning, success stories, and SMALL's growing impact on language education. 



Schedule of Presentations


Time Presenters  Topic / Description 
1:00 - 1:10  Maria Tomeho-Palermino Moderator's opening remarks 
1:10 - 1:30 

Sandy Wagner


Sandy's Presentation

SMALL: Large Impacts on Language Learning and Social Engagement 


Research on Social Media for Language Learning and Social Engagement 


Title: SMALL: Large Impacts on Language Learning and Social Engagement


Social Media_Assisted Language Learning (SMALL), grounded in the tenets of connectivism, offers "new virtual ecologies that afford language learning and socialization." (Valnecia, J., 2016).  Research provides deeper insights into these "new virtual ecologies" and offers a plethora of justifications, proven results, and recommendations for integration into language teaching and learning.  The presenter highlights the spectrum of research-based rationale that opens the doors for greater student engagement, motivation, and interactions. 

1:30 - 1:50

Vance Stevens,


Thinking SMALL: A Case for Social Media-Assisted Language Learning 

Vance's contribution to this panel covers

  1. His involvement in social media assisted language learning since last century, since before FB was invented, before the terms Web 2.0 and MOOC were coined, as explained in his 2014 article Connectivist Learning: Reaching Students through Teacher Professional Development

  2. His promotion of the term SMALL since his presentation at TESOL 2009 in Denver, at a session celebrating 25 years of CALL-IS

  3. Results so far from a survey aimed at gauging educators’ perceptions of certain aspects of using social media with each other and with students (see Vance's presentation in Google Slides )

1:50 - 2:10

Elke Stappert, The New York Public Library/


Impact on Learning:

Success Stories and Potential Drawbacks 

Whatsapp (brief mention of Instagram, Twitter)


Elke's presentation in Google slides 


Why Whatsapp? and how to set up a group

* Different types of groups (by class, multiple same level classes, by topic. Set up by T or Ss)

* from T involvement in the group to independent S communication 

* Successes (show examples / snapshots from Whatsapp groups)

* Challenges (show examples / snaphots)

* Conclusion: Choose best format for YOUR learning environment and set up clear rules 


Instagram and Twitter 

Facebook comment at the end, transition to Susan's part

2:10 - 2:30 

Susan Gaer

Elke Stappert

Abraham Reshad

Social Media/Network Practical Examples


Susan will demo her ESL low beginning class from 2017 using Facebook Groups. She will talk about the process she went through, how she used them and the benefits that she saw in terms of student engagement, extension and enhancement. Susan Gaer-Using Facebook Groups with ELL immigrant adult students low beginning -


Susan's Presentation


2:30 - 2:45  Maria Tomeho-Palermino

Wrap up and Q & A




Maria Tomeho-Palermino is an adjunct lecturer in Global Pathways at Northeastern University.  She has been teaching, doing teacher trainingm and directing programs for well over 30 years in the US and abroad.  She is also a consultant who designs online business and legal English courses.


Sandy Wagner is an Associate Professor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Division of Distance Learning.  She has many years experience teaching ESL at all age levels for Broward County Schools and has done extensive teacher training in technology integration for language teaching and learning.  She is a former CALL-IS Chair and the designer, developer, and facilitator of TESOL's Developing an Online Teaching Program certificate program.  


Vance Stevens has worked in CALL for 40 years. He is on the editorial board of CALL Journal, seeded Webheads in Action and EVO Minecraft MOOC, founded Learning2gether and has hosted almost 400 podcasts there, edits On the Internet for TESL-EJ, and has served as TESOL CALL-IS Electronic Village Online coordinator/moderator since 2002. Vance's presentations and publications are archived at


Elke Stappert is an ESOL and literacy teacher at the New York Public Library and 1199SEIU Funds. She also works as a consultant at the Literacy Assistance Center and creates videos for teaching. Elke is an experienced workshop presenter, founder of and co-Founder of TESOL’s Video PLN. 


Susan Gaer is Professor Emeritus at Santa Ana College and a Subject Matter Expert for the Outreach Technical Assistance Center (OTAN). She is a former CALL-IS Chair and is President-Elect of CATESOL. In addition, she is one of the series consultant for Project Success, Pearson LTD. She is an avid and passionate user of technology with her ESL students. Here is a great resource on using Facebook Groups with students-

You can learn more about Susan on her website at





There were two recordings because streaming computer crashed in the middle of our presentation, and there were also audio issues, choppy audio that is slightly distracting but is still comprehensible. But the two original recordings have by now been removed and consolidated into one long video: 



In the video


See Vance's blog post from this event: 



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