A major initiative of the NFLRC during the 1996-1999 grant cycle was the establishment of a new professional journal on technology and foreign language teaching, published electronically on the WorldWideWeb. This journal, Language Learning & Technology, was officially launched at the ACTFL meeting in Philadelphia in November 1996, with the University of Hawai‘i NFLRC (the initiating sponsor) assuming responsibility for the content and editorial control of the journal and the Michigan State University LRC (CLEAR) assuming responsibility as co-sponsor for production, including maintenance of a web server. Additional sponsors include the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), the International Association of Learning Laboratories (IALL), the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL), and the Australian Technology Enhanced Language Learning Consortium (ATELL). An Editorial Board was recruited which included representatives from each of the other funded LRCs and many leading universities.
This new journal has exceeded all expectations. The first issue was published in July, 1997, and the journal quickly established itself as one of the most successful Internet published journals to date in any field and the first in the world with a major focus on the use of the Internet for language teaching. LLT is fully refereed and is published in Hypermedia format, with links to photos, graphics, and sound files. Two volumes (4 issues) have been published, of consistently high quality. The journal has received nearly a half million “hits” since it began, although this is not a very meaningful number. More meaningful is the fact that the journal has been accessed by approximately 17,000 unique readers (different individuals, counted only once no matter how many times they access the home page or individual articles) and has 2500 registered subscribers.
Dr. Mark Warschauer, the first editor of the journal and a member of the NFLRC staff at the time the journal was begun, subsequently completed his doctorate at the University of Hawai‘i and moved to Egypt, where he is technology director for a major USAID funded educational program. However, he has continued as editor of the journal, reporting to the NFLRC, and the NFLRC has continued to fund support staff and remains responsible for the editorial content of the journal. Dr. Irene Thompson, the NFLRC Consultant, was subsequently appointed co-editor of the journal.
The two LRCs who sponsor Language Learning & Technology, the Hawai‘i NFLRC and the Michigan State University CLEAR, agreed to continue their sponsorship under the same arrangement for the next three years, with Hawai‘i responsible for the content of the journal and Michigan State responsible for production and maintenance of the server.