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Vance and Rif co-author a paper from a presentation given online, Nov. 2001
Rif writes about his travels in Summer, 2002 - click here
Rif's website from his email signature, Nov 2003:

Meet Arif


I am a new member to the group. Let me introduce myself. My name is Arif Altun and I am a teacher and academician (assistant professor) at the department of computers and instructional technology at a university in Turkey. I completed my dissertation work on Computer Assisted Language Learning at the university of Cincinnati.

You can reach me at or via ICQ 20906341

So, I am looking forward to hearing from you all.



Vance had a chat with Rif on ICQ before class on March 18. Rif gave permission for us to put it here:

rif: (11:52 AM) Hi Vance, how are you

Vance: (11:53 AM) Hey Rif. Fine, and you?

rif: (11:54 AM) same here... I read the emails about the Arabian TESOL, but I couldn't make it. It seems that you did not go to TESOL at St Louis this year

Vance: (11:55 AM) No, did you?

Vance: (11:55 AM) First one I've missed in 15 years. I'll try to make the next one.

rif: (11:56 AM) I am afraid I couldn't make it either. I am hoping for the next year, too...

Vance: (11:58 AM) The TESOL Arabia presentation went well. We got an applause

rif: (11:58 AM) congrads! you presented the Webheads, right? Are you planning to present it at TESOL USA as well

Vance: (11:59 AM) I've presented at TESOL USA before. In Vancouver we gave a live online show.

Vance: (12:00 PM) We've gone live online in Barcelona, numerous conferences in the UAE, and in various online conferences

rif: (12:00 PM) cool.

Vance: (12:01 PM) Next one is May in Nicosia. I'm giving a plenary and I hope my Webheads friends will help me out.

rif: (12:01 PM) In Northern Cyprus?

Vance: (12:01 PM) They always do. We've been doing this for several years.

Vance: (12:02 PM) No, in the Greek part, so unfortunately I guess there's no border crossing.

rif: (12:02 PM) I just asked because there is another conference in the Northern part in May, too

Vance: (12:03 PM) Yeah, Famagusta. I noticed that. Maybe we could bring them together online.

rif: (12:03 PM) Is it ok for Americans to attend such professional organizations in Northern Cyrprus? (just asking to be sure since Northern Cyprus is still unrecognized by the US I guess)

Vance: (12:04 PM) We have mainland Chinese talking with Taiwanese ... I don't think there's any travel ban in Northern Cyprus. I'd love to go there.

rif: (12:06 PM) If we talked before, we could have sent an abstract together to the one in NCyprus to make a joint event there!!

Vance: (12:06 PM) If you have an online component, I can join you from wherever I am

rif: (12:07 PM) I will keep this in my mind!

Vance: (12:08 PM) There's also this one: May 3rd, 4th & 5th 2001 - Isik University, EFL Department, ELT Conference 2001: Isik University Campus, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey, "Creativity within Constraints",

Vance: (12:09 PM) I can't find a listing for the conf in northern cyprus at Can you give me any particulars?

Vance: (12:09 PM) But I know I was aware of it ???

rif: (12:10 PM) I can send you tommorrow. I am now at home, and the address is listed in my laptop

Vance: (12:10 PM) No, I was thinking of this one: 12-13 February 2001 - "Bringing Textbook to Life." 3rd International Conference for English Language Teaching Professionals, School of Foreign Languages, The Eastern Mediterranean University, Gazi Magusa, Famagusta, Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, Key Note Speakers Include: Sue Sheerin, Amos Paran and Peter Maingay;

Vance: (12:11 PM) So, I didn't know about a conference there in May. What are you presenting on?

rif: (12:11 PM) yes, here you go! it was this one that I was mentioning

rif: (12:11 PM) wait wait, This is different, I will check tomorrow

Vance: (12:13 PM) ok, yeah, I keep track of these, as you see. Sure, if you want me to come up and present with you some time, just let me know when. I like Turkey. I want to get to Trabzon and the east next time I go.

rif: (12:13 PM) I am not sending any conference presentation this semester. I will be presenting two papers in Bolu in June, about computer education in Turkey (two different survey results that I conducted), and I am working on a chapter that I will send to US in couple of weeks..

Vance: (12:14 PM) What are the topics?

rif: (12:15 PM) Presentations or book chapter?

Vance: (12:15 PM) oh, on computer education in Turkey? I mean, what aspects?

Vance: (12:16 PM) Do you mean your survey computer use in Turkey? Integration with language teaching in particular?

rif: (12:16 PM) one is about the students' and teachers' attitude toward computers in classrooms, and the other one is about elementary education teacher trainees' perceptions on the use of the Internet

rif: (12:16 PM) no, these are more geared toward computer literacy!

Vance: (12:17 PM) It's a shifting playing field isn't it? I guess it's hard to get computers in the hand of the people there, economic reasons

rif: (12:17 PM) but, I will be co-presenting with a friend of mine on electronic portfolios in an academic reading-writing environment

rif: (12:19 PM) Yes, but recently, the World Bank invested a lot of money on hardware and software in schools in Turkey. The problem is there are not many people who are computer literate to initiate an environment

Vance: (12:19 PM) That sound interesting. We do portfolio assessment here, and assess what the students leave in their folders on the server, so is that what that is?

Vance: (12:20 PM) The UAE is fortunate to pay salaries that attract good people, and that's exactly it, it's the people who put it together. The machines are secondary.

rif: (12:20 PM) yes, we developed a database (asp scripted) web-site with a unique username and a password. We asked students enter their reflections online. Are you doing a similar thing?

Vance: (12:21 PM) Except for student reflections. Their portfolio consists of recordings and powerpoint presentations and projects they do for the curriuculum.

rif: (12:22 PM) I see. I then interviewed with some key students to explore their reactions toward this new medium. We are going to present the findings ...

Vance: (12:23 PM) Should be interesting. Send me a copy if you can.

rif: (12:23 PM) ok, I will..

Vance: (12:23 PM) My last presentation is at

rif: (12:23 PM) a-ha, BTW, it is going to be in Turkish :-))

Vance: (12:24 PM) hmmmmm

rif: (12:24 PM) well, maybe we should explore some possibilities to publish it outside ....

Vance: (12:24 PM) Isn't there some website I can go to to have it translated?

rif: (12:25 PM) not from Turkish into English! there are almost every language but Turkish

Vance: (12:25 PM) What a shame. You guys will have to create one.

rif: (12:27 PM) you are right! We have a whole field of Turkish Language Teaching departments throughout Turkey, but they do not seem to eager to see this as a problem yet!

Vance: (12:28 PM) What is your area of work exactly?

rif: (12:29 PM) I have a master in Applied linguistics, and doctorate in Computer assisted language learning at the department of Curriculum and Instruction!

Vance: (12:30 PM) How impressive! What was your dissertation on?

rif: (12:32 PM) thanks... the socio-cognitive aspects in hypertext reading in an ESL environment

rif: (12:33 PM) I did not have a chance to re-design my website, but there is my dissertation proposal on-line if you would like to have a look!

Vance: (12:35 PM) Looks interesting. And what did you find out?

rif: (12:36 PM) I organized my findings in categories, both in ternms of hypertext reading and hypertext links, also, I have found that there is an interaction in the classroom, oppor\site to the view that computers isolate learning

rif: (12:37 PM) I am currently working on writing it in the form of an article. I can send you when I complete if you want!

Vance: (12:37 PM) I certainly agree there. Our experience with online learning indicates computers break isolation. Yes, I'd love to read the article.

rif: (12:37 PM) Do you know JoAnn (Sullivan) Hammadou?

Vance: (12:38 PM) No, don't think so.

rif: (12:40 PM) ok, she is in New York at the University of Long Island, now. They are preparing an edited book on the recent research in SLA and technology. I am sending it to them for possible consideration. let's see how it goes1 I would like to see it published very much! I think people should start looking at computers as an interactive tool rather than disguising their computer anxiety

Vance: (12:44 PM) Anything you want me to read and feed back to you on, just let me know. Sounds like interesting work. Are you familiar with Papyrus News (the topics would interest you)

Vance: (12:44 PM)

rif: (12:45 PM) No i did not hear that one. Thank you for your suggestion. I definetly would like you to have a look and give me feedback!

rif: (12:47 PM) I will be damned! How shame I did not know this! Was it just after 1999?

rif: (12:48 PM) I already sent my subscription message!

Vance: (12:48 PM) The complete archive is there so you haven't missed anything

rif: (12:50 PM) I was following the Eastgate Hypertext! It is at

Vance: (12:54 PM) Yeah, having a look at that. Looks interesting. Have you ever read anything by Myron Tuman?

rif: (12:56 PM) wasn't he the author of literacy online?

Vance: (12:57 PM) Yeah, several books like that, Word Perfect was one. I was thinking of one he did on hypertext. And, getting lost in this eastgate stuff ...

rif: (12:59 PM) I think I just saw his book, but I did not read in detail. I am mostly thinking like Andrew Dillon. He suggests that getting lost is not a big problem. It is more like a choice. However, I accept the fact that there is a big cognitive overload on students to make them feel get lost1

Vance: (1:00 PM) You need some kind of map if you take it to extremes. Tuman talks of the docuverse, the world of hyperlinked documents.

Vance: (1:00 PM) Who is Andrew Dillon?

rif: (1:01 PM) he is a professor at the University of Indiana. Cognitive Scientist, writing on hypertext!

rif: (1:02 PM)

rif: (1:03 PM) Vance, I gotto be away from my desk for a while...

rif: (1:05 PM) I like to talk more about this later, if you like

Vance: (1:06 PM) me too. Can I put this conversation on your web page in Webheads? Over the head of most students, but teachers would enjoy it.

rif: (1:06 PM) no problem at all

Vance: (1:17 PM) Yeah, it's good when we can share our interests among our community. On the topic of isolation, I mean, here we are in our respective countries / offices and I'm in as close touch with you as I am the people down the hall.

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Last updated: November 20, 2003 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0