Catherine Caws

Catherine Caws
Professor, Undergraduate and Honours Adviser
French and Francophone Studies
Office: CLE C239

PhD (British Columbia)

Area of expertise

French applied linguistics, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), lexicology

Catherine Caws has been teaching French language and linguistics courses at UVic since 2002.  Her research focuses on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), and, more particularly, on learning design, learner-computer interactions and data-driven learning.  Her work is strongly influenced by constructivist and socio-cultural theories of learning, in particular activity theory (AT) as it relates to CALL. She has authored many articles related to students’ success in higher education and runs a blog on “Teaching French in the 21st century.”




  • Technology-mediated language learning and teaching
  • Data-driven learning and corpus linguistics (Second language)
  • Teaching and learning in higher education
  • Lexicology and lexicography

Research projects

Les outils de traduction automatique dans l’enseignement-apprentissage du français langue seconde: analyse des usages et formation des enseignant·e·s. ACFAS Bourse de mobilité. Programme de recherche en coopération dans la francophonie Canadienne. 2022-2024.

“Language learning revisited: Adaptive instruction in technology-mediated contexts”. SSHRC Insight Grant 435-2017-0023. In collaboration with Dr. T. Heift (SFU), Dr. M.-J. Hamel (UOttawa) and Dr. M. Schulze (SDU).

Leadership Opportunity Fund (LOF) / Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The Digital L2 Learning Lab is an experimental lab to test and analyse the use of digital technologies and tools in language learning and humanities. Follow us on Twitter @dl2lab and check our website for more information:

"Usability tests in CALL development: Insights on the Learner-Task-Tool Interaction". A SSHRC funded project in collaboration with Dr. Marie-Josée Hamel (U Ottawa). 2010-2013. (410-2010-0356).

FrancoToile: a searchable digital library of video clips representing the Francophonie. Prototype available at Please contact me to obtain access or use your UVic Netlink ID. SSHRC Funded- 2010-2013.

Citoyenneté numérique par la formation en langue / Digital citizenship A project funded by the European centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, 2020-2023. Project leader: Dr. Christian Ollivier.

Vers une littératie numérique pour l’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues / Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages. A project funded by the European centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, 2016-2019. Project leader: Dr. Christian Ollivier.

Selected publications

Caws, C. (2022). Language learning in open and participatory digital contexts. In Rachel Friedman and Angela George (Eds), Online Language Teaching in Diverse Contexts. (pp. 7-25). Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Lightbourn, R. & Caws, C. (2021) Une analyse sociocritique de l’usage de Twitter pour le développement de compétences socio-interactionnelles et numériques. Éducation et francophonie, 49, 2.

Ollivier, C., Jeanneau, C., Hamel M.-J., and Caws, C. (2021) « Citoyenneté numérique et didactique des langues, quels points de contacts ? ». Lidil [Online], 63.

Caws, C.,  Hamel, M-J., Jeanneau, C, Ollivier, C. (2021) Formation en langues et littératie numérique en contextes ouverts. Une approche socio-interactionnelle. Editions des archives contemporaines. ISBN : 9782813003911.

Caws, C. Lousada, E &. A. Marra (2019) « Étayage en ligne et développement de la conscience métacognitive », Alsic [Online], | 2019, Online since 17 April 2019, connection on 17 July 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/alsic.3787

Heift, T. & Caws, C. (2018) Querying a static and dynamic learner corpus. In B. Zou and M. Thomas (Eds) Handbook of Research on Integrating Technology into Contemporary Language Learning and Teaching (pp.494-511). IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5140-9

Caws, C. & Arneil, S. (2017) Modes of Annotation in Video Based Corpora:  Developing a Design Method. KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies. 1(1), p.1.  DOI:

Caws, C., Léger, C. & Perry, B. (2017) Peer editing in French using digital tools: A micro-analysis of learner-computer interactions. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 20(1), 77-97. Available at

Caws, C. & Hamel, M.-J. (Eds). (2016). Learner Computer Interactions: new insights on CALL theories and applications. Language studies, Sciences and Engineering. John Benjamins. Now available on John Benjamins e-platform through open access DOI

Caws, C. & Heift, T. (2016) Evaluation in CALL: Tools, interactions, outcomes. In F. Farr & Murray, L. (eds) The Routledge handbook of language learning and technology (pp. 127-140), New York, NY: Routledge.

Blin, F., Caws, C., Hamel, M.-J., Heift, T., Schulze, M., Smith, B. (2015) Sustainable interaction-based research in CALL. In A. M. Gimeno Sanz & all. WorldCALL: Sustainability and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching series (pp.119-132), London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Caws, C. (2015). "Improviser dans l'espace numérique: des enjeux pour les acteurs de la scène éducative". Nouvelle Revue Synergie Canada, 8, 2015. Available online.

Heift, T. & Caws, C. (2014). "Constructing a Data-driven Learning Tool with Recycled Learner Data". International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 4(4), 79-93, October-December 2014.

Caws, C. & Hamel, M.J. (2013).  "From analysis to training: recycling interaction data into learning processes". Cahiers de l'ILOB, volume 5. pp. 25-36.  DOI:

Caws, C. (2013). “Evaluating a web-based video corpus through an analysis of user-interactions”.  ReCALL Journal, 25(1), 2013. pp. 85–104.

Courses taught

  • FRAN 160 - Words in context
  • FRAN 180 - Intensive French IV
  • FRAN 265 - French Connections
  • FRAN 275 - Writing in French I
  • FRAN 345 - Advanced French Language
  • FRAN 400 - Phraséologie / lexicologie et sémantique lexicale
  • FRAN 470 - Studies in Culture, Literature or Language of the French-Speaking World
  • FRAN 502 - Apprentissage des langues dans l’espace numérique
  • FRAN 503 - Sémantique
  • FRAN 504 - Langue, technologie et société