Thom  Thibeault
Language Technology Forum Director
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
World Languages and Cultures
Office: 118 Russell Hall
Phone: 205-726-2742

Dr. Thibeault was born 600 ft. from the Canadian border in Maine where he grew up and learned to appreciate warm climates. He lived one year in Madrid, Spain and two years in Heidelberg, Germany before attending college at the University of Maine. While working on his M.Ed. he taught German for three years at the University of Maine and then spent three years in Salzburg, Austria as the Director of the New England Universities Study Abroad program. He also studied at the Universität Salzburg where he received his Ph.D. in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Dr. Thibeault was employed at Southern Illinois University for 23 years where he was Director of the College of Liberal Arts Media Center and taught German and Methods courses as well as CALL courses for the Foreign Language and Linguistics Departments. He created and taught a University Honors course for 21 years on everyday life in the Third Reich. Thibeault has presented papers and conducted workshops in CALL all over the US as well as in Europe and Asia. He is a consultant to the Vietnamese Ministry of Education & Training. He is the creator of the hypermedia editor, FLAn (Foreign Language Annotator). He has been at Samford University since 2013 as Director of the Grace Márquez Language Technology Forum where he leads the German conversation labs. Dr. Thibeault is married with four children and twelve grandchildren. He attends the Vestavia Hills Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he has served in the bishopric. He likes to cook, do family history research, play guitar, keyboard & blues harp, dabble in prestidigitation, ride horses with his wife, travel abroad, ride cross-country by motorcycle, ride long distances on this recumbent tadpole trike, and watch foreign language films. Thibeault has a black belt in Shotokan karate and has taught self-defense courses.

Degrees and Certifications

  • B.A. University of Maine (Modern Languages, German & Spanish), 1977
  • M.Ed. University of Maine (Special Education), 1985
  • Ph.D. Universität Salzburg (Computer-assisted Language Learning), 1989


  • Computer-assisted Language Learning
  • Online Learning
  • Foreign Language Pedagogy
  • German Language
  • Third Reich History


  • Manage the Language Technology Center
  • Provide training in computer-assisted language learning (CALL)
  • Develop CALL materials for language courses
  • Consult with faculty on problems dealing with CALL
  • Update and manage WLAC Moodle sites
  • Conduct conversation labs in German
  • Support Critical Language Program with technology & instructional resources

Awards and Honors

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Delta Pi
  • Delta Phi Alpha
  • Outstanding Teaching Fellow 2012-2013 (University Honors, Southern Illinois University)


  • Creating Your Own Talking Courseware, (New England Regional Language Laboratories Association, Rutgers University, October 1990).

  • Repurposing Audio Materials for CALL, (CALICO Atlanta, April 1991).
  • Innovative Applications in Computer-Assisted Language Learning, (IALL, UCLA, June 1991).

  • A Hypertext Reader for Business German, (CALICO, Monterey, February 1992).

  • Courseware Development in the Language Laboratory, (FLEAT II Chubu University, Japan, August 1992).

  • Assessing Hypertext for LSP (Language for Specific Purposes), (CALICO, College of William and Mary, March 1993).

  • Using Hypertext to Bridge the Proficiency Gap in Business German: An Empirical Study, (Conference on Languages and Communication for World Business and the Professions Eastern Michigan University, April 1993).

  • Lost in HyperSpace: Solutions to Navigation Problems with Hypertext, (CALICO Northern ArizonaUniversity, March 1994).

  • Eine Reklamation: Interactive Video for Business German, (Conference on Languages and Communications for World Business and the Professions Eastern Michigan University, April 1994).

  • Collaborative CALL Courseware Development: Strategies for Avoiding the Pitfalls, (CALICO, Middlebury College, June 1995).

  • 21 dumme Witze: Using the WWW and Hypertext for Teaching German, (New Media Center Conference, University of Michigan, May 1996).

  • Creating Hypertext Materials with SmarTText and the World Wide Web, (HyperMedia '96, University of Indiana Purdue University Indianapolis, October 1996)

  • Multimedia Copyright, (Library Affairs Copyright Symposium, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, April 1998)

  • The Future of On-line Learning, (Symposium on the Future of Communication and Design, Fachhochschule Vorarlberg, Austria, September 1999)

  • The Witzbold Project: Using Web-based Multimedia Hypertextto Teach Languages, (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language/ESADE, Barcelona, July 2000)

  • Creating Web-based Hypermedia Learning Units for Foreign Language Instruction, (CALICO, Orlando, Florida, March 2001)

  • Sputnik Boy: The Role of the National Defense Education Act in Promoting Grade School Foreign Language Programs, (Illinois International High School Initiative, Carbondale, April 2004)

  • The Witzbold Project: A Call for Collaboration, (EuroCALL, Odense, Denmark, October 2004)

  • Digital Deutsch: Implementing Hybrid Language Courses, (FLEAT 5, BYU, Provo, Utah, August 2005)

  • Creating Hypermedia Programs for Language Learning, (CALICO, University of San Francisco, March 2008)

  • Real Immersion Language Experiences in a Virtual World: Using Second Life as an Environment for Language Learning, (Instructional Technology Conference, Middle Tennessee State University. April 2008)

  • Creating Hypermedia Readers for Language Learners, (Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, April 2008)

  • Hypermedia Readers for Language Learning, (Foreign Language and Technology Conference, University of Missouri-St. Louis, June 2008)

  • CALL in Second Life: Instructional Strategies and Activities for Language Learning in a Virtual World, (CALICO, Arizona State University, March 2009)

  • From Media to Hypermedia: Increasing the Pedagogical Value of Foreign Language Audio and Video Materials through Hypermedia Conversion, (CALICO, Arizona State University, March 2009)

  • CALL Learning Activities in Second Life, (Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, April 2009)

  • Pedagogical and Technological Concerns of a Digital Language Class (CALICO, Amherst College, June 2010)

  • Overcoming the Proficency Barrier through Hypermedia (MWALLT, University of Minnesota, October 2010)
  • Learning Languages for Specific Purposes through Hypermedia (CALICO, University of Victoria, May 2011)

  • Teaching Languages for Specific Purposes through Hypermedia (IALLT, University of California-Irvine, June 2011)
  • Facilitating Learner Autonomy through FLAn Hypermedia (EuroCALL, University of Nottingham, August 2011)
  • Are We Engaged in Research & Creativity? (CALICO, University of Notre Dame, June 2012)
  • Designing Effective Hybrid Foreign Language Classes (CALICO, University of Notre Dame, June 2012)
  • Creating Hypermedia Learning Materials for Business Chinese (CIBER, University of Michigan, March 2013)
  • The Pedagogy of ICT (GloCALL, University of Danang, November 2013)

  • Maximizing Learning Autonomy through Hypermedia (GloCALL, University of Danang, November 2013)

  • Design and Implementation of a MOOC for Vietnamese Teachers of English (CALICO, Ohio University, May 2014)
  • Using FLAn to Create Hypermedia Learning Materials for Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL, Washington D.C., April 2015)


  • Hypermedia for Language Learning, Language for Specific Purposes, Less Commonly Taught Languages


  • AATG (American Association of Teachers of German)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • CALICO (Computer-assisted Language Instruction Consortium)
  • IALLT (International Association for Language Learning Technology)
  • NCOLCTL (National Council on Less Commonly Taught Languages)
  • NASILP (National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs)