OER1115 Oral Presentation pptx

Thursday 12 May 15.45 Breakout Room 6

Technology for Open Education - Training with Open E-resources in Language Teaching

Alannah Fitzgerald, Durham University (UK)
Shaoqun Wu, Waikato University (NZ)

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship; collaboration and communities

Abstract: This presentation will be of interest to OER specialists working in the Higher Education and Development sectors who are motivated by educational affordances derived from the open-source and open-access movements for the development of OER in language teaching. Following on from last year's OER10 conference presentation, 'Opening up foreign language education with the Flexible Language Acquisition Project (FLAX)', a further web-based demonstration of large language collections based on linguistic content derived from digital prose libraries and search engines such as Google and Yahoo will be presented. These collections feature a simple concordancing user interface for non-specialist end users, namely language teachers and learners. Collections are built on the open-source multilingual digital library software, Greenstone, from Waikato University's Greenstone Digital Library Lab (NZ).
Learning support collections will also be presented for exploiting the FLAX and British National Corpus collections based on a new sibling fellowship project, TOETOE (Technology for Open Education - Training with Open E-resources) based at the Support Centre for Open Resources in Education (SCORE) in conjunction with the Open University and Durham University (UK). Niche OER support collections from TOETOE include an Open Access Language collection derived from research articles published using open access standards found in Google Scholar and the Durham Research Online database. This collection presents typical rhetorical devices and formulaic language sequences found across a range of written genres to be exploited in language teaching and learning for academic purposes.
A gap in specific language teacher qualifications currently exists whereby language teachers working in the HE and volunteer sectors have received insufficient formal training in the core competencies of their respective fields. Instead, many language teachers have been trained in general language teaching proficiencies only and come equipped with standard entry-level qualifications at best. These qualifications are based on curricula which are heavily textbook reliant, placing a burden on HE and volunteer sector language teachers to develop suitable programmes using authentic and freely accessible texts that address a range of students' specific language learning needs. The FLAX and TOETOE collections provide dedicated training support for language teaching practitioners in the effective use of open educational tools and resources for language learning.

Keywords: design research; digital scholarship; open access; open-source educational applications; open educational resources; corpus linguistics; professional teacher development


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