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Ms Christine Pleines

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Head of German, Lecturer in German
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Languages and Applied Linguistics
  • Languages
  • christine.pleines

Professional biography

As a Lecturer in German at the Open University's School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, I design courses and materials for language learning at a distance. I have a background in Applied Linguistics and second language pedagogy, and am particuarly interested in how learners can develop their interactive competence in online environments. 

I have researched student use of online environments for language learning, have been involved in setting up LORO, a repository of language teaching resources inspired by the Open Educational Resources movement, and am currently investigating the potential of vicarious participation in recorded online tutorials for second language development.




Research interests

second language acquisition

online learning

open Educational Resources

approach, design and implementation of online activities in a distance learning course

collaborative writing of Open Educational Resources for language learning

vicarious learning

Teaching interests

I enjoy developing multimedia language learning materials, and am particularly interested in developing students' spoken linguistic competence in a distance learning environment and in raising cultural awareness.

I've contributed to teaching at the OU in the following roles:

  • module team chair (production) of L113, German Studies 1
  • module team member of LB160, Professional communication skills  (2012 -  2013)
  • Head of German section (2009 -2011, 2014-date)
  • module team chair (presentation) for L203 Motive (2009 - 2014)
  • joint course team chair (production) for L203r Motive (2006 - 2009)
  • member of L130r Auftakt course team, Dvd-Rom development (2005-2006)
  • member of Spanish course team (2004 – 2005)
  • staff tutor overseeing Open University language provision in London ( 2003 - 2004)
  • joint course team chair (production) for German beginner’s course Rundblick (2001-2002, 2004)
  • organizer, tutor and course director at residential school and on the ‘Alternative Learning Experience’ (online) (1998 - date)
  • Award board chair, L130 Auftakt (1998), L203 Motive (2010-2014)
  • course team chair for L130 Auftakt  (1997 - 1999)
  • book co-ordinator for second level courses L203 Motive and L213 Variationen (1996-1999)
  • author and co-ordinator of preparatory study pack Café Einklang and first level German course L130 Auftakt (1995-1997)



Fostering Student Interaction and Engagement in a Virtual Learning Environment: An Investigation into Activity Design and Implementation (2013-09)
Hampel, Regine and Pleines, Christine
The CALICO Journal, 30(3) (pp. 342-370)
Languages Open Resources Online (LORO): fostering a culture of collaboration and sharing (2011-03)
Comas-Quinn, Anna; Beaven, Mary; Pleines, Christine; Pulker, Helene and de los Arcos, Beatriz
The EuroCALL Review (18)
Glaube und Gesellschaft (2006-05)
Stickler, Ursula and Pleines, Christine
In: Duensing, Annette and Baumann, Uwe eds. Developing Writing Skills in German (pp. 127-144)
ISBN : 0-415-39746-4 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Language learning and language learners (2005-07-21)
Lewis, Timothy; Pleines, Christine and Hurd, Stella
In: Hurd, Stella and Murphy, Linda eds. Success with languages. Routledge Study Guides (pp. 1-20)
ISBN : 415368367 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Developing competence in the language (2): Writing and speaking skills (2005-07)
Adinolfi, Lina; Pleines, Christine; Harper, Felicity; Beaven, Tita; Smith, Pete; Hassan, Xaviere; Adams, Helga and Nicolson, Margaret
In: Success wtih Languages. Routledge Study Guides (pp. 110-139)
ISBN : 978-0-415-36836-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, UK


Jenny Simpson

Learning from people: the training method bringing service users and social workers together

Jenny Simpson, Head of Social Work (England), as well as students and staff at the OU are involved in an exciting development in relation to social work education. Mend the Gap is a model for the effective involvement of people who are at the receiving end of services, together with those who provide professional support. Read more about Mend the Gap here

18th April 2018
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