In the context of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on education and educators around the world, a group of colleagues from the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics (LAL) within the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) has developed a free toolkit, ‘Moving your language learning online’ which has been awarded a Fred Mulder Award for Best Open Educational Practice.
The toolkit supports language teachers from other Higher Education (HE) institutions who are new to online teaching or have only recently had to adapt to online teaching in light of the Covid-19 situation.
Since its launch on 30 October 2020, the toolkit website has attracted over 2,000 visits. Users are free to download the toolkit help sheets to use, modify, and adapt them to their own context, or to translate them. Users are encouraged to share the toolkit with colleagues from their institutions and beyond, making the project a genuine example of good open educational practice.
This has been recognised by the Global Open Education Practice Graduate Network (GO-GN) which awarded the team the 2020 Fred Mulder award for Best Open Practice.
"We're delighted and honoured that our toolkit 'Moving your language teaching online' jointly won the Best Open Educational Practice at the 2020 GO-GN Fred Mulder Awards. It was a great experience to work on a project across three languages! The project team all come from different academic backgrounds and focus on different languages, but when it comes to teaching language online, there are experiences and knowledge we all share.
"Working on this project has allowed us to have challenging intellectual debates and given us valuable insights into the others' subjects. We really enjoyed working as a team and we hope that the toolkit will support colleagues across the sector to engage with online teaching, confidently."
The toolkit consists of a series of help sheets, discussing the basic principles of online language teaching: from creating an online classroom to maintaining motivation or developing assessment strategies for online teaching. These resources are freely available via the OpenLearn Create platform.
The team received a small grant award from the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) and organised online events to introduce the toolkit, in partnership with UCML. The events were oversubscribed with the 300 places booked up within 24 hours!
Participants came from 43 different universities, including Universities in Germany, Spain, Ireland, and France. The languages they teach include Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, as well as interpreting.
The online events provided opportunities for colleagues from across UK universities to ask questions, have discussions, and share their own ideas and examples of good practice about online language learning and teaching.
Toolkit project team: Dr Zsuzsanna Bárkányi, Lecturer in Spanish; Dr Karina von Lindeiner-Stráský, Lecturer in German; Dr Christine Pleines, Lecturer in German, Hélène Pulker, Senior Lecturer in French, Dr Elodie Vialleton, Senior Lecturer in French
For more information about the toolkit, please email email@example.com