Panel - An OER Kaleidoscope for Languages

16 April 2012

An overview of key and innovative Open Educational Resources projects for language learning and teaching

Cloud created by:

Gabi Witthaus
17 April 2012

Anna Comas Quinn - LORO 

At OU if you were teaching Beginners Spanish, you could only access the resources for Beginners Spanish, not for the other languages or for Advanced Spanish.

In LORO they used Humbox ( to enable sharing of resources as OERs. It was originally organised with OU course codes - approx 360 credits were released as OERs. Since launched, it's had more than a million hits. It's doing the function that it was designed to do and a bit more.

Kate Borthwick - LLAS (Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies) University of Southampton

Community Cafe project ( - worked with community-based language teachers. 17 languages taught in this region. Teachers usually have a full-time job and family comitments in addition to teaching. They don't have access to the resources and support in the mainstream education sector. Aim was to enable them to have access to more resources, and access to the work of other teachers in their areas. (E.g. one teacher of Somali who wanted to meet other teachers of Somali in the UK.)

Community Cafe project - very sociable. Teachers would come together and share information across language groups. These informal sessions were complemented by ICT workshops at the university. After the workshop, they would publish their own resources on the languagebox site (,

Antonio Martínez-Arboleda (Leeds University)

OpenLIVES project - learning insights from the voices of emigres from Spain.

Integrating insights from this project into the existing uni programmes, e.g. students will have to create their own podcasts putting what they have learnt back into the repository. They have to learn about the history, they have to learn how to create podcasts. 

Alannah Fitzgerald (Durham University)

Looking at OERs for English for Academic Purposes. TEFL is a flooded market - publishers. There are some OER initiatives, e.g. English 360 is working with publishers to release content and allow teachers to mash it up.

Alannah involved in one project: flax language learning ( - stands for flexible learning. Contains collocation corpora (words that are used together in particular combinations with other words). Normally in corpora you can only put in one word, but with Flax you can put in phrases. E.g. "ageing population". Tools for students to see how patterns are used by native speakers. 

Next year Alannah will be working with the OERu on their College Composition course and will track how those learners use the resources in informal learning contexts. 


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