The Great Beyond with Open English Language Education Resources (Alannah Fitzgerald)

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Robert Farrow
16 October 2012

The goal of this research is two-fold. First and foremost, an examination of the digital infrastructure that enables the effective linking of both open and proprietary content for the development of open tools and resources for English language education will be presented for discussion. This will include an extensive exploration of the re-use and re-purposing of different types of English language content for the development of open English language teaching and learning resources, as seen with the Flexible Language Acquisition (FLAX) project based at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. For example, re-purposed peer-reviewed research content for the development of English language open educational resources (OER) derived from language collections such as the British National Corpus and Open Access journal publications. Further collections include the British Academic Written English corpus of university student-generated texts as well as crowd-sourced linguistic content from Wikipedia.

Second, an opening landscape in English language education will be presented for further discussion, concerning the projects, practices and people engaged in promoting openness in this field. This open landscape in English language education resources will be defined against the backdrop of an international English language teaching resources industry, which has long been dominated by big-brand proprietary publications. New pathways for engaging with Open Access publishers along with an exploration of new publishing models that are afforded by digital technologies and open licensing standards will also be presented. Insights from collaborations between OER developers and proprietary publishers for the release of copyrighted third party content in the development of OER will also be provided as a benchmark for relevant changes in educational publishing. Furthermore, a lens into the widening stakeholder vision for uses of open English language resources across a range of teaching and learning contexts in higher education, including formal and informal, online and face-to-face learning, will also be charted.

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