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FELS Department of Languages

24 April 2012

Cloud created by:

Graham Healing
13 March 2012

Where: Library Seminar Rooms 1-2, Open University Library, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

When: Start 10.00, 25 April 2012

This event will be recorded and will be available to OU staff after the event on Stadium

Planning to attend in person: please email

Queries: please email Anna Comas-Quinn.



OU's Chinese Characters First Steps App: exploring what makes a good language learning App

Qian Kan, Lecturer in Chinese

In this presentation, I shall briefly talk about the challenges in learning Chinese and how the OU’s Chinese Characters First Steps App can be used to support the learning of Chinese.

Through demonstrating the features of this App, I shall share my thoughts on what makes a good language learning App in the context of learning at a distance.

The INTENT project (Integrating Telecollaborative Networs into Foreign Language Higher Education)

Tim Lewis and Mirjam Hauck

We present the EU-funded INTENT project, in which the OU is the UK partner, beginning with the results of aEurope-wide survey of the 'state-of-the-art' in telecollaboration, conducted in 2011. To date, the implementation of telecollaboration in Europe’s universities is limited. We explore possible reasons for this and outline ways in which the INTENT project aims to remedy the situation.

These include the development of databases of telecollaborative case studies and tasks which will be embedded in an interactive website (in development by KMI). This site also hosts partner-finding tools for teachers, learners and institutions wishing to establish telecollaborative networks across Europe. Assessment will also be addressed with the presentation of adraft e-portfolio for telecollaborators which is being developed by DoL-based members of the project.

The presentation concludes with an outline of the future direction of INTENT, which aims to engage institutions and educational policy-makers in the eventual integration of telecollaboration into European higher education.

'Encuentros ELE', Spanish as a Foreign Language online meetings OU-University of Córdoba

Matilde Gallardo and Sarah Heiser

This online cross-institutional project took place between November 2011-February 2012 with the aim to facilitate the professional development of teachers ofSpanish as a foreign language (“Español Lengua Extranjera, (ELE)”) through the use of Elluminate and a Moodle portal. Two Staff Tutors and five Spanish Language teachers from the DoL at the OU participated in this project, which also involved five colleagues from the Departamento de Ciencias del Lenguaje at the University of Córdoba, Spain. 

Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas on pedagogy and to gain insight on their practice through comparative perspectives and discussion of topics of common interest relevant to the teaching and learning of contemporary Spanish Language and culture.

This project facilitated establishing a community of practice and a space for joint and individual reflection.

Update on the LORO journey: from repositories to OER to OEP

Tita Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn and Caroline Rowan-Olive

Two years have passed since LORO was officially launched. In this short period of time LORO has become an essential part of the way in which teaching materials are provided, accessed and shared in the Department of Languages. It has also acquired over 1200 registered users and received more than a million page hits from over 100 countries. Its success was recognized at the OPAL Awards for quality and innovation through Open Educational Practices in 2011 where it achieved Highly Commended status in the Learning Contexts category.

We look at how LORO has evolved from the initial idea of setting up a departmental repository to embracing the concepts of openness, collaboration and pedagogical reflection. The issues of engagement, community and sustainability are discussed, and some of the latest enhancements to LORO are presented.

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