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Developing Foreign Language Courses for the Open Course Library Project (Lourdes Flores, Alexandra Gouirand, Anne Kelly-Glasoe)

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Robert Farrow
16 October 2012

Three South Puget Sound Community College faculty collaborated to produce the Spanish and French first-year series for Phase 2 of Washington State’s Open Course Library (OCL) project. This presentation focuses on two parts: first, the impact that having access to high-quality open resources had on the success of the development process; second, the cultural immersion projects that they put together as part of the course series. Both of these highlight the importance of high-quality OERs in moving toward an open education model.

The French series had access to a high-quality, open-source textbook (Français Interactif), while Spanish did not. Having a textbook had a significant impact on the course development process: the work of the French team largely consisted in indexing the textbook, while the Spanish team was tasked with scouring a multitude of OERs in search of material and ultimately creating content (Learning Activities, Assessments, etc). This presentation uses both teams’ experiences as a case study highlighting the central role that high-quality OERs play in the development of open educational resources.

As part of this project, the French and Spanish teams collaborated to develop a series of cultural immersion projects using a variety of tools. The goals of the immersion projects are to encourage students to explore the contexts in which their target language is spoken; how language affects culture, and vice-versa; the impact colonialism has had on colonized and colonizing cultures; and finally (and perhaps most importantly), the projects are designed to help students recognize their own cultural lenses as well as their place in a globalized society.

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