OPENlang Network (2018-1-EL01-KA203-047967)
According to Erasmus+ guide, the promotion of language learning and linguistic diversity is one of the specific objectives of the Programme. The lack of language competences is one of the main barriers to participation in European education, training, and youth programmes. Mobility is one of the cornerstones of European society according to both the Council of Europe and the European Union. With 4 million participants by 2020, Erasmus+ is a unique opportunity to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad (EU, 2013). As languages are the heart of mutual understanding and comprehension, it is essential to promote language learning for Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants. Though the lack of language competences is still one of the main barriers to participation in European education, training, and youth programmes.
The OPENLang Network aims to address the needs for linguistic skills and culture awareness of Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants and the training needs for OERs of language teachers:
a) Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants (HE students & staff, VET , Adult & School education staff, Youth learners, Youth Workers, Youth Entrepreneurs) that need to boost their language skills (24 EU) and cultural awareness including those who will not enroll in the OLS courses.
b) Volunteers language teachers who will support the Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants offering their professional experience while receiving professional certified training on the creation, sharing and use of language OERs. The OPENLang Network envisages to:
1) connect these 2 groups in an interactive collaborative environment (Web-based and mobile-based) that will support more efficiently their effort to raise language awareness of the target mobility EU languages and to develop European intercultural knowledge covering all EU cultures.
2) foster the Open Education European multicultural and multilingual vision to all OPENLang Network members
The “Open Language and Cultures’ Network” envisaged developing an innovative e-platform in order to promote the creation of an open and online language learning community of practice, for all Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants who need to boost their language skills & cultural awareness to facilitate their adaptation in their destination EU state.
By creating a highly interactive and collaborative online language learning environment all members can practice the target language in an authentic way with the tandem learning methodology and all the useful materials and other services offered in the platform. This network can be also supported by volunteer language teachers that can orientate language learners in the practice of their target language via tandem language learning and other activities. Teachers from their side can receive professional certified training on discovering, evaluating, using, creating, and sharing Open Educational Resources (OERs).
All members in the OPENLang Network community can choose their personal language learning path:
a) Erasmus+ KA1 mobility participants can use a set of e-services such as a database of 24EU Language Placement Tests for self-assessment of their language levels, record the language proficiency level, create their profile in order to start searching their tandem language learning partner, explore the database of recommended language OERs or suggest and share more language OERs, discuss in the community about topics of interest and even explore the MOOC on language OER for learning how to use efficiently CC licences and create and share OERs.
b) Language teachers involved in the community can receive certified training on finding, evaluating, using, creating, and sharing language OERs (e-Toolkit for language OERs, training MOOC, OERs quality tool, e-Book with a collection of OEPs, webinar recordings, etc.), as well as find language OERs and OEPs (database of language OERs and OEPs) and participate in Tandem language learning and Community discussions.
More concretely, the OPENLang Network platform provides Open and Innovative Education and Training by offering an interactive language learning online and mobile environment which includes the following Open e-services:
- Open Database of Language Placement Tests (LPTs) for all 24 EU languages;
- Personal Member’s Dashboard;
- Open & Interactive Database of Language OERs;
- OPENLang OER Evaluation Checklist;
- OPENLang e-Toolkit for Language OERs in three languages;
- OPENLang e-Book with Language Open Educational Practices (OEPs);
- OPENLang MOOC for language teachers’ training on finding, evaluating, using, creating, and sharing Language OERs;
- E-Tandem 24 EU Languages Learning Matching Service, and
- an Open & Interactive Community Forum.
During the lifetime of the project, the consortium completed the production of all eleven (9) Outputs, a series of tutorials and training material for MOOC on language OER, 2 e-books, dissemination material, the implementation of all four (4) Multiplier Events, and three (3) Workshops/Webinars.
Furthermore, the OPENLang Network project produced the following results:
a) OPENLang Network Website;
b) OPENLang Network Social Media Presence (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube);
c)Twelve (12) published research papers in conferences and a Q2 journal;
d) Four (4) additional research papers submitted to other conferences and journals (currently under review) which present the research conducted on the following topics of IOs:
a) Exploring the language Learning Profile of the Erasmus+ KA1 Mobility Participants;
b) OPENLang Pedagogical & Design Framework;
c) OPENLang Quality Framework for Language OERs;
d) Language Teachers’ Training on Language OERs;
e) Interactive OPENLang e-Toolkit for Language OERs;
f) Language Teachers’ Training on Tandem Language Learning
g) MOOC pilots.
Thousands of people have reached the platform and hundreds registered in the platform, MOOC, and all the events and workshops organized.
The content of the project’s Website and Platform will be openly available for at least 5 years after the end of the project. The Outputs, extra deliverables, and Training Videos will be openly available as OERs with CC 4.0 licenses on open repositories. In addition, the authors’ versions of the scientific publications will be openly available on the partners; websites, and open repositories.