Open Platforms for FL Teaching and Learning
Platforms that facilitate language learning through open educational practices such as the remixing and repurposing of open content.
This project approaches culture through the use of native speaker (NS) surveys combined with consciousness-raising activities about C2/C3 perspectives and practices. The project will focus on the Luso-Brazilian world in the beginning, but will be extended to other languages and cultures. Survey data will be used to create activities asking L2/L3 Portuguese learners to (1) compare their own answers to those of the NSs, (2) seek an understanding of the NSs’ responses, (3) apply the survey information to a similar situation in the target culture and language, and (4) if possible, do research with heritage speakers in their community. In this way, students can develop the ‘emic’ or ‘insider’s perspective’ on L2/L3 cultural views, practices, and values. Data on the target culture, such as what folk medicines are used or what kind of housing students live in, will be obtained by means of a questionnaire completed by NS undergraduate students in Brazil and other parts of the Lusophone world (e.g., Portugal, the Azores) who are studying English or another foreign language. Activities that lead learners to think critically about their own cultural perspectives as well as those of NSs will be suggested based on these data.
eComma: L2 Social Reading Tool
COERLL has made the social reading tool eComma compatible with any Learning Management System (LMS, e.g., Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle), by turning eComma into a user-friendly LTI (Learning Tool Interoperability) plug-in. This upgrade allows teachers and students at different institutions to adopt eComma at no charge and to use it in their LMS with minimal technical set up. Users of eComma can fill out the agreement form at https://goo.gl/m2irHU and will receive configuration information by email. Accompanying the upgraded eComma application will be a print-on-demand guide that will explain pedagogical approaches to L2 social reading. The guide will include sample activities as well as teachers’ personal stories about the pedagogical affordances of social reading. The project also aims to research the use of eComma in synchronous and asynchronous settings.
From Hybrid French to Online French: a New Platform for Français interactif
COERLL has partnered with LAITS with funding from UT System’s Institute for Transformational Learning to turn Français interactif into an online course implemented via the Canvas Learning Management System, a more interactive platform than the current static website. The ITL seeks to ensure that all Texans have access to affordable, elite-caliber education. Thus, the new version of Français interactif will be made available to all universities in the UT System (Arlington, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Pan American and Permian Basin). We will begin offering the new online courses in Fall 2016.
The Literary in the Everyday: Crowdsourcing L2 Literacy Materials
This project, a joint initiative of COERLL and the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy (CERCLL) aims to create an educational community of practice whose teacher-members will generate crowdsourced literacy materials for the L2 classroom. Teachers will not only create and edit the materials, but they will also include articulation plans in order to help other teachers envision how to integrate the materials into their curricula and classrooms. The materials will refine and extend the pedagogical principles found in COERLL’s French OER Le littéraire dans le quotidien or “The Literary in the Everyday”, in which “the literary” refers to the range of playful, metaphorical, and non-conventional ways of making meaning. In addition to learning to create their own materials, FL educators will also learn to participate in an open community of practice.
User-Generated Materials for Heritage Spanish
Two goals of COERLL’s heritage Spanish project are to help teachers develop effective methods and materials for teaching multi-level heritage Spanish speakers and to help U.S. heritage Spanish speakers view their communities and themselves as valuable resources for learning about Spanish language and culture. Instructors at two minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, UT Rio Grande Valley and Texas State Technical College, have been building activities around and expanding on the work of COERLL’s Spanish in Texas project. As the project progresses, more heritage speakers will create Spanish language materials and share resources and ideas with each other, through annual workshops and the project website.