Digital Learning Materials in Teaching Languages for Special Purposes in Higher Education in QuILL Project
Aim. The Erasmus+ project ‘QuILL – Quality in Language Learning’ was approved within the Strategic Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness as it proposes a new insight into the way digital open educational resources (OER) are made available to language lecturers teaching languages for specific purposes or as foreign languages and how they can maximise their use in a qualitative way. The project ended in February 2023. One of QuILL’s main goals is to provide higher education language lecturers with a substantial number of Open Educational Resources (OER) to assist them in the teaching and learning process. Apart from that, a training package has been developed to guide lecturers into the way they identify, use and create online resources. The guidelines brought into play in the e-book of the project concur with the core principles that guide higher education lecturers’ teaching practice: to make learners become motivated and engaged, unfettering them from narrowmindedness, fostering autonomy and critical thinking.
Methods. The identification of the sources has been made by the experts of the project partnership following a bottom up approach and the participation of a relevant number of potential beneficiaries, focusing in particular on Language for Specific Purpose (LSP). Each resource is presented both in English and the target language through a review, a case study and a guideline on how to use it. The e-learning based package addressed to university LSP lecturers is specifically aimed to guide them in innovating their language teaching methodologies through the effective use of quality digital based OER teaching sources including 2 operative tools, 2 case studies and an interactive self-assessment test. A third outcome of the project is an e-book titled Implementation of Digital language Learning Opportunities. This publication brings together contributions from the six partners that integrate the QuILL project consortium. Therefore, it consists of six chapters.
Results. In the QuILL portal, both language lecturers and learners will find many OERs for 18 European languages, already tested and validated by students in real teaching scenarios. The OERs used for LSP described according to quality indicators: comprehensive approach, added value, motivation enhancement, innovation, transferability, skills assessment and validation, adaptability. The content of the e-learning based training package is structured in 3 modules, each of which follows the same structure with the combination of a readable e-text, extensive use of links to existing resources and downloadable supplementary document. The e-book, containing important theoretical and practical guidelines, is aimed at Higher Education (HE) policy makers, as well as LSP lecturers, to improve the implementation of digital based language learning opportunities in higher education systems. It also intends to present, examine and reflect on the opportunities related to the use of digital technology in the language learning and teaching process.
Conclusions. Most resources found on the Internet are targeted at learners of English. This is one of the issues that QuILL addresses. The publication, an e-book on digital language teaching addresses the process of language learning via digital resources and keywords such as “quality” “innovation”, and “digital education” are common to all of the six chapters. In the specific context of LSP, digital technologies equip teachers and students with more tools that will empower them during the learning and teaching process, so they continue to open as many doors as possible.
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