Arabic Listening Comprehension
Aswaat Arabiyya "Arabic Voices," is a website designed for learners and teachers of Arabic seeking materials for listening comprehension. Aswaat Arabiyya provides listening materials and accompanying activities that are intended for the various levels of proficiency from Novice to Superior. These listening materials have been selected from television stations throughout the Arab world and they treat a wide variety of topics and listening genres.
Brazilpod is a collection of online, open access, and free-to-use materials for the learning of Portuguese as a foreign language. Almost all of these materials serve as stand alone, ancillary to independent learning, for regular courses, and for other programs of study. Brazilpod is more than just a website that lists different materials. It is an attempt to bring together multiple parts of independent language projects that come together for users to mix and match, build, and reshape. It is for this reason that Brazilpod also includes Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, contributions from outside users, various blogs, student projects, and unique course materials. The format and delivery is designed to increase exposure and implementation contributions from a worldwide audience.
Chqe’tamaj le qach’ab’al K’iche’! (Let's learn K'iche')
In collaboration with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), COERLL is creating open learning materials for K’iche’ Maya, a language spoken by more than one million speakers in the western highlands of Guatemala. The deliverables for this project will include (1) openly-licensed courseware (including grammatical and vocabulary guides, with authentic video and audio materials), for the teaching of K’iche’ Maya, and (2) a model for the development of materials for teaching indigenous languages online.
Gateway to Chinese
This site offers a collection of free interactive language learning resources for beginning Mandarin Chinese. Students now have the option to practice pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, listening, and reading skills at their own convenience.
Gateway to Chinese resources are designed to give students the valuable feedback they need to improve language skills in the critical early stages of learning. An extensive number of interactive exercises allow students to practice what they learn. With these tools, instructors can utilize valuable classroom time to do what they do best: teach!
Hindi in America
Hindi in America builds on Hindi-Urdu Flagship initiatives by establishing an ambitious collection of interviews with Hindi-speakers that will provide learners with unscripted examples of the contemporary colloquial language. Rich glossaries, commentaries, and written & aural comprehension questions will accompany the recordings.
Língua da Gente: Mobile Language Learning for Portuguese
Língua da Gente is a Portuguese language learning podcast series written and hosted by Professor Orlando Kelm from the University of Texas. The podcast lessons present the Portuguese language within the context of everyday speech and culture, and serve three levels of language learners: beginning, elementary, and intermediate. Each lesson consists of a brief dialog, a line-by-line English translation, in-depth analysis of the pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and cultural content in the lesson, a discussion blog for comments and questions, and a dialog transcript. The podcasts are available on the Língua da Gente website and on iTunes, and additional lesson materials and activities are available for online and mobile use through a subscription from OpenLanguage.com. The lessons may be used together as a stand-alone course or serve as supplemental resources for any organized course. All content carries a Creative Commons license so that teachers can adapt it to fit students’ needs.
Yorùbá Open Access Textbook
This open access, print-on-demand textbook will help beginning learners of Yorùbá develop communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. In addition, the program will provide learners with an understanding of how to use Yorùbá appropriately in a range of cultural contexts. The materials present the language and culture through various forms of media: scripted, recorded dialogues and videos of unscripted interaction. Ample use of playful tongue twisters, songs, games, and poetry facilitates the learning of tones in a fun and user-friendly way.
Update: The Yorùbá Yemi textbook and website are complete and available at http://coerll.utexas.edu/yemi.
Assessing the OER Needs of FL Educators in the US: High Schools, Community Colleges and Four-Year Colleges
Based on the findings of the OER/OEP survey project, this project will involve a needs analysis of FL educators in the US regarding the types of OER they currently use and/or would like to have. Data for this project will come from group meetings and interviews with targeted teacher populations in high schools, community colleges, and 4–year colleges/universities who attend national conferences. The results will be disseminated on the OER Research Hub website and published in peer-reviewed educational journals. The results will help COERLL and the other National Foreign Language Resource Centers in the US to better understand the OER market and to improve the effectiveness of FL OER that, in turn, will help to expand FL OEP.
In many areas of education, commerce, and public policy, there is a need to understand the functional language abilities of individuals in bilingual populations. The current project aims to produce an easy-to-use instrument that can quantify language use patterns, language proficiency, and language dominance in the two languages of bilinguals. These dimensions will be measurable in absolute terms (as scores) and in relative terms (as proportional scores in the two languages). The instrument can be administered by a non-specialist, and will take 7-10 minutes to complete. By virtue of its modular design, it can be adapted to specific needs by selection of appropriate subtests. A guide to interpretation of results will enable teachers, administrators, policy makers, and researchers to understand the language-functional profiles of individuals and groups of testees. The project goals include development of the instrument in Spanish, French, Catalan, and English versions.
Proficiency Assessment Training
The purpose of these materials is to help future public school teachers of Spanish in their assessment of learners’ levels of proficiency. These materials not only present videos of learners interacting with an interlocutor, but also direct the viewer to notice features about the learners’ language and proficiency levels. In addition, the website presents information on proficiency levels to help the viewer develop a greater awareness of differences in learner language.
Cultural Photo Archive
The idea behind the LESCANT Photo Database is to give students experience in identifying and analyzing cultural differences that come up whenever they deal with people from other cultures. Student contributors add photos to the database (categorized by the LESCANT model topics) and then they include a brief analysis to describe the cultural features in the photo. In some cases this may be with the person who lives across the street, other times it will be related to those we encounter while traveling abroad. Visitors to the website can view the photos by topic, location, or author.
Frame Semantics for Language Learning
This project develops a prototype of a multilingual corpus-based lexicon of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. The multilingual dictionary will be used at all levels of language instruction to help students acquire and use vocabulary more easily. This online resource is different from traditional print dictionaries in that it is based on large electronic corpora, which illustrate how words are used in real life contexts. As such, students will be able to access all the information about the exhaustive inventory of contexts in which a word may appear. Each lexical entry provides detailed information about a word’s register, its frequency, and how it is related to other words. A major advantage of its web-based architecture is that the lexicon can be constantly updated whenever new words or new usages of existing words are attested in the language. This allows students to learn how words are used in modern-day language. Finally, the web-based lexicon can be linked to other electronic resources that already exist in electronic format for a wide variety of languages.
Social Reading and Annotation
eComma (aka “The eCommentary Machine”) is a web application that enables groups of students, scholars, or general readers to build collaborative commentaries on a text and to search, display, and share those commentaries online in a more pliable form than has previously been available. Designed by a team of graduate students and faculty members of the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin, eComma has primarily been tested in university English literature classrooms. The next phase of the project will focus on its use in the foreign and second language classroom. Following usability testing and classroom experimentation, COERLL intends to redesign eComma so that schools and colleges can host it as an open source module on a local server.
Open Platforms for FL Teaching and Learning
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.
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.
Spanish in Texas Corpus
The goal of this project is to develop a pedagogically useful corpus of Spanish and bilingual Spanish-English speech samples culled from interviews and conversations among speakers of diverse personal profiles and regional origins throughout Texas. The videos will be accompanied by instructional materials for specific levels (elementary, middle school, high school, and college) for use in mainstream Spanish language classrooms and dual-language immersion programs, as well as in Social Studies and Language Arts curricula. The instructional materials will be made available on an open website for teachers, students, and the general public.
OER for Teacher Development
Tadriis: Arabic Teaching Methods Website
The Tadriis site is a multimedia online Arabic teacher training intended for Arabic teachers in the U.S. and abroad. It expands on COERLL’s Foreign Language Teaching Methods course by covering the latest in K-16 Arabic language pedagogy. With Tadriis, users can access video samples of teacher-student interactions in actual Arabic language classrooms, pedagogical demonstrations and teaching tips, samples of L2 Arabic language production, a glossary of key teaching terms, and suggestions for further reading. The entire site is presented in Arabic and available as a free online Open Educational Resource.
TELL Badges: Open Digital Badges for K-12 Professional Development
COERLL is developing a professional development badge system based on the TELL Framework ("Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning"). COERLL will assist the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to plan and offer professional development sessions for FL teachers to earn these badges. AISD teachers will acquire badges upon completion of established stages of growth within each TELL domain. Since the project will extend over a four-year span, teachers will be able to work on specific domains each year. Teachers will be able to document their growth by curating their badges using a virtual backpack and sharing their badges via social and professional networks.
The TELL Collab
The goal of the annual TELL Collab event will be to improve the professional development of FL K-12 teachers by giving FL teacher trainers and language supervisors a new model for in-service training. The conference will demonstrate how to create dynamic professional development opportunities for FL teachers. This two-day summer workshop will be based on the TELL Framework developed by the Partnership to Advance Learning. The TELL Collab is grounded in the belief that the professional development of FL in-service teachers must 1) be based on a teaching model described in the language of practicing teachers and 2) afford teachers more opportunities and guidance for putting new methods into practice.
Workshops and Webinars
COERLL hosts free and low-cost workshops and webinars throughout the year on various topics relevant to foreign language teaching, instructional design and technology, and Open Education. Some workshops are targeted to specific languages, while others are open to any language teacher.
A special workshop/webinar series will focus on heritage Spanish in collaboration with UT-Pan American and Texas State Technical College. The series will build on the work of the Spanish in Texas project, which profiles Spanish as it is spoken throughout Texas today and provides open learning tools that allow students, teachers, and the general public to explore Spanish language variation.