Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 11

Accepted Abstracts

A Cultural Approach to Online Language Learning: the Spanish NOOC Project at Nottingham

Cecilia Goria, University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)

Rocio Martinez Espada, University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)


Online language courses have taken an innovative spin with the spread of OERs and open courses such as MOOCs. They have relied on different types of technologies for the delivery of content, including videos, interactive practice exercises and social learning platforms, to name a few.

In this paper we wish to present the innovative model of a fully online language course and to reflect on the design process and the implications that emerge from it.

The context is a Spanish course offered by the University of Nottingham to students and staff of its three international campuses (UK, Malaysia and China) as a Nottingham Open Online Course. It is currently being adapted to be used as a learning resource in secondary schools.

The novelty of our product rests in the design of the course, which combines cultural content and language activities, ensuring that language learning is enriched and complemented by informed exchanges concerned with a variety of topics related to the Spanish speaking world. Videos on cultural topics recorded by highly esteemed academic experts in the field are coupled with language exercises that cater for three different levels of language proficiency, namely beginners, intermediate and advanced.

As the cultural content feeds the language structures and activities provided to our learners, features of CLIL are highly central in making our course innovative in the current scene of online language courses.

Attention will also be paid to copyright challenges related to the use of resources when building an open course that operates across diverse national legal frameworks and cultures.

Observing the affordances and limitations of the design of this Spanish course, our aim is to inform the shaping of a pedagogical model for future initiatives of this kind.  

Keywords: online course, CLIL, OERs, course design, copyright

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