Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 2207-2210
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Increasing speaking time practice for language learners is a challenge in foreign language teaching. In recent years there has been an increase of online tools which facilitate online communication amongst students beyond classroom contact hours, both asynchronous and synchronously. However these tools are not always designed for the specific needs of foreign language learning and lack functionalities that address these needs. Easy recording of student performance and task design for online delivery are two key factors for this communication to be of the maximum possible benefit for students. Easy recording means that the teacher’s presence is not required in real time and the student can do post-task activities based on their activity. An adequate task design will guide students in their learning process and ensure the activity they engage in is geared towards their main objective: improving their second language speaking skills.

The European project, SpeakApps, has developed a suit of free ICT-based tools and resources with a view to support the development of oral skills enabling learners and teachers to practice and evaluate speaking skills at a distance or beyond the physical classroom. The sustainability of these tools relies on a sufficiently large community of users. In order to enable teachers and students to use the tools with minimum effort, the project has developed open educational resources (OER), and a platform for teachers to share their experiences, download activities, work collaboratively with other teachers in the design of activities and contribute to the continuous developments of the contents of the platform to adapt to future technological developments in this area. This paper describes the main project outcomes with a focus on the teacher community and its OER platform.
Language, Speaking, Tandem.