1 National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (GREECE)
2 University of Macedonia (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 3561-3570
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Access to open education, open content and open educational resources (OER) is gaining more and more attention worldwide. According to The New York Times, 2012 was the “year of the MOOC” (Massive Open Online Courses), while ‘CourseEra’, the largest ‘MOOC’ provider, reported registering 2.8 million students in March 2013, partnerships with 62 high prestige Universities and hundreds courses in several languages. Recently 11 countries have joined forces to launch the first pan-European 'MOOCs' initiative, with the support of the European Commission ( in order to reshape EU education via open educational environments and open educational resources (OER).

The arrival of MOOCs has already changed dramatically the idea of education and has oriented learners to educational courses that are open, participatory, distributed and at the same time support the idea of lifelong networked learning.

Language competencies and intercultural skills will more than ever be a part of the key qualifications needed to successfully work and live in this new reality. The need for MOOCs related to language education has already paved the way for the creation of the first “open and massive” foreign language courses.

Many researches have already shown that the web is a rich field in putting real communication to practice, and explore new forms to exercise one’s language comprehension and fluency. Specifically, web 2.0 is participatory, immediate, authentic and it engages the community. All these are key features in language learning process and make Web 2.0 a promising language learning environment.

However, the design and implementation of MOOCs with focus on language learning has not been explored yet and this paper aims to fill this research gap. More specifically the paper will first present the requirements for a successful open Language Learning course and then it will continue with the exploration of the use of MOOCs in Language Education. Next it will follow an evaluation of the platforms and the instructional design used so far for Massive Open Online Language Learning Courses. Finally, after the presentation of possible concerns and recommendations regarding the Language Learning MOOCs, there will be a discussion that aims to draw the first conclusions of this research and share some future research plans.
MOOCs, Open Learning, Language Learning.