LANGMOOCS; RESEARCHING AND DEVELOPING A TOOLKIT FOR NON-ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS AIMING AT PROVIDING ONLINE LANGUAGE LEARNING
Language literacy is an essential life skill for the 21st century. It is a fact that learning a foreign language is a good way to improve brain function and acquire multiple skills like social skills. Moreover it is an efficient way to explore other languages and cultures and obtain a professional advantage in labour market. These are some of the reasons that justify why multilingualism was and continues to be one of the cornerstones of EU co-funded projects in the Erasmus+ program. According to the European Union ”one of the specific objectives pursued by the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of education and training is to improve the teaching and learning of languages and to promote the EU's broad linguistic diversity and intercultural awareness”.
As language skills are in much demand the need for related online courses is widespread. At the same time, new innovative technologies open new educational possibilities and change the way that we learn and teach. In fact, changes in digital technologies are happening much faster than we can monitor their impact. As a result, the look and feel of learning environments, the role of teachers, the nature of the learner and what and how they learn are being transformed. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) is a new format for distance learning. Lately there is a growing number of online educational courses called MOOCs, that are massive, open, participatory and support the idea of distributed intelligence and lifelong learning.
This article will provide rationale and the background for the newly started KA2 Erasmus+ project called LangMOOCs. The aim of the project is to research the potential of MOOCS in Language Learning offered from non-academic institutions, to explore the pedagogical framework of Language MOOCs, to develop a toolkit for the creation and management of Language MOOCs and finally to test the use of OERs in language MOOCs in pilot courses.
The article will aim at explaining the need and the advantages with establishing a toolkit for language MOOCs, and point at six different categories for research in order to ensure sustainability and impact for providers of MOOCs.