The Support Centre for Open Resources in Education (SCORE)
SCORE, The Open University, UK
Department of Education, Concordia University, Canada
English Language Centre, Durham University, UK
This chapter will introduce different yet complementary Open Educational Resources (OER) as part of the TOETOE (Technology for Open English – Toying with Open E-resources) project, managed by Alannah Fitzgerald, with SCORE and Durham University’s English Language Centre (DUELC).
The objectives of this chapter for interested readers are to explore a range of corpus-based OER for use in general English Language Teaching (ELT) and in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The ELT and EAP market is saturated with copyrighted resources that resemble one another, most often packaged in the textbook format by proprietary publishers. More than ever there is a pressing need for ELT and EAP practitioners to engage with open digital technologies to ensure that OER can be produced from the rich and authentic open resources that reflect English in its current uses. Open English content exists in abundance alongside proprietary content in English and now we have the open technologies and open educational practices to combine this content to create OER. An initial stumbling block arises in the form of a lack of ELT and EAP teacher training in how to utilise large language collections and tools for language analysis in language learning, teaching and materials development. This chapter will outline ways forward for addressing this training resource deficit by way of an OER teacher and student training cascade project.
This chapter will refer to an initial OER cascade project carried out at DUELC with teaching participants: Terri Edwards, Clare Carr, Jeff Davidson and Lesley Kendall. These are all experienced practitioners in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) who engaged with open practices for the first time through the TOETOE project for the design, development and delivery of innovative OER for EAP courses. OER in open file format were developed for teacher and learner training across two different EAP student cohorts (intermediate and proficient users of English) at DUELC for enhancing student writing and vocabulary acquisition in the students’ specific subject domains. Workshop resources can be accessed via Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/AlannahOpenEd/. Both students and teachers made impactful changes in their language learning and teaching practice by utilizing a range of open corpus-based resources and open text analysis tools which will be demonstrated and discussed in this chapter.
A variety of innovative OER were employed throughout the TOETOE cascade project at DUELC. These include open corpora derived from Google n-gram and Wikipedia collections that have been linked to proprietary research corpora such as the British National Corpus (BNC) and the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus as part of the Flexible Language Acquisition (FLAX) project based at the Greenstone Open Source Digital Library Lab at the University of Waikato in New Zealand http://flax.nzdl.org/greenstone3/flax. Open tools for text analysis were also used and can be found in FLAX along with further open projects, including the Compleat Lexical Tutor http://www.lextutor.ca/ centred at the Université du Québec à Montréal with the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance at Concordia University in Canada and the WordandPhrase (Academic) project http://www.wordandphrase.info/academic/x.asp based on the Corpus of Contemporary American (COCA) English at Brigham Young University in the United States. Freeware for building and analysing your own corpora with concordancing software, AntConc, established at Waseda University in Japan http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/software.html will also be presented for discussion and demonstration here in this chapter. More information on the different projects related to openness in English Language Teaching can be found in the Glossary ( table 1.) at the end of this chapter
This content can be reused and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
AntConc , British Academic Written English Corpus, British National Corpus, Corpus of Contemporary American English, Compleat, Lexical Tutor, Corpus Linguistics, Data-Driven Learning, English for Academic Purposes, English Language Teaching, FLAX – Flexible Language Acquisition, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, OERu – Open Educational Resources University, Teacher and Learner Cascade Training, Web Corpora, WordandPhrase, Wikipedia
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