Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Second International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Digital Literacies for Language Learning and Teaching: developing a national framework
Fiona Farr, Liam Murray

Last modified: 07-06-2016

Abstract


In an Irish national setting, the urgent need to address the national language skills' shortage has been highlighted in numerous arenas, and in the context of the need for a continued economic recovery, language skills and proficiency are essential. Against this backdrop, the national project* reported in this paper aims to develop a digital literacies framework and accompanying on-line interactive resource for language learners and teachers in Irish higher education (HE). Within the scope of this project the target user groups include first year students, study abroad students, and language lecturers. The main research questions for the project are:

-          what are the main practical issues that students have when making the transition from secondary to third level language study?

-          to what extent are digital literacies part of the curriculum at third level and what gaps do students and lecturers identify in this provision?

-          what are the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging digital literacies framework for language learning (as identified through piloting and evaluation) and how do these inform the final design and implementation of the ‘digilanguages’ platform?

Preliminary primary pilot research conducted in 2015 as part of the project identified a number of key areas where online flexible support is best focussed. Based on these findings and international research in the field, the aim of the project is to develop online resources and activities in three broad areas:

  1. Digital Literacies for Language Development
  2. Language Learning Strategies and Practices
  3. Transitions to Third Level Language Learning Environments

 

The portal will be freely available, offering a range of OERs and will be scalable for use in other contexts. The contents and activities will afford integration into many programmes currently on offer in Irish HE.

 


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