What we do
Contribution to the SpeakApps project
UOC (Project coordinator)
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia - UOC) was created in 1994 to foster Information and Communication Technology (ICT) opportunities for higher education. It is an innovative web-centred virtual organisation with over 50,000 students, which was born thanks to ICT and its main goal is for every person to satisfy their training and education needs, optimising their time and making their effort as profitable as possible, regardless of where they are. The UOC develops the Virtual Campus as a University community where limitations of space and time are overcome. It also uses an educational methodology based on the complete personalisation and guidance of the student. Students, faculty and staff interact and cooperate in the community to create, structure, share and disseminate knowledge.
The UOC currently has around 6,000 foreign language learners every semester. Being a completely online institution, the University has been working on designing and developing the best set of tools for online language learning. Three main ICT tools together with their pedagogical activities have been designed for the improvement of oral competencies: an audio/videoblog, a videoconferencing tool, and the tandem tool for management of synchronous pair/group work. Through this project, the UOC, as a project coordinator, wants to share these tools and activities with other institutions, enhance them through their feedback, adapt them to other languages and make them available to an international community of foreign language teachers and learners.
The University of Groningen (RUG) is the second oldest university in the Netherlands. The Faculty of Arts offers a wide variety of degree programmes in the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics. ICTOL, the ICT and Education unit of the faculty, promotes the use of technology in the faculty disciplines by coordinating projects and offering support and training to staff and students in the use of technology. ICTOL’s activities include providing faculty support for the elearning application Blackboard, streaming audio and video, and computer-assisted language learning.
The University of Groningen contributes to the specification, design, validation and piloting of the language learning materials and the tools used in support of them. Both the Centre of ICT and Education and the Language Centre are involved in carrying out the prerequisite tasks, focusing particularly on use in the Dutch language context.
The University of Jyväskylä (JYU), founded in 1934, is one of the largest and most popular multidisciplinary university in Finland with nearly 15,000 students and approximately 2,500 staff members, including a teaching staff of 872 and 698 researchers. Our core fields of research and education are natural sciences and mathematics, human-centred sciences, sport and health services and teacher education. JyU offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees within the faculties of Education, Humanities, Information Technology, Mathematics and Science, Social Sciences, Sport and Health Sciences, and the School of Business and Economics. University of Jyväskylä is an active participant in international projects and programmes, such as Nordplus, Erasmus, Comenius and EU-USA. The University is highly successful in attracting external competitive funding, from national as well as European funding agencies. Since 2004, it has participated in 79 R&D projects funded by the European Union.
JYU is responsible for the definition of users’ requirements, profile and scenarios for Swedish, the creation and adaptation of learning activities and materials for Swedish and participates in the creation of learning templates and activity types. In addition, UJ validates the content, activities and tools according to their linguistic and cultural adaptation for Swedish and it also implements and delivers Swedish courses. UJ leads the project sustainability strategy and works for establishing agreements with schools and other institutions in order to integrate the tools and materials within their Swedish courses.
Dublin City University (DCU) is a young university, initially set up to fulfil the national requirement for a highly-trained workforce with skills in the areas of business, science and electronics, computer technology, communications and languages and as an agent for change in its local community. The five schools constituting the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences offer a wide range of interdisciplinary programmes in the areas of communication studies, multimedia and journalism, international relations, law and government, languages, translation and intercultural studies, education studies, training and leadership, Irish language, entrepreneurship, management and information technology. The faculty is committed to teaching excellence and learning innovation. It promotes the deployment of innovative learning technologies in all its courses, and has particular expertise in Computer Assisted Language Learning.
DCU is responsible for the definition of users’ requirements, profile and scenarios for Irish, the creation and adaptation of learning activities and materials for Irish and participates in the creation of learning templates and activity types. The DCU validates the content, activities and tools according to their linguistic and cultural adaptation for both English and Irish and it also implements and delivers Irish courses. DCU co-leads the project sustainability strategy and also contributes in promoting agreements with schools and other institutions in order to integrate the tools and materials within their Irish courses.
Jagiellonian University (JU) in Krakow is the oldest Polish university and, currently, ranked number one among Polish institutions of higher education. The University Centre for Distance Education maintains a Moodle-based Learning Management System and provides support to academics implementing elearning. The Centre for Polish Language and Culture in the World offers a range of Polish as a foreign language programs, such as courses for ERASMUS students, intensive two-week, and individual face-to-face and internet-based courses for the general public. The Centre organizes customized programs in Polish language and culture for international academic institutions. Each year, the Summer School organized by the Centre attracts 300-400 students. In 2008, the Centre’s School of Polish Language and Culture received a European Language Label Award for the online course for beginners called “Oneness”. The Centre is a leader in the development of Polish language curricula and teaching materials.
Jagiellonian University leads the part of the SpeakApps project concerning benchmarking and user needs analysis. Its tasks involve participating in the design of all materials, translating all materials, applications and documents into Polish, validating the activities and materials with respect to the Polish culture and broader context, and piloting the applications and participating in the dissemination of results.