Open English Language Resources and Practices for Professional and Academic Settings
Open English Language Resources and Practices for
Professional and Academic Settings
Alannah Fitzgerald @ Queen Mary University of London
• Changes in Higher Education
• MOOCs and OERs
• Open Source Language Development
• FLAX Language Project at Waikato University
• MOOCs and Domain-Specific Linguistic Support
• Design Thinking
• Creative Commons Licensing
• Digital Scholarship & Open Educational Practices
• Open Content and Open Communities
The End of the University as We Know It
“The future looks like this: Access to college-level
education will be free for everyone; the residential
college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of
thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the
bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant;
and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million
students.” (Harden, 2013)
MOOCS, Mayhem and Madness
Review of MOOCs
3 Generations of Learning
MOOC Research Initiative
The Education Apocalypse:
“Where in the stories we’re telling about the future of
education are we seeing salvation? Why would we locate
that in technology and not in humans, for example? Why
would we locate that in markets and not in communities?
What happens when we embrace a narrative about the
end-times — about education crisis and education
apocalypse? Who’s poised to take advantage of this crisis
narrative? Why would we believe a gospel according to
artificial intelligence, or according to Harvard Business
School [Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation theory], or
according to Techcrunch...?” (Watters, 2013)
Developing Language Collections in the Open
The open source dictum, ‘release early and release
often‘, in fact has morphed into an even more radical
position, ‘the perpetual beta’, in which the product is
developed in the open, with new features slipstreamed
in on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. It’s no
accident that services such as Gmail, Google Maps,
Flickr, del.icio.us, and the like may be expected to bear
a ‘Beta’ logo for years at a time. (O’Reilly, 2005)
FLAX Language at Waikato University
http://flax.nzdl.org FLAX image by permission of non-commercial reuse by Jane Galloway
FLAX – Flexible Language Acquisition
Flexible Language Acquisition
The traditional text analysis software interface for
working with large language collections (corpora) has
been the Key Word In Context (KWIC) interface. Corpus
linguistics researchers and developers of KWIC
interfaces have claimed over the years that learners of
a language can deduce language use patterns by
examining KWIC lines. This method is also known as
Domain-Specific Linguistic Support for
MOOCs – Virology at Coursera
Virology OER from Open Educational
Practitioner, Vincent Racaniello
Digital Scholarship and Open
Collaboration with Subject Specialists
“In the emerging academic literacies approach
involving cooperation between subject specialists
and writing teachers, the aim is to help the students
develop metacognitive awareness of the roles and
functions of writing in that discipline, to enable
them to stand back from it and observe how it
functions, and then to help them gradually
participate in the genres, where genre is
understood as a constellation of actions rather than
a list of formal features.” (Breeze, 2012)
FLAX Virology ESAP Collection
• YouTube lectures streamed
• This Week in Virology (TWiV) podcasts
• Open Access articles
• Virology Blog articles with hyperlinks to resources
• Text analysis tools for e.g. lexical bundles,
collocations, word lists, part-of-speech (POS)
tags, and links to Wikipedia, the British National
Corpus (BNC) and the live web
• Digital library features: search, retrieve, save,
interact and learn
Vocabulary Across Academic Disciplines
“Natural science might be characterized as a
discipline of discovery, identifying and describing
entities that had not been previously considered. As
a result, natural science employs a large set of
highly technical words, like
dextrinoid, electrophoresis, and phallotoxins. Most
of these words do not have commonplace
synonyms, because they refer to
entities, characteristics, or concepts that are not
normally discussed in everyday conversation.”
We focus on lexical collocations with noun-based
structures because they are the most salient and
important patterns in topic-specific text:
• verb + noun e.g. detect virus particles
• noun + noun e.g. tobacco mosaic virus
• adjective + noun e.g. negative strand virus
• noun + of + noun e.g. genome of the virus
“Lexical bundles” are multi-word sequences with
distinctive syntactic patterns and discourse functions that
are commonly used in academic prose (Biber & Barbieri,
2007; Biber et al, 2003, 2004). Typical patterns in the
virology MOOC lectures include:
•noun phrase + of e.g. a DNA copy of
•prepositional phrase + of e.g. at the end of
•it + verb/adjective phrase e.g. it turns out that
•be + noun/adjective phrase e.g. is an example of
•verb phrase + that e.g. you can see that
Design Issues with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)
Wednesday 3 November 2010
Choose a Licence
19. LICENSE TO USE
19. License to use
Open licenses (e.g.
allow resources to be
used without the need
for rights clearance.
Is the content you need
(adapted from UKOpenUni workshop)
I’ve found six images on the web for use in my
course-related DVD and the resolutions are fine.
However, they are available under a Creative
Commons, Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-
Alike licence. This clearance is fine for my initial
use for staff and students, but we would
probably eventually hope to sell the DVD.
Should I not bother with these images?
I’ve found an article by Diane Nation on the web
and this would be brilliant for my learning object
intended for open use. I’ve tried to contact Ms
Nation twice and have been in touch with the web
master of the site to see if they can help but have
had no response so far. I’ve amended the article, as
I didn’t agree with some of the points she was
making. I think I’ve improved the work actually and
I’ve obviously left her acknowledged as the author.
As I’ve had no response I’m just going to use it
anyway. Everyone’s always talking about risk so I’ll
take one. Is this OK?
My institution has an online open learning
resource and is based in the UK. We have
selected an England and Wales UK licence for
the use of our content. However, a user in China
has asked us if the CC licence still applies? Does
the CC licence refer to where the content is
being used or where it is hosted?
I have some software I would like to make
available under a CC licence – would that be OK?
My institution is making some of its content
available under a CC licence. How do we ensure
that our trademarks/logos are protected?
Extended Licensing Scenario
My educational institution is going to be working in collaboration with at
least two other educational institutions in the UK.
You are going to create an innovative joint MA TESOL resource for Masters
students studying and researching in the area of open corpora for teaching
English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP). This facility will act as a
provider of online resources. All institutions will provide some of their own
existing materials that contain third party content (journal articles, images,
extracts from books, and website content) which are made up of text and
The collaboration would like to make the content openly available whilst
ensuring that their intellectual property rights are not compromised.
Consider the following questions for
• How would you license this content to users?
• Would you consider using a Creative Commons
licence, if so which one?
• Would you need to consider more than one type
• What would you need to take care of
contractually in relation to the content?
• How would you ensure that the integrity of third
party content is maintained?
3. SHARING IS GOOD
3. Sharing is good
The ethos of education is
to share learning.
Can open content be a
sound investment as well
as the right thing to do?
• For the practitioner
– Web presence; resources development expertise;
• For the student
– Preview of, access to and contribution to course content.
• For the institution
– Brand promotion; best practice showcasing.
• For the EAP/ESP communities
– Materials development collaboration; sharing best
practice; providing an alternative to commercial
publications (Specific vs General resources).
28. MY COMMUNITY
28. My community
If I belong to a
already, then is this the
best place to look for
resources? Or would I
7. LEARN NEW STUFF
7. Learn new stuff
Does working with other
people’s stuff offer
Or would you miss the
creative thrill of making
• For the practitioner
– Development of practical skills in digital materials
creation: reuse, repurpose, remix and redistribute.
• For the student
– Access to up-to-date resources: inside and beyond the
• For the institution
– Sustainable resources and continued recognition.
• For the EAP/ESP communities
– Exposure to new and relevant tools and resources for
EAP/ESP (e.g. FLAX, DOAJ)
• Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Cortes, V. (2003). “Lexical bundles in speech and writing: an
initial taxonomy.” In A. Wilson et al. (Eds.), Corpus linguistics by the lune (pp. 71–
92). Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.
• Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Cortes, V. (2004). “If you look at . . .: lexical bundles in
university teaching and textbooks.” Applied Linguistics, 25, 371–405.
• Biber, D. (2006). University Language, A corpus-based study of spoken and written
registers. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
• Biber, D., Barbieri F. (2007). “Lexical bundles in university spoken and written
registers.” English for Specific Purposes, 26, 263–286.
• Breeze, R. (2012). Rethinking Academic Writing Pedagogy for the European
University. Rodopi, Amsterdam.
• Harden, N. (2013). The end of the university as we know it. The American Interest.
Retrieved from http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352
• O’Reilly, T. (2005). “What Is Web 2.0″.
• UK Government Department of Business Innovation & Skills. (2013). The maturing
of the MOOC. London: UK Government Publications.
• Watters, A. (2013, November 7). The Education Apocalypse #opened13. Retrieved
Alannah Fitzgerald: firstname.lastname@example.org; @AlannahFitz
www.alannahfitzgerald.org TOETOE Blog