Ghent (Belgium), Giorgio Vassallo - Less commonly spoken languages have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to competing with culturally and economically dominating languages such as English, French or German. How can regional and minority languages benefit from Open Educational Practices? How can Open Educational Resources be used to nurture language and cultural diversity in Europe?

A 3 year network project called LangOER, supported by the European Commission has been launched to foster more diversity in Open Education Practices (OEP) and Open Education Resources (OER) as used in universities, open source classes, course books and syllabi, among other areas.

The LangOER network will focus on the needs of two particular groups: educators and policy makers. For educators, the network will offer one-to-one as well as online training sessions in 7 languages and these training sessions aim at raising awareness of OER/OEP as well as stimulating new ideas to create interactive and multilingual OER. For policy makers, the network will provide capacity building and consultation mechanisms through expert pan-European events, which will help overcome the barriers to multilingual OER.

The International Council for Distance Education (ICDE), in collaboration with the LangOER network, has published a report, “Open Educational Resources (OER) in less used languages: a state of the art report”. The report gives various recommendations to governments to take action in regards of development of OER in minority languages. A link to the report is available below.

Following the spirit of the partnership, the report has been published in English, as well as seven other less spoken languages: Swedish, Polish, Lithuanian, Greek, Dutch, Frisian and Latvian.

Additionally, various activities such as the presentation of research papers, panel discussions, webinars, awards and networking events will be carried out within the framework of the project.

‘The network’s real challenge is to enhance the linguistic and cultural variety that Europe is proud of, on the international scene of Open Education.’

Link to the report (PDF)

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