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Designing the online oral language learning environment SpeakApps

Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl (Fiontar, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Christine Appel (E-Learn Centre, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Colm Ó Ciardubháin (Fiontar, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland)
Sake Jager (Faculty of Arts, ICT and Education, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)
Adriana Prizel-Kania (Centre for Polish Language and Culture in the World, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 1 June 2015




The purpose of this paper is to report on SpeakApps, a major collaborative computer-assisted language learning project, developed based on an open source techno-pedagogical solution to facilitate online oral language production and interaction.


A mixed method approach was incorporated as part of the development process which included a comprehensive literature and practice review, user requirement survey of 815 learner, 61 pilot studies with 7,180 students, construction of qualitative teaching scenarios and a Delphi analysis.


Language learners have limited experience of using synchronous communication tools within language learning contexts. Improving usability features within the Open Educational Resources supported the notion of sustainability and that the provision of the mechanism to indicate quality were vital to support the integrity of open content.


The paper provides an overview of the operationalisation of an action-oriented approach to language learning which manifested as a design for learning development process. It illustrates the breadth of issues raised from technical to pedagogical when teacher and learner agency are central for development and sustainability.



The SpeakApps project was funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission. The paper reflects the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.


Nic Giolla Mhichíl, M., Appel, C., Ó Ciardubháin, C., Jager, S. and Prizel-Kania, A. (2015), "Designing the online oral language learning environment SpeakApps", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 165-173.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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