The SpeakApps project focuses on creating a free and open source online platform that gathers ICT-based applications and pedagogies to practice oral skills online. The SpeakApps platform would thus serve a community composed of foreign language teachers and their students with:
- Easy access to innovative and interactive online tools for learning and teaching languages.
- Virtual classrooms to carry out pedagogical activities.
- Exercises and tools for managing materials for synchronous tasks.
- Technical and pedagogical guides to assist SpeakApps users.
- A common space to exchange ideas and methodologies.
The SpeakApps project was inspired by a common set of challenges that the language learning community faces on an everyday basis, including:
- Formal second or foreign language acquisition settings do not provide enough room for everyone to practise the language.
- The ephemeral nature of speaking which makes it difficult for students to obtain feedback on their performance, preventing them from properly revising and improving their oral skills.
SpeakApps, granted by the European Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), aims to fill these gaps by designing a popular language learning site supported and built by a large community that enjoys and takes advantage of the possibilities offered by e-learning.
SpeakApps received additional funding from the European Lifelong Learning Programme to incorporate five new languages (French, Romani, Spanish, Deutsch and Croatian) into the SpeakApps project. SpeakApps will also provide a series of workshops in each country, targeting the interests of open source communities and other projects for the sharing of resources and future innovations. The SpeakApps project will impact language teaching methodologies, empowering educators to use the SpeakApps Open Educational Resource materials in their online or blended learning approaches to advance self-directed learning. The project will also engage in teacher training to enable a wave of participants to capitalize on open, trans-European practices and quality approaches for the development of their own creative and pedagogical skills for teaching languages.