About

On this page you will find information about our team, the concept behind our portal, as well as an overview of its contents.
For the latest updates and developmental reports about our portal, please visit our blog.

Our team

To create a web-based learning portal, knowledge of different areas is required. The following people have brought their expertise to the project:
Benedikt
  • Planning, concept and development of learning materials, webdesign
 
Daniel
  • Concept
  • Teacher of English
 
Stefanie
  • Concept and development of learning materials
  • Student of English and American Studies at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
 
 
Our project is supported by many people (from teachers to native speakers) who have worked together with us, e.g. on the audio recordings and evaluation of learning materials. To see who has contributed to this project, visit <Contributor.
In the future, further teachers will be involved in increasing the range and number of learning materials.

The concept

The concept behind our learning portal has been based in part on a scientific thesis entitled "The Conception of an Online Language Learning Portal". Research into teaching and foreign language didactics helped conceptualise and develop the key requirements of the language learning portal. The goal of this portal has been to put these theoretical requirements into practice.
Please find below examples of the didactic requirements and their realization in the portal:

Tapping the full potential of the internet

The internet offers multiple possibilities and advantages of designing learning materials. Our priority has been to take advantage of this. One example is the valuable evaluation of learners' data input into the system. In addition to being presented with a solution, the learner is also presented with feedback that analyzes their errors. Despite the many possibilities that the internet offers, we have also taken into consideration its didactic borders and limitations.

Hierarchies of learning goals

The structure of the language course is based on the curriculum of the Bavarian and Baden-Württemberg Ministries of Education.

Learning in context

An important condition for learning success is the design of learning materials in real-life contexts. These conditions have guided the development of the portal. Thus the vocabulary database has been organized into topical categories. In addition to single words, chunks can also be learned. Furthermore, single vocabulary are enriched by definitions and examplary sentences.
In the subportals, the learners are presented with many authentic multimedia-based learning units covering different subjects. As a result, the learners can choose the learning units that are in line with their interests.

Differential learning

The goal of this project has been the consideration of different learner types and their requirements.
As a result, inductive and deductive learning is possible. A range of configuration possibilities allow the flexible presentation of learning materials. For example, the learners can individually choose which word list contents they want to be displayed.

Some of the exercises can also be customized by the learner. When using the vocabulary trainer, the learners can choose which information (word, definition, image, audio, …) will be presented and which information they want to type in (word, translation).

 
We understand that the portal is not a replacement for a traditional learning environment, but rather a supplement. Many different linguistic areas and skills can be learned and strengthened in our portal. The learner is given the opportunity to dive into the language through the help of authentic learning material.

The contents

The language course

The language course is a guided online programme, which the learner uses to learn step-by-step the foundation of the target language through the help of an interesting serial story. It is especially suitable for beginners as well as all learners who prefer guided learning.

A feature of each unit is the similar organization and design which support the student's orientation in the following way: After exposure to the language and the focus on language structures, what has been learned is applied and tested.

The organization of the language course is based on proven hierarchies of learning goals to assure that the learning materials are presented in a meaningful order.

The linguistic areas

In this part of the website, the learning materials are topically organized. Learners can choose which specific areas and aspects of the foreign language they want to learn. The various exercises support the transfer of passive learning into active application. Through the use of different multimedia, the requirements of the learner types are met.

The linguistic skills

This part of the learning portal offers various possibilities to train the learners' communicative skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The learners can dive into the foreign language (eg through audio books) and at the same time train their language production.

The learner's role

Not only does the portal present helpful learning materials to the learners but visitors are cordially invited to participate in the development of the project. At the moment, this is limited to rating the contents, as well as suggesting improvements and new subjects. In the future, further possibilities to contribute will be given.

Acknowledgements

Many different people have supported and contributed to the development of this portal. We thank all of you! Our thanks include the Ministries of Education of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg for allowing us to use the curricula. Furthermore, we thank the recording studio of the University of Education Freiburg for letting us use their facilities.
 
We look forward to your interest in our learning portal and welcome your feedback and suggestions for improvement.
The team of Learning English Online
 
 
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