Contribution to “Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom”: Cecilia Goria

Cecilia Goria's manuscript entitled "Collaborative Italian: An Open Online Language Course" has been accepted for publication in the "Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom" project edited by A. Beaven, A. Comas-Quinn, and B. Sawhill.


The focus of this case study is on the design and content of a module in Italian language, Collaborative Italian (Collit), which provides the empirical ground to implement open and student-led learning. Collit is an online learning initiative which targets adult students with at least an Intermediate (B1) level of Italian. It is free, optional and non-credit bearing. Most significantly, Collit is open in content and practice. By exploiting the openness and the flexibility of the online environment, Collit provides the learners with an overall communicative language learning experience based on collaboration and social interaction. Collit’s central activities pivot around a wiki task for which the learners take responsibility for their learning outcomes by developing their own learning content in accordance with their needs and interests. That is, the learners actively contribute to Collit’s curriculum by using open online resources to create new learning materials to be shared within the learning community. The result is increased engagement, participation and involvement with the learning process for the benefit of language achievement. The aim of this contribution is to present Collit by focussing on its design, its content and practice and to reflect on the affordances and limitations that have emerged from it.


Openness, collaboration, learner-generated content, online learning, MOOC, language learning.

About the author

Dr Cecilia Goria is a Lecturer in Italian at the Language Centre, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Nottingham. She has a PhD in Linguistics and is the author of Subject Clitics in the Northern Italian Dialects: a comparative study based on the Minimalist Program and Optimality Theory (Kluwer Academic Publisher 2004). Cecilia teaches Italian and Linguistics, and directs a postgraduate Masters degree in Digital Technologies for Language Teaching. In 2010, she obtained an MSc in eLearning at the University of Edinburgh and since then technology enhanced language learning and teaching is the focus of Cecilia’s practice as well as research. Specifically, Cecilia’s is currently investigating the theoretical implications and the pedagogical affordances and limitations of open courses within the context of language teaching.

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