Kansas Welcomes Open Language Resource Center at KU
(submitted by American Councils for International Education)
The University of Kansas in Lawrence recently opened the Open Language Resource Center (OLRC). The OLRC is one of only sixteen federally-funded National Foreign Language Resource Centers working to increase the nation’s capacity to teach and learn foreign languges. Each center focuses on particular areas of need.
Of all the centers, OLRC has the closest proximity to Nebraska. Its work will focus on the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER), broadly defined as teaching and research materials offered to the public at little or no cost. Faculty in KU’s School for Languages, Literatures and Cultures will produce an array of language materials that strike a careful balance between breadth of audience (Spanish, French and German) and demonstrated need for quality materials in Less Commonly Taught Languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Chinese, Kiswahili and Wolof). The Center will also provide an array of professional development opportunities for K-16 instructors, including free workshops in French, German and Spanish and free Modified Oral Proficiency Interview Assessment workshops, which are the first step toward certification as an ACTFL certified OPI tester for Novice to Advanced Levels. The OLRC will also host an annual World Language Fair that brings middle- and high-school students to campus for a day focused on exploring world languages and cultures, and a Language OER Conference to be held as part of broader Open Education Week events at KU. For more information about the Center and its work, see their website at http://olrc.ku.edu/.