07 Jul 2009

Open University receives first ever 'Outstanding Contribution' European Award for languages

Celebrating an outstanding contribution

Celebrating an outstanding contribution

The National Centre for Languages (CILT) has recognised The Open University’s innovative approach to teaching languages, presenting the first ever ‘Outstanding Contribution to Language Learning’ award to the University at a ceremony on 30 June.

The ‘Outstanding Contribution to Language Learning’ is a special award with the citation stating, “one institution stands out for consistently delivering projects which take language learning one step beyond. The OU is to be commended for its use of new technologies to make language learning both easy and engaging for distance learners.”

The Department of Languages also won the Italian Embassy Language Prize for its Italian course, ‘Andante’ – which centres around distance learning and uses a dedicated website and range of online activities.

Uwe Baumann, Head of Languages at the OU said: “We have always strived to find new ways of delivering language teaching via distance learning and to share resources – one of our latest successes is sharing French, German and Spanish materials on iTunes U. It is a great honour to receive the first ever Outstanding Contribution to Language Learning award and this really pays tribute to the innovative work being done across the whole department.“

Teresa Tinsley, Director of Communications at CILT and one of the judges said: “The Open University’s unfailing commitment to broadening access to education is an inspiration to us all. Year after year this institution comes up with new ways of raising the profile of language learning and to share its educational resources. We are delighted to be able to show our recognition of the OU’s work through a special award this year.”

The European Awards for Languages are given yearly by CILT, the National Centre for Languages. Each year the Award recognises between ten and fifteen exciting language projects from across the UK, including schools, further or higher education institutions or other organisations. To win an Award, the projects must show innovation and effectiveness in language teaching and learning, and must be replicable in other contexts and languages.

The awards were presented to Fernando Rosell-Aguilar, Lecturer in Spanish, Anna Proudfoot, Head of Italian, and Uwe Baumann, Head of Languages, by broadcaster Henry Bonsu and languages advocate Baroness Coussins at a ceremony on 30 June in Bristol.


About The Open University Department of Languages
The Department of Languages has offered language learning opportunities to over 85,000 students since its foundation, it has clearly demonstrated that language learning can be successfully done at a distance. Its use of technology for pedagogic enhancement is at the forefront at the sector and benefits students by offering a variety of technology-enhanced ways to communicate – be it from student to student or in the form of virtual classrooms conducted by tutors.

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