FAVOR ends…but lives on!

The FAVOR project has now ended officially, but it seems like it isn’t really over. Here is a summary of how we ended:

“It has been a reinforcing, motivating and inspiring experience. It feels good to be part of this project.”– FAVOR tutor
 
There is strong government and societal acknowledgment of the importance of learning languages, and the FAVOR (Finding a Voice through Open Resources) project has worked to showcase the excellent and often unrecognised work of part-time, hourly-paid language teachers in universities, by engaging them in activities which enhance the student experience and contribute to the academic life of their institutions.
 
The project sought to understand how open practice might benefit the working practices of part-time, hourly paid language tutors working in universities. Teachers of language are usually on teaching-only contracts and have low status compared to their research-active colleagues. They tend to have intensive teaching timetables, allowing little time to pursue research interests, professional development or maintain professional profiles. As a result, such tutors are often a reservoir of untapped knowledge and experience and can feel a sense of alienation from their own institutions.
 
The project worked with part-time language tutors across five universities (Aston, Newcastle, UCL SSEES, SOAS and Southampton) to create and publish more than 340 new open educational resources for students. Resources are in at least 18 languages and are free to download, use and adapt. Materials include teaching activities and new resources which give prospective students a ‘flavour’ of language study at university. 
 
In the process of becoming ‘open practitioners’, tutors have learnt new technical skills, shared pedagogical ideas and learnt from others, and adopted new approaches to creating materials. Their project work has raised their profiles within their universities and the community and made a lasting impact on their teaching.
 
“I’ve learnt a lot…thank you very much for the project because for me it was great…now I’m so motivated to learn more.”– tutor comment
 
The resources created for the project benefit the education community by increasing the pool of high quality teaching materials openly available; archiving useful content at a time of cuts and consolidation in language departments, and promoting the benefits of studying languages. Resources and information can be found at www.languagebox.ac.uk 
 
More details are in our final report, which you can find at: http://www.llas.ac.uk/FAVOR 
 
Kate Borthwick
project manager

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