Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom: now available!

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I am thrilled to announce the publication of a book that I co-edited along with two extraordinary women —Anna Comas Quinn from The Open University in the UK and Ana Beaven of the Università di Bologna, Italy.

The book is entitled  Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom.  It is a series of case studies written by language practitioners from several different countries, each of whom is exploring the concept of openness in language teaching and learning.  The book is structured in five sections, covering open tools for collaboration, sharing resources, sharing practices, collaborative learning and student-generated content, and learner autonomy.

Not surprisingly perhaps, since this is a book about teaching and learning in the open, we chose an open way to share it with the world: You can download the book  for free here

I also contributed one of the  chapters in the book entitled “Communicating Out in the Open: The WordPress Class Blog Plug-in Suite and Language Learning.”

The book can also be purchased in a Kindle edition from Amazon, and as a black and white paperback from Lulu (with 20% discount) and from Amazon as of October. It will also be available on Google Books full view as of  October.


Today, September 26th, is also the official European Day of Languages.  In addition to celebrating the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, the day was created to emphasize the importance of language learning as well as promote lifelong learning in and out of school. Our book is being launched today in order to coincide with these celebrations.


The motto for this year’s EDL is: “You are never too old to learn a language and to enjoy the opportunities it opens up.”


This book, for me, is an example of one of the opportunities that learning languages has provided me.  I was privileged to have the chance go to Italy and meet Ana and Anna at a certain “flipped” conference in  Bologna in 2012.  Thanks to that experience and the conversations we started there, the seeds for this book project were planted.


I am also grateful for the opportunity this book gave me to peek outside my very US-centric practice and learn about the remarkable work that is being done by colleagues in Italy, England, Spain and France.   While it can be said that each author chose to define  the concept of “open” differently, all were united in a collective desire to open their practice as language teachers in order to learn from and through each other.


Special thanks are due to our publisher Sylvie Thouësny , President of (Dublin, Ireland) and for her patience and guidance during this process. This was all new terrain for me and Sylvie was amazing as she nudged us along… from one deadline to the next.


I hope you will take a look and let me know your thoughts.


Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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