University of Limerick - Blended Learning Technology
The University of Limerick (UL), is located on the west coast of Ireland along the picturesque River Shannon and enjoys an unspoiled natural environment blended with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. UL was awarded prestigious 5-star rankings for graduate employability, innovation and knowledge transfer, teaching, engagement, internationalisation and infrastructure by QS Stars independent assessors.
The School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, part of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Limerick, engages in teaching and research across a wide range of subjects whose common concern is the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of a range of languages and their associated cultures. The School of MLAL was created in September 2014, after the division of UL’s School of Languages, Studies), and now counts over 2000 students. It seeks to advance the University’s established reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and research in applied languages, linguistic, literary and cultural areas.
The school is composed of French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and TESOL & Linguistics sections and it has always been proud of the quality of service to students delivered by teaching staff. For many years, the university has been at the forefront of advanced languages technology and language pedagogy to the benefit of both students and staff.
It has won many European Language Label Award for its teaching and learning support innovations. So much so that when the COVID-19 lockdown was implemented in March 2020, the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics was determined to maintain this high-quality support for students whilst off campus. The members of the Teaching and Learning Working Group immediately began to investigate the best technology for the job.
Rather than follow the crowd and “make the best” of a generic online system, MLAL investigated what would be the best solution for their staff and students. After appraising various options, the school purchased Sanako Connect Online, a system designed specifically for the delivery of modern language teaching.
We are hoping to write a follow up article in the next edition of this newsletter about the impact that Sanako Connect has made to the delivery of language classes within the School and about the long-time changes it has brought. . It is early days for us, but so far so good!
Catherine Jeanneau – Coordinator of the Language Learning Hub at the University of Limerick