One of the key competences any lecturer needs to develop is to identify good educational resources, and to modify, create and share digital resources that fit their learning objectives, learner group and teaching style. At the same time they need to be aware of how to responsibly use and manage digital content, respecting copyright rules and protecting personal data. These issues are at the heart of Area 2

Please consider where you stand in view of the following long-term goals.

1. I use a variety of internet sites and search strategies to locate and choose a range of different digital resources for language teaching, addressing the four modes of communication in line with the CEFR-new scales and descriptors for learners.
I rarely use the Internet to find resources for language teaching and learning.
I use common search engines and resource platforms to find relevant resources for language teaching and learning.
I evaluate and select resources based on their suitability for my group of learners and based on their need for varied communicative language activities and strategies practice (production, reception, interaction, mediation).
I compare resources using a range of relevant criteria, e.g., reliability, quality, design, interactivity, appeal, and appropriateness for the four modes of communication.
I advise colleagues on suitable resources and search strategies and development of all the skills and competences involved in language teaching and learning for different teaching environments, as well as maintaining my own selection of digital resources, keeping in mind the new CEFR scales and descriptors.

2. I create my own digital language learning resources and modify existing ones to adapt them to various communicative language activities and strategies, as well as learners’ needs.
I do not create my own digital resources for language learning.
I create lecture notes, reading lists, worksheets with basic word processing tools, using a computer, but then I print them.
I devise digital presentations for teaching languages with some advanced features, like embedding audio elements, animations and interactive gamification elements.
I create and modify different types of resources (audio, video, quizzes, scheduling tools, presentations, etc.) to be used for different communicative language activities (reception, production, online interaction and mediation) in different teaching environments.
I devise and adapt complex, interactive digital resources like apps and games for teaching and assessment in all skill areas (writing, speaking, listening, reading, online mediation and interaction) for my learners, even creating or co-creating online language courses.

3. I effectively find the appropriate means and procedures to protect sensitive content, e.g. personal data, exams, learners' assignments, learners’ grades, etc.
I have never considered the issue of data protection or security because the department/institution manages all these issues.
I avoid storing personal data and other sensitive information electronically, but I sometimes do store such data by using local and/or cloud management systems.
I sometimes find ways to protect personal data and other information like by adding a user password, but not always; for example, I can manage some Google tools and / or VLE tools for administration procedures (e.g., closed groups, document sharing, calendar management, questionnaires, peer assessment, etc.).
I develop and apply passwords for protection and access to files with personal data (e.g., I can work as administrator in closed groups, enabling features to users, enabling links to protected virtual sessions, documents, etc.).
I comprehensively protect personal data, e.g., combining hard-to-guess passwords with encryption and frequent software updates (e.g., managing websites, email systems, cloud-protected boxes, etc.).

Your Score:

Your Score:

Your answer: I rarely use the internet to find resources for language teaching and learning

Even if the Internet may seem overwhelming as a new place to find language teaching resources, it offers many diverse ways to boost your learners’ learning through digital resources, so it is worth giving it a chance!

If your learners are struggling with some communicative language activities, you can quickly search online to find different attractive alternatives to help them. Being about to search for and locate alternative digital resources will give you a more flexible “tool box” for your classes.
To begin, make sure you know what Internet browser is on your computer, tablet or smartphone, and how to do an online search using it. Your browser is like your door to the Internet, and the search engine is like the path that takes you to where you want to go once you open that door. Common browsers include: Edge (Microsoft), Firefox, Safari (Mac), or Chrome (Google). Open the browser by clicking on the icon for it and getting familiar with how it works.
Some common search engines which can be used to search for suitable language teaching materials you are interested in for your class are Google or Bing.
You can also locate one of the digital tools profiled on e-learning platform for language teachers IDEAL, or go directly to a well-known website for language teachers by typing in its address into the search bar.

Your answer: I use common search engines and resource platforms to find relevant resources for language teaching and learning.

Being able to locate digital resources for use in class through online searches and getting to know digital platforms is a great way to get familiar with what is out there for you to use (and adapt) for your learners’ needs.

The more experience you gain from searching online and using basic platforms to find resources, the faster your class preparation can go, and the more adept you will become at helping your learners when they have difficulties. For example, if your learners are having trouble with sound articulation or intonation, you could find and send them to an online resource like Bing translator where they can click to hear how specific words are pronounced in different languages, or even pronounce the words themselves and get automatically evaluated.
To try out a digital tool once you have found it, try simply going to the tool’s home page and looking around. Are there any examples of what the tool does? Look for screenshots of example material and imagine how it might work if adapted to your teaching context.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include common search engines such as Google or Bing or the e-learning platform for language teachers IDEAL. It is worth noting that different search engines may produce different results, so don’t be afraid to compare them.
Once you have explored the basics of a digital resource by looking around its website and getting an idea of what sort of function the platform provides, try taking the next step of becoming a user for this tool. Sign up or create an account for the tool and once this step is complete, try logging in to get access to the tool to see how you would begin to use it.

Your answer: I evaluate and select resources based on their suitability for my group of learners and based on their need for varied communicative language activities and strategies practice (production, reception, interaction, mediation).

At your level, you have most likely accumulated sufficient experience searching for and evaluating digital resources so that you can suggest at least one tool to your learners to support the development of their communicative activities and strategies regardless of their different proficiency levels.

Knowing about different tools allows you to help your learners with almost any difficulty by leading them to a resource that can help support them. As a teacher, you may have a variety of tools you are quite familiar with which you can utilise for class preparation, extra practice, class assignments, etc.
Now that you are getting comfortable with a range of different digital tools, try to incorporate a search for a tool at least once a week into your class work preparation.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:
  • Online Spreadsheet resources such as Google Sheets or sorting tools to sort the tools you think might be useful into different lists or areas.
  • Common search engines such as Google or Bing. You could try using a variety of search terms for your searches, for example, focusing on skill nuances. Do a search for an overall spoken interaction in a foreign language compared to online conversations. What are the differences in results?
As an independent user, you should start comparing different applications following a quality criterion. Explore different tools, think of the benefits of each of them and decide which one best fits your teaching environment.

Your answer: I compare resources using a range of relevant criteria, e.g., reliability, quality, design, interactivity, appeal, and appropriateness for the four modes of communication.

Language teachers want to offer their learners the best opportunities for learning, engaging with and using the target language. Setting precise criteria when choosing the best digital resources - tools and gadgets - for language learning is crucial for evaluating a new tool.

The reasons for using any resource or tool needs to be clear. There is evidence that new technologies only provide added benefit when they meet specific learning needs and help learners to progress on the proficiency scale.

To progress in this area, it may be useful to identify what communicative language activities and strategies the selected tool will support, and how it will generate useful feedback.

Language teachers should ask themselves whether the content or technology used is challenging for the target users, whether the opportunities for practice are useful and whether meaningful regular assessment can be facilitated.

Try to identify chances to develop learners’ communicative language competences through the digital tool according to learners’ language and digital proficiency levels.

Various blogs and websites that are created by other language teachers such as EFL Magazine or Spanish Academy are often interesting places to discover new tools, apart from the ones categorised in this project. Consider searching for some language teaching blogs and try out some of the tools they suggest.
Share your knowledge with colleagues and online communities.

Your answer: I advise colleagues on suitable resources and search strategies and development of all the skills and competences involved in language teaching and learning for different teaching environments, as well as maintaining my own selection of digital resources, keeping in mind the new CEFR scales and descriptors.

You are in a prime position to join forces with other digitally engaged teachers to foster innovation in language learning. Start sharing your knowledge with your colleagues and/or online communities. This can be done by setting up a resource repository among colleagues- e.g., by compiling an information sheet, a blog, website or social networks - with useful language resources - keeping in mind the new CEFR scales and descriptors.

Being able to maintain, select and promote the use of digital technologies for any given purpose within your language class will allow your colleagues and learners to access a variety of educational language resources.

Make sure that this advice goes both ways, so that you also benefit from knowledge sharing, and try to involve as many of your colleagues as possible.

Try to make your knowledge valuable for improving teaching among other language teachers. You can start sharing resources via email, Dropbox or through professional meetings or workshops. To share digital language resources worldwide, you could start a personal blog or website and invite your colleagues to join or contribute to existing online language learning networks.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:
  • Blogging or website platforms such as WordPress to share your ideas and resources.
  • Social networks such as Facebook or Instagram.
Foster digital resource searches and general use across the organisation.

Your answer: I do not create my own digital resources for language learning.

Identifying major issues and problems that may diminish your motivation to create your own digital language learning resources can help you to critically analyse your language teaching competences in the digital era and identify how you may progress in this area.

Designing your own learning material is highly engaging and encourages learners’ active participation in your classes.
To begin with, you can start by searching for opportunities and spaces where your learners, and you as a language teacher, can access digital content. Firstly, search for educational platforms and identify what can be achieved.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process and are very simple to use include:
  • Wordsearch, Suchsel enabling you to create puzzles, word search maker.
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS’) or Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) such as Moodle. You could browse through the Moodle forums to identify some existing online spaces which use developed digital learning material effectively.
Once you have identified a good example of an online space for language learning, consider the possibilities a similar space of your own may offer for your language class.

Your answer: I create lecture notes, reading lists, worksheets with basic word processing tools, using a computer, but then I print them.

Even if you do not have much experience with sharing language learning resources in digital environments, there are a number of things which you can try to implement.

The benefits to this are particularly evident within the time and paper you ultimately save along with possibilities for easier collaboration with your learners and simplified access to learning resources.
Start exploring the tools and programmes on the IDEAL platform to identify the best ones for your teaching purposes. You could create worksheets which can be shared both online and in print. Depending on your learners' access to a computer, they may want to fill some of these in online.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:
  • Interactive resources such as Lingofox, Hot Potatoes include a variety of options for creating worksheets and sharing them either online or on paper.
  • Another option may be to explore collaborative writing tools Padlet, Flinga and start creating tasks for your learners to complete in this environment.
  • For lecture notes some of the most popular note-taking programmes are Evernote or OneNote.
You could build upon your existing teaching practice by integrating tools such as e.g. online quizzes, animations, surveys, podcasts, YouTube videos etc. into existing digital presentations to engage your language learners.

Your answer: I devise digital presentations for teaching languages with some advanced features, like embedding audio elements, animations and interactive gamification elements.

If you are already using digital presentation tools such as Powerpoint, Prezi or Google Slides, and using additional tools to augment these, you can make use of a range of additional tools such as Anchor, to continue to make much more out of your teaching.

Knowledge transfer in a visually attractive format allows teachers to create interactive learning environments and to foster learners’ audio-visual memory.
The next step would be to explore more interactive and engaging formats that can be realised within the constraints of your educational setting and course format. The more experience you gain creating interactive language activities, using a variety of tools for a variety of contexts, the more you ultimately encourage the learners to interact and communicate in the target language.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:
  • Online quizzes such as Google Forms for learners to do as a self-assessment activity. You may find that there are many different tools available, often for free, that make it easy to set up a quiz and provide targeted feedback on wrong answers. Tools such as Mentimeter or Kahoot enable you to engage directly with your learners.
  • Make Beliefs Comix, Pixton are another excellent tools to help learners understand language as part of a narrative.
Explore other digital tools that could be used to create more interactive experiences for your learners on the IDEAL platform.

Your answer: I create and modify different types of resources (audio, video, quizzes, scheduling tools, presentations, etc.) to be used for different communicative language activities (reception, production, online interaction and mediation) in different teaching environments.

When creating and modifying authentic language learning materials keep in mind to not only use digital tools and technologies as a means to meet teaching objectives, but also to use them for language communication activities aligned with learners’ needs and learning preferences.

Using digital tools for communication activities will enable your learners to develop competences aligned to the new CEFR descriptors, especially related to interaction and mediation in online environments.
To address this issue, you can develop different types of resources or adapt already existing ones to be used for different communicative language activities. This methodology can be an effective means to structure a lesson and develop language skills for your learners. The requirement to engage in communicative activities will also help your learners stay focused.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:

Continue trying out new digital solutions to further enhance communicative activities for your learners - for example, any digital resources or environments that are more engaging, more interactive or more collaborative.

Expand on interactive tools and collaborative environments.

Your answer: I devise and adapt complex, interactive digital resources like apps and games for teaching and assessment in all skill areas (writing, speaking, listening, reading, online mediation and interaction) for my learners, even creating or co-creating online language courses.

By developing your own digital resources, you are clearly able to plan new activities and methodologies based on interactive digital resources.

Mastering the use of digital tools and platforms to generate your own resources will make things much easier for you and improve results. Contributing to the outline and coordination of courses in a virtual environment will help you to organise your language syllabi and will be profitable for the educational institution you are working in.
To progress your experience in this area, explore new and existing applications and take the time to compare and analyse them with applications or resources you have already used. Do you have a critical approach to choose the appropriate resource(s) given the learning and learners’ needs?
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include:
  • Integrating the use of advanced digital tools such as Second Life or italki to empower learners to connect with language users from other countries. This can revolutionise the processes of learning foreign languages and reinforce the CEFR approach to view the learner of a language primarily as a social agent.
  • Creating communication-enhancing videos with Powtoon or Lightworks.

What is important for you, at this high level, is to remember that technology is simply a means to an end. When juggling the different features of the many different digital tools available, keep your focus firmly on the concrete learning objective(s) according to your learners' needs and preferences.

You should always be looking to enhance the user experience and not simply use a tool for the sake of using it.

Your answer: I have never considered the issue of data protection or security because the department/institution manages all these issues.

While it is good to be able to count on the assistance of staff and / or the department that aids with the protection of sensible content, it is also important to be able to manage security oneself to protect data such as personal information or learner grades.

Setting up your own accounts for certain resources or for information protection can be useful. Setting and managing your own security can support greater confidence in posting, storing, and exchanging your information.
To effectively approach this issue, make sure you know why it is important for you to provide security for your learners´ data. One way of approaching this may be to consider (or even ask your learners) about the ramifications of learner grades, personal information or projects being freely available.
Video sharing sites such as YouTube, which can be useful resources to find guidance on how to create strong passwords. Explore how to protect devices with passwords - not only your smartphone but also computers.
Explore the advantages of using digital passwords to keep relevant information secure. Explore examples in the digital and physical world, noting what is done in each.

Your answer: I avoid storing personal data and other sensitive information electronically, but I sometimes do store such data by using local and / or cloud management systems.

It can be very useful to store your own and your learners’ personal information, assignments, grades, test results, etc., on USB devices, Google Drive, or other storage systems typically available in most educational organisations. However, an additional layer of security can be added through the use of anti-virus software, firewalls and password protections.

Anti-virus software can reinforce the security of sensitive data and password protecting devices can add an additional layer of security.
Protective software should ideally be set up by the educational institution so that all the devices can operate safely in a digital environment and use a common set of protections.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include antivirus and firewall software such as Bitdefender Antivirus, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, Microsoft Defender, etc. These are often licensed by a school and can be quite effective for networked laptops and PCs.
You may consider exploring other tools and procedures for data protection. Investigate and rate these according to price, features, reliability, effectiveness, etc.

Your answer: I sometimes find ways to protect personal data and other information like by adding a user password, but not always; for example, I can manage some Google tools and / or VLE tools for administration procedures (e.g., closed groups, document sharing, calendar management, questionnaires, peer assessment, etc.).

Data protection is a responsibility for all teachers to consider. A systematic approach to it can help to ensure its effectiveness.

Good data protection approaches can ensure data safety by promoting the use of strong passwords, anti-virus programs (software), and firewalls. However, other precautions should be taken to ensure that learners’ data remains private and protected.

Beneficial preventive measures can include e.g.: updating anti-virus programmes or changing passwords every month.

Also, document writing, and auto-completion features online may risk third-party tracking. Adjusting the security options in your Internet browser to prevent these auto-filling is a good instrument to thwart third-party intrusion.

A wide range of documents can be revised by unchecking the auto-completion and third-party options, making it more difficult for others to access private information.
Google tools or other web-based resources can be explored to examine how information can be kept more private. without activating auto completion options.
Additional options related to data security can be explored by thinking about other situations where data safety is key and how data protection is managed.

Your answer: I develop and apply passwords for protection and access to files with personal data (e.g., I can work as administrator in closed groups, enabling features to users, enabling links to protected virtual sessions, documents, etc.).

While it is useful to implement strong protection measures with data, we should be cautious that any registered users do not illegally access (whether intentionally or not) private documents. An example of this includes closed classrooms in Microsoft Teams, BigBlueButton or other synchronous platforms where the teacher has uploaded confidential information about learners. In these cases, individualized or at least limited access should be enabled in the platform.

Customizing certain utilities can yield significant effects in terms of both security and protection. Additional applications can help us to create security codes for each individual learner so that that relevant information is only available to them.
One way of adding data safety and privacy features is by exploiting mechanisms to protect and encrypt files, folders or any other uploaded resources. There is a wide range of freely available software supports which facilitate this for a wide range of systems.
Some tools which may be useful for supporting this process include open access encryption software such as Gihosoft which works for Windows and Mac computers.
Explore the area of digital encryption and security applications within existing digital tools you are currently using to further ensure security. You could look for existing examples of policy, etc. already in use in other companies, universities, research centres, hospitals, etc.

Your answer: I comprehensively protect personal data, e.g., combining hard-to-guess passwords with encryption and frequent software updates (e.g., managing websites, email systems, cloud-protected boxes, etc.).

You seem to have a very high level of access to and comprehension of digital technologies for information protection and security. This is, of course, ideal. However, even highly digital competent users sometimes struggle with technical or operational issues, or new, improved tools may emerge.

There may be new scenarios and tasks for which you will need to adapt your existing approaches (e.g., new security technologies and protection software). The more varied your digital learning spaces, the more likely there will be more advancements (and weaknesses) related to user protection. An updated and constant revision of privacy issues and solutions should not be neglected or diminished.
To address this, consider setting aside time and opportunities for research and discussion in-class or with other colleagues in relation to affordances for data encryption and storage security programs. If you have access to specialists, it is a good idea to discuss some ideas with them. You could also look to design some activities or class projects related to this topic, in which learners could come up with different digital solutions and strategies.
Shared communication spaces such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, and Flipgrid are good resources to carry out discussions about data encryption (where the teacher can post restricted items according to groups).
Routinely review the effectiveness of your data protection strategies and openly discuss practical or technical issues with any available experts.