The first free and open website for learning English is now available

The project, sponsored by three Catalan universities, focuses on the academic community but it can be used by everyone. The initiative is unprecedented in Europe, especially as regards self-learning systems.

CNA / Clàudia G. Novellón

March 10, 2011 10:42 PM

Barcelona (ACN). - A teaching team of three Catalan universities in Barcelona, Lleida and Tarragona created the first Internet site in Catalonia dedicated to learning English on an open and free website allowing general access to everyone and especially the university community. The pioneer Quantum Leap project is adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), better known as the Bologna Process, under which student self-testing is very important. Site users may record their oral and written progress, keep track of their activities, evaluate themselves and maintain constant contact with other users to share their experiences. The contents are accessible from the B1 level to the expert C1 level. The initiative is unprecedented in Europe, especially as regards self-learning systems, and has taken up to seven years of work thanks to funding from the Catalan Government and the three universities involved.

The project coordinator, Elisabet Arnó, from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) highlighted the involvement of teachers from different Catalan universities to join efforts and knowledge in this initiative to “reach beyond the classroom”. The website (English Learning for Academic Purposes) is a virtual multimedia format created for users that already have a basic level of English. It aims at improving the users’ skills in order to communicate orally and write more effectively in the world's main language. One of the teaching staff from the University of Lleida, Lourdes Armengol, explained that the goal is that "students use English beyond the classroom, without borders".

Enric Llurda, also a member of the project team, explained that the learning environment is "highly flexible, and adjusts to the level, likings and preferences of the user. The site includes training modules and a personal space where students can store everything they do. Llurda emphasized the "independent" user learning methods through videos, audios and texts on various subjects. The student can also record his tasks and share them with other users.