Online Development: Languages @ Your Fingertips
Languages @ Your Fingertips
Languages At Your Fingertips (LAYF) is an innovative online language programme developed by the University of Cambridge Language Centre in partnership with BBC Worldwide. The programme is aimed at basic and intermediate level students. It is thus structured into 2 levels that can be accessed in a totally flexible and non-linear fashion.
The non-linearity and 'just-in-time' qualities of the online medium have been used to the full to develop a rich, flexible and supportive learning environment for the learner at all stages of his/her learning experience. The online programme has been devised in such a way as to cater for the widest range of learning needs and styles.
For example some students might choose to test their knowledge in the first instance and according to how they do, decide either to go to some revision units before launching into the new learning units or access the learning units first, before accessing the topic-based units. Indeed, some might go straight to the topic-based units without even testing themselves. These topic-based units are being designed as a discovery path through the French/Spanish language and culture and use video/audio and texts as input in an integrated way.
LAYF mainly focuses on listening and reading skills, i.e. receptive skills, because they are best served by the online medium. LAYF has many activities that help learners prepare for their productive skills, i.e. speaking and writing. LAYF is principally aimed at students in Further and Higher Education institutions who want to start a new language or carry on with a language they have learnt in the past up to GCSE, or AS levels.
LAYF features language functions, many different types of activities (comprehension, manipulation of language, extension of vocabulary, production and reproduction, games), cultural notes, grammar notes (with practice), a glossary and a standalone section accessible at all times for basic needs such as numbers, time and date, phoning, greetings and talking about yourself.
The online material is based on authentic multimedia resources produced by the BBC or specially filmed or recorded for this purpose by the BBC and is being made available to students via an intranet platform 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Language Centre is grateful to the Newton Trust for a grant towards the development of Language at Your Fingertips.
12 May 2003