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Dr Tita Beaven

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Spanish
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Languages and Applied Linguistics
  • Languages
  • tita.beaven

Professional biography

I am a senior lecturer in Spanish in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, and I am currently working on our new MA in Translation, where I chair the first module of the course, L801, Introduction to Translation Theory and Practice. I have also been the lead academic in the production of a programme of Spanish for Beginners MOOCs on FutureLearn in 2016-17, for which I obtained strategic funding from my faculty. 

After working as an EFL teacher in Italy, an Associate Lecturer for the Arts Faculty at the Open University, and a lecturer in Spanish at De Montfort University, I joined the Department of Languages at the OU in 1997. Since then, I have worked on the development of the OU Spanish courses, writing and coordinating a number of OU Spanish course books and other teaching materials, including AV and e-learning resources. I have also worked on the development of the Italian beginner's course, and the interdisciplinary course L161, Exploring Languages and Cultures. Some of my roles at the OU have included being Head of Spanish, Associate Head of Department, and Head of Department in the Department of Languages (2013-2016).

My research is in the area of Open Education, in particular, Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices, and I hold a Doctorate in Education (Educational Technology) from the Open University. I am also interested in the area of intercultural communication and the development of intercultural competence, especially in distance education and through web-based materials. I have led a number of external projects, including OT12, an Open Translation MOOC funded by the HEA, and Performing Languages, a European project investigating the intersection between drama performance, language teaching and intercultural communication. I was also project director for LORO, an OER repository for language teaching materials, project managed by my colleague Anna Comas-Quinn.

 

Research interests

My research is in the area of Open Education, in particular Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices, and I have recently completed a case study of OER engagement and language teacher's professional practices. I am also interested in the area of intercultural communication and the development of intercultural competence, especially in distance education and through web-based materials.

Some of my recent externally-funded projects:

Performing Languages (2011-13) a Grundtvig learning partnership project which explores the intersections between drama, language teaching and intercultural communication.

OT12 (2011-12) was a project funded by the HEA individual Teaching Development Grant (2011-12). This was the first MOOC at the Open University, and the second MOOC in the UK. It explored Open Translation tools and practices.

Voyages en Français, led by the Institut Français in Madrid and funded by the Aquitaine Region, was designed to provide information and intercultural learning resources for learners of French. The project website, Voyages en Francais, provides free resources for learners and teachers of French. In 2014, we have also run a MOOC, Travailler en francais, which was, reportedly, the first French language MOOC.

I was also project director for LORO, an HEA/Jisc-funded OER repository for language teaching materials, which was project managed by my colleague Anna Comas-Quinn in 2009.

Teaching interests

After working as an EFL teacher in Italy, and an Associate lecturer for the Arts Faculty at the Open University, I joined the Department of Languages at the OU in 1997. Since then, I have worked on the development of the OU Spanish courses, writing and coordinating a number of OU Spanish course books and other teaching materials, including AV and e-learning resources. I have also worked on the development of the Italian beginner's course, and our new first level module, L161, Exploring Languages and Cultures.