Research course

Online and Distance Language Teaching and Learning

Open University · Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 or (equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

Language learning is a key topic in the Language and Literacies Research Cluster. In today’s globalised world, language learning and teaching is of increasing importance. This topic involves a range of methodologies for researching the teaching and learning of languages including the use of large multimodal corpora, sociocultural approaches and digitally-mediated communication. Key projects include developing online teaching skills and INTENT (telecollaboration in Higher Education), the use of electronic feedback, the use of iTunesU and podcasting, and eye-tracking (a technology recording the gaze focus of learners during online tasks to establish attention and learning strategies).

Current/recent research projects:
  • A study of an online reading group: English language teachers’ perceptions of the roles of reading and discussing literature in English in the construction of their professional identity.
  • Impact on the knowledge construction process of multimodal online interactions in audiographic conferencing systems: the case of adult distance learners of French.
  • Emotion in online distance language learning: learners’ appraisal of regret and pride in synchronous audiographic conferencing.
  • Social presence in online multimodal communication: a framework to analyse online interactions between language learners.

Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

The application of new technologies to language learning and teaching The professional and language development of language teachers Translation and first language use in language teaching Language learner and teacher identity/identities Multilingualism and third-language learning Independent language learning and learner autonomy Culture and language learning Interaction and collaboration in language learning Task design Assessment, feedback and self-assessment Affect and motivation The role of emotions in speaking online Strategies in language learning

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months
part time
72 months


part time
42 months

Course contact details

Mrs Anne Foward
+44 (0)1908 655364