Policy Recommendations: Enhancement of Cultural and Linguistic Variety through OER

M. Bijlsma, Gard Titlestad, Alastair Creelman

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Lesser Used Languages (LUL) are the special focus of the LangOER project. In the context of LangOER, the
definition of LUL encompasses endangered languages, regional and minority languages (approximately 10% of
Europe’s population) and small state languages. Open Educational Resources (OER) hold out the promise of
supporting the teaching and learning of these languages in Europe and consequently inclusion and quality
education for all. In addition, OER can offer an important way forward in maintaining Europe’s linguistic
diversity. “Languages serve as a bridge to other people and open access to other countries and cultures,
promoting mutual understanding. A successful multilingualism policy can strengthen the life chances of

Enabling LUL communities to actively take up OERs can also generate another number of welcome
transformations that include, “the change of mind-set towards teaching and learning methodology; new
channels to obtain education; and opportunities for knowledge sharing.”2
OERs and Open Educational Practices (OEP) are relevant for all sectors and levels of education in LUL, and
especially in the case of endangered languages and regional and minority languages. For
those languages, OER/OEP are particularly relevant, simply because these communities of speakers are
relatively small in number, they typically lack financial resources and they often encounter a dearth of
learning materials. OER can help to overcome the scarcity in educational resources in lesser used and minority
languages and promote language equity and language diversity.
However, even as the number of policy proposals to support OER uptake have grown and the benefits are
more widely recognised, thus far there have been only sporadic efforts to explicitly address the opportunities
and challenges of OER policies aimed at European LUL communities.3
Against this background, this document gives an overview of the three top level policy recommendations and
explains how different stakeholders can take concrete steps to enable LUL communities to actively develop,
exchange and take up OERs and OEP.
Translated title of the contributionBeleidsaanbevelingen Verbetering van Culturele- en Taaldiversiteit in Europa door het gebruik van OER
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publicationhttp://langoer.eun.org/final_policy_paper
PublisherLangOer Consortium
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • OER
  • policy
  • linguistic diversity


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