Educating language teachers through distance learning: The need for culturally-appropriate DL methodology

Richard Fay, Moira Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For it to be effective, distance learning (DL) methodology must be sensitive to the cultural complexities of the provision involved. Collaboration between the Hellenic Open University and the University of Manchester on three DL programmes for experienced teachers of English and French exemplifies such cultural complexity. This has involved: the inter-institutional 'transplant' of courseware (with inherent 'tissue rejection' risks); writer mentoring towards DL methodological competence; and inter-programme comparisons of 'methodological cultures'. With this backdrop, we present a conceptualisation for the development of appropriate DL methodology, and then some writers' reflections based on it. Further, we argue that the cultural complexities can be effectively managed through a process of meaning negotiation which we illustrate in relation to the assessment process. The conceptualisation, reflections and meaning negotiation example are offered as a stimulus for practitioners to better understand their emerging programme cultures and thus be better prepared for the task of developing appropriate DL practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalOpen Learning Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • appropriate methodology
  • distance learning
  • culturally-appropriate
  • Greece
  • appropriate distance learning methodology


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