What is FLAX Flexible Language Acquisition Software?

The Flexible Language Acquisition (FLAX) project, funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund, features a set of open source tools with which instructors can create learning activities. For instance, instructors can upload an open source lecture with a transcript, such as from TED talks and create practice exercises including frequency word lists and collocation matching (Flexible Language Acquisition, n.d.; Fitzgerald, 2013). These activities can be hosted on the FLAX’s open platform or on Moodle.

But what really distinguishes FLAX from other online quiz-making tools is that the production process of these practice exercises is automated. FLAX’s quiz making tools are integrated with different corpora, including Wikipedia, British English Corpus (which contains 100 million words from samples of written and spoken language), and British Academic Corpus (which consists of 2761 pieces of student writing). When a text is uploaded on FLAX, collocations are identified. In addition, different types of collocation exercises, such as collocation guessing, matching, and dominos, can then be generated. Besides, the interface is fairly easy to use.

To sum up, FLAX, harnessing the expertise from computer science, library science, and language teaching, consists of an open source software and open platform hosting creative common resources.

To learn how to use FLAX to create your own learning activities, watch the videos by Alannah Fitzgerald. Also view her blog @ http://www.alannahfitzgerald.org/

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