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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Spanish émigrés tell their stories

Published: 26 April 2013
Child refugees in Eastleigh

Researchers in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton are already well-known for their work with ‘Los Niños’ – the Basque children who were sent to the city in 1937 to escape General Franco’s airborne attacks during the Spanish Civil War.

The experiences of many Spanish people who emigrated to the UK and elsewhere in the 20th century can now be shared by anyone with an interest in migration.

Researchers at the University of Southampton along with colleagues in Portsmouth and Leeds have turned a wealth of important historical data documenting the emigrés’ life stories into free open access digital resources as part of the OpenLIVES project funded by the education innovation charity Jisc. They have built on this content to develop a range of student-produced resources and tutor-created materials, which are being used in teaching at the three universities.

Kate Borthwick, Academic Coordinator at LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies at the University of Southampton says: “The project has demonstrated that the use of open, original research materials can increase creativity and innovation in teaching, and can be a motivating force for students to create their own open, high quality open educational resources. The project has been transformative in its impact on teachers and learners.”

She has created a video about OpenLIVES featuring Irina Nelson and Dr Alicia Pozo-Gutierrez, from Modern Languages who worked on the project. Audio interviews with émigrés and advice for anyone interested in developing their research skills in oral history are available for free download from iTunes U.

Paola Marchionni I Programme Manager Digitisation at JISC adds: “OpenLIVES has been a truly unique project in its ability to turn research material into imaginative teaching and learning resources and provide students with the opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and expertise that no traditional university course would have given them. Once again, it’s the proof that collaborative working across departments, institutions, staff and students is a winning formula.”

Child refugees at the camp in Eastleigh, Hampshire
Spanish émigrés tell their stories
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