Promoting less commonly taught languages in the digital age
This article looks at the potential of interactive multimedia learning materials to promote less commonly taught languages and thus preserve multilingualism. The focus is on a research project at the university college of teacher education in Burgenland, Austria. From a linguistic point of view, the eastern Austrian province of Burgenland is of great interest, as two recognized minority languages, i.e. Burgenland Croatian and Hungarian, are taught besides German in some schools. The aim of the research project was the creation, implementation and evaluation of a digital textbook supplement for the recently published, lower-secondary Burgenland Croatian textbook “Na putu”. The design principles of and the underlying motivation for the digital textbook supplement, which was piloted in seven schools in the academic year 2017/18, will be outlined. The students’ evaluation of the digital textbook supplement shows considerably high overall user satisfaction with the tool as well as high appreciation of both the instant feedback function and the opportunity to work independently.