MALTED (Multimedia Authoring for Language Tutors and Educational Development) is a computer authoring tool meant to create and present multimedia and interactive activities and work units, and which has been designed mainly for language learning and teaching.

MALTED comes as the result of one the projects of the Educational Multimedia Task Force, supported by the European Union (Telematics Applications, Sócrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes), concluded after several years of work and research in the field of computer assisted language learning. It has drawn on the participation of qualified experts in the world of education and multimedia programming from the UK, France, Ireland and Spain, as well as of a considerable number of teachers who have implemented the programme in their classes to verify its performance and uses.

MALTED belongs to a new generation of authoring tools, which in this case have been specifically created to fulfil the requirements of language teachers. These tools are easy to use and provide great didactic value. They are also a means to make an efficient combination of functionality, content, graphic design and resources, which turns them into very flexible and productive applications in the creation process of quality didactic material. These materials can be easily recycled and restructured in order to be adapted to the needs of various kinds of learners belonging to different levels and ages, their production thus becoming time and cost-effective.

These features and the system independence from the target language (it may also be applied to other school subjects) form a very attractive alternative as opposed to the commercial programmes that are edited in a closed format and on CD-ROM support. In other words, MALTED offers the following advantages:

  • it provides a work and learning environment that is simple, intuitive and attractive for students;

  • it is not biased towards any cultural orientation and is open to a broad range of didactic approaches;

  • it is flexible to accept multimedia material in various standard formats;

  • it is quite easy to use in designing and/or adapting (shortening, enlarging, modifying) previously edited didactic materials;

  • it provides a general, open and challenging framework to work in and explore, and it allows teachers to give shape to their skills and creativity in the field of didactic design;

  • it adds a comprehensive set of resources (illustrated manuals, ready-to-use pre-designed templates, multimedia resources, etc.) to assist in the autonomous use of the programme.

MALTED is an open-code freeware programme. The original project was completed in 2000, but the system is constantly being improved and updated, mainly through the management of CNICE (an agency for innovation and technological development at the Spanish Ministry of Education). It holds a GNU licence, which gives teachers public access to this tool, other uses being subjected to the particular specifications stated for this licence.