Presentation

WHAT IS MALTED?

MALTED is an authoring computer tool designed to create multimedia and interactive didactic units to be used by learners as a means to practise their learning skills in technological environments. This tool has been specifically developed for language teaching, although it may also be used for other subjects included in the school curricula.

MALTED consists of three main components: the Developer Tool (DVE) , the Runtime System (RTS) and the XML Script Editor (RTE):

  • The Developer Tool is a visual layout design tool for exercises and units which generates in an automatic and transparent way the XML code they are based on. It works on two levels. On the one hand, it includes several templates to generate in an easy way most of the exercise types frequently used in language teaching. It also manages the addition of renewable and modifiable contents, as well as text, images, graphs, audio, video and an application for voice recording through an external microphone. On the other hand, it allows to organise activities based on logical sequencing, following a didactic development plan. This way, we can create work units featuring flexible navigation systems. Designers will also find an opportunity to use their creativity freely, as well as the possibility to adopt and apply various didactic approaches.

  • The Runtime System can be used to view and complete the exercises. Once the answers have been checked, the corresponding score will be given. Aside from its own viewer, this programme can also interact with the Net by using a supplementary system (a Java applet, where Java is the general visual environment used by the system) thanks to which contents can be presented on screen through an ordinary web browser.

  • The Script Editor is a mixed application comprising an XML script processor and the system viewer to see the immediate results of the changes just made. It is mainly intended for designers with programming skills.

In addition to this, the system can be linked to two other complements: one called Learning Management System (LMS), which allows to register and follow up the progress each learner has made within a particular unit; and another one known as the Asset Base (AB), an external data base where designers can search amongst a range of multimedia resources and even some completed exercises, which provides a collaborative approach to this environment and gives way to making a profitable use of common efforts.

The programme works with the Windows and Linux operating systems, and can be downloaded from http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/download.htm.

MALTED is fully supported by CNICE (Ministry of Education), where its original website is located: http://malted.cnice.mec.es/. In greater detail, this institution:

  • Provides online technical support (http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/documents.htm) and manages the maintenance and progressive development of the system along its different versions, which makes MALTED a tool in permanent evolution in order to fulfil the demands of language teachers.

  • Manages the design and edition of selected didactic units, which currently cover a vast portion of the official syllabus for the English language at Secondary school level, and are readily available to all teachers (http://malted.cnice.mec.es/ingles/lessons.html).

  • Lastly, it also provides training to acquire expertise in the use of the system. Thanks to the MALTED training courses (http://www.formacion.cnice.mec.es/formamos/c_malted.php), which are divided into two levels, teachers in the first stage will learn how to use interactive didactic units in their lessons, make minor modifications to existing materials, and assess both the materials and their overall teaching experience. In the advanced stage, they will also learn how to design interactive didactic units and edit others to make them suit their own learners. Furthermore, they will learn to exchange materials through the specialised data base (AB).