Category Archives: Online teaching

Supporting online language education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights into language teachers’ use of action-oriented, plurilingual scenarios in Northern Italy

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Abstract
The shift to remote classes due to COVID-19 required teachers to reimagine their pedagogical practice and develop new strategies for providing quality language education in online environments. The sudden transition also meant teachers had to intentionally create affordances for online interaction or risk reverting to methods that ignore the interactive and socially-mediated aspects of language learning. Given this, and considering the especially devastating impact of the early pandemic across the Northern region of Italy, this article reports on an intervention that supported language teachers in Lombardy in selecting and adopting research-informed, online pedagogical resources in their teaching contexts. These included fully developed plurilingual and action-oriented scenarios, a social engagement platform, and an e-portfolio with reflective and interactive self-assessment tools.  Continue Reading →

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Inclusive online course design: Lessons from a pandemic

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Abstract
Curriculum developers for the ESL Foundation Program at the Real Institute at Ryerson University adapted programming for in-person learning to virtual formats in response to COVID-19. An important consideration when developing the online program was the establishment of an inclusive online environment. Curriculum developers responded to challenges and fostered inclusivity through UDL, flexibility, digital tools, and demonstrating personal interest in students. Overall, a strong sense of community was achieved, and students responded positively.

Introduction
With the onset of COVID-19, language programs across the country had to shift their mode of delivery from the traditional face-to-face classroom setting to virtual learning environments. Designing a virtual learning experience in any subject area requires significant time, care,  Continue Reading →

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Learning technology in LINC – Beyond the pandemic

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Abstract
This article is based on observations from a workshop conducted at the 2021 annual TESL Ontario conference presented by language training professionals and experts in learning technology solutions from the Avenue–LearnIT2teach Project. The onset of COVID-19 in March 2020 was a crisis in immigrant settlement language training. Many teachers and learners were forced to rapidly pivot from conventional face-to-face learning to remote learning. Teachers and learners who had previously practiced blended (or hybrid) learning were well positioned with technology and skills. Teachers and learners who had not were forced to rapidly respond with Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). Observations from the workshop panel and the participants uphold the need for continued sector engagement with learning technology to support the development of digital skills among newcomers,  Continue Reading →

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Pedagogical lessons for remote/blended online classrooms

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Abstract
An English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Pathway Program of a major Canadian university suddenly pivoted to remote teaching and learning, as did so many other university programs across the country in the 2020–2021 academic year. The Pathway Program, took the opportunity of this “pivot” to research how students and instructors fared with the new technology-mediated curriculum and found key practices as useful for instructors. In this article, we describe the Community of Inquiry framework that underpins our study and the insights gained for instructors who retain at least some remote teaching activities in their classrooms. Implications of this study indicate that there are five ways in which instructors can potentially alter their pedagogy to further student satisfaction for online study.  Continue Reading →

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Facebook as a tool for enhancing students’ argumentative writing

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Argumentative writing is one of the most difficult written genres in higher education for both English as a second language (ESL) and English as foreign language (EFL) learners. These learners often face difficulties using complex syntactic forms and appropriate elements of argumentation (Ka-kan-dee & Kaur, 2014). Hence, there is an imperative need to explore the use of effective strategies to improve ESL/EFL students’ argumentative writing ability at the tertiary level.
Corrective feedback, referred to as utterances that indicate to a learner that their output is erroneous in some way (Nassaji & Kartchava, 2017), may be a particularly effective method of giving individual and specific guidance for the improvement of argumentation.  Continue Reading →

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How to manage expectations in online classes: Guidelines and requirements

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Abstract
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become incumbent upon teachers to transfer courses to an online environment. However, because of the abrupt transition, many in-service teachers might feel poorly prepared for this change of modality, and therefore need to have a better grasp of the expectations and requirements of an online class. This paper attempts to (1) present certain challenges students and teachers may encounter in an online environment as opposed to face-to-face classes, (2) provide relevant guidelines as well as strategies informed by the findings of previous research studies to address the issues, and (3) present a reflection checklist.

Introduction
Before the strike of the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning was considered optional,  Continue Reading →

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