Tag Archives: COVID-19

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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COVID-19 infecting global vocabulary: Implications for EFL/ESL teaching and learning

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Abstract
Language is dynamic and keeps changing due to the influence of a number of factors, including global pandemics. COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, has affected not only people’s health around the world but also their vocabulary. Focusing on the English language, one can see that many Corona-related medical words have entered the daily vocabulary of its speakers, and interestingly, many languages have been using those words to broadcast the news about the disease. The outbreak has also spawned new words, corona coinages, and new uses of old words in the language. This article intends to raise EFL/ESL teachers’ awareness of the word-formation processes evident in the new COVID-19 vocabulary and to teach learners how words are created.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
COVID-19, Vocabulary
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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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Teaching in COVID-19 Times: Challenges, innovations, solutions, and opportunities

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*For more information on Figures, refer to the PDF version of the article.

Abstract
Based on the research we presented at the TESL Ontario Conference in November 2020, we examine here the challenges, innovations, solutions, and opportunities in education that have grown out of the sudden disruption and constraints due to COVID-19. We first set the background in a global context; then report on the impact, challenges, and needs in LINC programs in Canada. We then discuss an in-depth case study of a LINC educator’s experiences based on her own teaching and teacher development work during this time. We conclude by discussing lessons learned from these COVID-19 experiences and recommend ways forward.

All settlement language training professionals were caught by surprise by the pandemic in mid-March 2020.  Continue Reading →

Categories:
LINC
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Creative assignments to help students connect English to the outside world and build confidence

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Abstract
Instructors at the Real Institute’s ESL Foundation Program are continuously working on designing assignments that allow their students to practice the language skills taught in class while at the same time engaging with technology and connecting with life outside of the classroom. Through careful consideration and research, two assignments were designed and successfully achieved these outcomes. The assignments were adapted to a virtual teaching context and were equally successful. This article includes a detailed explanation of the projects that were created, the steps taken for students to accomplish all tasks, and the outcomes that resulted from their completion. Further to this is a description of the success achieved from their adaptation to an online learning environment.

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