Gacs, A., Goertler, S., Spasova, S. (2020). Planned online language education versus crisis-prompted online language teaching: Lessons for the future. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 380-92.
This timely article is intended to provide language teachers with “a roadmap for planning, implementing, and evaluating online education in ideal and in crisis contexts”(p.381).
The authors provide a thorough review of the processes of planning, preparation, design, implementation and evaluation of online language education under normal circumstances, and of the adjustments that must be made when teachers are asked to rapidly adapt to a crisis situation such as remote teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For example, the authors identify and describe the key components of a plan for emergency remote teaching. Firstly, a review of the existing curriculum to identify course components that cannot be delivered remotely and which will have to be, at least temporarily, removed. Secondly, an assessment to identify the actual needs of instructors and students in relation to technology, including hardware, connectivity and access. Finally, a plan for effective communication, to enable and support students to become engaged in remote learning.
Bodis, A., Reed, M., Kharchenko,Y. (2020). Microteaching in Isolation: Fostering Autonomy and Learner Engagement through Voice Thread. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(3), 1-12 Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 320-32.
The focus of this article is a TESOL training program at Macquarie University in Australia. Due to the restrictions imposed at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis the program needed to move rapidly to an online environment.
Online microteaching activities were developed, and a set of asynchronous tasks were developed using Voice Thread, an asynchronous communication platform whereby users can create and upload content, including text, and audio and video presentations. Voice Thread is interactive, enabling instructors and students to add comments and annotations in text, audio, and video. The article includes a description of each of the two Voice Thread Tasks developed for the course.
The evaluation of the approach demonstrated that students were able to meet the unit learning outcomes. Furthermore, the approach contributed to their overall learning in relation to feedback, the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning, and to the development of autonomy as students and teachers. The authors conclude, “We, therefore, recommend the use of VT in a systematic way combined with enabling tasks and supportive teacher presence in and outside face-to-face classes.” (p.100).