Pandemic Language Teaching: Insights from Brazilian and International Teachers on the Pivot to Emergency Remote Instruction
This article reflects on the experiences of language teachers from Brazil, Spain, France, Cyprus, Costa Rica and Taiwan during the pivot to emergency remote/online instruction during the 2020 pandemic. The research question motivating the study was what language teachers’ perceptions regarding online teaching during the pandemic were. Data were analyzed qualitatively, contrasting data from a questionnaire shared in an asynchronous online form with data from focus group interviews carried out via videoconferencing. The analysis of the questionnaire data showed that the vast majority of respondents used different digital technologies to teach online, both synchronously and asynchronously, but felt unprepared to work in this modality, mostly because of lack of institutional support and training. The analysis of the focus group interviews suggested that most teachers expressed concerns as to the limitations of online teaching for interaction and exams. In addition, some teachers displayed negative attitudes towards online teaching due to the lack of preparation and institutional support. This was aggravated by political implications of migrating to online education that could result in precariousness of the teacher profession. The positive aspects highlighted were the possibility of developing more self-directed and autonomous learning, as well as experimenting with different technologies and approaches. Overall, the analysis of the data suggests that, after the pandemic and with due preparation and support, some of the digital technologies and approaches experimented with will be incorporated into pedagogical practices in blended approaches, which represent a real trend and possibility for language teaching in the post-pandemic context.
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