Part 1: Introduction to Online Language
Can you really learn a language online? Language teachers find themselves asking this question more and more, now that online classes are the preferred method of learning for many college students. Online classes can offer flexibility, convenience, and opportunity for many students who might not otherwise be able to pursue college courses, but can they offer the same quality as face-to-face learning?
Donna Marqués answers this question with an enthusiastic, ¡Sí! In this the first of three webinars, Donna Marqués will convince even the most skeptical teacher that online language learning is not only possible, but that it has the potential to be just as dynamic, interactive, and personalized as a traditional classroom setting.
By putting pedagogy first and understanding what is important to you as a teacher, you can keep your own distinctive style of teaching for your online classes. The 5 Cs of language learning do not take a backseat when teaching with an online platform. You may find that this unique set-up can provide more opportunities to weave culture, comparisons, and connections through your lessons. For example, students can share their experiences using the target language in their own communities by uploading videos and photos to discussion boards.
Just like in the classroom, the three modes of communication are essential when learning a new language. Reading and writing activities come naturally to the online platform, but what about speaking? Again, Donna Marqués shares her own experience using virtual, live, and face-to-face chats, which give students the opportunity to practice their interpersonal communication skills. Students can even record their conversations with each other so that the teacher can listen to all of them in their entirety. Imagine being able to give feedback to every student because you have the time and the means to listen to each one! Imagine your students happily conversing in the target language because they can do so in an environment that is comfortable and familiar! The online learning environment makes it possible.
Students really can learn a language online—all they need is a teacher to inspire them. As language teachers, we are always encouraging our students to broaden their horizons and take risks. Now we must do the same to bring languages to all students willing to learn!