The global outbreak of COVID-19 is profoundly changing our lives and professional practice. In a time when educational institutions in many parts of the world have been forced to close down, language teachers and learners have been prompted to teach and learn languages online on a global scale. Though the integration of technology into language education has been advancing for years and has been taken up by many in well-resourced contexts, for the first time thousands of language teachers and learners are relying on the internet as the only medium for teaching and learning languages. Many of them may be ill-prepared for the challenge of teaching and learning languages online, and they may not be well supported by their local infrastructure (e.g. internet availability) and resources. Furthermore, there is concern that this sudden, widespread and massively increased use of online technology may exacerbate the impact of inequitable access to infrastructure and resources for the teaching and learning of languages online. Therefore, this special issue invites submissions based on recent empirical studies that look into critical issues related to this new global effort to teach and learn languages online.
The aim of this special issue is to document the challenges that language teachers and learners may experience in teaching and learning online, explore how these challenges have been addressed, and identify creative solutions that will enable language teachers and learners to overcome challenges in different contexts, such as homes, state-run schools, universities and private educational centres. Interested authors may consider submitting your work to address the following topics (this is not an exhaustive list):
Enhancing and sustaining language learners’ learning online
Motivating language learners for effective learning
Designing effective and engaging online learning activities
Developing online communities for language learners and teachers
Assessing language learners’ progress
Preparing language teachers for teaching online
Language teachers’ experiences of teaching online
Since COVID-19 is a truly global phenomenon motivating language teachers and learners to teach and learn languages online, this means that teachers and learners must rely on the use of technology to continue their teaching and learning endeavours, sometimes with limited resources. For this reason, the special issue is particularly interested in studies that engage with the use of technologies that are likely to be accessible in under-resourced contexts, rather than just cutting-edge technologies. It is also looking for studies with significant pedagogical implications for readers in diverse contexts, and studies on best practice from regions that have been most severely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Submissions to this special issue will be prioritised in editorial processing, reviewing and publication. They will be vetted for review, reviewed and processed for publication on an ongoing basis till March 31st, 2021, after which the special issue will be closed for new submission. The publisher will make the articles in this special issue freely available for an extended period of time. In this unprecedented situation, we believe that it is vital for the academic community to have access to the latest research on this important topic.
Please contact the special issue editors for further information.
Xuesong (Andy) Gao, School of Education, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Email: [email protected]
Jian (Tracy) Tao, School of Foreign Studies, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai, China. Email: [email protected]