Best Practices in Online Language Instruction
An ever-growing contingent of world language educators find themselves teaching world languages online without having received adequate preparation in pre- or in-service contexts. In 2015, the NFLRC surveyed online language teachers and, based on their input, it created and offered three online modules on different areas of Online Language Pedagogy (OLP): interaction, materials development, and assessment. The webinars recorded for each module were subsequently made available as open educational resources (OERs) in the form of TED Ed lessons.
Designing Interaction for Online Language Learning (2015)
Materials Development for Online Language Courses (2016)
Assessment in Online Language Courses (2017)
ACTFL DL SIG / NFLRC Mentoring Program for Online Language Teachers
The three modules were later supplemented with additional content created in the same format through a collaboration between the NFLRC and the ACTFL Distance Learning Special Interest Group (SIG). ACTFL then piloted a mentoring program with support from its Distance Learning SIG in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. The NFLRC resources created for best practices in online foreign language instruction in the previous cycle served as the foundation for the current cycle, which launched in Fall 2018.
More Best Practices in Online Language Pedagogy
In view of the success of the program and its resources and the continued need for specialized materials in this area, the NFLRC conducted a second nationwide survey of online language instructors to determine current professional learning priorities. Based on the results, it is developing and offering three 10-hour online modules on a unified topic each year that will become part of the existing collection and be used to create more self-paced professional learning experiences in the form of TED Ed lessons: selecting and adapting materials, supporting students, engaging students through social emotional learning (SEL). The self-paced versions and corresponding badges will continue to be available for completion online by independent learners; the NFLRC will undertake assessment of learners’ work and issuance of badges as a part of regular operations.
Selecting and Adapting Materials for Online Language Learning and Teaching (2019)
Supporting Students in Online Language Learning: Voices of Experience (2021)
Engaging Online Language Learners through SEL (2022)
Best Practices in Mentoring Online World Language Teachers
Finally, the related Best Practices in Mentoring Online World Language Teachers project (coming soon) is intended to fill the need for materials for mentors that illustrate strategies and provide useful tips to help mentees achieve their goals. Lesson design will follow the same TED Ed lesson format and conform to principles of micro-learning design, with video followed by reading, quizzes, and a discussion prompt. Lessons will feature excerpts from interviews with experienced mentors. This project will address the needs of mentors participating in the ACTFL mentoring program and the NFLRC Mentoring PBLL Teachers program.