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Book: Technology-mediated Crisis Response in Language Studies

Chapter: 8. Language Teachers as ERT Professionals during COVID: A Perspective from Professional Didactics

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.45098

Blurb:

This chapter provides a snapshot of what it meant for language teachers to transition to online teaching during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, our study delves into teachers’ attitudes towards online teaching and determines which factors predict such attitudes. Data from 308 language teachers in 43 countries was collected via a survey. A Latent Class Analysis classified participants into three groups according to their attitude: Negative Attitude (n=97); Neutral Attitude (n=145); and Positive Attitude (n=66). Also, the variables Teaching experience, Training during the pandemic, and the interaction between Institution and Training before the pandemic were predictors in the model. These translates in the following trends: (i) teachers with more than 15 years of experience had a higher probability of belonging to the Negative Attitude Class, (ii) Teachers who received training during the pandemic had a higher probability of belonging to the Neutral Class, while those who did not receive training were most likely categorized in the Negative Class, and (iii) Teachers in primary and secondary schools had less positive attitudes than those in language schools and tertiary institutions. Additionally, we explored the content of the training received during the pandemic and the challenges experienced during this time. The results revealed that training focused primarily on low-level skills (i.e., technical competence) and that the areas that set participants apart related to the management of online sessions and motivating students, both of which were reported by a higher percentage of participants in the Positive Attitude group. Regarding challenges, participants reported difficulties motivating students, designing effective activities, and encouraging students to talk during synchronous sessions. The triangulation of these data sources allows us to identify areas in the training that should be emphasized to make training more effective and sustainable, even in moments of crisis.

Chapter Contributors

  • Marta Tecedor (marta.tecedor@asu.edu - mtecedor) 'Arizona State University'
  • Inmaculada Gómez Soler (inmaculada.gomezsoler@dcu.ie - igsoler) 'Dublin City University'