Modern Languages Teaching Forum shares best practice in distance learning

The University of Kent’s Modern Languages Teaching Forum, which met for the third time on 27 May, attracted around 150 teachers of languages at secondary and tertiary level, from the UK and across the world.

The Forum is designed to bring together teachers of modern languages at all levels to share good practice and discuss the challenges facing the sector, support language teaching and encourage pupils to continue to study languages and develop their confidence.

The theme of this Forum – held online due to the Coronavirus pandemic – was ‘Distance Learning in Modern Languages. The event was recorded and is available on YouTube.

Guests were welcomed by Dr Alvise Sforza Tarabochia, Head of the Department of Modern Languages, and presentations included:

  • Sascha Stollhans (Lancaster University), “Get Me Out Of Here…!” – Designing Online Escape Games For Language Learning
  • Sandra Beer (Uppsala University, Sweden), Screencasts As An Example For Creative Learning Methods In Times Of Social Distancing
  • Laura Stecca (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy), Communication and sense of community in the virtual Language classroom
  • Alice Gasparini (D’Annunzio University, Pescara, Italy), Scorci Italiani: a learning environment for Italian as L2
  • Enzo Petit (CentraleSupélec, France) and Olivia Bourne (University of Cambridge), Telecollaboration class: immersion into language through a screen

There were also pre-recorded presentations by Antonella Giacosa (University of Torino) and Alexis Silvestri.

Copies of all the presentations, and additional resources, are available on the Modern Languages Teaching Forum website.

Speaking after the event, Dr Alvise Sforza Tarabochia said: ‘Over the past month or so, our classrooms have become virtual, our homes have become our offices and assessment has been delivered online. Socialising and meeting have taken on a completely different dimension. In these times it is all the more important that we continue to foster our bond and exchange ideas and best practice through the Modern Languages Teaching Forum. I am hugely grateful to the speakers and to all those attending for their insightful contributions and look forward to continuing our discussions at the next Forum in the Autumn Term”.

Comments from attendees included:

  • “Thank you for a useful, timely forum. We have seen some very good examples of how to adapt, and engage learners with motivating activities and co-creation”
  • “An interesting session with valuable teaching and student perspectives”
  • “Thank you to organisers and presenters – a very inspiring session. Lots of great ideas to take away”
  • “Thank you so much for a very interesting and stimulating session. I really enjoyed it! Look forward to the next one”.

The next Modern Languages Teaching Forum is due to take place in autumn 2020. Those wishing to receive further updates and take part in ongoing discussion can subscribe to the Forum mailing list.

Leave a Reply