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“A Terrible Beauty Is Born”: Opportunities and New Perspectives for Online Teaching and Assessment

Franca Poppi, Josef Schmied


Even though the use of digital tools as an alternative to or in support of more traditional methods is no longer considered a novelty in the context of language learning, as a consequence of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, what used to be an opportunity was transformed into a pressing and inevitable necessity that led all the actors involved in the training and evaluation process to radically change their way of teaching and assessing. Within a matter of days, educators around the world scrambled to shift their practice from in-person to remote teaching. The need to maintain social distancing prompted the transition to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). Even though globally the emergency posed by Covid-19 popularized ERT as a temporary intervention to complete a higher education academic year, ERT has undoubtedly proved to be a feasible alternative for “students unconventionally dispersed, either locally or abroad, when only limited contact to educational facilities and instructional materials for their learning needs is available” (Nokukhanya et al. 2021, 9). Indeed, since in remote teaching the participants in the communicative act mainly interact via a screen, and sometimes even without full access to video facilities, at times there may be the tendency to de-emphasize person-to-person contact. Therefore, if we want remote teaching to provide new opportunities and stimuli in the future, it is essential to draw on the examples of good practice emerged during the pandemic, bearing in mind that teachers and educators should first and foremost promote interactive activities at the most efficient and realizable rate, with a view to encouraging the attendees’ notivation and participation.


digitalization; digital tools; emergency remote teaching; language teaching; learners’ needs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2023-001-edit

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