Learning Vocabulary and Stuff in an Online Language Course: My 2020 Story
September 12, 10:00-11:30 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)
Featured Speaker: Dr. Keith Folse
Sponsored by National Geographic Learning
ABSTRACT: How many times have you heard a student tell you in Week 1 (and sometimes Week 2), “Teacher, I don’t have the book yet”? Now that many of us are teaching online, how many times have you received an email that says, “Where is the assignment?” or “I don’t understand what I am supposed to do” or “I can’t get the book yet”?
Do you find these questions annoying? As a teacher who preps extensively for class, I have rarely understood these questions. Seriously, how can you not have the book yet? How can you notunderstand what you are supposed to do in the first assignment? How can you not know where Module 1 is?
Well, I now have a very different perspective on these annoying questions because I am a student in a beginning language course that is online due to the pandemic. In August 2020, I enrolled in a German 1 course at my university, knowing that it would have a large online component due to COVID-19. What I didn’t know is that my course would end up being completely online. Yes, 100% online and asynchronous. I am learning German without being with a teacher in class and without being able to work with a partner in a live class via Zoom.
I am learning German, but I am also learning a whole lot about online language education. What should I do with all that vocabulary? How do you teach yourself grammar? How do I balance wanting to appear “normal” in the class discussions versus wanting to try to use German? Is my pronunciation correct? (Right now I’m just sitting in front of my iMac pronouncing out loud to myself.) What’s it like to do the online part of the coursebook as a student? Do you know how much a German 1 textbook costs? How do you get a book in an online class? What do the other students, who are not experienced language teachers or learners, say and do in this class?
In this talk, I will tell you a little about my experience as a language learner in an asynchronous online German class as this interesting age continues to unfold.
BIO: Dr. Keith Folse is a semi-retired professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida. For the past forty years, he has taught ESL, EFL, EAP, French, and Spanish in five different countries. He is the author of 77 textbooks on a variety of topics, including his recent book Teaching with Zoom: A Guide for Complete Beginners. More importantly to this webinar, Dr. Folse has been a learner of six foreign languages in formal classrooms and in immersion sink-or-swim settings.