Strategies for Effective Distance Learning in Foreign Language, Linguistics and Translation College Courses
Due to Covid-19, there was a sudden shift to distance learning (DL) without prior preparation. Students and faculty surveys showed that 51% of the students were dissatisfied with EL, online communication with their instructors, had difficulty understanding the online class lectures and material and had concerns about exams. Even when face to face instruction was resumed in Fall 2021, some courses were still delivered online. It seems that some departments, colleges, and universities will continue to offer some courses online. To make the best use of online teaching and learning, this article proposes a model consisting of strategies for making distance teaching and learning in foreign language, linguistics and translation college courses effective, interactive, engaging and fun. Those strategies are: Using some free platforms, supplying devices and good infrastructure to both students and instructors, practicing using the platform, supplementing the platform with one or more technologies, orientation, training and support, telling the students about online class logistics, selecting online course material and resources, integrating global topics and participation goals in the class material, practicing a variety of language skills with online videos, blogs, mobile apps and others, using effective teaching techniques, assignments, and activities, giving feedback, motivating and engaging the students, online communication and interaction, nurturing the online classroom community, preparing and following effective and reliable online testing procedures, the instructor’s role in the distance learning environments, evaluating the students’ and faculty DL experience, and providing teachers’ professional development and support.