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Keynote Speaker Plenary / Keynote Presentation

Optimizing the future of language teaching with technology in Japan

Sat, Jun 5, 13:15-14:30 Asia/Tokyo Main Room

Pandemic-era teaching takes many forms: online, face-to-face, hybrid, and hyflex, among others. Teachers must be prepared to transition rapidly among these modes, depending on local conditions and the whims of administrators. Where will language teaching with technology go from here? In this talk, I make four predictions for Japan and provide my recommendations for optimizing this future. First, I predict that online instruction will quickly fall back to prepandemic levels—that is, unless we make efforts to prevent this. CALL experts are well suited to argue for the effectiveness of online learning, where appropriate. One area where we may be able to make progress is in virtual international experiences, such as online study abroad. Second, most institutions will adopt bring-your-own-device policies. This will bring significant advantages for the use of technology in language classes but also present challenges when students’ devices are not uniform. Teachers will need more tech literacy to meet these challenges. Third, our institutions will recognize a growing variety of learning differences among our students and rely on us to accommodate them. To support all learners, universal design will become standard. Fourth, although most instruction will return to the physical classroom, we will need to be constantly prepared to shift instruction online again. This will apply not only during the current pandemic, but is also necessary preparation for future public health or natural disasters that prevent face-to-face instruction. Emergency remote teaching will no longer be adequate; instead, we will need to provide high quality online learning experiences. To prepare to meet these challenges and optimize the outcomes, we need quality professional development (PD). Although current offerings from our institutions are inadequate, CALL experts can help to fill some of the unmet needs. In conclusion, I encourage CALL experts to push for the future of technology in education that they would like to see. We have the power to make change in the use of technology through our research, our exemplary teaching, and the PD we provide to our fellow teachers.

Resources

Lavolette - JALT CALL 2021 - Optimizing the future

Download PDF: Lavolette - JALT CALL 2021 - Optimizing the future

Post-pandemic predictions from the audience

Download PDF: Post-pandemic predictions from the audience

  • Elizabeth Lavolette

    Elizabeth (Betsy) Lavolette is Associate Professor of English at Kyoto Sangyo University. She holds a PhD in Second Language Studies with a focus on CALL from Michigan State University, and she was previously Director of the Language Resource Center at Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania, USA). Her research focuses on language learning spaces and forging connections between scholars and literatures of such spaces in the US, Japan, and globally. She is currently Programs Director of the International Association for Language Learning Technology and coeditor of the Language Center Handbook (2018 & forthcoming).