Designing and providing inclusive ELT materials in times of the global pandemic: a Chilean experience

KATHARINA MARIA GLAS, Erica Catalán, Marcel Donner, Carla Donoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The provision of inclusive learning materials has been a longstanding issue in FL education. During the 2020 pandemic, school closures have posed additional challenges to educators seeking to engage learners and provide egalitarian access to learning opportunities. Approach: This case study documents a collaborative materials design process when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Chilean schools into remote lessons for a whole school year. The collaboration was based on a small professional learning network consisting of two pre-service teachers and two teacher educators. Two questions were posed: What learning and circumstantial needs had to be considered for materials design and for the process of making the materials accessible to a diverse group of Year-9 EFL learners? What were the benefits and challenges for this networked learning system when searching for solutions? Findings: The combination of different access modes to materials, including paper-based worksheets and social networking, and the provision of internet access to facilitate video conferences, helped to overcome some but not all of the limitations caused by the lack of political commitment to offer solutions at a macro level. Based on a framework that combined principles of Differentiated Instruction, Universal Design for Learning, multimodality and bilingual support, the team developed materials at an appropriate level for most students. However, difficulties regarding differentiation between different learner levels persisted. Value: This study sheds light on the affordances and challenges of a collaborative materials design process in which educators join perspectives to provide materials for greater educational justice in FL classrooms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInnovation in Language Learning and Teaching
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • differentiation
  • inclusion
  • networked learning systems
  • Teacher materials design

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