Where Learning Begins: Lessons from a Pandemic

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French and Francophone Language and Literature | Higher Education


THE HUMAN TOLL of the Covid-19 pandemic, the widespread illness and death observed in 2020, was unimaginable in the waning days of 2019. Since then, in language education, the pandemic has changed the way we interact with others and forced a transformation of how we deliver content to our students. It has placed experimentation at the forefront of our teaching and provided opportunities for pedagogical growth. Above all, in the spring of 2020, Covid-19 tested our adaptability and agility, both as educators and as students.

This article will touch on some of the broader implications for our profession both in and beyond the classroom. My inferences include overarching considerations such as the importance of listening to student voices, maintaining community among the learners, and continual reflection and reevaluation, as well as some specific recommendations learned by the experience. Regardless of the type and amount of technology infused in the process, teaching remains a quintessential human activity focused on learning, but always tempered by the teacher's care for students' well-being and, indeed, their joy.


Originally published as

Conboy, Ana Fonseca. "Where Learning Begins: Lessons from a Pandemic." The French Review, vol. 94 no. 3, 2021, p. 15-20. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/tfr.2021.0001.