Now that the pandemic is slowly abating, it is time to focus on a learner-centred curriculum design for the future. The OECD report [1] on curriculum design for their 2030 project, underlines the fact that there may be “wide gaps” (p. 17) between the intentions behind curriculum design and the actual learner experience of such curricula. Over the past few years of Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), in fact, the focus has not been on either content or learners, but rather on digital tools and the mechanics of implementing them in online learning [2]. The Covid pandemic and the adoption of ERT, an ad hoc solution to an unexpected problem, was conceived of as an emergency measure with no long-term guarantees of success. It has, however, confirmed that the process of integrating digital tools in education may only be effective on the plane of inclusion and equity if adopted in a principled manner, and most importantly, if a learner-centred approach is adopted [2]. One framework which seeks to cater for the needs of inclusion from the viewpoint of diverse students in diverse learning contexts, regardless of access to technology, is the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and its three macro areas, i.e. the what (content) the how (formative aspects such as goal setting) and the why (motivation) of learning, it provides a transferable approach that still enables autonomy and flexibility in its implementation [3]. This presentation illustrates concrete ways in which these three central tenets of UDL are being implemented in the design of an experimental, accessible, task-based learning (ATBL) approach to Inclusive English Language Teaching (IELT) at the Verona University language centre. The course is part of an ongoing research project which aims to develop an effective model for this type of teaching. The learning design stems from the findings analysed qualitatively in a series of interviews conducted with key stakeholders in our study (teachers, tutors and students). The 40-hour course blends synchronous onsite/ online sessions with asynchronous activities provided for autonomous study on the e-learning platform. The participants are mixed-abilities, including special needs learners. An ATBL approach was created for this learning design because of its focus on meaningful tasks in realistic contexts that put the needs of the learners at the centre of the process. The interactive use of language in real-life tasks may also promote increased learner agency and engagement. This, in turn, may also impact performance gain, while leading to learner perceptions of autonomy, motivation, and a growing self-awareness that contribute both to more effective learning and competence. References: [1] A. Schleicher, Curriculum (Re)design. A Series of Thematic Reports from the OECD Education 2030 Project, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/contact/brochure-thematic-reports-on-curriculum-redesign.pdf [2] J. Xiao, “Decoding new normal in education for the post-COVID-19 world: Beyond the digital solution,” Asian Journal of Distance Education, vol. 16, issue 1, pp. 141-155, 2021. Retrieved from http://asianjde.com/ojs/index.php/AsianJDE/article/view/558. [3] Center for Applied Language Technology, “The UDL Guidelines”, CAST, 2022. Retrieved from https://udlguidelines.cast.org/?utm_source=castsite&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=none&utm_content=footer. Keywords: Universal Design for Learning, Task-Based Learning, English Language Teaching, Accessibility, Inclusion, Emergency Remote Teaching.

INTRODUCING AN ACCESSIBLE TASK-BASED LEARNING (ATBL) APPROACH TO INCLUSIVE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING (IELT) AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERONA

Sharon Hartle
;
Emanuela Tenca
Membro del Collaboration Group
2022

Abstract

Now that the pandemic is slowly abating, it is time to focus on a learner-centred curriculum design for the future. The OECD report [1] on curriculum design for their 2030 project, underlines the fact that there may be “wide gaps” (p. 17) between the intentions behind curriculum design and the actual learner experience of such curricula. Over the past few years of Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT), in fact, the focus has not been on either content or learners, but rather on digital tools and the mechanics of implementing them in online learning [2]. The Covid pandemic and the adoption of ERT, an ad hoc solution to an unexpected problem, was conceived of as an emergency measure with no long-term guarantees of success. It has, however, confirmed that the process of integrating digital tools in education may only be effective on the plane of inclusion and equity if adopted in a principled manner, and most importantly, if a learner-centred approach is adopted [2]. One framework which seeks to cater for the needs of inclusion from the viewpoint of diverse students in diverse learning contexts, regardless of access to technology, is the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and its three macro areas, i.e. the what (content) the how (formative aspects such as goal setting) and the why (motivation) of learning, it provides a transferable approach that still enables autonomy and flexibility in its implementation [3]. This presentation illustrates concrete ways in which these three central tenets of UDL are being implemented in the design of an experimental, accessible, task-based learning (ATBL) approach to Inclusive English Language Teaching (IELT) at the Verona University language centre. The course is part of an ongoing research project which aims to develop an effective model for this type of teaching. The learning design stems from the findings analysed qualitatively in a series of interviews conducted with key stakeholders in our study (teachers, tutors and students). The 40-hour course blends synchronous onsite/ online sessions with asynchronous activities provided for autonomous study on the e-learning platform. The participants are mixed-abilities, including special needs learners. An ATBL approach was created for this learning design because of its focus on meaningful tasks in realistic contexts that put the needs of the learners at the centre of the process. The interactive use of language in real-life tasks may also promote increased learner agency and engagement. This, in turn, may also impact performance gain, while leading to learner perceptions of autonomy, motivation, and a growing self-awareness that contribute both to more effective learning and competence. References: [1] A. Schleicher, Curriculum (Re)design. A Series of Thematic Reports from the OECD Education 2030 Project, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/contact/brochure-thematic-reports-on-curriculum-redesign.pdf [2] J. Xiao, “Decoding new normal in education for the post-COVID-19 world: Beyond the digital solution,” Asian Journal of Distance Education, vol. 16, issue 1, pp. 141-155, 2021. Retrieved from http://asianjde.com/ojs/index.php/AsianJDE/article/view/558. [3] Center for Applied Language Technology, “The UDL Guidelines”, CAST, 2022. Retrieved from https://udlguidelines.cast.org/?utm_source=castsite&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=none&utm_content=footer. Keywords: Universal Design for Learning, Task-Based Learning, English Language Teaching, Accessibility, Inclusion, Emergency Remote Teaching.
978-84-09-45476-1
Inclusion, accessibility, ATBL an inclusive model, language teaching, blended learning
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1077209
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