The coronavirus has caused changes in the schedules, routines, and habits of our students. These radical new changes have completely altered their day-to-day lives and they have been forced to adapt. In the past months, teachers have seen their work multiplied, parents have found themselves being teachers and the students have had to adapt to the new reality of education.
How will these changes affect the language acquisition of the youngest and oldest students? The important thing to know is what to do so that it affects them as little as possible.
First of all, an open and positive attitude towards learning languages, even though the setting or tools have changed a lot, is fundamental. Learning languages, regardless of the pandemic, is still a MUST.
It is also important to be flexible and ready to adapt to the new learning environment. E-learning has been imposed out of necessity, but it has also proven that, when correctly used, it is an alternative to classroom learning. We can teach and the children are able to learn in a virtual setting. We must learn how to use this new method because it is here to stay.
Supporting the families and students is also key to reducing the impact of these new setting changes. Change is painful and it often causes discomfort. The job of educational centres is to offer support and trust so that the transition happens as smoothly as possible. At the same time, we must be accessible so that students and families can contact us with their questions, concerns, etc. that way we can inform them of how the situation is evolving.
In short, knowing how to correctly use this new way of learning will modernise the education system to the benefit of everyone.
If there is one thing that characterises children and teenagers, it is their ability to reinvent themselves and surprise us. This just might be the perfect time to do so.