In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MIT transitioned to remote teaching on March 30. Global Languages Director, Prof. Emma Teng, shared a message to students on the first day of Virtual MIT: “We are all so excited to welcome you back to class as we launch remote instruction this week. Everyone has been working hard over the past two weeks to transition to remote teaching, and we are excited by the affordances of new technologies, but we have been missing the most important part of teaching: YOU!”
The race to launch remote instruction under challenging circumstances was a new experience for us in Global Languages, and we were pleasantly surprised after the first week of online classes that it was better than we anticipated (feared!). If you’re curious to know what this unprecedented, rapid shift was like, we share a some anecdotes and images from the remote classroom experience:
- Joseph Borkowski, Global Languages Systems Administrator, provided crucial training and advice on technologies for language teaching. He talked to us about “this huge collective effort together with wonderful colleagues.”
- Margarita Ribas Groeger, Senior Lecturer Emerita in Spanish, had the foresight to suggest a colloquium on online teaching.
- Emma J. Teng, Global Languages Director, shared her perspective on adjusting her class to respond to the pandemic: “my students are showing me the way.”
- Nilma Dominique, Lecturer in Portuguese, found a way to preserve some of the joys of residential education by bringing a Brazilian band into the virtual classroom.
- Sabine Levet, Senior Lecturer in French, shared on the use of asynchronous activities to supplement synchronous online instruction: “J’ai tant besoin de toi, tout à côté de moi”
- Min-Min Liang, Lecturer in Chinese, reflected on the particular challenges of remote instruction for language classes and shared insights on student engagement from the first week.
- Hee-Jeong Jeong, lecturer in Korean, shared her Korean II students’ perspectives on remote classes.
- Maria Khottimsky, Senior Lecturer in Russian, shared how her students used their language skills in a real-life competition, with the Olympiada of Spoken Russian hosted online for the first time.
- Kang Zhou, lecturer in Chinese, invited student videos of teaching Chinese to their families.
- Panpan Gao, lecturer in Chinese, on Using the virtual classroom to connect students to the world
- Nilma Dominiuqe, lecturer in Portutuese, reports on virtual class visit to MassArt Art Museum.
- Nilma Dominique‘s 21G.802 Portuguese II class (together with 21M.299 Music of Brazil) had a virtual workshop with Piéra Varin and André Simões about Brazilian music and dance.
- Helena Belío-Apaolaza‘s Spanish III students shine in creative videos