COVID-19 exposes gaps in language education — why there needs to be increased support

April 24, 2021

By Globe and News |

While COVID-19 has heightened hardships for those enrolled in language classes and programs, language instructors and researchers say it has also highlighted innovative learning practices that could be applied in Canada, to work towards better supporting education.

The communities engaged in second-language learning classes range from newcomers and refugee families learning English for jobs and life in Canada to children in immersive programs developing an additional skill.

Diana Ospina is the senior manager of language programs at Mosaic, a non-profit organization that serves immigrant, refugee, migrant and mainstream communities in B.C.

She says even though the organization offered blended in-person and online classes prior to the pandemic, providing procedures and training for remote workers was a learning curve for both teachers and students.

“It was a lot of work to do a needs assessment to find out the gaps — what do people need, what are people comfortable with?” She adds they also had to make sure technology was compliant.

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