Challenges and Opportunities of Globalised English Language Education

A Case Study of Trentino-South Tyrol


  • Martina Irsara
  • Cecilia Lazzeretti
  • Maria Cristina Gatti



Globalised Language Education, online language education, plurilingualism, Covid-19, teacher education


Forcing the transition from traditional face-to-face, classroom-based methods to online teaching and learning, the Covid-19 pandemic has further expanded the challenges of contemporary education in a globalised world, characterised by increasing cultural and linguistic diversity.
This paper provides a critical account of the Bolzano Meisei English Programme (BMP), a collaborative project established between the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and Meisei University of Tokyo during the SARs-Cov-2 crisis in the spring of 2020. By reflecting on this experience, characterised by intrinsic aspects of originality related to the multilingual and multicultural background of the countries involved, the study aims to discuss the challenges and opportunities of online language teaching and learning in the global digital world.
The study is framed in the perspective of Globalised Language Education (GLE) and based on ethnographic approaches (Starfield 2010; Carspecken 1996) and reflective analysis (Gibbs 1988). The dataset is comprised of analogue and digital data, collected in the form of field notes, personal communications, video recordings, email exchanges, and student reflections.
BMP offered participants an international collaborative learning experience, supporting the idea that English can be a window into a range of cultures that are perhaps geographically distant but accessible through digital technologies. While the programme was successful in many respects and well received by participants and stakeholders, it also faced challenges that may be useful for future projects and the advancement of teacher education.


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