Can We Reconcile ERT (Emergency Remote Teaching) and Best Practices in Language Learning/Teaching?

A Case Study on How to Stimulate Students’ Proactiveness via CMC


  • Franca Poppi University of Modena and Reggio Emilia



Emergency Remote Teaching, proactiveness, global communicative competencies, strategic awareness


The adoption of technological tools as an alternative to or in support of more traditional methods became pressing and inevitable in 2020, because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which marked the closure of on-site face-to-face classes all over the world. All of a sudden, what had so far been considered to be ‘normal’ was destabilized or disrupted by the pandemic. Technology solutions had to be adopted to save the whole education system, as teachers reinvented themselves in a period which catalysed a new era in virtual language learning and teacher professional development (Copeland 2021). In some cases it was possible to move classes effectively to online and distance education platforms because of pre-existing experience, but in others all the involved stakeholders had to strive to cope and manage the ‘new normal’ (Trust and Whalen 2021).
The present contribution explores the online practices adopted in a course attended by master students with a view to stimulating the attendees’ proactiveness, and in particular their involvement in tasks which encouraged them to develop a capability for using linguistic resources strategically and knowingly, aware of “how meaning potential encoded in English can be realised as a communicative resource” (Widdowson 2003, 177).


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