Teaching foreign languages in higher education during the corona crisis
Ariadna Strugielska – Dorota Guttfeld – Monika Linke-Ratuszny
The paper investigates conceptual and operational levels of methods applied by foreign language teachers at Polish universities under pandemic constraints. In a stable state, a method of teaching, determined by institutional standards, was characterised by the dominance of the behavioural ingredient at the conceptual level, the prominence of obligatory operational-level components, and a limited space for bottom-up influences and individual teachers’ voices to be heard. We posit that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic reversed the hierarchy and as a result, teachers have been able to exercise a significant degree of agency. To assess the potential for such a change, we conducted a voluntary survey among Polish language teachers at a tertiary level. A statistical analysis of the results demonstrated that the opportunity for insider self-reflection, offered by the crisis, may affect the conceptual focus of a teaching method as a complex system and eventually penetrate the operational level.
Key words: teaching method, foreign languages, complex systems theory, Covid-19 pandemic, higher education