“ELT through a Pandemic: A Call for a Change of Mindset”: A Talk by Dr. Rabia Hos
The Department of English and Humanities at ULAB organized a seminar with guest speaker Dr. Rabia Hos, Assistant Professor of TESOL/ Bilingual and Dual Language Education at The University of Rhode Island, USA. The webinar focused on improving teaching methods in pandemic times and the context of online education and distance learning. Students, as well as teachers, joined the online program on April 8, 2021.
Dr. Rabia Hos talk focused on the importance of using a social and emotional approach and growth mindset to approach distance learning during the pandemic. She acknowledged that many teachers are struggling with teaching online – and pointed out that trial and error is a necessary part of this adjustment. She gave importance to acknowledging the extraordinary and said that the real point is to provide a rich experience to all learners who are now without “traditional” teachers standing beside them in class. To improve the learning and teaching experience, she suggested reducing workload for both teachers and students. She also stated that providing an emotional and psychological context to teaching is vital.
She asked teachers to be mindful of the students who are facing severe challenges during the pandemic. Later she asked the audience to look at the bright side – the new normal has enabled us to form collaborative partnerships across the globe and it has provided access to many open educational resources.
She went on to define Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a system of learning that provides the structural processes for adults and students to develop fundamental emotional and social competencies. She informed her audience of the five core competencies that SEL teaches and asserted that Social Emotional Learning promotes success in school and life. She went on to advocate self-care for educators and encouraged openness, flexibility, adaptability, and humor. She also suggested checking in with the students to help them open up about their mental health.
The presentation was followed by an enthusiastic Q/A session with audience members.
The event was inaugurated with the opening remarks of Ms. Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head of the Department, where she noted the importance of changing teaching methods to adjust to the new normal. Assistant Professor of DEH, Dr. Syeda Farzana Sultana, leading the DEH Event Committee, wrapped up the event with her vote of thanks to the guest, the event organizers, and the participants.
The webinar can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/ULABian/videos/748968599072574.