Learning and Teaching German for Beginners Online At UNAM During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Covid-19 has affected learning and teaching worldwide and forced most learning institutions to shift almost instantly to remote or e-learning. Although e-learning and the use of technology to support and enhance learning has been promoted over the years, the pandemic challenged many, institutions, lecturers and students alike. Learning a foreign language through a language app has become extremely popular as it is easily accessible and flexible in regard to time, but speaking, interaction and motivation cause challenges. As the University of Namibia (UNAM) changed with the beginning of the pandemic to online teaching, the teaching and learning had to be changed in methods and activities and material had to be developed as online takes a different approach. For the German beginners’ class different tools have been employed such as recorded Panopto sessions, online exercises on Moodle, videoconferences on Zoom and WhatsApp communication to facilitate the course online, but also activities such as quizzes, video presentations were used to support students’ language learning and to enhance interaction. In conclusion, one can say that e-learning offers many advantages to develop a digital competence and to allow a more flexible learning. However, especially for the aspects of speaking and interaction – one of the main aspects of learning a language – the e-learning remains challenging and has an impact on the motivation and therefore learning of students, especially younger and less mature students.