Russian Language Journal


online learning, language learning


The strained pedagogies in the wake of the transition to virtual online delivery of instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while taxing some instructors’ and students’ patience, have also resulted in reimagined curricula and new opportunities for student engagement and participation in our language and culture courses. This essay presents a rationale for the creation of ecologies of equity and inclusion within online delivery of course content on platforms such as Zoom, including suggestions for creating Breakout Room tasks and activities that encourage critical engagement and dialogue among learners and facilitate the creation of “safe spaces” for open and frank interactions. Critical pedagogy is applied to other Zoom functionalities, such as Polling and Chat, as well as in the use of class recordings for self-reflection and assessment of interaction between and among all participants, including instructors. Instructors are encouraged to attend to intersectionality within our increasingly diverse student populations, especially in the easily masked environments of virtual instruction, in order to attend more equitably to the diverse identities in our courses and to promote social justice.