© A. Etges/Mercator-Institut

Language Education in the Corona Pandemic

Teachers' Perspectives on New Challenges and Opportunities

During the Corona pandemic, teachers, parents and learners had to adapt to new teaching and learning settings on an ad hoc basis: school closures, alternating in-person, digital instruction. A great concern is that students who already have to cope with additional challenges, such as the acquisition of German as a second language in the context of everyday school life, will be disadvantaged. However, the crisis situation could potentially be an opportunity to promote digitalization in schools, thereby establishing digitally supported language education.

In order to understand the perspective of the language teachers, the project will conduct guided interviews that will be evaluated by using a qualitative content analysis. The aim is to reveal how teachers experienced teaching and learning situations during the Corona pandemic 2020/21 in linguistically heterogeneous groups; what potential they see in the digitalization of language education; and where there is a need for professional development.

Initial findings indicate that learners who are considered to be at a disadvantage due to their language skills were often at an increased risk during the pandemic-related change in teaching methods. For this target group, for example, teachers provided less demanding learning materials in terms of subject matter and language and rarely engaged in language-sensitive pedagogy. At the same time, the teachers recognized the new potentials digital media for language education offered through their experience of digital teaching. In order to expand these potentials, more professional development specifically linking language pedagogy and digitalization -related teaching competencies appear to make sense.

At a glance


The aim of the project is to highlight challenges and potentials of language education during the ad hoc changes of teaching and learning settings in the Corona pandemic 2020/2021 from the perspective of teachers.



Project Management

Dr. Ina-Maria Maahs
Christina Winter

Project Team

Kathrin Drews