Resources for the ACTFL DL SIG / NFLRC Mentoring Program for Online Language Teachers


This page contains materials specifically designed to support the professional learning needs of online world language educators. Please visit the Mentoring Program for Online Language Teachers page for more information.

Introduction to Online Language Teaching

This first set of lessons was designed and developed through a collaboration between the NFLRC and ACTFL's Distance Learning (DL) Special Interest Group (SIG). The curriculum that guided this project was collaboratively developed by members of the ACTFL DL SIG and the NFLRC team and was informed by years of work in this area made available through the BOLDD Collaboratory. The NFLRC contributed its expertise in instructional design and technology and provided logistical support.

So You Want to Start Teaching Online?

Presented by Kathryn Murphy-Judy and Jennifer Quinlan
Questions you should ask yourself and factors you should consider before diving into online teaching.

Introduction to ADDIE

Presented by Christopher Hromalik and Jennifer Quinlan
A basic introduction to one of the most widely used instructional design approaches.

Nuts and Bolts of ADDIE and Backward Design

Presented by Christopher Hromalik and Jennifer Quinlan
Using ADDIE and Backward Design to align content and achieve objectives.

Building Your Core

Presented by Victoria Russell and Pete Swanson
Effective teaching framed in six core practices that help develop language proficiency plus literacy and critical thinking skills.

Establishing Presence in Online Courses

Presented by Jennifer Quinland and Laura Hanley
“Being there” is a critical element in online courses, but how do you do it?

Project-Based Language Learning

Presented by Stephen Tschudi
Project-based language learning poses specific challenges. This session offers critical definitions and specific tools to aid online educators wanting to take the PBLL plunge.

Integrating Language & Culture Instruction Online

Presented by Marie Bertola and Kelly Davidson Devall
How can technology be used to provide authentic opportunities for cross-cultural learning?

Online Language Learner Orientation & Success

Presented by Victoria Russell, Kathryn Murphy-Judy & Adolfo Carrillo Cabello
A profile of online language learners and how best to orient and support them toward success.

Online Language Program Evaluation

Presented by Christopher Hromalik and Jennifer Quinlan
If you completed the ADDIE II lesson, you also thought about program objectives, which positions you well to complete this module on evaluation.

Accessibility in Online Courses

Presented by Beatriz Potter
Accessibility design principles, the law, and fundamental guidelines to be compliant and successful.

Assessment in Online Courses

Presented by Ruslan Suvorov and Adolfo Carrillo-Cabello
A quick introduction to conducting assessments in online language courses.

Designing Interaction for Online Language Learning

The following lessons were developed by the National Foreign Language Resource Center in partnership with the North Carolina Virtual Public School. Designed for in-service teachers of world languages in online environments, these lessons focus on four types of interaction that take place in online language courses. While interaction is important in any online course, it deserves special attention in language courses, since communicative interaction is key to developing proficiency in a language.

The four types of interaction explored in these lessons include:

  • Learner-content interaction
  • Learner-instructor interaction
  • Learner-learner interaction
  • Learner-community-of-practice interaction

For each of the types of interaction, three perspectives are explored:

  • Theory associated with each type of interaction
  • Best practices in each type of interaction
  • Technologies that support each type of interaction

Learner-Content Interaction



Presented by Julie M. Sykes
Approaches to interaction in online spaces. Cultures of use and online discourse. Ignoring the technology: pedagogy-driven lesson design. Expanding possibilities: what can happen exclusively online


Best Practices

Presented by Kathryn Murphy-Judy
Working in interpretive mode with novice-level learners. The interpretive mode in synchronous and asynchronous learning interfaces. Preparation, presentation, support, resources, and follow-up for reading, video, and audio content


Best Practices

Presented by Victoria Russell
Revisiting learner-content interaction: Implementing Processing Instruction. Components of Processing Instruction. Steps for creating structured input activities. Research findings on the efficacy of Processing Instruction.



Presented by Ruslan Suvorov
Overview of technology for learner-content interaction. Tools for creating interactive reading tasks. Tools for creating interactive integrative tasks.



Presented by Karen Price
Potential for new technologies to transform learners’ interaction with digital content. Technology and emotion in L2 learning. Technology and discourse signaling. Future directions: software that interacts more effectively with human affective states.

Learner-Instructor Interaction



Presented by Marta González-Lloret
Cognitive and motivational significance of learner-instructor interaction: what learners gain from social presence, input, feedback, and scaffolding. Points for attention in learner-instructor interaction: learner-centeredness, meeting learner needs.


Best Practices

Presented by Bonnie Youngs
The "course contract." The "teaching and learning contract."



Presented by Hui-Ya Chuang
Purposes of using technology for learner-instructor interaction. Tools for asynchronous learner-instructor interaction. Tools for synchronous learner instructor interaction.

Learner-Learner Interaction



Presented by Robert Blake
Theoretical history of second language acquisition in a nutshell. How SLA theory translates into classroom practice through task design and learners’ negotiation of meaning, supported as necessary by explicit instruction.


Best Practices

Presented by Teryn B. Odom
Building Community via establishing and maintaining relationships. Interactive Course Design. Interactive Technology.



Presented by Ruslan Suvorov
Uses of technology for learner-learner interaction. Benefits and challenges. Tech tools for enabling learner-learner interaction.

Learner-Community-of-Practice Interaction



Presented by Dustin De Felice
Overview on Cooperative, Collaborative & Computer Supported Learning. Overview on Theories Supporting Cooperative Learning. Breakdown of Three Types of Cooperative Learning.


Best Practices

Presented by Herman A. Hall IV
Addressing the Cultural Practices of Our Target Languages. Culture Café Model for Teaching about the Cultural Practices of the Target Language. Identify Opportunity for Program Development & Potential within Your Organization.



Presented by Stephen Tschudi
Four trends in world language education that support telecollaboration. Four kinds of software that match the trends. “Fleshware” problems with implications for using technology. KISS for success.

Materials Development

The following lessons on materials development were developed by the National Foreign Language Resource Center in partnership with the North Carolina Virtual Public School. The content of these lessons was collaboratively created by professionals with knowledge about online materials development. These lessons focus on various scenarios in which an online instructor would need to create new materials or adapt existing materials in order to best meet the online language learners' needs.

Scope of Information Array / Variety of Viewpoints

Presented by Masato Kikuchi
How to adapt available materials when they are not conducive to the type of interaction the instructor wishes to accomplish.

Leveraging Technology for Materials Development

Presented by Ursula Stickler
How to adapt available materials when they are print-based and do not leverage technology in any way.

Textbook Language

Presented by Jun Da
How to adapt available materials when they contain generic content that does not reflect the richness of what people do in the real world.

Language Variety

Presented by Marta González-Lloret
How to adapt materials when they do not represent L2 speaking communities or language varieties that the instructor would like to highlight as part of the bigger speech community, or that the learners would be more interested in learning about.

Topicality / Current Relevance

Presented by Greg Kessler
How to adapt available materials when they do not make a connection with events that are being widely discussed in the L2 community.

Addressing Multiple Modes in Online Language Instruction

Presented by Tracy Seiler
How to adapt available materials when they limit students to using interpretive mode, but do not promote interpersonal or presentational modes of communication.

Differentiating Instruction in Online Language Courses

Presented by Nadine Jacobsen-McLean
How to adapt available materials when they are designed for a specific proficiency level and are not suitable for an online class in which students have a variety of proficiency levels.

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Tagged as 2014-2018 online-learning language-teaching