Powerful Pedagogies in Times of COVID: An Online Pedagogical Collaboration Between EFL Students and ESL Teacher Candidates


  • Sarah L. Cohen Loyola University Chicago
  • Daniel Calderon Aponte University Francisco Jose de Calda




English language learning, online teaching, transnational collaborations, efl, ESL, teacher education, COVID-19, ICT


In the context of the global covid-19 pandemic, educators at all levels had to re-imagine their teaching practices to respond to the necessity of conducting all courses on-line. This article reports on the collaboration of two university instructors to create a trans-national model of learning in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. By virtue of this collaboration, the efl students based at a large public university in Colombia were engaged in four online sessions and paired with teacher candidates taking an esl endorsement course in the United States. This online collaboration afforded the Colombian efl students an authentic opportunity to practice their English learning and the us teacher candidates a meaningful context in which to conduct authentic language assessments. Using interview and questionnaire data, this qualitative case study explored the experiences of the efl students. The data demonstrate that online exchanges can afford students meaningful opportunities for language development. The results further show that online learning can be enriched through mutually beneficial collaborations across universities and transnational contexts.

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Author Biographies

Sarah L. Cohen, Loyola University Chicago

Clinical Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago in the Teaching and Learning Program where she teaches courses related to ESL and Bilingual Education to undergraduate and graduate students. She holds her PhD. from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education/University of Toronto in Second Language Education. Prior to her graduate studies Sarah taught in the Chicago Public Schools for 12 years. Her research interests include biliteracy and multiliteracy pedagogies, identity and language learning, and teacher identities.

Daniel Calderon Aponte, University Francisco Jose de Calda

EFL instructor and researcher at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Bogotá, D.C., Colombia). He also holds an M.Ed. in English Language Teaching and Learning (Loyola University Chicago) and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics for TEFL (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas). Currently, he is working on the Literacies, Culture and Pedagogy in Bogotá research project (2019 – 2021) sponsored by Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. His research interests include Community-Based Pedagogies, Critical Literacies, Native/Non-Native English-Speaking Teachers and Language Teacher Identity.


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How to Cite

Cohen, S. L., & Calderon Aponte, D. (2021). Powerful Pedagogies in Times of COVID: An Online Pedagogical Collaboration Between EFL Students and ESL Teacher Candidates. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 26(3), 731–745. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v26n3a14