Educators from Cebu Normal University (CNU) shared perspectives on teaching language and literature in the ‘new normal’ brought by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic during the third and fourth sessions of Higher Education Connect (HEdConnect).  

Read related article: [HEdConnect gathers education leaders to discuss the ‘new normal’ in higher ed]

The HEdConnect Sessions 3 and 4 were organized by the CNU College of Arts and Sciences-Department of Languages and Literature (CAS-DLL) with the theme Exploring Language and Literature in the New Normal. The webinar was held last August 18 and 27, 2020 respectively through Zoom and Facebook live.

Read related article: [HEdConnect Session 2 reflects on pandemic and society]
The speakers of HEdConnect 3 and 4 are faculty members of CAS-DLL which include Dr. Jeson Bustamante, Dr. Vinchita Quinto, Ms. Therese Villarante, Dr. Jollibee Aharul, Dr. Ana Fara Nelmida, and Dr. Niña Jen Canayong.  

The topics discussed by the speakers include Etiquette in Virtual Class, Flexible Language and Literature Teaching and Learning, Ideas on Teaching Literature, Online Speakership for Academic Purposes, Essays in Test Situations, and Literature through the Critical Lens. 
“DLL wishes to share with you in our journey of visiting, revisiting, enhancing, reinforcing our existing knowledge and skills in teaching literature and languages,” DLL Chairman Dr. Carmel Vip Derasin said with the new paradigm shift caused by COVID-19. 

CAS Dean Dr. Milagros Greif said that language and literature are powerful vessels of expressing emotions and when combined can heal the mind and soul, and prove to be effective in soothing anxieties triggered by the pandemic.

Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) Dr. Daisy Palompon shared that if history illustrates the effect of the pandemic in communities then literature gives us a more intimate view citing Professor and Author Tyler Stovall on his opinion How literature can capture the essence of life in a pandemic published in the San Francisco Chronicle.    

“In the academic context, we take advantage of this new normal paradigm in developing relevant stories, essays, poems or COVID diaries that will enable us to document the things that are happening now and allow us to express the richness and uniqueness as we emerge as survivors in this pandemic,” she said. 

Palompon said that the flexible learning platform maximizes the creativity and beauty of how teachers and students teach and learn literature as technology enables them to extend a rich network of sharing literary pieces both locally and globally. 

“Despite the uncertainties that we are facing… learning continues and the academe will continue to flourish in providing education in the most challenging ways we can,” Palompon said. (JDF)