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In this article, the authors describe the redesign of a first-semester Spanish course at the United States Air Force Academy due to the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent transition from traditional, face-to-face instruction to fully online language teaching during the fall of 2020. More than 200 cadets were enrolled across 11 course sections that were taught by eight different instructors who were required to use the same syllabus, learning platforms, lesson plans, and assessments under the supervision of a course director. The developers integrated a series of pedagogical interventions—such as online integrated performance assessments, lessons and content that were infused with open-access, authentic materials, and a digital storytelling project—to ensure that students engaged in three modes of communication within a meaningful cultural context. The instruction of culture, intercultural communicative competence, and pragmatics figured predominantly into the course design, which could be replicated by others who wish to teach language communicatively online.


Final manuscript version of an article published in:

Russell, V., & Swanson, P. (2022). Communicative online language teaching in disruptive times: A redesign of the introductory Spanish curriculum. Dimension, 1-34.