Universal Design and Language Teaching: Disrupting the Pedagogies of Realistic Mixed-ability Teaching


  • Henrik Kasch University College South Denmark




Universal Design for Learning, Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL), Special Education Needs (SEN), innovation, foreign language pedagogy, educational science, Computer-assisted Learning (CAL)


Although computer-assisted language learning and computer-assisted learning can be seen to be the precursors of if not simply the very backbone of E-learning, it is still rare to connect E-learning with special education needs (SEN) pedagogy. The full potential of cross-breeding computer-assisted language learning and Universal Design for Learning has been experimentally investigated by this author, but apparently not by others. Findings in the above-mentioned studies point to augmented learning opportunities for the whole classroom by aiming to offer comprehensive scaffolds design reaching out to SEN learners. The comprehensive SEN-compatible design, though, can be used, as the author has documented (Kasch 2019, 2020) by non-struggling average and above-average learners as well so as to virtually disrupt the classical language pedagogical ideas of having to face the limits of "realistic mixed-ability teaching". Rather, as a few studies also point to - e.g. , E-Learning pedagogy can be enlightened by Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and thus offer learners what they need, being offered scaffolds and support they did not think belonged in language learning materials. This presentation will look at struggling and non-struggling learners' experiences of using assistive universally designed E-learning materials in interview responses (n = 32) in English language learning and come up with a proposal for how UDL can inspire language learning in E-learning designs and pedagogy in general so as to disrupt pedagogical thinking underlying contemporary E-learning designs in language teaching.