Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges January 2022        Pp. 104-119
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/covid2.7

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Attitudes and Perspectives of Saudi Female Medical Students towards Online EFL
Education under COVID-19 Circumstances

Seham Elashhab
English Language Center
Umm AL-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Email: saelashhab@uqu.edu.sa

 

Received: 10/1/2021               Accepted: 12/17/2021            Published: 1/24/2022

 

Abstract:
COVID-19 pandemic has caused many educational institutions across the globe to lockdown. Employing online educational models was the best solution to prevent the spread of the virus. This study depicts the attitudes and perspectives of Saudi female medical students towards online English language learning during the pandemic lockdown. The aim is to identify the challenges of online learning to understand the students’ learning experiences and suggest practical solutions. The two main questions are: How do virtual education approaches influence students’ educational behavior, and what are the students’ perspectives towards virtual education amid the pandemic? After two semesters of solely distance education, a questionnaire was conducted to scrutinize students’ perceptions of online learning using Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Blackboard platforms. Fifty-seven students enrolled in their first-year medical program in the 2020/2021 academic year participated in this study. “Quantitative as well as qualitative” methods were used. Results indicate that an average of 63.52% of students preferred distance education over onsite. However, 69.5% of students encountered technical difficulties. On the other hand, online education was more enjoyable than onsite education for 45.6% versus 19.3% who did not enjoy it. Further, 50.8% of students were more active during online classes, and 59.6% perceived online education as an efficient teaching method to expand their knowledge, skills, and social competence. The data reflects that the general attitudes towards distance education were positive. Furthermore, the findings demonstrate a need for special attention to providing further technical support for students who experience technical difficulties.
Keywords: attitudes, COVID-19 Pandemic, EFL onsite instruction, online education, perspectives, Saudi female students

Cite as: Elashhab, S. (2022). Attitudes and Perspectives of Saudi Female Medical Students towards Online EFL Education under COVID-19 Circumstances.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (2)
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/covid2.7

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Received: 10/1/2021 
Accepted: 12/17/2021 
Published: 1/24/2022
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/covid2.7

Seham Elashhab is an assistant professor at English Language Centre, Umm ALQura University. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She has more than 27 years of English teaching experience. She has published research papers on language teaching and learning and teacher development and training in various journals, and she has conducted workshops at several conferences worldwide. Seham is a member of the Accreditation Committee, Recruitment Committee, and the Professional Development Unit. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3157-3066