Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 1 March 2023                                             Pp. 28-42

 Full Paper PDF 

Challenges and Strategies Taken by English Language Educators in Tertiary Institutions
during Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL)

Maslawati Mohamad
Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
Corresponding Author: 

Siti Mahirah Ab Wahab
Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
Sekolah Kebangsaan Kem Terendak 2, Kem Terendak, Melaka, Malaysia 

Saadiah Kummin
Citra Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia


Received:12/18/2022             Accepted:03/08/2023                     Published: 03/24/2023


The strike of COVID-19 pandemic has affected various sectors tremendously, including the education sector around the globe. This situation has forced the closure of most educational institutions, which include higher learning institutions. Since the Movement Control Order announcement, most teaching and learning processes in higher learning institutions were transferred online. The shift to online learning brings different challenges for teachers in higher learning institutions, including English teachers, regarding technological skills and assessment. In this study, the researchers adopted a multiple case study to explore the strategies of 34 English teachers from nine universities in Malaysia, Indonesia and Maldives to overcome the challenges during Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning. The data was collected through focused group interview sessions, individual open-ended responses via Google Forms and Whatsapp discussion threads. The recorded sessions were transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVIVO software to identify the common categories and themes. The findings showed that the teachers of English overcome problems concerning their technological skills by seeking help from their colleagues, attending courses, training and webinars and choosing suitable platforms for online learning, also conducting better online assessments. The faculty could also provide more webinars, online training, and courses to help teachers to perform better during online learning.  This study is believed to shed some light on aspects that need to be considered while planning and executing a meaningful ESL online teaching and learning experience in higher learning institutions, particularly in developing countries.
Keywords: challenges, English language teachers, interventions, remote online teaching and learning, strategies,
tertiary institutions

Cite as:  Maslawati Mohamad, M., Ab Wahab, S. M., & Kummin, S. (2023). Challenges and Strategies Taken by English Language Educators in Tertiary Institutions during Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL).  Arab World English Journal, 14 (1):28-42.


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Received: 12/18/2022
Accepted: 03/08/2023
Published: 03/24/2023 

Maslawati Mohamad is currently a senior lecturer at the Education Faculty, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She is the chairperson of Centre of Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Her research areas are on Teaching English as a Second Language, Innovations in Teaching and Learning. She has conducted many training at government and private institutions as well. ORCID ID:

Siti Mahirah Ab Wahab was born in Melaka, Malaysia in 1990. She was graduated from Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia Kampus Batu Lintang, Sarawak/ University of Otago, New Zealand and recently completed her Master’s Degree in TESL at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She is a primary school teacher and has been teaching for 9 years. ORCID ID:

Sa’adiah Kummin is currently a senior language instructor at Pusat Pengajian Citra Universiti (PPCU), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She has been teaching ESL since 1990 and has taught a wide variety of English Language Courses at various levels. Her research interests include language learning and metacognition, thinking skills and learning to learn skills. ORCID ID: