Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOL Conference 2020 Pp.17-35
Online EFL Emergency Remote Teaching during COVID 19, Challenges and Innovative
Practices: A Case of Oman
Center for Foundation Studies, Middle East College
Sultanate of Oman, Muscat
Correspondent author: email@example.com
Department of Electronics and Communication
Middle East College
Sultanate of Oman, Muscat
The emergent situation brought about by COVID 19 has led to an unprecedented change in the educational sector worldwide, including the Sultanate of Oman. Most of the educational institutions here have responded swiftly to fulfill the requirements of academia by switching to an online emergency remote teaching mode overnight. To get adjusted to the ‘new normal,’ teachers across all academic disciplines, including the English language, have had to adapt to new teaching approaches and learn new skills and competencies to confront this challenge. This empirical cross-sectional research study explores the teacher technology self-efficacy, the challenges faced, and the innovative practices adopted by the EFL teachers during the crisis. A mixed-methods approach was used here, including an online survey and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with six teachers. The survey was administered to 100 EFL teachers from fourteen higher-education institutions, whereas the interviews were held with six survey participants. The study found that majority of the teachers had a strong sense of self-efficacy in using technology as well as considerably positive learning experiences and novel innovations, which all resulted in the various ways they faced pandemic-related challenges. The paper gives, in particular, an account of the innovative techniques adopted by the interviewed teachers during the Pandemic crisis. This investigation hopefully adds to the field of knowledge by sharing effective, innovative techniques that have relevance to EFL teaching in Oman and beyond.
Keywords: COVID 19, Emergency Remote teaching (ERT), Teacher Technology Self-efficacy (TTS), innovative techniques
Cite as: Naqvi, S., & Zehra, I. (2020). Online EFL Emergency Remote Teaching during COVID 19, Challenges and Innovative Practices: A Case of Oman. Arab World English Journal(AWEJ). Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOLConference 2020. 17-35.
Al-Farsi, S. N. (2007). Omani school head teachers views of effectiveness of school leadership of secondary schools in Oman, . (Doctoral dissertation) University of Glasgow, Scotland. Retrieved from http://theses.gla.ac.uk/2611/
Al-Mahrooqi, R., & Denman, C. (eds.). (2018). English education in Oman: Current scenarios and future trajectories, Springer.
Allo, M. D. G. (2020). Is the online learning good in the midst of Covid-19 Pandemic? The case of EFL learners. Jurnal Sinestesia, 10(1), 1-10.
Atmojo, A., & Nugroho, A. (2020). EFL Classes Must Go Online! Teaching Activities and Challenges during COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia. Register Journal, 13(1), 49-76. https://doi.org/10.18326/rgt.v13i1.49-76
Audah, M., Capek, M., & Patil, A. (2020). COVID-19 and digital learning preparedness in Jordan. World Bank Blogs. Available at
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co.
Basilaia, G., & Kvavadze, D. (2020). Transition to Online Education in Schools during a SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in Georgia. Pedagogical Research, 5(4), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.29333/pr/7937
Blumenstyk, G. (2020). Why Coronavirus Looks Like a ‘Black Swan’ Moment for Higher Ed. The Edge. Available at https://www.chronicle.com/newsletter/the-edge/2020-03-11.
Draycott, A. (2020). Coronavirus drives remote learning’s acceptance in the Middle East and beyond. Available at https://arab.news/wrrm7.
Euronews. (2020). What do students in the Middle East and North Africa think about e-learning? Euronews. Available at https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/19/what-do-students-in-the-middle-east-north-africa-think-about-e-learning.
Fansury, A., Januarty, R., Rahman, A., & Syawal. (2020). Digital Content for Millenial Generations: Teaching the English Foreign Language Learner on COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 55(3), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.35741/issn.0258-27220.127.116.11
Ferguson, N. M. et al. (2020) Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.25561/77482
Flores, M. (2020). Preparing teachers to teach in complex settings: opportunities for professional learning and development. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(3), 297-300. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2020.1771895
Gerlich, R. N. (2005). Faculty perception of distance learning. Distance Education Report, 9(17), 8. Available at http://www.magnapubs.com/pub/magnapubs_der/9_17/news/597900-1.html
Goldberg, R. (2018). Digital Divide among School-age Children Narrows, but Millions Still Lack Internet Connections. National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Available at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/blog/2018/digital-divide-among-school-age-children-narrows-millions-still-lack-internet-connections.
Granados, A. (2020). How is COVID-19 affecting ESL students? EducationN C. Available at https://www.ednc.org/how-is-covid-19-affecting-esl-students/.
Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning. EDUCAUSE Review. Available at https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning.
Jan, A. (2020). Online Teaching Practices during COVID-19: An Observation Case Study. Social Sciences and Humanities, 17. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3584409
Kao, C. P., Chin-Chung, T., & Shih, M. (2014). Development of a survey to measure self-efficacy and attitudes toward web-based professional development among elementary school teachers. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(4), 302–315. Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/
Mezzacappa, D., & Wolfman-Arent, A. (2020). Philly schools forbid graded ‘remote instruction’ during shutdown for equity concerns. WHYY. Available at https://whyy.org/articles/philly-schools-forbid-remote-instruction-during-shutdown-for-equity-concerns/.
Moersch, C. (1995). Levels of technology implementation (LoTi): A framework for measuring classroom technology use. Learning & Leading with Technology, 23(3), 40–42
Moorhouse, B. (2020). Adaptations to a face-to-face initial teacher education course ‘forced’ online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2020.1755205
Morgan, H. (2020). Best Practices for Implementing Remote Learning during a Pandemic. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 93(3), 135-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/00098655.2020.1751480
Murphy, M. (2020). COVID-19 and emergency eLearning: Consequences of the securitization of higher education for post-pandemic pedagogy. Contemporary Security Policy, 41(3), 492-505. https://doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2020.1761749
Nkonge, B., & Gueldenzoph, L. (2006). Best Practices in Online Education: Implications for Policy and Practice. Business Education Digest, (15), 42-53.
Naqvi, S., Khan, A., & Mahrooqi, R. (2014). Teachers’ Perceptions on ICT Use in a Tertiary English Program in Oman. Proceedings of International Conference on Information and Communications Technology ICAICT, Middle East College, Muscat, Oman (pp. 582-588). New Delhi: Elsevier.
Omani residential internet access and smartphone ownership dip by 1% from 2019. (2020). Available at
Osman, M. (2020). Global impact of COVID-19 on education systems: the emergency remote teaching at Sultan Qaboos University. Journal of Education for Teaching. https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2020.1802583
Pei, S., Kandula, S., & Shaman, J. (2020) Differential effects of intervention timing on COVID-19 spread in the United States. Paper in collection COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.15.20103655
Putman, S. M. (2012). Investigating teacher efficacy: Comparing preservice and in-service teachers with different levels of experience. Action in Teacher Education, 34(1), 26-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/01626620.2012.642285
Quevillon, K. (2020). Online Teaching: 3 Unique Challenges and How to Solve Them. Top Hat. Available at https://tophat.com/blog/online-teaching-challenges/.
Rasmitadila, R., Aliyyah, R., Rachmadtullah, R., Samsudin, A., Syaodih, E., Nurtanto, M., & Tambunan, A. (2020). The Perceptions of Primary School Teachers of Online Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic Period: A Case Study in Indonesia. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(2), 90-109. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/388
Roberts, V., Malone, K., Russell-Webster, T., & Caulfield, R. (2020). Peer teaching medical students during a pandemic. Medical Education Online, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2020.1772014
Shorten, A., & Smith, J. (2017). Mixed method research: expanding the evidence base. Evidence-Based Nursing, 20(3), 74-75. https://doi.org/10.1136/eb-2017-102699
Sun, A., & Chen, X. (2016). Online education and its effective practice: A research review. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 15, 157-190
Telecompaper (2020) Omani residential internet access and smartphone ownership dip by 1% from 2019. telecompaper. (2020). Available at https://www.telecompaper.com/news/omani-residential-internet-access-and-smartphone-ownership-dip-by-1-from-2019–1339428.
Times News Service. (2020). Supreme Committee issues key decisions on school reopening. Times of Oman. Available at https://timesofoman.com/article/3018053/oman/education/supreme-committee-issues-key-decisions-on-school-opening.
Wang, S., Hsu, H., Campbell, T., Coster, D. C., & Longhurst, M. (2014). An investigation of middle school science teachers and students use of technology inside and outside of classrooms: Considering whether digital natives are more technology savvy than their teachers. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 62(6), 637–662. doi:10.1007/s11423-014-9355-4
Wegmann, S., & McCauley, J. (2008). Shouting through the fingertips: Computer-mediated discourse in an asynchronous environment. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2008–Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 805-808). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/27270/.
WHO (2020). Situation Report 94. World Health Organization. Available at https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200423-sitrep-94-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=b8304bf0_4
World Bank. (2020). Three Principles to Support Teacher Effectiveness during COVID-19 (pp. 1-8). World Bank Group Education. Available at http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/331951589903056125/pdf/Three-Principles-to-Support-Teacher-Effectiveness-During-COVID-19.pdf
World Bank Group (2020). Available at http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/511671585947801777/Educational-Policies-in-the-COVID-19-Pandemic-What-can-Brazil-Learn-from-the-Rest-of-the-World.pdf
Zhang, W.; Wang, Y.; Yang, L.; Wang, C. (2020) ‘Suspending Classes without Stopping Learning: China’s Education Emergency Management Policy in the COVID-19 Outbreak’. Journal of Risk and Financial Management. 13, 55.
Zhou, L., Wu, S., Zhou, M., & Li, F. (2020). ‘School’s Out, But Class’ On’, The Largest Online Education in the World Today: Taking China’s Practical Exploration During The COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control As an Example. Best Evid Chin Edu, 4(2), 501-519. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3555520
Zhu, X., & Liu, J. (2020). Education in and after COVID-19: Immediate Responses and Long-Term Visions. Postdigital Science and Education, 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00126-3