Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021 Pp. 93- 108
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Synchronous and Asynchronous English Writing Classes in the EFL Context: Students’ Practices and Benefits
Nada Bin Dahmash
College of Applied Studies and Community Service
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Received: 3/3/2021 Accepted: 4/29/2021 Published:6/24/2021
Synchronous and asynchronous classes were implemented by universities around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) engaged in multiple practices when attending English writing classes in both modes. However, the practices they engaged in and the benefits they perceived were reportedly of limited benefit. This study asks: What are the practices of students that emerge during synchronous and asynchronous English writing classes? What are the benefits of synchronous and asynchronous English writing classes from the student’s perspective? Group and one-to-one interviews were conducted with twelve students majoring in computer science and information technology at a Saudi university. Thematic analysis revealed that students engage in practices including using the split view on iPads, opening additional windows to search for information, searching using smartphone apps, and writing notes and highlighting key concepts when attending English writing classes regardless of learning mode. It also revealed that synchronous classes offered students real-time communication and provided immediate feedback, while asynchronous classes allowed students to navigate the challenges of distance learning, complementing the synchronous English writing classes and providing students with a sense of security. This paper concludes by advising language teachers to record synchronous classes, raise students’ awareness of the benefits of attending both types of classes and encourage students to apply practices reported by previous students to maximize their English language learning.
Keywords: asynchronous class, benefits, English writing, practices, synchronous class
Cite as: Bin Dahmash, N. (2021). Synchronous and Asynchronous English Writing Classes in the EFL Context: Students’ Practices and Benefits. Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 93-108.
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