Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges January 2022 Pp. 317-328
Teachers’ Perspectives towards Teaching English Online at the Tertiary Level in Saudi
Department of Foreign Languages
Taif University, Saudi Arabia
Received: 11/29/2021 Accepted: 1/8/2022 Published: 1/24/2022
The drastic and unplanned shift to online teaching caused by the Covid-19 pandemic offers researchers with unprecedented opportunity to examine a wide range of issues related to online language teaching and assessment. The current study surveyed English language teachers (N = 161) from several Saudi universities regarding their experience with teaching English online. Five themes were explored: institutions’ resources and technical support, knowledge and training, attitudes, effectiveness of teaching and assessment, and overall experience. The results demonstrate the readiness of Saudi universities for online teaching in terms of resources and technical support. In addition, teachers were found to have the necessary knowledge and training needed to carry out their online teaching and assessment. Teachers’ attitudes were mixed towards teaching English online, which may be due to personal preferences and different teaching contexts. The same was also found for their opinions towards the effectiveness of online teaching and assessment as compared to in-person teaching and assessment. While the teachers’ experiences were largely positive towards online teaching, concerns were raised regarding student engagement and assessment reliability. Saudi universities are recommended to capitalize on what they have achieved during the pandemic and offer innovative solutions to enhance assessment reliability and student engagement.
Keywords: English teaching, online, teachers’ perspectives, Saudi Arabia, university
Cite as: Algethami, G. (2022). Teachers’ Perspectives towards Teaching English Online at the Tertiary Level in Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (2) 317-328.
Al-Nofaie, H. (2020). Saudi University Students’ Perceptions towards Virtual Education during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Language Learning via Blackboard. Arab World English Journal, 11(3), 4-20. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no3.1
Al Asmari, A. A. (2015). Communicative language teaching in EFL university context: Challenges for teachers. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 6(5), 976-984. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/jltr.0605.09
Almekhlafy, S. (2020). Online learning of English language courses via blackboard at Saudi universities in the era of COVID-19: perception and use. PSU Research Review, 5(1), 16-32.
Alsuhaibani, Z. (2021). Saudi EFL Students’ Use and Perceptions of Blackboard before and during Online Learning Amid COVID-19. Arab World English Journal Special Issue on CALL, 7, 22-37. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/call7.2
Alzamil, A. (2021). Teaching English Speaking Online versus Face-to-Face: Saudi Students’ Experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arab World English Journal, 12(1), 19-27. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no1.2
Blake, R., Wilson, N. L., Cetto, M., & Pardo-Ballester, C. (2008). Measuring oral proficiency in distance, face-to-face, and blended classrooms. Language Learning & Technology, 12(3), 114.
Blake, R. J. (2011). Current trends in online language learning. Annual review of applied linguistics, 31, 19-35. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026719051100002X
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Côté, S., & Gaffney, C. (2021). The effect of synchronous computer-mediated communication on beginner L2 learners’ foreign language anxiety and participation. The Language Learning Journal, 49(1), 105-116. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2018.1484935
Dhawan, S. (2020). Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(1), 5-22. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239520934018
Enkin, E., & Mejías‐Bikandi, E. (2017). The effectiveness of online teaching in an advanced Spanish language course. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27(1), 176-197. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/ijal.12112
Gacs, A., Goertler, S., & Spasova, S. (2020). Planned online language education versus crisis‐prompted online language teaching: Lessons for the future. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 380-392. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12460
Gavranović, V., & Prodanović, M. (2021). ESP Teachers’ Perspectives on the Online Teaching Environment Imposed in the Covid-19 Era–A Case Study. The New Educational Review, 64 (2), 188-197.
Goertler, S. (2019). Normalizing online learning: Adapting to a changing world of language teaching. In N. Arnold & L. Ducate (Eds.), From theory and research to new directions in language teaching (pp. 51-92). Equinox.
Hakim, B. (2020). Technology integrated online classrooms and the challenges faced by the EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia during the Covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 9(5), 33-39. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.9n.5p.33
Hodges, C. B., Moore, S., Lockee, B. B., Trust, T., & Bond, M. A. (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. Educause Review. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning
Khafaga, A. F. (2021). The perception of blackboard collaborate-based instruction by EFL majors/teachers amid COVID-19: A case study of Saudi universities. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(2), 1160-1173.
Mahyoob, M. (2020). Challenges of e-Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic Experienced by EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal, 11(4), 351-362. https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no4.23
Manegre, M., & Sabiri, K. A. (2020). Online language learning using virtual classrooms: an analysis of teacher perceptions. Computer Assisted Language Learning, Ahead of Print May 2020, 1-16. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2020.1770290
Meskill, C., & Anthony, N. (2015). Teaching languages online. Multilingual Matters.
Moser, K., Wei, T., & Brenner, D. (2021). Remote teaching during COVID-19: Implications from a national survey of language educators. System, 97, 102431.
Oraif, I., & Elyas, T. (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 on Learning: Investigating EFL Learners’ Engagement in Online Courses in Saudi Arabia. Education Sciences, 11(3), 1-19. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030099
Rahman, M. (2020). Challenges and Solutions of Teaching English as a Foreign Language Online during a Global Pandemic like COVID-19: Saudi EFL Teachers’ Perspectives. Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 55(6), 1-9.
Roszkowski, M. J., & Soven, M. (2010). Shifting gears: Consequences of including two negatively worded items in the middle of a positively worded questionnaire. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(1), 113-130. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930802618344
Todd, R. W. (2020). Teachers’ perceptions of the shift from the classroom to online teaching. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(2), 4-16. https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.46451/ijts.2020.09.02