Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 8. July 2022 Pp.214-230
Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language Speaking Skills through
Blackboard during COVID-19
Fawaz Al Mahmud
Department of English Language and Translation
Faculty of Sciences and Arts, Khulais
Jeddah University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Received: 03/11/2022 Accepted: 07/09/2022 Published: 07/25/2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted English teaching to online platforms, such as Blackboard Collaborate, but whether online platforms affect the acquisition of core English language skills like speaking has yet to be studied extensively in the Saudi context. This study addressed and analyzed the perceptions of English as a foreign language instructors and students at the University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia concerning the use of Blackboard Collaborate to develop speaking skills through an explanatory sequential mixed-method design. In the first phase, participants completed an online cross-sectional questionnaire for the quantitative approach. Data analysis revealed positive perceptions of speaking skill development through Blackboard Collaborate among both students and instructors. Female students and less experienced instructors reported more satisfaction with learning English through Blackboard Collaborate than male students and experienced instructors, respectively. In Phase 2, the researcher conducted in-person interviews with 10 instructors and 10 students, focusing on three areas: the Blackboard Collaborate user experience, instructors’ and students’ beliefs, and the challenges of and suggested improvements for Blackboard Collaborate. Instructors and students were fully aware of how to use the platform, and their motivation to use it was very high. This study further uncovered how Saudi students have shifted their learning style from passive to active learning following the student-centered approach. It also highlights the benefits Saudi women gained, as they were more comfortable practicing conversation through Blackboard Collaborate and the avoidance of cultural barriers. Studying the effects of culture on language learning through technology is a necessary direction for future research.
Keywords: Blackboard Collaborate, COVID-19, distance learning, educational technology, English as a foreign
language, online teaching, speaking skill, English language teaching
Cite as: Al Mahmud, F. (2022). Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language Speaking Skills through Blackboard
during COVID-19. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL (8).214-230.
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