Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL Number 8. July 2022                       Pp.214-230

Full Paper PDF

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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Received: 03/11/2022 
Accepted: 07/09/2022 
Published: 07/25/2022 

Fawaz Al Mahmud is an assistant professor in the English Language and Translation Department at the University of Jeddah since 2020. Currently, he has two additional roles. He is the vice dean for research and innovation at the college of science and arts. He is also the vice dean for the same college for the academic affairs and development. In 2017, he received his PhD in Education from Memorial University, Canada, wherein he specialized in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He has published several articles addressing issues in foreign language teaching & learning