Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3   September 2021                                     Pp. 16-35

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University Education in Algeria during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Limitations and

Nassima Kerras
Department of Global Studies, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain
Correspondent Author:

Salah Eddine Salhi
Department of Letters and Languages, Tlemcen University, Algeria


Received:   6/22/2021             Accepted:  8/28/2021              Published: 9/24/2021

The study deals with the subject of learning languages online. Many studies (Chelghoum & Chelghoum, 2020; Arabeche & Soudani, 2021) have been carried out over the last year to investigate the needs of the pedagogical changes as a result of the world health situation. The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc all over the globe. This unprecedented situation created huge complications for citizens worldwide, with emergency offices suddenly appearing in students’ and workers’ kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms due to the large-scale lockdowns and stringent restrictions on movement put into place by governments. The sudden and unexpected nature of this “new normal” left very little time for acclimatisation to the online learning modes, with students and teachers alike adapting and improvising. This study aims to investigate the difficulties of Algerian students and analysing the interactive techniques which could be applied in language studying, and overcoming the barriers of computer screens. In this case, we address the goals used in university teaching in Algeria to be able to understand the situation and draw a possible new strategy to achieve a quality education. First, the topic is introduced, followed by an analysis of teaching and learning methods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Afterwards, the methodology is defined, highlighting the relation between the Psycholinguistics (Hanim Rahmat, 2018) and the Communicative Approach (Hymes, 1972). A qualitative study is carried out to describe the problems faced by the students and offer some possible recommendations, taking into account the social context experienced during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Keywords: Algerian universities, challenges and limitations, communicative approach, COVID
-19, education, learning languages, psycholinguistics

Cite as:  Kerras, N.,& Salhi , S. E. (2021). University Education in Algeria during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Limitations and Challenges .
Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 16-35.


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Received: 6/22/2021
Accepted: 8/28/2021
Published: 9/24/2021  

Dr. Nassima Kerras received her PhD in translation and interpreting from the University of Granada in 2012. She is an associate professor of Languages and Culture at University of Pompeu Fabra, ESADE and Blanquerna, and professor of Sociolinguistics in Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). Member of the Research Group HUM-835 “Translation, Knowledge and Culture”. Her dissertation focused on pragmatic, sociocultural, and contextual aspects of multilingual multimedia texts.

Dr Salah is an assistant professor and research associate in the Department of Cultures and Foreign Languages of the Abou Bekr Belkaid University in Tlemcen, since November 2013. He was a visiting researcher at the University of Castilla la Mancha in Toledo, from October 2016 to April 2018.  He is also an associate researcher at the National Centre for Prehistoric, Anthropological and Historical Research (CNRPAH) in Algiers. His lines of research focus on education strategies, economic and technical Spanish language, foreign languages teaching, Spanish with specific purposes.