EFL Students’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Virtual Classrooms in Enhancing Communication Skills

  •  Yousif A. Alshumaimeri    
  •  Abeer M. Alhumud    


This study aimed to examine students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of virtual classrooms in enhancing their communication skills. Study participants were 43 female English majors at the College of Education at a Saudi Arabian university. This study was conducted during the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year when COVID-19 restrictions necessitated online learning. The study implemented a mixed methodology approach in which qualitative and quantitative tools were used to collect data. Two data collection instruments were used: a questionnaire and observations. In the questionnaire findings, students identified lack of confidence, anxiety surrounding making mistakes, and lack of vocabulary as their greatest challenges when communicating in English. The questionnaire also revealed that students held positive attitudes towards the effectiveness of virtual classrooms in enhancing their oral communication skills. The observation data revealed that virtual classrooms can play a significant role in enhancing students’ communication skills. However, despite their positive views of virtual classrooms, students agreed that the lack of face-to-face communication was a major obstacle in online learning.

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