Distance Learning During COVID-19: EFL Students’ Engagement and Motivation from Teachers’ Perspectives

  •  Sita Aldossari    
  •  Sultan Altalhab    


The present mixed-method study aimed to explore 114 female secondary-level English teachers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of distance education in public schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during COVID-19 using a Google Forms questionnaire. Additionally, the challenges teachers faced in distance education and their attitudes toward teacher-training programs during the pandemic were investigated in semi-structured interviews. The findings indicated an overall positive view toward the effectiveness of distance education. However, the interviewed participants expressed their preference for traditional in-class teaching due to their familiarity with it compared to distance teaching. Online classes gave students the opportunity to become more actively engaged. Distance education was also found to promote students’, especially shy students, motivation for learning and participating in class activities. Teachers indicated some challenges in distance teaching, such as a lack of internet connection and human interaction, technical issues, assessment reliability, increased workload, and students’ unwillingness to learn. Finally, recommendations for more effective distance education were provided, namely, technological and pedagogical training for teachers, the need for technical support, and proper training for students on online learning.

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