University ESL Students’ Challenges and Insights Towards Online Learning Amidst COVID Pandemic

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: University ESL Students’ Challenges and Insights Towards Online Learning Amidst COVID Pandemic
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Johara Alangca-Azis, Mindanao State University, Philippines


The sudden change of English language learning from face-to-face classroom interaction to online learning activities using digital platforms has resulted in numerous challenges for English as Second Language (ESL) learners in the various universities in the Philippines including Mindanao State University- Marawi City; hence, examining these learners’ challenges and their insights of the online learning activities is extremely necessary. This present study aimed to identify and analyze the ESL learners’ challenges and insights into online learning activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on the data collected using self-written reflections and semi-structured interviews from two hundred thirty-seven (237) University ESL learners, the results revealed that the primary challenges faced by the learners include poor/weak/slow/unstable internet connection, lack of time management, financial problems, mental health issues and lack of motivation and engagement. The results further depicted several valuable insights from the students to cope with those challenges such as a change of perspectives and habits like having a positive outlook on the situation by accepting and embracing the new normal way of learning, managing their time properly, and strengthening social support. Finally, the results of this study contribute to providing awareness and understanding for English teachers, ESL students, and school authorities to enhance the efficacy of online teaching and learning activities, especially in times of crisis.

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