ELT Online Teachers’ Professional Development During the Covid-19 Pandemic Outbreak: Perceptions, Implications and Adaptations
Keywords:Covid-19, ELT, online teacher professional development, Saudi Arabia
As lockdown restrictions were implemented in most countries around the world with the subsequent transition to full-mode online teaching and learning, English language teachers (ELTs) in particular, had to adapt and adopt new teaching strategies. These unexpected changes to the medium or mode of teaching necessitated the provision of efficacious and coherent professional development (PD) training in order to smoothly navigate the transition from full-time (or semi full-time) onsite teaching and learning to full-mode online teaching. This research study, based on sequential explanatory mixed-methods research design, is aimed at exploring the availability and provision of ELT PD opportunities at English Language Institutes (ELIs)/English Language Centers (ELCs), at five major universities in Saudi Arabia and the perception of the ELT teachers on its coherence and adequacy. A total of 307 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) male and female teachers participated in a custom designed 20-item questionnaire on a 5-point Likert scale, as well as ten EFL teachers (6 female and 4 male) taking part in 40-minute semi-structured interviews, to explore their perception and opinions of online PD opportunities. Analysis of results of the gathered data indicated that the majority of the teachers felt that there were adequate online PD opportunities while the structures of these opportunities sufficiently addressed most of their needs. However, some teachers voiced concerns regarding the correlation between contextual, full-mode online teaching and the online PD sessions provided. Implications and recommendations for stake holders as well as for future research are given at the end of this study.
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