The advancements in technology in the world necessitate imminent in the education sector. With technology taking over most of the world’s activities, there has been a need for learning at any place, and the recent covid 19 pandemic has made sure that this has been achieved faster. In the past decade, the integration of technology and education has been on its way to achievement in most institutions in the world. While internet-based learning has been considered an option and alternative to the traditional learning framework, it has become an essential element in ESL learning and maintaining the activity of students in the wake of the covid 19 pandemic. Consequently, such a paradigm shift in learning can generate changes in student perception of learning and lesson uptake. While there exist immense interests in online education as the alternative to ESL teaching and the future of learning, it also does presents elements that can be considered obstacles in the students learning process, such as students delayed feedback, decreased motivation and the fact that teachers are not always available for one-to-one learning and thus create a perception of isolation in learning.
Students are easily distracted in an online learning environment. Distractions in an online learning environment can arise from family member distraction to poor internet connectivity. To compound matters, few ESL teachers have often lacked the right skills that they can use to ensure that students remain focused at all times. Many times, students would feel isolated as they don’t interact with other learners in their system. Ma et al. (2021) argue that learning in isolation is critical. Students without peer interaction would likely suffer from mental health issues, which distract the learning process. With no experience of face-to-face interaction with students and instructors, students who are enrolled in online learning programs find it hard to keep track of their course work and assignments.
Online learning is still at its infancy stage. Thus, many people consider that the online educational process is of less value than the traditional learning process. Besser, Flett, and Zeigler-Hill, (2020) notes that online educational certificate holders are often perceived as being half-baked and lacking the technical skills that can be earned in traditional learning systems. In a study, Atmojo and Nugroho (2020) note that the processing of learning and assimilating knowledge in online learning is poor, which leads to negative learning outcomes and perception among learners. Avci and Doghonadze (2017) do absorb that a learning framework can affect the learning outcomes more so when attending courses that are deemed to be difficult of those courses in which the professors have not engaged or adapted well to online teaching methods. Even though it provides affordability and convenience, distance learning is still not the best option for teaching ESL students. Most educational institutions lack faculty members with the necessary skills in online teaching. Even if the instructors are fully qualified, there is a high chance that they would not be comfortable with a teacher in an online teaching environment.
Online learning can be tedious and negative influence teachers’ self-efficacy. Besser et al. (2020) note that teachers often feel less self-efficacious in online teaching than physical education. The study indicated that university teachers who had several experiences with online teaching were more likely to be more motivated than those who had no prior experience with online learning. The teachers with little or no expertise reported having low self-efficacy (Gao and Zhang, 2020). The differences in the motivation levels between these two groups of teachers have been the difficulties encountered through the use of technology the loss of concentration in the students, and the lack of understanding of online concepts. It is disheartening for teachers to engage with students who have low interests in studying online. The problem of self-efficacy in the online environment can be changed if different factors are implemented in the online environment (Lukas and Yunus, 2021). Thus, online learning still has a long way to go in ensuring its adaptable and serves the needs of students while at the same time providing those teachers are comfortable with the teaching methodology in place.
There have been numerous benefits of online learning documented in this research that include improving the teaching pedagogy, instruction methods, curriculum design, and language learning. Online learning has brought about progress in how students and teachers engage; the communication skills between the students and the learners have been improved in the online environment. The implementation of online activities such as authentic learning materials such as videos and images has had tremendous effects on students’ learning (Alkamel et al, 2021). Online learning is characterized by activities created to fulfill the students’ needs and the course’s objective. Moreover, students in this generation have natives of technology; hence, there is a little struggle for integrating the learning environment. Students with a passion for technology can learn in these environments to enjoy online engagements. Online teaching can have a wide range of benefits, but it can also have various limitations to online learning (Doyumgac et al, 2021). Distractions brought about by technology can be a significant hindrance, especially when numerous digital devices are being used. Another limitation in online learning can be marred n by technical issues such as failures in sound systems and video transmission systems. Online learning also dictates that staffs in institutions have a higher technological skill that they can use to ensure that students and instructors have smooth learning experiences. Despite the numerous challenges associated with online learning, the advantages are much more. With the rapidly expanding world of technologies, online learning prospects are high.
In conclusion, there exist various reasons why higher learning education systems would opt for online learning and others would opt for face-to-face learning. While online learning has been credited as an important innovation, much research still needs to be done on online learning and improvements on delivery, pedagogy, and equipping the teachers. Various obstacles prevent full intake of knowledge by students in an online framework compared to face-to-face teaching of second languages. This essay has shed light on issues such as destructions of students, teacher self-efficacy and trust and credibility of online courses in the job market and other institutions of higher learning. If proper research and policy framework would be made into improving online systems, then humanity would have made a breakthrough in education and need for school attendance would only be a matter of the past.
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Alkamel, M. A. A., Chouthaiwale, S. S., Yassin, A. A., AlAjmi, Q., & Albaadany, H. Y. (2021). Online Testing in Higher Education Institutions During the Outbreak of COVID-19:
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Gao, L. X., & Zhang, L. J. (2020). Teacher learning in difficult times: Examining foreign language teachers’ cognitions about online teaching to tide over COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2396.
Lukas, B. A., & Yunus, M. M. (2021). ESL Teachers’ Challenges in Implementing E-learning. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 20(2).
Ma, K., Chutiyami, M., Zhang, Y., & Nicoll, S. (2021). Online teaching self-efficacy: Changes, its associated factors and moderators. Education and information technologies, 1-23.