Did they Manage to Meet Students’ Needs? English Language Instructors’ Experiences of Remote Instruction Differentiation

Fahad Alzahrani, Nahla Zamakhshari, Radwa Elshemy


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted English language teaching (ELT) in many ways, and it has pushed language educators to the limit. Due to the shift to virtual education, the non-mediated in-person support that many instructors used to acknowledge their students’ needs, is no longer available. A question of significant relevance to this ongoing emergency shift is: How do English language instructors differentiate remote instruction? Differentiated Remote Instruction (DRI) is the pedagogical approach that is needed for successful e-learning and remote teaching. Guided by three main research questions, this study examines the adoption and challenges of differentiated remote instruction (DRI) in online classrooms by English language college instructors during COVID-19 in the Saudi context. The study adopted a mixed-methods approach, and the examination is based on online surveys filled out by 172 English language instructors and a thematic analysis of six semi-structured interviews. Analysis has yielded interesting findings on the differentiation practices and challenges among virtual language instructors. Findings show that there are some factors related to 1) students; 2) instructors; and 3) technological issues that affect and challenge the implementation of DRI in EFL virtual classrooms. Moreover, despite the DRI challenges faced by the EFL instructors, they did attempt to find methods to deal with them. These methods were related to effective teaching through online platforms (LMS), early diagnosis and interventions for problem and weak learners, specific tailoring of lessons and activities, and dedicating one-on-one online sessions for students in need.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n7p28

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: wjel@sciedupress.com