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EFL Distance Learning: Korean Students’ Perception of Online Conversation and Writing Class

Dominic Ruiters

The University of Suwon, South Korea

Abstract: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, instructors, professors and learners, in all disciplines, have had to adapt according to strict guidelines and protocols to protect against infection and to reduce the rate of the spread of the virus. This involved a near total shift from in-person tuition to online learning in most educational institutions. After two years of adaptation, which included a massive degree of online learning, students and educators both have had several months of experience learning and working in an online or virtual classroom environment. Before the onset of the pandemic, there were several theories and research projects centered on the effectiveness and qualities of online compared to offline learning. This study examined 12 Korean university students who spent one or two semesters studying EFL entirely online. To understand each student’s perception of online EFL class, the grounded theory method was used. For data gathering, students were interviewed, in English (and Korean, where necessary), for approximately 15 minutes. The findings of this research suggest that most students had a somewhat favorable perception of EFL overall, but had several unfavorable opinions on the weaknesses of the online format.

Keywords: Online EFL, Students’ Beliefs, Constructivism, Korean EFL, Korean University

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