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Online language instruction and learning: Problems and Solutions

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The COVID-19 epidemic has had a significant impact on both our personal and professional life. Language instructors and students were pushed to teach and learn languages online on a worldwide scale at a period when educational institutions all over the world were forced to close. Thousands of language teachers and students were abruptly forced to use the internet as their only medium for teaching and learning – for the first time and without adequate preparation – despite technology’s increasing integration into language education in recent years and widespread application in contexts with access to resources (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, & Bond, 2020). Many were not only unprepared for the difficulties of teaching and learning languages online, but they were also frequently given inadequate assistance by their local infrastructure (such as the availability of the internet) and resources. There is also worry that the impact of unequal access to infrastructure and resources may have been worsened by this abrupt, broad, and significant expansion in the usage of online learning.

Despite the difficulties it brought, the COVID-19 crisis gave language teachers plenty of chances to experiment with online learning tools and gain useful knowledge for their eventual incorporation in language instruction.

There has been a ton of study on online language instruction as a result of the COVID-19 dilemma. This collection of research focuses on language learners’ experiences with online learning via the prism of their feelings, perspectives, routines, and level of preparation for it. It is significant that study on the abrupt shift from face-to-face to remote learning has made language learners’ emotions a popular subject. There are several emotions related to online learning, but boredom seems to be the one that has been studied the most in both cross-sectional and longitudinal research on the emotional experiences of language learners in the emergency remote learning setting. Studies examine the causes of boredom and language learners’ coping mechanisms (Pawlak, Derakhshan, Mehdizadeh, & Kruk, in press), or they follow the causes of boredom and how it affects language learners through time (Yazdanmehr, Shirvan, & Saghafi, 2021). According to a poll by Pawlak et al. of Iranian university students and professors, content-based courses are more uninteresting for students than skills-based courses, and both groups find online programs to be more monotonous than offline lectures. In online learning, students claim to have few coping mechanisms, with others simply turning to harmful tactics like skipping classes. The research by Yazdanmehr et al. (2021) analyzes a semester-long account of one L3 learner’s experiences using a process-tracing methodology. The data shows that boredom levels fluctuate during the course of the semester, with the first phase experiencing the highest levels. The researchers go on to say that under-stimulation, a lack of perceived control over activities, inadequate attention, and hostile technology may all be major contributors to the L3 learner’s ennui. With a better understanding of what makes online language learning uninteresting, this study encourages us to consider ways that language learners might avoid being bored.