Challenges of e-Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic Experienced by EFL Learners

Author: Mohammad Mahyoob

Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, EFL learners, learning challenges, Online learning, Taibah University


COVID-19 has disrupted most of the industries in the world. Education is the only industry that is completely transferred to online mode in most countries around the world. Online learning was the best solution for continuing education during the pandemic, especially in tertiary education. This study aims to determine the challenges and obstacles confronted by English language learners (EFL) in Science and Arts College, Alula, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia, during switching to online learning in the second semester of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contribution of this study is to evaluate the learners’ new experiences in online education and to assess the feasibility of the virtual methods of learning. This is achieved by analyzing 184 learners’ responses to the survey-based questionnaire. A descriptive statistical method was used to test the validation of the study. It is found that the main problems that influence and impact online EFL learning during COVID-19 are related to technical, academic, and communication challenges. The study results show that most EFL learners are not satisfied with continuing online learning, as they could not fulfill the expected progress in language learning performance.