EFL Students’ Perceptions of a Blended Learning Environment: Advantages, Limitations and Suggestions for Improvement

Abdul Wahed Q. Al Zumor, Ismail K. Al Refaai, Eyhab A. Bader Eddin, Farouq H. Aziz Al-Rahman

Abstract


This study explores King Khalid University English as Foreign Language (EFL) students' views regarding the advantages and limitations of merging the features of face-to-face language instruction and online language learning via the Blackboard learning management system in a new pedagogical approach called Blended Learning. The study also examines students' suggestions for improving the quality of Blended Learning courses. The sample consists of 160 male students. The participants completed a 33-item questionnaire. The results indicate the clear advantages of this new experience in broadening students' reading opportunities and enriching their English vocabulary. Moreover, the component on advantages clearly demonstrates how Blended Learning provides an environment for more effective employment of indirect language learning strategies (Oxford, 1990) such as meta-cognitive strategies (arranging and planning learning), affective strategies (confidence enhancement), and social strategies (cooperating with others).The limitations and problems of Blended Learning highlighted by the respondents are followed by a number of practical suggestions for addressing these drawbacks, including solving technical problems, providing proper training to students, increasing the number of labs, and recognizing excellent performance of both instructors and students. Translating these suggestions into an action plan and a road map will enhance the effectiveness of using Blended Learning to create supportive learning opportunities for language learners.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/elt.v6n10p95

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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