Online and Face-to-Face English as a Foreign Language Proficiency in Morocco: The Case of the Moroccan Baccalaureate Students during the Covid
Due to the outbreak and alarming spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a recognized need for alternative ICT-based methods like online and blended methods of teaching school topics, English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in particular. It seems that this sudden transition to emergency remote teaching has presented a number of challenges and constraints for EFL practitioners, as well as opportunities throughout all the cycles of the Moroccan education system. In Morocco, EFL learning specifically has become of vital importance. Research on the status of English proficiency and input from an online or distance learning perspective, nonetheless, is scarce and focuses mainly on face-to-face learning and hardly on the impact of online and blended learning on language proficiency in EFL. However, the effectiveness of learning EFL in the Moroccan context - such as English as a foreign language fully online in the Moroccan education system has yet to be uncovered. The principal objective of this paper was to investigate whether learning EFL fully online can be as effective as learning it fully face-to-face. A quantitative methodological approach was adopted. Independent sample t-tests were carried out to compare online and face-to-face learners’ performance in Moroccan secondary schools in a Baccalaureate-level EFL course in the Regional Academies of Casablanca-Settat and Beni-Mellal-Khenifra, Morocco. The key variables ‘age’, ‘gender’, ‘learning outcomes’, ‘the residential environment’, ‘access to Internet’, ‘Net connection availability’ & ‘digital device used’ are controlled. The main findings, wherein the t-value of the seven subtests represented a mean difference of 31,380 in the fully face-to-face group and -17,582 in the fully online group, indicated that online EFL learning in Baccalaureate education cannot be at least as effective as face-to-face EFL learning. This study should, therefore, be of value to language course providers wishing to implement flexible EFL learning and to, broadly speaking, course designers and practitioners and computer-assisted language learning researchers.
Copyright (c) 2023 Merzouk Farahi, Redouan Saidi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.