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European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences

E-learning and the Development of L2: the Case of EFL Visually-impaired Students

Radwa Elshemy, Fahad Alzahrani


The number of visually-impaired students (VIS) enrolled in higher education institutions worldwide is increasing. In the second language (L2) classroom, a range of barriers and challenges have been reported to encounter by VIS. With the global demand to shift many schools and colleges to online learning and teaching, the challenges of VIS have begun to increase. This study aims to explore the experiences of VIS in learning and studying English as a foreign language (EFL) in the realm of online education. Guided by three main research questions, this study adopts an exploratory sequential mixed method design, and the examination is based on a thematic analysis of eight semi-structured student interviews that were followed by online surveys.

Results indicated that the online environment could be advantageous for learning, yet VIS encountered considerable challenges during the online mode and was confronted with multiple language learning barriers related to the language instructor, the online environment, and remote assessment and methods. For example, the highest barriers to language e-learning related to the instructor were incompetency in e-teaching and learning and assistive technology, followed by the lack of appropriate assessment tools and methods. Accordingly, a few language skills were targeted and developed. Furthermore, prior training and degree of impairment were the most important indicators affecting EFL learning and development during e-education. The findings could help to develop a strategic plan for successful learning experiences and the implementation of appropriate tools and assessment methods in e-learning.


e-learning - Visual Impairment, Visual Impaired students, EFL, language learning

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