EFL Teachers’ Experiences and Attitudes to Emergency Remote Teaching at Japanese Universities


In 2020 teachers worldwide faced an unprecedented situation in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Japan, this forced educators to quickly adapt face-to-face programs to online ones as the new academic year started in April 2020. Although Japan is a technology rich society, the use of technology in education had been limited up until then. A small-scale pilot study (N=31) was conducted to explore the experiences of Japanese university English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers from spring 2020 until summer 2022 under emergency remote teaching (ERT) conditions. The overall results of the study showed positive attitudes towards continued use of digital tools once ERT ceases, but that training and support were lacking during this period. The focus of this paper will be on the themes that emerged through the qualitative coding of the optional comments added by respondents (n=13) to this pilot study. Four important themes were identified: previous fears of technology, technical problems, student related problems and achievements, and skills learned. Comments under these themes indicate that instructors developed or enhanced their skills with technology whilst teaching during ERT, but that many faced difficulties using institutional learning management systems (LMSs), particularly those in part-time positions who had to manage teaching across multiple platforms, and those whose LMSs were unable to cope with the increased traffic and usage. This indicates that if these new skills and enthusiasm for technologically-aided teaching are to be harnessed, improved resources and support will be required moving forward.

Author Information
Kym Jolley, Baika Women’s University, Japan
Frances Shiobara, Kobe Shoin Women’s University, Japan
Mark Donnellan, Kindai University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

This paper is part of the SEACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Jolley K., Shiobara F., & Donnellan M. (2023) EFL Teachers’ Experiences and Attitudes to Emergency Remote Teaching at Japanese Universities ISSN: 2435-5240 The Southeast Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.14
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.14

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon