A Lost Year? Perspectives of foreign language students before and after the COVID-19

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Eğitimde Nitel Araştırmalar Dergisi, vol.2023, no.34, pp.239-265, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


This study aimed to explore the similarities and differences between face-to-face and online education based on the opinions of two groups of students using the qualitative method and a comparative case study design. Of the 38 tertiary-level participants, 19 had finished the program before COVID-19, while the other 19 completed it online during quarantine. A structured interview form was used for collecting the participants’ opinions online, and content analysis was utilized for data analysis. The analysis resulted in three main themes were expectations, learning processes and outcomes. The first theme, expectations, yielded two shared categories for both groups: four language skills and academic/departmental expectations. Also, one separate category appeared for the face-to-face group: daily use of language. The second theme, the learning process, produced a shared category that was related to educational opportunities. The different categories were classroom atmosphere for the online group and physical opportunities/facilities for the face-to-face group. The last theme, which was about the outcomes of the program, provided two shared categories: faculty use and faculty-level challenges. The findings showed that participants’ opinions about online and face-to-face language programs were mostly similar. More comparative studies should be conducted to further explore the differences between online and face-to-face education in the long term.