Malaysian English Language Teachers’ Agency in Using Digital Technologies During the Pandemic: A Narrative Inquiry


  • Azlin Zaiti Zainal University of Malaysia
  • Siti Zaidah Zainuddin University of Malaysia



teacher agency, professional development, ict, English teachers, narrative inquiry, online teaching


With the closure of schools due to imposed lockdowns in many parts of the world, teachers had to make a rapid transition from teaching in physical classrooms to online teaching, even though they had little to no experience teaching online prior to the pandemic. Adopting a narrative inquiry approach, this study aims to explore the factors that influence Malaysian English language teachers’ professional agency in adapting to online teaching. Data were collected via interviews with ten secondary school teachers from rural and urban schools. The findings show how factors such as teachers’ perceptions of the affordances of digital tools and existing support structures influence teachers’ enactment of agency in online teaching and learning. They also demonstrate teachers' agentic potential to adapt their lessons to suit their learners’ needs. These findings suggest the need for teacher professional development programs to recognize teacher agency in the design of future training modules. This involves providing a differentiated training curriculum that can support and sustain language teachers’ development organically by taking into consideration their existing technology skills, teaching experiences and work contexts.

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Author Biographies

Azlin Zaiti Zainal, University of Malaysia

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Siti Zaidah Zainuddin, University of Malaysia

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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How to Cite

Zainal, A. Z., & Zainuddin, S. Z. (2021). Malaysian English Language Teachers’ Agency in Using Digital Technologies During the Pandemic: A Narrative Inquiry. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 26(3), 587–602.

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