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

  • Azlin Zaiti Zainal Universiti Malaya
  • Siti Zaidah Zainuddin Universiti Malaya
Keywords: teacher agency

Abstract

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, Universiti Malaya

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

Siti Zaidah Zainuddin, Universiti Malaya

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

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Published
2021-09-10
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, 26(3), 587-602. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.v26n3a07