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Volume 20 Number 3, Autumn 2023, Pages 507-753   

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From Classroom to Computer: Examining the Strategic Shifts of EFL Learners During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Adel Abu Radwan

The rapid and alarming spread of COVID-19 and the subsequent rise in infections forced higher education institutions to abandon conventional in-person education and switch to distance learning to mitigate the pandemic's impact on the educational system. As a result, students were confined to their homes for extended periods, leading to adverse effects on their achievement and psychological wellbeing. This study used Oxford's Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) to investigate the potential impact of the pandemic and the shift to distance learning on the nature of language learning strategies employed by a group of English students to enhance their language learning processes. The study explored students' overall use of strategies, the most frequently used strategies and categories of strategies, and the correlation between several variables and strategy use. The descriptive results indicate that the students used strategies at a moderate level, with only metacognitive strategies falling in the high range, followed by cognitive, compensatory, memory, affective and social strategies in the medium range. A one-way ANOVA shows that metacognitive strategies were favored over all other strategies. Furthermore, a t-test analysis reveals significant differences between male and female participants, showing that female students used significantly more metacognitive and affective strategies than male students. Additionally, students with higher GPAs, tended to use more memory, cognitive and affective strategies than students with lower GPAs. The findings suggest that the pandemic's impact on students extends beyond the health, psychological and social dimensions.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, language learning strategies, online learning, strategy training