e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Influence of COVID-19 on Students’ Sign Language Learning in a Teacher-Preparation Program in Saudi Arabia: Moving to E-Learning

Omar Alawajee 1 *

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 13, Issue 3, Article No: ep308

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This research aims to uncover higher education students’ experiences regarding sign language learning with online learning platforms and learning experiences during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in one of the teacher-preparation programs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) as learning the basics of sign language is one of the essential elements in the teacher-preparation program for future teachers to be able to interact with their deaf students. Qualitative research method, structured individual interviews were employed to collect data to understand students’ experiences, knowledge, expectations, and thoughts of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the sudden and unplanned movement to online teaching tools on their sign language learning and practices. A total of 24 female students enrolled in a special education bachelor program were interviewed in this study. Fifteen participants thought that the COVID-19 crisis influenced their sign language learning and practices, while six of the interviewees reported no impact, and three were not sure. Data revealed some disadvantages, difficulties, and concerns of learning sign language through e-learning tools and some advantages of sign language learning using e-learning tools during the COVID-19 pandemic and are presented alongside examples of the interviewees’ statements. This study presented some practice recommendations like integrating digital game-based learning, web and phone applications to practice sign language to endorse effective and innovative sign language learning and practices techniques.