Learning in the Virtual Environment: Instructors’ Strategies in Enhancing Interaction in ESL Online Classes

Main Article Content

Kamisah Ariffin
Norizul Azida Darus
Norhajawati Abdul Halim


The common features attributed to face-to-face classroom are rather difficult to emulate in a virtual learning environment. This is because participants may not feel obligated to participate when they do not see each other physically. This study examined the instructors’ strategies in fostering interaction in their online classes. Using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as a framework for investigation, the study observed recorded ESL classes under the three domains of interactions between instructors and learners, that is, emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support. This is a qualitative study and therefore, for the purpose of data collection, 6 English Language classes which were carried out virtually from a public university were recorded during lectures for 6 weeks to observe both instructors and learners. The findings indicate that all the three domains of interactions were related and essential since virtual classrooms were still new not only to students, but also the instructors. The findings also found evidence that classrooms categorized by a positive emotional climate with sensitivity to the needs of the learners, usage of engaging instructional learning formats and at the same time emphasized on higher order thinking skills were all associated to learners’ achievement. It is hoped that the findings can contribute to the pedagogical techniques for enhancing interactions in online learning environment.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ariffin, K., Darus, N. A., & Abdul Halim, N. (2022). Learning in the Virtual Environment: Instructors’ Strategies in Enhancing Interaction in ESL Online Classes. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 15(2), 412–435. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LEARN/article/view/259935
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Kamisah Ariffin, Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, Malaysia

An Associate Professor at the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, Malaysia. She holds degrees from Southampton University, UK and Universiti Putra Malaysia. She has more than twenty-six years in teaching English courses at the tertiary level. Her research interests include cross-cultural communication, discourse analysis, and language use and preferences in the real world.

Norizul Azida Darus, Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, Malaysia

A Senior Lecturer attached with the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Perlis, Malaysia. She has been with the university for more than 22 years and vast experience in teaching and learning adult students. Her areas of interest include teaching and learning, second language acquisition, TESL and also qualitative research.

Norhajawati Abdul Halim, Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang, Malaysia

A senior lecturer attached to the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Perlis, Malaysia. She has vast teaching experience in English courses at tertiary level for more than 20 years. Her areas of interest include applied linguistics and language teaching and learning practically in the notion of authenticity.


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