What are the perceptions of stakeholders of an online ESOL programme?: The case of one intermediate school in New Zealand
Online teaching for English language learners in New Zealand schools is a recent phenomenon. Increasingly complex technologies allow expanding and far reaching options in the teaching practices of English, particularly to those students in remote geographical areas, or in schools with no qualified English as a second language teacher. This qualitative research project investigated the case of one intermediate school that adopted online English language learning to meet the learning needs of their English language learners. Stakeholders’ perceptions of barriers and facilitators to learning were reported and examined. Data indicated research participants formed three distinct groups according to the extent of their involvement in the daily programme; their communication about English language learning and the particular online programme they were using; and their understanding of the purposes and processes of the online English language programme. These three factors influenced stakeholders’ perceptions of the value of online English language learning. The more actively stakeholders were involved, communicated about and understood the online English language learning programme, the more they were convinced of its value. These findings suggest that stakeholders who have a more peripheral involvement may benefit from increased opportunities to connect with other stakeholders in the programme. Online English language learning is likely to be enhanced if formal and informal structures are developed to allow stakeholders to develop greater involvement, opportunities for communication and knowledge of the programme.