Mitigating the COVID-19 Induced Learning Loss in Rural Primary Schools: How Do Teachers Prepare English FAL Learners for Self-Directed Learning in the ‘New Normal’?


  • Mosebetsi Mokoena Division of Languages, Literacies, and Literatures, Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa



COVID-19, English First Additional Language, learning loss, rural schools, self-directed learning


In the post-pandemic era, the ongoing discourses are centered around finding innovative ways to sustain teaching and learning as well as reversing COVID-19-induced learning loss, especially in critical areas, such as reading in English First Additional Language (FAL). As a contribution to these discourses, the current study explored how teachers prepared rural English FAL learners for self-directed learning to mitigate COVID-19-induced learning loss and to sustain learning in the ‘new normal’. The study followed a qualitative approach and adopted phenomenology as a research design, while the Capability Approach was used for theoretical framing. Three teachers of English FAL in one primary school were conveniently selected to participate in the semi-structured focus-group interviews. A thematic analysis revealed that teachers prepared English FAL learners to use self-directed learning by apprising learners of their active role in learning English FAL, identifying learners’ weaknesses, strengthening the home-school connection, and encouraging collaboration and problem-solving. These findings imply that self-directed learning could be a useful strategy for mitigating COVID-19-induced learning loss and improving reading skills in rural primary schools.


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How to Cite

Mokoena, M. (2024). Mitigating the COVID-19 Induced Learning Loss in Rural Primary Schools: How Do Teachers Prepare English FAL Learners for Self-Directed Learning in the ‘New Normal’?. ELE Reviews: English Language Education Reviews, 4(1), 75–97.




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