• Yazid Junaidi Sekolah Kebangsaan Hua Hin English, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.
  • Harwati Hashim Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Hanita Hanim Ismail Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Selangor, Malaysia


Background and Purpose: The operation of educational institutions was suspended for a certain period due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak as social distancing came into effect as one of the World Health Organisation (WHO) strategies to help prevent further spreading of the virus. Subsequently, the education field witnessed a drastic shift in the mode of instruction, from the traditional physical classroom learning to online education and distance learning. Particularly in Malaysia, the suddenness of the implementation of Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) as per suggested by the Ministry of Education Malaysia, has opened a new paradigm and brought a new experience in teaching for most teachers. With ERT being activated for the second time, it became a major concern to various parties on the effectiveness of the mode of instruction towards the teaching and learning processes for both teachers and students. Hence, this paper aims to investigate ESL teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards ERT to further develop the quality and effective distance education programs should a crisis like the current situation ever happens again.


Methodology: This study employed a quantitative descriptive research approach as the research method. An online survey of 124 Malaysian English as Second Language (ESL) teachers was conducted for descriptive analysis. The respondents of this study were recruited using the purposive sampling technique. They should have at least one year experience in English language teaching prior to conducting lesson using ERT, and they should be in-service Malaysian ESL primary school teachers.

Findings: The findings revealed that most of the teachers support ERT as the alternative mode of instruction in substituting the physical classroom learning in unprecedented time of crisis. However, certain difficulties remain, most notably issues regarding the digital divide. These implications call for more attention to developing more infrastructure and facilities, providing amenities and equipment as well as providing appropriate training to teachers.


Contributions: The findings provide valuable insights from the teachers’ perspective, also known as the policy implementers, to help develop better e-learning curriculum and develop better contingency plans or strategies for emergencies and time of crisis.


Keywords: Emergency remote teaching, ESL, e-learning, distance learning, COVID-19.


Cite as:  Junaidi, Y., Hashim, H., & Ismail, H. H. (2022). ESL teachers’ perception and attitudes towards the adoption of emergency remote teaching in time of crisis. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(2), 221-244.


Abbasi, S., Ayoob, T., Malik, A., & Memon, S. I. (2020). Perceptions of students regarding e-learning during Covid-19 at a private medical college. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 36(1), 57-61.

Abdul Rauf, A., & Suwanto, S. (2020). Attitudes and technology integration among ESL secondary school teachers in Sabah. Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 5(12), 280–287.

Abdullah, F., & Ward, R. (2016). Developing a general extended technology acceptance model for e-learning (GETAMEL) by analysing commonly used external factors. Computers in Human Behavior, 56(1), 238-256.

Abuhmaid, A. M. (2020). Teachers’ perceptions on the impact of flipped learning on student learning and teacher’s role in Jordanian Schools. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 8(3), 1007-1016.

Albiladi, W. S., & Alshareef, K. K. (2019). Blended learning in English teaching and learning: A review of the current literature. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 10(2), 232-238.

Best, J. W., & Kahn, J. V. (2006). Research in education (10th ed.). Pearson Education.

Bhaumik, R., & Priyadarshini, A. (2020). E-readiness of senior secondary school learners to online learning transition amid COVID-19 lockdown. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 244-256.

Boholano, H. (2017). Smart social networking: 21st Century teaching and learning skills. Research in Pedagogy, 1(1), 21-29.

Cheok, M. L., Wong, S. L., Ayub, A. F., & Mahmud, R. (2017). Teachers’ perceptions of e-learning in Malaysian secondary schools. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Computers in Education, ICCE 2014, 5(2), 20–33.

Chew, S. Y., & Ng, L. L. (2021). The influence of personality and language proficiency on ESL learners’ word contributions in face-to-face and synchronous online forums. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(1), 199–221.

Department of Statistics Malaysia. (2017). Household income and basic amenities survey report 2016.

Elengoe, A. (2020). COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia. Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 11(3), 93-100.

Galvis, H. A. (2012). Understanding beliefs, teachers’ beliefs and their impact on the use of computer technology. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 14(2), 95–112.

Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative studies. Evidence-Based Nursing, 18(3), 66-67.

Kamal, A. (2020). UNICEF education COVID-19 case study: Malaysia – Empowering teachers to deliver blended learning after school reopening.

Kerres, M. (2020). Against all odds: Education in Germany coping with Covid-19. Postdigital Science and Education, 2(3), 690-694.

Khatoony, S., & Nezhadmehr, M. (2020). EFL teachers’ challenges in integration of technology for online classrooms during Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Iran. Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 8(2), 89-104.

Kim, C. M., Kim, M. K., Lee, C. J., Spector, J. M., & DeMeester, K. (2013). Teacher beliefs and technology integration. Teaching and Teacher Education, 29(1), 76-85.

Kisanga, D. H. (2016). Determinants of teachers’ attitudes towards e-learning in Tanzanian higher learning institutions. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 17(5), 109-125.

Lapada, A. A., Miguel, F. F., Robledo, D. A. R., & Alam, Z. F. (2020). Teachers’ Covid-19 awareness, distance learning education experiences and perceptions towards institutional readiness and challenges. International Journal of Learning, Teaching
and Educational Research, 19(6), 127-144.

Li, G., & Ni, X. (2011). Primary EFL teachers’ technology use in China: Patterns and perceptions. RELC Journal, 42(1), 69-85.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. (2019). Industry performance report 2018.

Malaysia Education Blueprint. (2013). Preliminary report Malaysia education blueprint 2013 - 2025. Malaysia Education Blueprint.

Nagaletchimee, A. (2019). How Malaysian lecturers view MOOC and its challenges. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 4(2), 144–167.

Nasser, R. N., Khoury, B., & Abouchedid, K. (2008). University students’ knowledge of services and programs in relation to satisfaction. A case study of a private university in Lebanon. Quality Assurance in Education, 16(1), 80-97.

Nilsson, P., & van Driel, J. (2010). Teaching together and learning together - Primary science student teachers’ and their mentors’ joint teaching and learning in the primary classroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(6), 1309-1318.

Osman, S. Z. M., Jamaludin, R., & Mokhtar, N. E. (2014). Flipped classroom and traditional classroom: Lecturer and student perceptions between two learning cultures, a case study at Malaysian polytechnic. International Education Research, 2(4),

Rizun, M., & Strzelecki, A. (2020). Students’ acceptance of the COVID-19 impact on shifting higher education to distance learning in Poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(18), 1-19.

Salleh, F. I. M., Ghazali, J. M., Ismail, W. N. H. W., Alias, M., & Rahim, N. S. A. (2020). The impacts of COVID-19 through online learning usage for tertiary education in Malaysia. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(8), 147-149.

Semerci, A., & Aydın, M. K. (2018). Examining high school teachers’ attitudes towards ICT use in education. International Journal of Progressive Education, 14(2), 93-105.

Sheikh Dawood, S. R., Ghazali, S., & Samat, N. (2019). Digital divide and poverty eradication in the rural region of the northern Peninsular Malaysia. Indonesian Journal of Geography, 51(1), 172–182.

Sison, M. D., & Brennan, L. (2012). Students as global citizens: Strategies for mobilizing studies abroad. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 22(2), 167-181.

Song, H., Wu, J., & Zhi, T. (2020). Results of survey on online teaching for elementary and secondary schools during Covid-19 prevention and control. ECNU Review of Education, 3(4), 745-754.

Todd, R. W. (2020). Teachers’ perceptions of the shift from the classroom to online teaching. International Journal of TESOL Studies, 2(2), 4–16.

Tzivinikou, S., Charitaki, G., & Kagkara, D. (2020). Distance Education Attitudes (DEA) during Covid-19 crisis: Factor structure, reliability and construct validity of the brief DEA scale in Greek-speaking SEND teachers. Technology, Knowledge and
Learning, 26(3), 461-479.

Wasriep, M. F., & Lajium, D. (2019). Enhancing the 21st century learning through the flipped classroom approach: A science teacher’s perspective. Asia Proceedings of Social Sciences, 4(2), 121-124.

Weeden, K., & Cornwell, B. (2020). The small-world network of college classes: Implications for epidemic spread on a university campus. Sociological Science, 7(1), 222-241.

Yang, X. (2020). Teachers’ perceptions of large-scale online teaching as an epidemic prevention and control strategy in China. ECNU Review of Education, 3(4), 739-744.
How to Cite