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Sinergias educativas
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Prevailing aspects of virtual
English language education in
the rise of the pandemic
Aspectos predominantes de la educación
virtual del idioma inglés en el auge de la
pandemia
Javier Alejandro Banguera Rojas
*
Leonardo Xavier Banguera Campos
*
Nader Gilberto Vernaza Barahona
*
Abstract
This article aims to identify the key aspects of the establishment of
virtual education in the English language during the boom period of the
pandemic. The methodology used is qualitative with the use of an
interview to a teacher of English and a teacher specialized in educational
digital platforms. In addition, a survey was used with 40 students of 10th
grade of basic general education to determine if they really feel that their
learning process has been relevant to the one hundred percent virtual
education that was part of the guidelines issued in the pandemic by
COVID-19. The results showed that both teachers and students are clear
that virtual education did have shortcomings in the English language
learning process, due to aspects such as the lack of personalized
interaction between teacher and student, as well as other aspects that are
evident was the lack of digital resources on the part of students or poor
connectivity in their homes, which of course was also detrimental to the
learning of English, since being a language and not a discipline requires
the promotion of active strategies such as the use of MOOCs (massive
online courses) to enter a virtual context of meaningful learning of
English. It is concluded then that there were disadvantages in virtual
education at the height of the pandemic, but also benefits such as time
*
Magister en lingüística aplicada a la enseñanza bilingüe
español-ingles /Unidad Educativa Fiscal "5 de Agosto"
javier.banguera@educacion.gob.ec
https://orcid.org/0009-0001-4539-6577
* Licenciado Ciencias de la Educación mención Inglés.
Unidad Educativa Franklin Tello Mercado
l30banguera@.educacion.gob.ec
https://orcid.org/0009-0000-6201-5871
* Licenciado en Educación sica deporte y Recreación.
Escuela EGB "Juan Montalvo Fiallos"
nagilvernaza@hotmail.com
https://orcid.org/0009-0007-2948-3914
Article
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savings, as well as the streamlining of learning processes from the use
of virtual education and its active methodologies.
Keywords: virtual education, English, pandemic, digital resources
Abstract
El presente artículo tiene como objetivo identificar los aspectos clave
de la instauración de la educación virtual en el idioma Inglés en el
periodo de auge de la pandemia. La metodología usada es de tipo
cualitativa con el uso de una entrevista a un docente del área de Inglés
y a un docente especialista en plataformas digitales educativas. Así
como se utilizó la encuesta hacia 40 estudiantes de 10mos años de
educación general básica para determinar si realmente sienten que su
proceso de aprendizaje ha sido el pertinente en torno a la educación
virtual al cien por ciento que fue parte de los lineamientos emitidos en
la pandemia por COVID-19. Los resultados arrojaron que, tanto
docentes como estudiantes tienen claro de que la educación virtual si
tuvo falencias en torno al proceso de aprendizaje del idioma Inglés, por
aspectos como la falta de interacción personalizada entre docente y
estudiante, así como otros aspectos que se evidencian fue la falta de
recursos digitales por parte de los estudiantes o la mala conectividad en
sus hogares, lo que por supuesto también fue en detrimento del
aprendizaje del Inglés, ya que al ser un idioma y no una disciplina
requiere de fomentar estrategias activas como el uso de MOOC (cursos
online masivos) para adentrarse en un contexto virtual de aprendizaje
significativo del Inglés. Se concluye entonces que hubo desventajas en
la educación virtual en el auge de la pandemia, pero también beneficios
como el ahorro de tiempo, así como la agilización de procesos para el
aprendizaje a partir del uso de la educación virtual y sus metodologías
activas.
Keywords: educación virtual, Inglés, pandemia, recursos digitales
Introduction
Currently, "ICTs have revolutionized several areas that in the past were
only valid to be performed mechanically or manually, today these
resources allow to facilitate the processes" (López, 2015). (López,
2015). However, at the educational level there is still the so-called
technological gap, since not all educational units worldwide have this
type of technological tools to implement and apply them for the benefit
of the teaching-learning process.
Although the human being is a rational subject, he requires this tool to
make known his thoughts, ideas, feelings and for the correct social
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integration, which will eventually trigger in the means to understand
and explain the world around him and the existence itself.
According to (Ferreiro, 2012, p. 35) "children are born with genetic
information that allows them to discover the internal structure of the
language spoken in their social environment, analyze it, differentiate it
and, based on this, appropriate it for their use"; this information allows
them to express and associate language with physical objects and make
them known to those around them.
Additionally, in Ecuador, there is not a complete development of
technologies due to the delay and the technological gap, which still
exists in third world countries like this one, however, we have tried to
improve and use them in some way because it facilitates the work of
individuals. In other words, the importance of continuous training and
the need to learn throughout life especially when living in a globalized
world, reasons such as time and space make the educational platforms
and tools of Web 2.0 tools, so it is necessary to strengthen them from
the classroom to the continuous training to be received by the workers
of a company to learn to use the technological platforms, all this is
because it is necessary to face the knowledge needed to face the current
XXI century, otherwise there is a tendency to remain in illiteracy and
the expiration of knowledge.
Digital resources have come to break down the barriers, making life
more comfortable, improving the quality of education, aiming to create
a research culture and using technology as a main tool.
Digital resources become innovative and very creative ways, giving to
know new ways to communicate and inform, to educate making it
accessible as they are easy to use and dynamic thanks to the constant
interaction with the whole world, new ways to generate business and
productivity ways. (Fandos, 2013)
These become topics of discussion in forums because they imply a
promising future, due to the great and accelerated growth of technology.
They become information media, aided by a wide variety of search
engines, scientific forums, virtual books and encyclopedias,
technological and scientific blogs, where everyone can consult and
investigate, helping to promote education and the culture of
technological research. (Quirós, 2009). It becomes a generator of
important business helped by technology and approach to parts that in
ancient times would take a long time to reach them.
Implementation of ICTs in a way that addresses the assumptions of
multiple literacies.
While it is true that the continuous evolution of the human species is
directly related since its origin with the creation of technical artifacts
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with the idea of expanding the action of the individual to interact with
their reality and the possibility of transforming it, on the other hand, also
anchors the need to create technologies by the individuals themselves
and these allow the relationship with the ability to transmit information,
where it has been given vital importance to practical fields such as
medicine and others such as education. Therefore, ICTs have always
been an instrument used to think, learn, represent and transmit
knowledge and learning. (Coll, 2004).
The above gives room to think about the multiple literacies that
currently exist, understanding these as "the comprehension, use and
critical evaluation of diverse forms of information, including texts and
images, written, printed or electronic media" (Ministry of Education of
Spain, 2020). (Spanish Ministry of Education, 2020)Therefore, within
the teaching and learning process, it is necessary to promote multiple
literacies, including digital, information and media literacy.
The reforms in today's teaching process and the great diversity or
multiplicity of literacies in students in the classroom, allows rethinking
the great need to develop other types of methodologies that provide
timely response to the needs and requirements of the student. (Jerez,
2015). Therefore, teachers have to become facilitators of inclusive
environments so that the education offered is of quality and it is possible
to include it in each of the agents that are part of it.
Therefore, the human being by nature is a communicative entity and has
also seen the great opportunity for innovation so it has managed the
creation of technology, the above is a true reflection that the educational
processes have become the basis in society, something that of course
accelerated with the massification of the media.
Based on Vigotski's thinking and on the principles of cognition, it is
possible to verify that the instructional design in an online community
of practice coupled to multiple literacies must be anchored to four
dimensions, as described by Díaz (2005):
Situability: It is generated through contextualized actions, such as tasks
and projects, based on the great real need, which takes into
consideration the explicit and implicit knowledge in the context where
it is found and according to the type of literacy.
Communality: The interests and problems that are shared among the
members of the community are observed, which helps to have joint
goals.
Interdependence - The way in which participants change in the level of
competence or expertise, depending on the level of competence, or if
there are differences in skills, knowledge, opinions, needs to generate
mutually beneficial relationships.
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Infrastructure - Encompasses the existence of rules that allow the
promotion of motivation and action of a set of mechanisms that are
accountable to the participants, as well as the implementation of
structures that streamline information and its interdependence.
The aforementioned dimensions are associated with those proposed by
Coll (2004), although the authors base their proposal on the model of
communities of practice, in which the participant is collectively
included in real situations, where social and constructive or co-
constructive acts are encouraged, which make sense in action
environments.
Therefore, the urgency to include pedagogical proposals from a
constructivist point of view is assumed, since there are different
instructional design models, and behind each of them there is a way of
conceiving learning and teaching, where most of the cases are related to
an instructional design and then to the pedagogical proposal that is
generated and does not include representatives of one learning theory or
another, but rather, in many occasions the need to include pure models
is observed, being that, the most common are those related to proposals
that have elements with different approaches or with more than one
element of each approach.
It is possible to contribute to the need to find out about the use of ICT
in the teaching and learning process since it is indicated that "ICT have
revolutionized various fields that were formerly only valid to be
performed mechanically or manually, today these resources allow to
facilitate processes and simplify people's lives"..." (López, 2015).
However, at the educational level there is still the so-called
technological gap, since not all educational units worldwide have this
type of technological tools to implement and apply them for the benefit
of the teaching and learning process.
At the same time, the author Baelo (2009) indicates that the current
vision of ICT as part of the teaching and learning process refers to one
of the focal points in the creation and dissemination of knowledge,
although it still retains its impermeable character, attending to its
original principles of corporate sense, universality and autonomy.
This indicates that the processes of technological and cultural
transformation, mainly in the last half century, have been carried out
rapidly, as well as the demand for the development of a new
configuration of higher education, have led universities to a critical
process of restructuring and general review that focuses on flexibility in
the knowledge taught, continuing education and the diversification of
methodologies and forms of their development.
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On the other hand, it is possible to understand the importance of
including technologies in the learning process in an intensive and
progressive way, it is worth noting that it is not only necessary to be
trained on these and how to use them, but it is also necessary to break
traditional schemes or paradigms associated with knowledge, so that
there is a mutual relationship between subject and object, therefore, not
only technology is incorporated into the teaching process but these also
allow the relationship with the way in which students and teachers use
these as tools applicable to meaningful learning, as well as the level at
which the actual use is generated or does not match the expected results,
hence the use of ICT in the classroom is generated. (Martínez &
Medina, 2017). It also includes the opportunity to interrelate the teacher
and student, and the teaching-learning process ICT, and can also
contribute to transform the individual, in relation to the use of these
tools for the development of their creative, analytical and
entrepreneurial skills to achieve a competitive advantage in whatever
the work area where they work.
Nowadays, there is talk of the intensive use of digital resources in
education, so within this virtual type training, the e-learning and b-
learning modality is managed, within any training or instruction process
where knowledge is required not only of the subject of study, learning
theories as well as those educational purposes and strategies, but also
knowledge of the technological environment is required for the purpose
of executing learning environments that are adapted to the virtual mode,
and the technologies and cognitive mechanisms that the student handles
for the construction of knowledge are considered. (Belloch, 2015). The
above indicates that it is not only enough to know or master the subject,
but both the teacher and the student must have full knowledge of the use
of virtual tools focused on the learning process to make it effective and
valid.
Among the benefits included in the intensive use of digital educational
resources are those of a cognitive and socio-constructive nature.
Regarding the cognitive type of use of digital educational resources, it
is observed that the greatness of digital educational resources is not
given by the mere entertainment or fun that this generates, but the
important thing is that in digital educational resources lies the value of
it because it has a didactic function. The advantage of digital
educational resources is that it provides knowledge while reading, so it
is a tool for teachers and anyone who intends to generate a contribution
to knowledge as long as it is entertaining and high impact.
According to Bejerano (2011) indicates that one of the potentialities of
digital educational resources is their versatility, which depends on the
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audience that needs to be addressed since it can be more or less timely,
the transmission can be done orally, in writing or according to the
purpose of the digital educational resources, being that in this can
change elements such as: characters, scenes, events.
Toledo (2005) also refers to the fact that digital educational resources
have served in history as an instrument of socialization among
civilizations and allow the generation of the integral development of
boys and girls. Being that many are the contributions of this to the
individual. According to Pelegrín (1994) cited by Ocaña (2009), they
verify the need to promote intellectuality, increase attention, increase
memorization, development of creativity, understanding of the context.
Other advantages are also found nearby where the technique said by
Freinet is contemplated which is "giving the student the opportunity to
write about the free text." (López, 2015)The author indicates that when
speaking of free text, he refers to the freedom to write about a particular
topic, but also helps students to write about what they want,
understanding that it will generate reflection and will give them a taste
for continuing to do so. In addition, it is verified that it is the form of
work that includes an additional value to the practice of the learners,
and that in turn contributes to the freedom of expression of knowledge,
so it implies an intrinsic learning process. (Santaella & Martínez, 2018).
After what has been indicated, the purposes that are marked for the work
with stories in the classroom can be diverse and therefore it is possible
that if the activities that are proposed are correct, motivating and are
well planned, the group achieves significant learning as desired.
As for the socio-constructive environment for its part, the versatility of
digital educational resources contributes to the improvement of
understanding of oral and written expression, also helps develop
imagination and creativity, so that the student can improve the
development of knowledge.
Being that society has evolved significantly in all the years, it is
observed that, in the activities of everyday life digital educational
resources take other roles, being that the school has evolved to a more
social and constructive approach, there is a need to seek a relationship
between evolution and integration in society of new information
technologies, which is possible with a fairly significant resource such
as digital educational resources, so that other alternatives that can be
included in the school are taken (Rodríguez & Guzmán, 2020).
Therefore, it is difficult to define the historical point about the first
interactive story, but by analyzing different digital generations, it can be
defined that the next moment is based on the second half of the twentieth
century. That is why digital digital educational resources contribute
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with a social and constructive character aimed at a formative action
within the XXI century and with the use of current technologies to make
it possible.
Among the digital didactic resources can be those involving virtual
environments, understanding that the latter is "the reproduction of
reality in the virtual context, and are known as simulators, these are a
means that contribute to the training of workers, as they are usually in
3D." (Barroso, Matos, & Aguilar, 2019)The simulators, which are
generally in 3D" (Barroso, Matos, & Aguilar, 2019), allow immersion
in the real world as if one were in them, achieving contextualized
learning through a format similar to that of a game.
Another tool that can be found as part of the educational digital
resources are the work environments, which involve a set of tools that
come from Web 2.0 that facilitate collaborative work, such as home
pages, educational pages, social networks, Google Groups.
One of the tools that provide teamwork through the same environment
is Google Groups, by which it is possible to create a group in which the
distribution of mail is performed, discussions are held and it is also
possible to share documents. (Barroso, Matos, & Aguilar, 2019).. In this
environment Zoho involves the collaboration tools that Google Groups
adds with the possibility of taking notes online, including wikis,
planning, project management, among others.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
Virtual Learning Environments (EVA) being one of the applications
that are widespread in use with a large number of institutions in Moodle,
which is a free type software with intuitive use. (Barroso, Matos, &
Aguilar, 2019)
PLE (Personal Learning Environment) and PNL (Personal Learning
Network)
In addition, there are the PLE (Personal Learning Environment) and
PNL (Personal Learning Network) which are part of personal learning
environments, being a tool that helps the management of their own
learning, also allows content management, and uses different Web 2.0
resources. (Barroso, Matos, & Aguilar, 2019)among which include
applications that help communication with individuals who contribute
to their own learning. The PLE is a tool with personalization, as it
adjusts to the different learning needs of the user, and also allows the
configuration of a personal learning environment.
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Materials and methods
The present work was guided by a descriptive type of research as the
most relevant within the study, field and cross-sectional. The descriptive
research is included from a diagnosis of the necessary characteristics of
the object of study through the use of theories that talk about the benefits
and disadvantages of virtual education in the English language at the
height of the pandemic.
A field research was also carried out, which allows working in the
natural environment in which people live and the sources consulted,
from which they obtained the most relevant data to be analyzed as an
essential source of information to carry out the research. It was
determined a time of one month from the present investigation to finish
the culmination of the complete work.
As for the approach to be used in the research, the qualitative and
quantitative method was used, by applying the qualitative method it is
intended to analyze and describe the characteristics of the market
through observation and structured interview for the case of an English
teacher of tenth year of Basic Education and a teacher specialist in ICT,
while the quantitative approach includes a multiple choice survey aimed
at knowing the perception of the 40 students of 10th year of EGB on the
learning achieved in the English language during the 100% virtual
education that was included in the boom of the pandemic.
Non-participatory observation was included as part of the research,
since it allows the analysis and collection of data according to the
researcher's own qualitative criteria, without the researcher intervening
or persuading in the events analyzed, i.e. the opinion of the interviews
was evidenced without any type of intervention while the data was being
collected.
Among the limitations included was the lack of openness of the
interviewees to respond to the research instrument in the time agreed
upon, so it was necessary to call back the first interviewee twice to agree
again on the date and time of the zoom interview, and also the bias may
be due to the interviewees not having the full confidence to answer the
questions truthfully, which would establish a margin of error of
approximately 5%.