Teaching English online in higher education: Understanding the social climate of online academic English courses


  • Budi Waluyo Walailak University
  • Feng Min Walailak University
  • Vanessah V. Castillo Batangas State University




social climate, online English classroom, academic English courses, task, proficiency, gender


This study examined the social climate of fully synchronous online English classrooms and its effects on students’ learning outcomes in a mixed-methods design, engaging 196 first-year non-English major students experiencing their first fully synchronous online English classes on Zoom in one academic term (12 weeks), taught by foreign lecturers. The results reveal a very positive learning experience with seven factors contributing to the social climate of the online English classrooms. Gender did not affect students’ perceptions and learning experiences, but English proficiency levels did, with a medium effect size. The social climate was a predictor of online English learning outcomes with a substantial effect size. Individual insights were extracted from the qualitative data.


Implications for practice or policy:

  • Online English courses should provide the same learning quality as in a face-to-face environment by enhancing the seven factors constructing a positive online English classroom climate.
  • Educational policymakers should emphasise building positive social climates in online classrooms as it will lead to both better learning outcomes and experiences.
  • Teachers may be encouraged to develop the skills students need to recognise and manage emotions, establish and maintain relationships and achieve positive goals in online English learning.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Waluyo, B., Min, F., & Castillo, V. V. . (2022). Teaching English online in higher education: Understanding the social climate of online academic English courses. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(6), 91–106. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.7978