How School Closures Affected the Teaching and Learning of English During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Shirley S. Mukhari, Debbie A. Sanders


The forced closure of South African schools left learners with many challenges, especially in language learning. This study aims to explore the perceptions of teachers teaching the same subject to the same grade during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose is to analyse learning losses and changes in the scholastic achievement of primary school learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative research design was chosen for this study because of its exploratory nature. Semi-structured open-ended interviews rendered data on the teachers’ perceptions of academic losses as a result of the “COVID-19” pandemic. Homogenous purposeful sampling and semi-structured open-ended interviews were used to gather data, which were coded using the induction method to reveal codes, categories and subcategories within participant voices. This study reports on the challenges faced by teachers and learners, which include a lack of parental support, inadequate technological knowledge, and neglect of schoolwork. The findings and their relevance to teaching post-COVID-19 to mitigate academic losses are discussed. The conclusion is that different forms of support are needed to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learners’ scholastic performance.


COVID-19, Academic Skills, Learning Losses, Teaching And Learning of English, School Closures

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