The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented effects on education. The sudden shift to online classes along with strict physical distancing measures in the pedagogical settings require educators to reconsider all aspects involved in teaching and learning. Teachers as important stakeholders must grapple with the challenges caused by the abrupt transition to remote teaching and learning. Hence, using a qualitative case study, the present study set out to find how two Iranian experienced English language teachers at Persian Gulf University faced with the challenges after COVID-19 came into effect halfway through the university semester. To achieve this goal, the researchers conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with two teachers at different times during the course. Besides, the teachers were asked to provide a descriptive account of how they dealt with the pandemic in their teaching context. The findings showed that after the shift to online teaching, the two teachers initially encountered several pedagogical, technological, institutional and affective challenges; however, as the course proceeded, they could find solutions to cope with the new situation. The teachers recounted problems that remained and negatively affected their practice. Overall, the authors discuss that to continue the education in the new online mode several pedagogical and administrative measures should be taken. Further, the results of the present study provide directions for the teachers who need to adjust their practice in the current time of virtual education.


COVID-19, challenges, English language teaching, coping strategies, online teaching and learning, teacher professional development, Persian Gulf University, qualitative case study

Author Bio(s)

Nasim Ghanbari holds a Ph.D. in English Language Teaching (ELT). Currently, she works as an assistant professor in the English language and literature department of Persian Gulf University in Bushehr, Iran. Her areas of interest are mainly academic writing assessment, language assessment, and sociolinguistics studies. Please direct correspondence to btghanbari@pgu.ac.ir.

Sima Nowroozi holds an M.A. in English Language and Literature. She has been an instructor in the English Language and Literature Department of Persian Gulf University of Bushehr, Iran for twenty years. Her areas of interest are poetry, drama, and sociolinguistic studies.


The authors wish to express their gratitude to two instructors at PGU Department of English Language and Literature for their participation in this study. The researchers further wish to thank PGU IT Department in especial Dr. Amin Keshavarz for their constant help provided to the university during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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