In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in researching students’ engagement in English as foreign language (EFL) classes as students’ language learning achievement is shaped by their engagement in class. Yet, the study of students’ engagement in EFL large classes has received relatively little empirical attention. This qualitative phenomenological study aims at exploring how teachers perceive the factors boosting students’ optimal engagement and what strategies they use to boost students’ optimal engagement in EFL large classes. Ten university teachers with adequate experience of teaching EFL large classes in East Nusa Tenggara-Indonesia participated in this study. Semi structured interviews were used to elicit the teachers’ perceptions and interpretations of students’ optimal engagement. The results revealed five factors affecting students’ optimal engagement in EFL large classes: teaching strategies, individual motivation, student-teacher relationship, students’ English proficiency, and teaching facilities. Additionally, the teachers applied instructional and affective strategies to boost students’ optimal engagement in EFL large classes. Based on the study results, we offered some pedagogical implications for the teachers and their institutions.


students’ optimal engagement, EFL large classes, EFL teachers, phenomenology

Author Bio(s)

Yohanis Nurak Siwa is the Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) awardee batch 2022 and a faculty member at the English Education Study Program, Faculty of Teacher Training and Educational Sciences, Universitas Katolik Widya Mandira, Kupang, Indonesia. He is now a doctoral student in the Department of English, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia. Please direct correspondence to yohanisnuraksiwa@unwira.ac.id

Yazid Basthomi is a faculty member at the Department of English, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Negeri Malang,Indonesia. A Fulbrighter, he spent a stint of pre-doctoral research at the English Language Institute, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, USA. His educational backgrounds and research interests have led him to work in applied linguistics leading to his professorship. In addition to his tenure in the alma mater, he was also once appointed Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New England, Australia, with the main job of co-supervising a Ph.D. thesis writing. In 2019, he was a visiting professor at Linnaeus University, Sweden, sponsored by ERASMUS+. Recently, he has also co-supervised two Ph.D. students at Charles Darwin University, Australia.


The first author would like to thank the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education Agency (LPDP) of the Republic of Indonesia for providing financial support for the first author's doctoral study and this research. The authors would like also to thank and appreciate the insightful inputs and comments provided by the editor and anonymous reviewers.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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