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COVID-19 pandemic
Home-based learning
Mother tongue education
Primary school
Issue Date: 
Goh, H. H., Wong, H. M., & Kwek, D. (2023). Home-based learning during school closure in Singapore: Perceptions from the language classrooms. Educational Research for Policy and Practice. Advance online publication.
Educational Research for Policy and Practice
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore has resulted in the adoption of home-based learning (similar to remote or distance learning’ worldwide) due to periodic school closures in Singapore. The media and academia have diverse views on the effectiveness of this alternative mode of education. This study draws data from teachers’ interviews and students’ focus group discussions of an ongoing large-scale baseline study on mother tongue education to reveal teachers’ and students’ perceptions of home-based learning. Findings showed that the participating teachers generally mimicked physical lessons online during home-based learning, and they faced difficulties in monitoring students’ tasks online. Though students enjoyed the freedom of doing their learning tasks at their own pace, they were concerned with the lack of teachers’ support and the social-emotional support from peers. With the feedback and reflections from teachers and students, it was observed that despite the availability of technology and online infrastructure, teachers need readiness for transiting between physical teaching and online instruction, whereas students need readiness for self-directed learning. From students’ feedback, it was also noted that parents need readiness for educational technology and support for their children. To better prepare teachers, students, and parents for home-based learning, it is recommended that the developers provide more dedicated resources that take into consideration the different characteristics (e.g. orthography) of each language subject. Parents should also assume a greater role in monitoring their children’s learning on behalf of the teachers for better effect in home-based learning.
1570-2081 (print)
1573-1723 (online)
Project number: 
OER 21/19 KBK
Funding Agency: 
National Institute of Education, Singapore
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File Availability: 
With file
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