The Effects of Enhancing Prospective EFL Teachers' Knowledge Management Strategies in Virtual Learning Environments on Their Ideational Flexibility and Engagement

Ammar Abdullah Mahmoud Ismail


The last few years have witnessed an increased interest in moving away from traditional language instruction settings towards more hybrid and virtual learning environments. Face-to-face interaction, guided practice, and uniformity of knowledge sources and skills are all replaced by settings where multiplicity of views from different learning communities, interconnectedness, self-directedness, and self-management of knowledge and learning are increasingly emphasized. This shift from walled-classroom instruction with its limited scope and resources to hybrid and virtual learning environments with their limitless provisions requires that learners be equipped with requisite skills and strategies to manage knowledge and handle language learning in ways commensurate with the nature and limitless possibilities of these new environments. The current study aimed at enhancing knowledge management strategies of EFL teachers in virtual learning environments and examine the impact on their ideational flexibility and engagement in language learning settings. A knowledge management model was proposed and field-test on a cohort of prospective EFL teachers in the Emirati context. Participants were prospective EFL teachers enrolled in the Methods of Teaching Courses and doing their practicum in the Emirati EFL context. Participants' ideational flexibility was tapped via a bi-methodical approach including a contextualized task and a decontextualized one. Their engagement in virtual language learning settings was tapped via an engagement scale. Results of the study indicated that enhancing prospective EFL teachers' knowledge management strategies in virtual learning environments had a significant impact on their ideational flexibility and engagement in foreign language learning settings. Details of the instructional intervention, instruments for tapping students’ ideational flexibility and engagement, and results of the study are discussed. Implications for foreign language teaching/learning along with suggestions for further research are also provided.



Knowledge management, ideational flexibility, student engagement

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