TESL Primary School Teachers’ Motivation in the Implementation of Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic had been announced as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020 which imposed a lot of problems in most of the sectors in the whole world including education. Concurrently, the process of teaching and learning still should be conducted and all of the teachers had to switch their teaching styles and methods from traditional teaching to remote teaching. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the motivation of TESL primary school teachers towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study employed a quantitative design and utilized questionnaire as a method of collecting the data. There were 101 respondents of TESL primary school teachers from various types of schools in one of the districts located in Johor, Malaysia who have been conducting remote teaching consistently since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. The findings disclosed that majority of the teachers have high level of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards the implementation of remote teaching due to several factors albeit few numbers of teachers who are still having low level of motivation in conducting remote teaching. Future study should involve teachers or respondents from all over Malaysia in order to have more comprehensive findings on this particular topic.

Share and Cite:

Rojalai, A. and Hashim, H. (2022) TESL Primary School Teachers’ Motivation in the Implementation of Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic. Creative Education, 13, 537-556. doi: 10.4236/ce.2022.132032.

1. Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic had brought a lot of challenges in education sector especially in Malaysia as the teaching styles had changed from traditional teaching method to remote teaching. Teachers encountered lots of problems in remote teaching which had made their motivation level changed drastically from time to time. In deceiving the student’s achievement in studying language, it is important to examine the teachers’ motivation in teaching English. In accordance of challenges in these days and ages regarding the education system and pandemic of COVID-19, teachers even after the graduation have to keep pace with the changing of education policies from time to time. Beardsley et al. (2021) revealed that motivation of teachers plays a significant role in teaching and learning process, because teacher is a fundamental reason for working. Since 2020, we faced a lot of trials which involved many sectors including education sector which is COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, after this pandemic hit the world including Malaysia, all of the sectors need to be closed in order to control this outbreak from getting worse. Since the schools have to be closed, teachers all over the world have to conduct remote teaching or any other method which is suitable with the situation of both parties which are the teachers and also the students. The government had ordered to cease the face-to-face teaching sessions to the remote teaching. Nonetheless, to conduct remote teaching in Malaysia, it requires both teachers and students have good internet connection in order to conduct classes online or offline. This is one of the challenges that teachers faced during this tough time in order to do remote teaching. To teach young learners with the current syllabuses especially during the remote teaching is quite tough for some teachers as denoted by Brinkley et al. (2021). In face-to face classroom teaching, teachers can show some visible teaching aids for the pupils to enhance their understanding towards certain things or topics but after the pandemic of COVID-19 happening in Malaysia, teachers should find an alternative way to be more creative in delivering the teaching contents for the students. Toquero (2020) stated that remote teaching is very challenging for some teachers who have toddlers and kids as they have to work from home. They have to catch up with many things at the same such as house chores and their works. This is supported by the finding in a research conducted by Koskela et al. (2021) which mentioned that teachers and also parents were worried about the learning wellbeing of their children as well as management of daily life and the use of Information of Communication and Technology (ICT) when conducting remote teaching. In Malaysia, the use of ICT in education has been introduced long before through the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia) 2013-2025, which aspires to bridge the education gap across the nation by producing a more technologically literate workforce that is relevant to 21st century knowledge and skills by improving pedagogical practises.

Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers tend to have negative thoughts about remote teaching as this is something new to them what more when dealing with young learners which are primary school students (Aldulaimi, 2021). Thus, Chowdhury et al. (2021) in their book denoted that as a result, they develop a negative attitude about it and are demotivated to conduct remote teaching. It is also possible that these issues arise from a lack of knowledge about it. This obliviousness is one of the probable causes of pupils’ English failure. Usher et al. (2021) conducted a study to investigate how the teachers at the secondary schools react towards the implementations of online learning or e-learning. The findings exposed that some teachers felt that the implementations of e-learning as burdening due to some important factors for instance limited ICT skills and digital literacy competencies among the teachers themselves. Remote teaching has become one of the essential methods in education as COVID-19 pandemic has brought the significant changes to the field. This is because, education must go on and the teachers’ motivation should remain welcoming and supportive as to ensure that the learning environment among the teachers keep going well throughout the pandemic. Hassan and Hashim (2021) eloquently mentioned in their study that motivation is a vital characteristic that has a favourable impact on any educational learning process including second language learning. One important component that has to be addressed in order to be effective in learning a language is motivation among the teachers (Tang et al., 2021). Therefore, it is important to ascertain the level of motivation among TESL primary school teachers in implementing remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the aforementioned arguments, the aim of this study is to investigate the TESL primary school teachers’ level of motivation in the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Malaysian ESL Classroom during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Corona virus disease-19 is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is commonly known as COVID-19 by people. Since this pandemic hit all over the world, all sectors needed to be closed in order to flatten the curve including education sectors. Thus, in order to ensure students were not left behind, remote teaching has been introduced. During this COVID-19 pandemic, learning English as a Second Language (ESL) had never been simple. Some researches emphasised the difficulties of teaching language skills, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. For example, teachers and students found it impossible to teach and learn writing in this pandemic (Yunus et al., 2019). On the other hand, Dai and Xia (2020) explained in their study that face-to-face ESL classroom instructions is differed from ESL online instructions whereby teachers may address and respond virtually all of their students’ concerns and questions. Furthermore, students are differed in terms of learning styles, interests, and competence levels, particularly in learning English as a second language, which is guaranteed to be regulated by a wide range of linguistic, contextual, and individual differences (Pawlak, 2019).

In the early of the pandemic, Malaysian government has taken a series of actions to combat this pandemic outbreak. Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced as the preventive measure to stop the spread of the virus. On the next few days, Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin who is currently a Malaysia Education Minister encouraged the teachers to find the best method in delivering the lesson for the students as long as it suits both parties which are teachers and students (Junaidi & Hashim, 2021). Thai et al. (2020) stated that during the pandemic, the number of users who are incorporating technologies in education have been increased since most of the teachers including TESL teachers are using many platforms for instance Zoom, Google Meet, Teams and many other meeting applications in order to conduct real-time teaching for the students to replace the face-to-face classroom instructions. Besides, Izhar et al. (2021) mentioned that MOE also had introduced Educational TV or TV Pendidikan in order to help the students who cannot afford to use the meeting platforms due to internet coverage and also insufficient resources at home. Educational TV can be watched starting April 4, 2020 via TV Okey broadcasted by the Malaysia Radio Television (RTM). This kind of platform allows the teachers and the students to have alternative way of teaching and learning at home to replace the real classroom situation.

2.2. English Language Teaching (ELT) Methodology

Language is used as a medium for learning and to communicate with others. Teachers’ teaching methods play an important role in motivating pupils and getting them engaged in language lessons. Sung et al. (2017) conducted a research on the effects of different styles of teaching and learning and the experimental results showed that the students who learned with actively engaged in the class outperformed other students who are passives. With the current restrictions and movements during COVID-19 pandemic, pupils are undoubtedly interrupted in their learning. Apart from that, teachers also are facing the same problems since government has implemented Work from Home (WFH) policy and at the same time, teachers have to think of other ways on how to improve their teaching methods and skills in order to suit with the current situation. With many domestic issues at home, teachers might go astray and lose interest to teach. Motivation of teaching is very important to keep the teachers focused on their teaching. With attractive and various teaching methods to be used during online classes, teachers and students would be more excited to participate in the lessons as studied by Nawi and Na (2020).

From a Malaysian perspective, after recognizing the significance of English, the MoE at that time has already begun putting efforts to improve students’ competence in the language by correcting inadequacies in the teaching and learning processes (Rahman & Saputra, 2021). English education in Malaysia is currently one step forward towards a new development of teaching and learning in terms of pedagogical and method of teaching since the new syllabus has been used which is CEFR (Uri & Abd Aziz, 2018). Assessments also have been improved since there are two types of assessments introduced like formative and summative assessments. Apart from that, Sidhu et al. (2018) denoted that under CEFR syllabus, there are four types of language skills that the pupils need to master for example Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. These are in line with the hope of the MoE as the government is insisted to produce competitive English language learners and at the same time can indirectly improve the quality of English education in Malaysia.

In order to achieve the aims above, Sukri and Yunus (2018) in the study revealed that MoE in partnership with British Council had introduced Professional Up-Skilling of English Language Teachers (Pro-ELT) in 2013. The reasons behind this are because to enhance the language proficiency and pedagogical competence among English teachers. In Malaysia, the Aptis test was developed to measure the language proficiency among teachers. Thus, teachers who were attending the programme had been given ample time of training on what should be implemented at their respective schools in the future. After undergoing few trainings before the pandemic, it is confirmed that TESL primary school teachers are all prepared to face any challenge that might be faced later on whereby they can implement any kind of method in teaching English for the young learners even when conducting remote teaching. Therefore, it is important to investigate the level of motivation among TESL primary school teachers nowadays to find out whether they are ready to explore and implement new methods of teaching the language for the students during the pandemic of COVID-19.

2.3. The Implementation of Remote Teaching

Hodges et al. (2020) eloquently defined remote teaching as a temporary change of delivering the contents of knowledge to the learners due to crisis circumstances. Before the pandemic, teachers can deliver the content of the teaching in face-to-face classroom instructions but everything has changed when this pandemic attacked the world. This sudden change had caused some problems whereby teachers were lacking the knowledge in digital literacy and some resources to continue teaching during these tough times as what have been mentioned by Abdul Rauf and Suwanto (2020). Yunus et al. (2019) denoted in their study that remote teaching has many benefits for education and its difficulties have hampered the smoothness and success of learning. Besides, students’ attention can be diverted by other internet information, causing the delivering instructions in remote teaching become less relevant and meaningful. Furthermore, technical concerns are some of the factors that they teachers faced during remote teaching such as audio and visual glitches as elaborated by Halim and Hashim (2019). During the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers across the country and throughout the world hurried to transition from face-to-face classroom teaching to remote teaching in a matter of days. This worldwide pandemic revealed a substantial deficit in teacher preparation and training for emergency remote teaching, including the use of technology to assure the continuity of learning for students who were not in the classroom. This pandemic has taught the teachers and educators to be ready in all the consequences in order to ensure the teaching continues no matter what. Whalen (2020) added that there are many challenges faced by the teachers during the remote teaching for examples the teachers need to be fluent in technology skills, creative in solving problems, and adaptive to the situation.

Remote teaching in Malaysia could be considered as a new method and apparently the teachers need to adapt with this style of teaching throughout the pandemic. There are few mediums and platforms that can be used for remote teaching such as Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and many more for live teaching. Otherwise, for some teachers, they are using social media applications for instance WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and Instagram. According to Shahzad et al. (2020), remote teaching has influenced teachers’ instructional approaches and resulted in failures in teaching and learning. On the other hand, Ko and Rossen (2017) added that the teachers’ abilities and experiences in ICT can influence the success of instructional activities in the remote teaching. Talidong (2020) mentioned that the successful implementation of remote teaching is also determined by the motivation of teachers to explore various platforms that can be used for remote teaching as the teachers are considered as the catalysts of the learning. In order to overcome all the challenges faced by the teachers in remote teaching, teachers should have the motivation to improve themselves in term of digital literacy skills and trying to explore various kind of platforms to conduct remote teaching in order for them to be competent which later on will beneficial for their students.

2.4. Motivation

Motivation of teachers plays an important role in the success of learners in ESL classroom. As indicated by Urdan and Schoenfelder (2006) that motivation is a complicated component of human psychology and behaviour that influences how individuals desire to spend their time, how much energy they invest on each assigned job, how they think and feel about the task, and how long they work on it. But, in another research, Azar & Tanggaraju (2020) defined motivation as the enthusiasm and readiness to perform something without being instructed or compelled to do so. He also stated that motivation is the process of organising and interpreting inputs in order to generate a notion or knowledge of the world. Gardner (2011) also classified motivation in seven multiple intelligences like linguistic, musical, logical-mathematic, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, and personal intelligences which include interpersonal and intrapersonal. This theory has played a crucial role for the students who learn English as their second language. Ryan and Deci (2020) denoted that in Self-Determination Theory (STD), there are different types of motivation based on the different reasons and goals. The most basic differences between extrinsic motivation which refers to do something because it leads to the cause and effect while for intrinsic motivation means doing something based on interest and enjoy doing it.

Motivation of teaching language for young learners or primary school students is very important especially when you are teaching L2 or any other foreign languages. This is because, those languages are not our mother tongue and the effort must be made in order to master the targeted language. Adwani and Shrivastava (2017) investigated the elements that influence Second Language Acquisition or known as SLA which concentrated on five major aspects, one of them is motivation. They were adamant that motivation is the underappreciated core of language training. They also mentioned that all learning activities are seen to be filtered via the teachers’ motivation. Teaching is not easy since it requires motivation and effort in order to make the students understand what have been taught by the teachers. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of teaching for the teachers has changed such as methods, styles and habits which have affected their motivation to conduct remote teaching. In other words, pandemic COVID-19 has changed everything includes their styles of teaching and learning between the teachers and the students. These changes are feared will affect the teacher’s motivation. Thus, through this research, it helps the researcher to get some information or feedbacks regarding the level of motivation among the TESL primary school teachers in conducting remote teaching which may have positively or negatively influenced their teaching processes.

To conclude, this section elaborated about some related researches regarding the motivation of TESL primary school teachers in the implementation of remote teaching during this pandemic of COVID-19 based on the past researchers’ experiences. For the first section, it discussed on how is the Malaysian ESL classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic hit Malaysia as the teaching styles had changes from traditional teaching method to remote teaching. Apart from that, this section also deliberated on how English is being taught during the pandemic. Next, another thing that was highlighted in this section is the implementation of remote teaching in Malaysia context and last but not least, the researchers discussed about the teachers’ motivation towards the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. To sum up, past researchers also related that teachers’ motivation played an important role in conducting remote teaching especially during the outbreak. After conducting this research, the researchers had found out the level of motivation among TESL primary school teachers in the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Methodology

3.1. Research Design

Research design plays a fundamental role in a research. As denoted by Hassan and Hashim (2021) mentioned that when designing a study, it is crucial for the researcher to define all of the processes that must be followed in order to obtain suitable findings for research topics. Therefore, to accomplish the purposes of this study, this research employed a quantitative design to collect and analyze the data. This type of research method used frequencies, percentages and means by analysing all the responses from the respondents in the questionnaire. Ali et al. (2005) as cited by Mahamod et al. (2021) eloquently mentioned that this type of research method enabled the researchers to collect detailed and informative data in order to achieve the research objectives mentioned in the research. In addition, this research was aimed to investigate the level of motivation among TESL primary school teachers towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.2. Research Participants and Instruments

The data was collected from 101 respondents of TESL primary school teachers in one of the districts in a Johor state, Malaysia. It used the random sampling method because this questionnaire was distributed in the District English Language Teachers via Telegram group. Out of 101 respondents, 78 were female teachers and 23 of them were male teachers. The respondents came from various ranges of ages starting with 24 to 50 years old and above with some of them were new teachers and the rest were experienced teachers. Most of the respondents were expert in teaching since they had involved in this profession for almost 20 years and above. Furthermore, all of the respondents had consistently involved in remote teaching since 2020, the starting year of COVID-19 pandemic hit Malaysia. In addition, as for their educational background, majority of them were degree holders in TESL and the rest were diploma and master’s degree holders. For this questionnaire, 67 of the respondents came from National School (SK), followed by National School of Chinese (SJKC) with 22 respondents and last but not least the respondents from National School of Tamil (SJKT) with 12 teachers altogether. As for the last part of the questionnaire, respondents were asked with their methods in conducting remote teaching whether online, offline and mixed both methods. Most of the respondents mixed both methods which were online and offline and followed by offline method by using modules, projects based and textbook and lastly online method via Google Meet, Zoom, Teams. In order to collect the data, an online questionnaire had been distributed to all the teachers from various types of primary schools in one of the districts in Johor, Malaysia by using Google Form format. In that form, it had been divided into 4 sections which are background of the respondents, their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic and last but not least their level of motivation towards remote teaching. This online questionnaire consisted of 31 items altogether. Questionnaire is one of the popular methods among the researchers in order to collect the data (Cresswell, 2014; Joachim & Hashim, 2021). There were four points of Likert Scales whereby it is suitable to be used in the questionnaire. According to a statement by Mohamad Najib (1999) as represented by Tukiran et al. (2021) that the Likert Scale 4 points is used when respondents need to choose by ticking on the right scale about a statement from one extreme to another. Thus, respondents needed to choose the scores based on their level of agreement towards a statement. The level of agreement comprises four levels which are strongly disagree, disagree, agree and strongly agree.

3.3. Reliability and Validity

The questionnaire was validated and given to the some of the TESL primary school teachers in Malaysia which were not research samples. According to Hair et al. (2006) as revealed by Rai et al. (2021) stated the measurement of reliability using Cronbach Alpha coefficient, a measurement scale (α ≥ 0.7) is accepted reliability coefficient. In this study, the researchers used the Cronbach Alpha value recommended by the authors, which is (α ≥ 0.7) as the accepted reliability value.

Tableabove indicated that each and every instrument regarding the motivation of TESL primary school teachers towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic have the higher Cronbach’s Alpha values (α ≥ 0.7) and it concludes that it has the higher reliability. Akpan et al. (2021) explained that reliability is a measure that indicates the extent to which an individual or respondent’s score has an actual score that reflects a statement measured with an Alpha value between (α = 0.00 ≥ 1.00).

3.4. Data Analysis Procedure

In this research, researchers analysed the data using descriptive analysis to find out the frequency, percentages and mean score of the data. Zamalia (2009) denoted in her research that descriptive analysis refers to the transformation of raw data into an intelligible form of data. The researchers also used a four-point Likert Scale to analyse the respondents’ level of motivation adopted by Degang (2010) as mentioned by Hajeb et al. (2021) scale to specify the level of agreement or disagreement as follows:

Tableabove showed that the mean score for each item was used to indicate the respondents’ motivational level; the higher the mean score means the respondents are highly motivated while the lower the mean score, implies that they are low motivated.

4. Results

Generally, the results below revealed that majority of the teachers have high level of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation towards the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic due to several factors albeit few numbers of teachers who are still having low level of motivation in conducting remote. It is also proved that the majority of the respondents perceived remote teaching as a new teaching styles and method in this era especially in Malaysia. Thus, the results were discussed in details in the sections below.

4.1. Teachers’ Intrinsic Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

This section elaborates the results of the questionnaire regarding the teachers’ intrinsic motivation towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic:

As per demonstrated in Table 1, the overall mean score is (M = 3.49) which means that the respondents have high level of intrinsic motivation to conduct remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first question, majority of the teachers 57 (56.4%) agreed that they enjoyed conducting remote teaching for their students followed by strongly agreed with 26 (25.7%). Some of

Table 1. Teachers’ intrinsic motivation towards remote teaching.

SD: Strong Disagree, D: Disagree, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree.

the teachers perceived that they disagreed with the statement with 16 (15.8%) and 2 (2.0%) chose strongly disagreed as they did not enjoy conducting remote teaching for their students. Apart from that, most of the respondents were looking forward to reward their students who attended the remote teaching with 59 (58.4%) strongly agreed, then 40 (39.6%) respondents chose agree towards the statement and the rest of the respondents chose disagreed with 2 (2.0%). On the other hand, the respondents displayed that they felt happy when their students responded to every task given to them during the remote teaching with 81 (80.2%) responded strongly agree, whereas 19 (18.8%) chose agree and one of the respondents disagree with the statement with 1 (1.0%).

Moreover, the respondents also portrayed that they are able to explore a lot of new applications that can be used in their remote teaching with the total collective number of 56 (55.4%) respondents responded positively which they are strongly agree towards the statement and 44 (43.6%) chose agree. Only one respondent responds that they disagree with the score 1 (1.0%). Despite of all the challenges faced in remote teaching, a cumulative of the respondents 72 (71.3%) reacted positively towards the statement which they found many online learning applications that can be used for their students such as Quizziz, Live Worksheets, Google Forms and many more. Other respondents with 27 (26.7%) answered agree and only 2 (2.0%) reported disagree with the statement asked. The findings also depicted that the respondents are excited to design and adapt some different activities for their students when conducting remote teaching whereby most of them 52 (51.5%) responded agree, slightly higher compared to the respondents who chose strongly agree with 43 (42.6%) and the rest of them are disagree with 6 (5.9%). Obviously, majority of the respondents 74 (73.3%) displayed that there feel sad when their students did not join the remote teaching and 23 (22.8%) also agree towards the statement. Some of the respondents showed that the disagree 3 (3.0%) and one and only respondent 1 (1.0%) exposed that he or she strongly disagrees towards the statement. The last item for this part that was asked in this questionnaire is if the respondents are excited to join few courses to increase their knowledge in conducting remote teaching and the findings exposed that 58 (57.4%) showed that the only agree with the statement while another 35 (34.7%) strongly agree with it. Another 7 (6.9%) disagree which concluded that they were not excited to join courses about remote teaching and only 1 (1.0%) responded strongly agree towards the given statement.

4.2. Teachers’ Extrinsic Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

This section explains the results of the questionnaire regarding the teachers’ extrinsic motivation towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per proved in Table 2, the overall mean score is (M = 3.35) which means that the respondents have high level of extrinsic motivation to conduct remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. First question that was asked to the respondents was their perception whether remote teaching could improve

Table 2. Teachers’ extrinsic motivation towards remote teaching.

SD: Strong Disagree, D: Disagree, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree.

their competencies in ICT skills. Based on the results, most of the respondents were strongly agree with the statement 63 (62.4%), followed by agree with 35 (34.7%) and the rest of the respondents chose disagree with 3 (3.0%) altogether. Next, 59 (58.4%) respondents chose strongly agree towards the statement that they would only explore some new online learning application whenever someone suggested to them. Another 41 (40.6%) of the respondents selected agree and there were only 1 (1.0%) picked strongly disagree. The third item that was used in the questionnaire on if the respondents have to make their remote teaching fun and meaningful for the students so that they attend the classes. Based on the responds received, it is obviously that the respondents chose strongly agree with 62 (61.4%), followed by agree with 42 (41.6%) and there was only one respondent chose disagree with 1 (1.0%). Apart from that, another question was used in this part of questionnaire which was teachers did adapt some various teaching styles in order to suit the needs of remote teaching or their students. Most common answers received by the researchers based on the questionnaire distributed were only strongly agree and agree with the frequencies and percentages of 59 (58.4%) and 42 (41.6%) respectively.

Next, majority of the respondents did agree that they would only conduct remote teaching using real-meet applications such as Google Meet, Zoom Meetings, Teams and many more when their students asked them to do it based on the frequencies and percentages 39 (38.6%) for strongly agree and 48 (47.5%) for agree. Some of the respondents disagree and strongly disagree towards the statement with 12 (11.9%) and 2 (2.0%) respectively. In addition, the respondents also were asked if they did prepare different materials for remote teaching as demanded by their headmasters or District Education Officers (PPD). Most popular answers received by the researchers were agree and strongly disagree with 50 (49.5%) and 33 (32.7%) respectively. There were some of the respondents disagree and strongly disagree with the statement with the scores 16 (15.8%) and 2 (2.0%) separately. Another question is, the researchers wanted to know whether the respondents had to explore new methods in conducting remote teaching as demanded by the school headmasters or PPD officers. Based on the findings, the frequencies and percentages are as follows with 36 (35.6%) chose strongly agree, 56 (55.4%) agree and the rest were 7 (6.9%) for disagree and 2 (2.0%) picked strongly disagree. Second last question for this part is if the respondents believed that remote teaching would benefit their career in the future and obviously, positive responds received by the researchers. As for strongly agree, the frequency and score are 51 (50.5%) followed by agree (41 (40.6%) and the rest selected disagree with 9 (8.9%). Last but not least, the last question is the researchers wanted to know if the respondents are looking forward to receive rewards or awards for best remote teaching practices and there were various responds given by them. Strongly agree and agree shared the same frequencies and score which are 31 (30.7%) while another 26 (25.7%) answered disagree and the rest of the respondents 13 (12.9%) chose strongly disagree.

4.3. Teachers’ Level of Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

This section also discusses the results of the questionnaire based on the level of motivation of TESL primary school teachers towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per shown in Table 3, the total mean score is (M = 2.93) which means that the respondents have low level of motivation to conduct remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this section, the questions used are very short and precise to make them easier for the respondents to answer. First question employed is whether the respondents love conducting remote teaching or vice versa. Various answers received with the frequencies and percentages of strongly agree and agree are 18 (17.8%) and 47 (46.5%) respectively. As for disagree and strongly agree, the frequencies and percentages are 28 (27.7%) and 8 (7.9%) correspondingly. Second question used if the respondents were looking forward to conduct remote teaching in the future. 16 (15.8%) chose strongly agree, 46 (45.5%) selected agree, 32 (31.7%) responded disagree and lastly 7 (6.9%) strongly disagree towards the given statement. Moving on with the next question if the respondents have a strong desire to conduct remote teaching during the pandemic. Multiple answers received from them which are 21 (20.8%) for strongly agree, 42 (41.6%) for agree and the rest are 34 (33.7%) and 4 (4.0%)

Table 3. Teachers’ level of motivation towards remote teaching.

SD: Strong Disagree, D: Disagree, A: Agree, SA: Strongly Agree.

for disagree and strongly disagree respectively.

Another question given the respondents perception towards remote teaching in order to know if it is difficult and complicated or vice versa. Most of the respondents still perceived that it is difficult and complicated with the total frequencies and percentage for strongly agree and agree are 11 (11.0%) and 37 (37.0%) respectively. Most of the respondents did not agree with the statement which had made them to answer disagree and strongly disagree with the frequencies and percentages are 41 (41%) and 12 (11%) accordingly. Some of the respondents strongly agree that they could spend more time in conducting remote teaching for their students with the frequencies and score 17 (16.8%). 50 (49.5%) of them agree to it and another 30 (29.7%) preferred disagree and the rest of the respondents chose strongly disagree with 4 (4.0%) altogether. Numerous of the respondents did perceive that their remote teaching is fun and enjoyable for their students with the frequencies and percentages for strongly agree and agree are 21 (20.8%) and 57 (56.4%) respectively. 22 (21.8%) of the respondents disagree towards the given statement and another 1 (1.0%) chose strongly disagree. Next question is the researchers wanted to know if the respondents were able to conduct the remote teaching on their own. 38 (38.0%) of the respondents answered strongly agree while another 54 (54.0%) chose agree towards the given statement. The rest of the respondents chose disagree with the frequency and score are 9 (8.0%). For the last question in the last part and section of this questionnaire is whether the respondents believed that remote teaching is the new norm and styles of teaching during this pandemic. Majority of the respondents were agreed towards the statement with the frequency and percentage are 66 (65.3%) while another 34 (33.7%) answered agree. There was only one respondent answered disagree to the statement with the weight age is 1 (1.0%).

5. Discussions

5.1. Teachers’ Intrinsic Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

There were overall positive responses about the teachers’ intrinsic motivation towards remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the respondents perceived that they always look forward to reward their students who attended their remote teaching and felt happy when they responded to the task given. These were considered as intrinsic motivation because these were all came from the inner-self of the teachers or respondents without being instructed by anyone. It could be generally interpreted that; every teacher wants the best for their students hence they would do anything for their students as long as they could learn well during this outbreak. This statement also in line with the literature review mentioned before by Azar & Tanggaraju (2020) which stated that the intrinsic motivation as the enthusiasm and readiness of the teachers to perform the task without being instructed or compelled by anyone to do so. It is also supported by Nawi and Na (2020) about the motivation of teaching is very important to keep the teachers focused on their teaching. With attractive and various teaching methods to be used during online classes, teachers and students would be more excited to participate in the lessons.

5.2. Teachers’ Extrinsic Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

Apart from that, based on the results, most of the respondents performed in their remote teaching because they thought that remote teaching would improve their competencies in ICT skills. This finding of this study complements with the earlier studies by Thai et al. (2020) which stated that during the pandemic, the number of users who are incorporating technologies in education have been increased since most of the teachers including TESL teachers are using many platforms for instance Zoom, Google Meet, Teams and many other meeting applications in order to conduct real-time teaching for the students to replace the face-to-face classroom instructions. Besides, the result also revealed that most of the respondents would only explore the new online learning application when someone suggested to them. It was probably because the external factor that has influenced the teachers to explore various platforms in remote teaching instead of doing it by themselves. This result is supported by Talidong (2020) which mentioned that the successful implementation of remote teaching is also determined by the motivation of teachers to explore various platforms that can be used for remote teaching as the teachers are considered as the catalysts of the learning.

5.3. Teachers’ Level of Motivation towards Remote Teaching during COVID-19 Pandemic

Most of the teachers or respondents gave positive responses on remote teaching and they were ready to conduct it on their own. It could generally be interpreted that the majority of the respondents possessed sufficient knowledge in conducting remote teaching since this pandemic had started more than a year ago. It is supported by Shamir and Blau (2021) stated that along the pandemic, the government had provided various trainings necessary for remote teaching by organising some courses and programmes for the teachers to increase their knowledge on remote teaching. That is why this statement received positive feedbacks from the respondents who answered this questionnaire. There was also another good response from the respondents or teachers regarding their beliefs or acceptances on remote teaching are the new norm during this pandemic. Nasir et al. (2021) also had the same point of view that since the pandemic started; the styles of teaching among the teachers had changed tremendously as they started to accept this kind of teaching method and kept on improving their teaching methods in order to suit their student’s level. This shows that majority of the teachers now are well-prepared and have the capabilities to perform in the next remote teaching. This statement is in line with the literature review from Whalen (2020) which mentioned that this pandemic has taught the teachers and educators to be ready in all the consequences in order to ensure the teaching continues no matter what.

6. Conclusion

To conclude, this study aimed to investigate the motivation of TESL primary school teachers towards the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, based on the results, majority of the teachers were motivated to conduct and perform in their remote teaching during COVID-19 pandemic because of both internal and external factors which required them to do so. Apart from that, the findings also revealed that most of the teachers or respondents had commonly positive perception towards remote teaching as they are now believed that remote teaching is the new style of teaching during this COVID-19 pandemic. The limitation found in this study is that in order to collect the data, the researchers need to have various research instruments instead of using questionnaire only for example interviews and observations. Therefore, the researchers might need to join the other teachers remote teaching for interview and observation sessions in order to get clearer view regarding the teachers’ motivation towards the implementation of remote teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. This might help the researchers to improve this study in the future. As for the recommendations, one major change that can be made is increasing the size samples of the respondents among the teachers for the whole country. For a more accurate collective view of the main problem, a larger sample size should be used. There was also evidence that the more experienced group, which was struggling with remote teaching, provided insufficient responses or perspectives. It is recommended for the future study later on to involve TESL teachers or respondents from all over schools in Malaysia in order to have a more comprehensive findings on this topic.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for the support given under the research grant no. GG-2021-003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

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