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Home Journal Index 2023-3

Interactions in Online Versus Face-to-face Classes: Students' and Teachers' Perceptions

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Xiaoping Gao

Leimin Shi

University of Wollongong, Australia



The Interaction Hypothesis emphasizes the significance of face-to-face interactions in language proficiency development. However, the global transition to online education prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to education, including the teaching of Chinese as a second/foreign language (CSL/CFL). Anecdotal evidence indicates a decline in both the quality and opportunities for interactions in online classes compared to traditional face-to-face (F2F) classrooms. However, research on the differences in the perspectives of students and teachers regarding this issue is relatively limited. To fill this gap, this study compared the perspectives of students and teachers regarding teacher-student and peer-to-peer interactions in online versus F2F CFL classrooms. Participants were CFL learners and their teachers at a university in Australia. Thematic analysis of the data collected from online surveys and interviews revealed a consensus among students and teachers on the importance of promoting interactions regardless of the delivery mode. However, students expressed a preference for F2F interactions, citing reduced motivation and fewer opportunities for interaction in online classes. Notably, students indicated a preference for interacting with teachers rather than peers during synchronous online sessions. The differences were attributed to multiple factors including a sense of community, interaction opportunities, engagement strategies, individual differences, and technological constraints. The results underscore the pivotal role of building social connections in language learning. The findings provide valuable insights into technology-enhanced language education from the perspectives of both students and teachers. This study contributes to the field of interaction studies in second language education and offers practical implications for addressing the challenges posed by the transition to online learning.



Interaction, perceptions, online classes, face-to-face classes, Chinese as a foreign language








互动假设强调了面对面互动对语言能力发展的重要性。然而,由 COVID-19 大流行引发的全球在线教育转型对汉语作为第二语言 / 外语的教学带来了极大的挑战。传闻显示,在线课程与传统实体课堂相比,互动的质量和机会都有所下降。然而,就学生和教师对此问题观点差异的研究相对有限。为填补这一空白,本研究比较了学生和教师在在线及实体汉语二语课堂中师生与生生互动的看法及影响因素。参与者为澳大利亚一所大学的汉语二语学习者及其教师。在线调查及访谈数据的主题分析显示,师生均认为,无论授课方式如何,促进互动都至关重要。然而,学生表示更喜欢面对面互动,称在线课程中的动力降低,互动机会减少。值得注意的是,在同步在线课程中,学生表示更喜欢与教师互动而非与同学互动。这些差异归因于多种因素,包括社群感、互动机会、参与策略、个体差异和技术限制。研究结果强调了社交实践在语言学习中的重要作用,从学生和教师的角度为科技赋能语言教育提供了有价值的见解。本研究为第二语言教育中的互动研究提供了借鉴,并为应对在线学习转型带来的挑战提供了启示。