Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Ann Cahill

Third Advisor

Mr. Adam Elias



To provide English learning opportunities to International students while in their home countries, I designed an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) synchronous online program delivered via videoconferences. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of an Online EFL program when compared to a regular in-person Intensive English Program (IEP) where students are immersed in the American culture. The control group was composed of 88 students from Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries in South America that took the IEP offered by a private university in Kentucky in the past five years. Students in the control group had eight weeks of in-person English classes. The experimental group was composed of 88 students who participated in the EFL pilot course offered to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking students. The course was offered free of charge via zoom conferences twice a week for 8 eight weeks. The students were recruited over Facebook and WhatsApp. The study's premise was to have students engaged in meaningful English language interactions with their peers and instructors to verify if there were significant differences between the pre and post-tests gains in both groups (Control and Experimental Group) of treatment (in-person and online English instruction). The results indicated a language gain in listening, grammar, and vocabulary for both groups, suggesting that both treatments produced similar language skills improvements. In virtue of the results, the author recognizes that the implementation of EFL programs delivered 100% online via videoconferences is a viable solution to problems of cost and mobility for English Language Learners (ELL), particularly in times of global crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: CALL, MALL, Language Program Comparison, EFL via videoconferences