The online learning adaptability and its influencing factors for low-proficiency English learners in China


  • Chen Cai Zhejiang Shuren University
  • Heng Hu Zhejiang Shuren University



online learning adaptability, perceived environmental affordances, environmental adaptation strategies , low-proficiency English learners


The proliferation of online teaching has emerged as a pivotal trajectory in the evolution of English education, necessitating a critical examination of online learning dynamics tailored to specific learner cohorts. This study endeavours to scrutinize the present status of online learning adaptability and its influencing factors among 262 low-proficiency English learners in China, employing a methodological blend of questionnaires and interviews. The findings are as follows: (1) There exists no statistically significant difference in learning engagement among learners of different levels. Notably, low-proficiency learners manifest a diminished psychological adaptability relative to their high-proficiency counterparts, albeit concurrently expressing heightened satisfaction with online learning modalities. (2) With regard to the influencing factors of online learning adaptability, the salience of environmental adaptation strategies surpasses that of perceived environmental affordance. Moreover, a compelling interaction effect between these two factors is observed in shaping online learning adaptability. Strategic augmentation of support within the learning milieu, fortifying cognizance of online learning strategies, and synergistically amalgamating the strengths of online and offline pedagogical approaches emerge as efficacious measures to cultivate enhanced online learning adaptability for intermediate and low-proficiency learners.

Author Biographies

  • Chen Cai, Zhejiang Shuren University

    Dr. Chen Cai serves as a professor at Zhejiang Shuren University. He obtained his Doctorate in Linguistics from the Institute of Linguistics at Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. Dr. Cai’s current research interests encompass elders’ language life, applied linguistics, and pragmatics, with a focus on communication strategies with the elderly. He possesses expertise in statistical analysis, multi-modal data collection, and effective communication with elderly populations. Over the past five years, Dr. Cai has played a pivotal role as a leading researcher in two ministerial-level projects and seven provincial and departmental-level projects. His contributions to academia include the publication of seven papers in core journals and the authorship of two academic monographs in well-established publishing houses.

  • Heng Hu, Zhejiang Shuren University

    Dr. Heng Hu (Corresponding Author) is currently an English lecturer at Zhejiang Shuren University. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. His research interests include critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics and systemic functional grammar.

Cai & Hu (2024)






Original Research

How to Cite

Cai, C., & Hu, H. (2024). The online learning adaptability and its influencing factors for low-proficiency English learners in China. Journal of Language Teaching, 4(2), 1-10.

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