EFL Teacher’s Strategies and Challenges in Developing Digital Competency: A Narrative Inquiry

  • Tina Priyantin Universitas Pakuan, Indonesia
  • Atti Herawati Universitas Pakuan, Indonesia


The student changing of teaching and learning systems from face-to-face classes to online platforms because of the Covid-19 pandemic urged EFL teachers to develop digital competency. This study aims to investigate the ways teachers develop strategies and cope with challenges, as well as to identify the level of teachers’ digital competency (TDC). The narrative inquiry method was applied by conducting a semi-structured interview with three EFL teachers of secondary levels. The questions were developed based on the UNESCO ICT Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) which include the components regarding curriculum and assessment, teaching and learning process, collaborative learning, and professional development. The interview results were then transcribed into written texts verbatim and excerpts were selected for inclusion in the narrative stories, specifically dealing with strategies and challenges. To identify the TDC, thematic analysis was done by coding and categorizing components that were also taken from the indicators of the UNESCO ICT-CFT which include the competencies of technological ability, communicative ability, pedagogical ability, management ability, and research ability. The findings revealed that the three EFL teachers had various but similar strategies by learning themselves through various digital platforms, joining webinars and training, as well as asking and sharing with colleagues. Challenges were found mostly from the students’ inability and reluctance of using digital tools. The TDC covered most competencies but only reached the exploration and integration level, not the innovation level yet. Recommendations for future actions and studies are mentioned in this study.



Artacho, E. G., Martínez, T. S., Ortega Martín, J. L., Marín Marín, J. A., & García, G. G. (2020). Teacher training in lifelong learning-the importance of digital competence in the encouragement of teaching innovation.

Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072852
Astuti, M., Arifin, Z., Mutohhari, F., & Nurtanto, M. (2021). Competency of Digital Technology: The Maturity Levels of Teachers and Students in Vocational Education in Indonesia. Journal of Education Technology, 5(2), 254–262. https://doi.org/10.23887/jet.v5i3.35108

Caena, F., & Redecker, C. (2019). Aligning teacher competence frameworks to 21st-century challenges: The case for the European Digital Competence Framework for Educators ( Digcompedu) . European Journal of Education, 54(3), 356–369. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12345

Casillas Martín, S., Cabezas González, M., & García Peñalvo, F. J. (2020). Digital competence of early childhood education teachers: attitude, knowledge and use of ICT. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(2), 210–223. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2019.1681393

Falloon, G. (2020). From digital literacy to digital competence: the teacher digital competency (TDC) framework. Educational Technology Research and Development, 68(5), 2449–2472. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09767-4

Fernández-Batanero, J. M., Montenegro-Rueda, M., Fernández-Cerero, J., & García-Martínez, I. (2020). Digital competences for teacher professional development. Systematic review. European Journal of Teacher Education, 00(00), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2020.1827389

From, J. (2017). Pedagogical Digital Competence—Between Values, Knowledge and Skills. Higher Education Studies, 7(2), 43. https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v7n2p43

Helleve, I., Grov Almås, A., & Bjørkelo, B. (2020). Becoming a professional digital competent teacher. Professional Development in Education, 46(2), 324–336. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2019.1585381

Hinojo-Lucena, F. J., Aznar-Diaz, I., Caceres-Reche, M. P., Trujillo-Torres, J. M., & Romero-Rodriguez, J. M. (2019). Factors Influencing the Development of Digital Competence in Teachers: Analysis of the Teaching Staff of Permanent Education Centres. IEEE Access, 7, 178744–178752. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2957438

Koehler, M. J., Mishra, P., & Cain, W. (2013). What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Journal of Education, 193(3), 13–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/002205741319300303

Morgan, H. (2020). Best Practices for Implementing Remote Learning during a Pandemic. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 93(3), 135–141. https://doi.org/10.1080/00098655.2020.1751480

Mutohhari, F., Sofyan, H., & Nurtanto, M. (2021). Technological Competencies: A Study on the Acceptance of Digital Technology on Vocational Teachers in Indonesia. https://doi.org/10.4108/eai.6-3-2021.2305971

Pettersson, F. (2018). On the issues of digital competence in educational contexts – a review of literature. Education and Information Technologies, 23(3), 1005–1021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-017-9649-3

Pöntinen, S., & Räty-Záborszky, S. (2020). Pedagogical aspects to support students’ evolving digital competence at school. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 28(2), 182–196. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2020.1735736

Saputra, D. B., Suherdi, D., & Rodliyah, R. S. (2020). Reflective Practice As Tools To Explore in-Service Teachers’ Beliefs and Classroom Practices: Indonesian Efl Teachers’ Voices. JOALL (Journal of Applied Linguistics & Literature), 5(2), 174–192. https://doi.org/10.33369/joall.v5i2.11260

Spiteri, M., & Chang Rundgren, S. N. (2017). Maltese primary teachers’ digital competence: implications for continuing professional development. European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(4), 521–534. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2017.1342242

Swallow, M. J. C., & Olofson, M. W. (2017). Contextual Understandings in the TPACK Framework. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 49(3–4), 228–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2017.1347537

Teresa Fuertes‐Camacho, M., Dulsat‐ortiz, C., & Álvarez‐cánovas, I. (2021). Reflective practice in times of COVID‐19: A tool to improve education for sustainable development in pre‐service teacher training. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116261

Vidosavljevic, M. M., & Vidosavljevic, S. T. (2020). The Importance of Teachers ’ Digital Literacy. December 2019, 412–426.

Yang, L., García-Holgado, A., & Martínez-Abad, F. (2020). A Study to Analyze the Digital Competence of Pre-service Teachers and In-service Teachers in China. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 1057, 1057–1061. https://doi.org/10.1145/3434780.3436642

Zhang, C. (2020). From Face-to-Face to Screen-to-Screen: CFL Teachers’ Beliefs about Digital Teaching Competence during the Pandemic. International Journal of Chinese Language Teaching, 1, 35–52. https://doi.org/10.46451/ijclt.2020.06.03
How to Cite
PRIYANTIN, Tina; HERAWATI, Atti. EFL Teacher’s Strategies and Challenges in Developing Digital Competency: A Narrative Inquiry. Pedagogy : Journal of English Language Teaching, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, p. 01-14, june 2023. ISSN 2580-1473. Available at: <https://e-journal.metrouniv.ac.id/index.php/pedagogy/article/view/6570>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.32332/joelt.v11i1.6570.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.