Although the significance of the use of online classes remains evident due to their growing prevalence at US universities, they still remain an untested experience for countless English learners (ELs). This research explores EL students’ perceptions of the opportunities for interaction in synchronous and asynchronous online university classroom modalities. It also examines how socioacademic relations and Bandura’s social learning theory can explain the interactions between students and instructors that influence EL students’ literacy development. Participants (n=105) were selected from a large sample pool of 261 EL undergraduate student participants aged 18 to 35. A mixed methods design was utilized in this study. Quantitative data was analyzed using paired sample t-tests, and Cohen’s d effect size was evaluated. Results indicated that EL students perceived synchronous courses to provide more opportunities for interaction (language input and language output) than asynchronous online courses. Research implications are thoroughly discussed.



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