In response to the COVID-19 emergency, many governments forced educational sectors to move to fully online education, and they encountered challenges in the transition from traditional to online education. In order to overcome the challenges, the Ministry of Education in Iran, like many other countries, commenced some professional development courses for the in-service language teachers to prepare them for online education. Along with the necessity of teachers’ knowledge of technology use, the researchers believe that teachers’ experiences of the complexities of moving to online education play a significant role in professional development amid the COVID-19 outbreak. To investigate language teachers’ experiences, a qualitative study based on Hong’s (2010) spherical model was conducted. The participants of the study were 159 language teachers in Iran who enrolled in the Ministry of Education’s professional development courses. Collected data from an open-ended questionnaire were analyzed through qualitative content analysis. The findings revealed that most of the teachers were not well-prepared through teacher education courses for online language teaching. The findings indicated that effective and continuous professional development courses based on the teachers’ needs and current situation are required to ease the transition to online teaching.
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