Lack of teachers' facial expression in the COVID-19 pandemic: Problems and ways to solutions

Chi Hong Leung, Ting Yan Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Since the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbroke a global pandemic, nearly 2.5 years of adapting to lockdown, isolation, separation and masking up has tremendous shift in our social and daily life. Face covering is imperative to prevent infection and slow the spread of COVID-19, it hinders communication by reducing one’s ability to recognize and interpret the facial expression and emotion of whom we are interacting. Specifically, face coverings would hinder children’s learning ability and varies development, including cognitive, speech, emotions and social interaction. A survey was conducted to collect primary data about 1) students’ ability to recognize emotions of masked faces and 2) students’ perception on teaching performance when teachers’ mouth and facial expression are hidden away. Survey results found that among six fundamental emotions (surprise, sadness, fear, happiness, anger and disgust), disgusted and happy expressions are relatively difficult to be recognized correctly compared with other emotional expressions. The survey also found that facial expressions of a teacher make teaching more interesting and engaging. Lack of facial expression makes both teaching and learning inefficient. Finally, this paper suggested that teachers may put more emphasis on other non-verbal communications to alleviate the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-69
JournalJournal of Asian Scientific Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2022


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