Teaching ESP Online: A Guide to Innovation in the Aftermath of the Covid-19 Crisis
Keywords:online teaching, English for Specific Purposes, computer-mediated learning, synchronous conferencing, synchronous online teaching, teaching methods
The paper studies the student experiences related to online teaching of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in order to determine which computer-mediated learning practices were perceived as purposeful and should be incorporated in traditional in-person teaching. The sample comprised of 60 students from two faculties of the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Descriptive statistics were obtained. The gathered data were subjected to qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The results indicate that the positive experiences are related primarily to synchronous conferencing in the form of real-time written communication as an integral part of the classes offered via videoconferencing. The use of video content and availability of various learning materials uploaded to the learning platforms proved to be helpful. Loss of concentration, technical difficulties and a lack of in-person communication were perceived as obstacles to effective learning. The most salient conclusion of the study refers to the necessity of incorporating real-time comment writing in the traditional classroom. The results also urge the need for addressing the issues of large classes and inadequate auditoriums in the traditional mode of teaching. The conclusions provide the guidelines for the improvement of in-person teaching of ESP based on specific computer-mediated learning practices that were found facilitative of the development of the students’ language competencies.
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