E-LEARNING INNOVATIONS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING AT THE TERTIARY LEVEL IN THE CONTEXT OF PAKISTAN

A. Ahmed, M. Ahsan, F. Saleem, R. Sultan

Aga Khan University (PAKISTAN)
E-Learning is generally seen as offering solutions to such current challenges facing higher education as the move towards lifelong learning with its demand for continuous professional development and wider participation and engagement of learners at the tertiary level. What makes this challenge more daunting for educators, particularly in developing contexts, however, is not only making learning accessible but relevant and of high quality. This requires innovation which involves sustainable change that can occur at multiple levels. This paper focuses on presenting the findings of a study that considered this question. The study was conducted in a multi-campus private university, in Karachi, Pakistan. It sought to explore the impact of e-learning on the teaching and learning of English for Academic and Specific Purposes with nursing students with an intermediate level of language proficiency. The study focused on trialing a curriculum intervention where the content and delivery of an academic English course was delivered through a learning management system and by using Web 2.0 tools in this context. The data collected in three phases: pre-intervention, intervention and post intervention provide insights on developing and designing e-learning courses specifically for English but also generally for other teaching/learning initiatives for institutions working in similar contexts. The paper argues that a significant effect in the teaching and learning of academic English is attainable using a blended learning approach; however, the learning conditions and the language proficiency of the learners at entry level play a critical role at the exit stage.