BETTER TOGETHER: ADOPTING TEAM-BASED LEARNING IN THE ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES CLASSROOM
1 ESTGA - University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
2 ESHT - Polytechnic Institute of Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Having gained popularity within the scope of Health and Business Education, given its affordances in bridging the gap between theory and practice, Team Based Learning (TBL) is currently also being applied in other educational settings. Based on group dynamics, this pedagogical strategy incorporates flipped classroom approaches and is consistent with principles of social learning, relying on the collaborative knowledge of learning teams, high levels of participation and effective communication. By encompassing both theoretical and application approaches to content (technical competences) and promoting the development of transversal and transferable competences, i.e. team work, collaboration, communication and creativity, this approach is also aligned with current needs of an increasingly digital, 21st-century workplace.
Based on these premises and the fact it is emerging as a more structured alternative to traditional collaborative strategies, TBL approaches are increasingly being perceived as potential catalysts for language learning, and in particular English for Specific Purposes (ESP), in which terminology and content-based discussions are particularly relevant.
This paper describes a TBL-based pedagogical strategy used in different ESP courses, i.e., English Applied to Management (no. students=35) and English Applied to Computer Science (no. students=63), at Águeda School of Technology and Management – University of Aveiro (Portugal). Focussing on a team-based pedagogical strategy structured according to the activity sequence presented by Michaelsen and Sweet (2008), it encompasses three sequential phases, namely: Preparation (1), Readiness Assurance (2) and Application of Course Concepts (3). Initially, in Phase 1, students were asked to individually study the meaning and use of specific terminology, as a pre-class activity. In Phase 2 ( in class), they answered two Readiness Assurance Tests (RATs) – one individually to motivate them to prepare for class and another in teams (3-6 elements each). Phase 2 also integrated the student’s appeals, as well as the teacher’s feedback. Finally, as to the Application of Course Concepts (Phase 3), the teams were asked to develop application-oriented activities, which encompassed the production of a video. Furthermore, to promote the student’s assessment and feedback literacy, and their critical and analytical thinking, activities of peer assessment and of self-reflection were also included (Burgess et al., 2021).
In terms of research methodology, the data collected from the 10-question quizzes (answered both individually and in teams), as well as from the self-reflection and peer assessment regarding the student’s ESP learning process, will be considered. Data will be analysed according to their nature – quantitative or qualitative – through descriptive statistical analysis and content analysis.
 Michaelsen, L.K. & Sweet, M. (2008). The essential elements of team-based learning, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 7-27. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.330
 Burgess, A., Roberts, C., Lane, A., Haq, I., Clark, T., Kalman, E., Pappalardo, N., & Bleasel, J. (2021). Peer review in team-based learning: influencing feedback literacy, BMC Medical Education, 21(426), 1-11, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-021-02821-6
Keywords: Classroom Response Systems, Collaboration, English for Specific Purposes, Team Based Learning.