MOOCS AS A NEW APPROACH TO ESP VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT

M. Rudneva, T. Popova

RUDN University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Professional vocabulary development has been considered a major challenge by a few researchers [1, 2, 3].

Therefore, one of the most acute tasks for L2 instructors is developing an educational framework that would integrate blended learning approach, exposing the students to professional terminology occurring not only in a pedagogical context, but also as a part of authentic experience outside the classroom [4].

MOOCs foster step-by-step integration of authentic contexts into ESP classes alongside with increasing motivation as well as the number of hours invested by the students into mastering the target language [5, 6]. In February-March 2016 an experiment of MOOCs integration into ESP courses was conducted with the 2d year BA student of the Ecological faculty of RUDN University. The students were asked to participate in individual and group projects, besides, they were asked to write an extensive final essay on the issues considered by the MOOCs. A small corpus of MOOC-related essays was compiled in order to consider possibilities of professional vocabulary development via MOOCs.

To benchmark vocabulary development process, we compiled two more corpora:
1) The entire collection of MOOC scripts and articles, as a target vocabulary corpus.
2) The corpus of academic papers on Ecology written by the same students prior to MOOC exposure.
The purpose of this paper is to consider quantitative information elicited by double-contrastive research, comparing the 3 corpora and investigate the value of MOOCs for receptive and productive vocabulary development.

References:
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[2] Evans, S., & Green, C. (2007). Why EAP is necessary: a survey of Hong Kong tertiary students. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 6(1), 3-17. http://dx. doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2006.11.005. URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475158506000634.
[3] Evans, S., & Morrison, B. (2011). The first term at university: implications for EAP. ELT Journal, 65(4), 387-397. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2011.01.001. URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889490611000020.
[4] Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown and Ellen S. McCaslin (1983) Vocabulary Development: All Contexts Are Not Created Equal Source: The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 83, No. 3 (Jan., 1983), pp. 177-181 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1001501
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