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Appears in:
Pages: 2794-2802
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1620

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

DEVELOPING EAP (ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES) SKILLS AMONG POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT A LATIN-AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN AN ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH E-TASKS

L. Tamayo

Universidad de Antioquia (COLOMBIA)
This paper will present the design, development and assessment of an online course aimed at postgraduate students at a Colombian Public University in need of strengthening their communicative language competence in the English language to perform different tasks using English in their studies at the University. The online course, composed of five e-tasks, focuses on developing skills and competences related to strengthening the communicative competence of students through the completion of e-Tasks related to their academic field. The methodology of this course is based on the proposals of Jordan (1997) concerning English for Academic Purposes (EAP) as well as Nunan (2006) and Ellis (2003) regarding language learning with the Task-based Learning and Teaching (TBLT) framework.

EAP enables the tasks proposed for the course to be framed in an academic field that is conducive for the students of the university, while TBLT allows for the instrumentalization of the work done on the course’s communicative tasks. To design this course, a previous needs analysis was taken into account as well as Jordan’s (1997) classification of tasks and activities within the field of EAP (Douglas & Kim, 2014). The tasks proposed for the course are framed in what we call e-Tasks, which are a construct that enables us to present the major elements that may be required to achieve the main objective of the task.

This construct features elements from the concept of e-tivities (Salmon, 2013), which refers to “frameworks for enabling active and participative online learning by individuals and groups" (Salmon, 2013, p. 5), and the concept of e-moderation (Salmon, 2011) as a starting point for the teaching practice because it lets tutors and students to have clarity regarding the processes of learning and teaching, the administration of online courses, and the skills needed to complete the course successfully. To assess the proposal, three courses serving forty-five postgraduate students from the University run simultaneously with three tutors. The courses run during thirteen weeks with both asynchronous and synchronous activities in the e-learning platform.

At the end of the three courses, a questionnaire with both closed and open-ended questions about the course and its tasks was administered to all students. Also, the tutors’ perspective was taken into account through a focus group. The information analysis shows (Creswell, 2007) that e-Tasks served an important role in improving students’ English language communicative competence, and EAP skills were also developed through their participation and development of the course's e-Tasks.

Tutors noted the need for a longer course or, even, a multi-level program given the acceptance among students; also, e-Tasks were pointed out as an innovative way to present and conduct an online EAP course. Among the demands, tutors noted the shift in roles in the e-learning platform and the challenge of maintaining their online presence; finally, students manifested their lack of time and responsibilities as one of the biggest constraints to fully develop the course. Nonetheless, the online modality of instruction and e-Tasks were seen as success factors in their learning process due to the possibilities they offer.
@InProceedings{TAMAYO2018DEV,
author = {Tamayo, L.},
title = {DEVELOPING EAP (ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES) SKILLS AMONG POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT A LATIN-AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN AN ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH E-TASKS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1620},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1620},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2794-2802}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Tamayo
TI - DEVELOPING EAP (ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES) SKILLS AMONG POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT A LATIN-AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN AN ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH E-TASKS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1620
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 2794
EP - 2802
ER -
L. Tamayo (2018) DEVELOPING EAP (ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES) SKILLS AMONG POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT A LATIN-AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN AN ONLINE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH E-TASKS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 2794-2802.
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