Designing and Delivering an e-Presessional Course in EAP for the 21st First Century International Student

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Abstract

Summer pre-sessional courses in English for academic purposes (EAP), which prepare growing numbers of international students for degree programmes at UK universities, are facing greater challenges in how to provide the physical space and human resources for their effective and efficient delivery. The affordances of the internet now make other options available and this paper will present a possible solution: an e-presessional for the 21st century learner. At the University of Southampton, building on prior experience in the delivery of online distance learning (ODL), the repurposing of face-to-face courses and in designing courseware in the form of interactive learning objects, a tutored online pre-sessional course was developed and delivered to 60 international students holding confirmed offers of places on MSc and MBA programmes in the School of Management. Adopting a new practice in pre-sessional provision, the students undertook a five week pre-sessional preparatory online course whilst still in their home countries before arriving at the University to complete the remaining ten weeks on the face-to-face pre-sessional programme. Tutored by UK-based EAP tutors, they produced assignments and received online feedback at the same time as developing their academic writing and reading, study skills, vocabulary and grammar.The paper will present and reflect on the design and delivery of the e-presessional course, aiming to show how the adoption of a hybrid approach to pre-sessional provision can have a number of benefits. It will highlight from the student evaluation how the approach may also help develop confidence, independent learning, and prepare students for UK academic culture prior to their arrival.

Keywords: e-presessional, online distance learning, online tutoring, courseware creation, online course design, learning objects, EAP.

References

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Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. London: Routledge.

Salmon, G. (2011). E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online (3rd ed.). London: Routledge Falmer.

Watson, J. (2010). A Case Study: Developing Learning Objects with an Explicit Learning Design. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8(1), 41-50. Retrieved from http://www.ejel.org/issue/download.html?idArticle=159

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Watson, Julie; White, Steven. (2012). Designing and Delivering an e-Presessional Course in EAP for the 21st First Century International Student. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 314-319). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000073

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