Using MOOCs in an Academic English Course at University Level

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Language: English

© 2013


Courses in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in higher education contexts often bring together students from different academic fields. For this reason, such courses tend to present materials that are sufficiently general to be relevant to all students. However, teachers often need to supplement their teaching with online materials that are relevant to the participants' specific areas of study. Although MOOCs have not been designed as supplements to English language teaching and learning, this case-study illustrates how they can in fact provide a very effective and highly motivating way of enhancing EAP syllabi by allowing learners to enrol in courses of their choice, and select the materials that are most relevant to their language acquisition needs. Compared with other unstructured materials found online (journal articles, podcasts, video-recorded lectures), MOOCs provide an ordered set of materials made available weekly, through which students can develop the macro-skills of reading, listening and writing. At the same time, by putting the onus of choosing what and how much to study on the participants themselves, MOOCs can encourage learner autonomy and responsibility, and offer ways of pursuing academic language learning after the end of the EAP course.

Keywords: English for academic purposes, EAP, MOOC, student autonomy, motivation, supplementary resources, OER.


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Beaven, Ana. (2013). Using MOOCs in an Academic English Course at University Level. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 217-227).

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