Integrating English for specific purposes courseware into task-based learning in a context of preparing for international trade fairs

  • Shu-Chiao Tsai Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences
Keywords: courseware integration, multimedia/hypermedia systems, improving classroom teaching, task-based learning, technical education

Abstract

This study reports on integrating courseware for participating in international trade fairs into English for specific purposes (ESP) instruction at a technical university in Taiwan. An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) approach combining courseware integration with Task Based Learning (TBL), was adopted. Evaluation of implementing this courseware-integrated ESP instruction was based on pre- and posttests in three tasks and student responses to questionnaires concerning satisfaction and attitude. Interviews were also conducted with recent graduates of this courseware-integrated program now working in business fields. Meanwhile, teacher-centred, face-to-face instruction on the same topic was conducted with a control group. The courseware not only provided authentic materials for learning the target ESP in situational settings, but also offered learning activities with corresponding instant self-evaluation so that students were engaged in cognitive processes based on individual need. Students enrolled in the courseware-integrated instruction made as much, and at times, even better, progress as those electing the teacher-centred instruction while completing the tasks of problem-solving and higher-order thinking. Their self-learning effectiveness in both task performance and linguistic skills was significantly improved and they reported satisfaction with the courseware-integrated instruction. Thus, courseware-integrated TBL instruction may offer a potential solution to problems in the development of ESP courses.


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Author Biography

Shu-Chiao Tsai, Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences
I received the PhD degree in material sciences from Paris-Sud University in 1996. After having worked in an optoelectronics company as marketing and technical administrator for several years, I’m currently an associate professor with the Department of Applied Foreign Languages at National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan. For the past few years, I have focused on the development of technical and commercial ESP (English for Specific Purposes) courseware and its application in classroom to help university students and adult learners augment language skills and knowledge applicable to the job market in Taiwan.
Published
2013-02-28
How to Cite
Tsai, S.-C. (2013). Integrating English for specific purposes courseware into task-based learning in a context of preparing for international trade fairs. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(1). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.49