Development of Pre-Service English Teachers’ Language Skills and Learner Autonomy via Blended Learning
Keywords:Learner autonomy, language skills, pre-service English teachers, blended learning, Moodle course
AbstractThe use of information and communication technology greatly improved foreign languages teaching and learning. Learning management systems, such as Moodle, used to create and deliver courses, facilitate e-learning in different types of educational institutions. Blended learning as a combination of face-to face and e-learning is conducive to deep learning. We designed a new course “Teaching English as a foreign language to learners with special educational needs” to provide students enrolled in a master’s programme – preservice English teachers, with an opportunity to enhance their language and professional skills as well as to develop their learner autonomy through meaningful learning experiences blending learning can supplement. We considered micro, meso and macro levels of the course implementation and functioning. In this paper we describe the context in which the course is introduced by providing information about the setting, the curriculum, the need for including this course in the master’s programme at the faculty of foreign languages. We also outline the way the course is designed, including its structure, particular tasks and assessment procedures and present students’ feedback about the impact of the course on their foreign language skills and learner autonomy. The results indicate that blended learning is an effective tool for development of pre-service teachers’ English language skills and learner autonomy. The findings of the study can be applied by faculty and administrators involved in the design of courses at tertiary level.
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