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Language Education

Controversies, Observations and Proposals

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Edited By Danuta Stanulewicz, Karolina Janczukowicz and Małgorzata Rocławska-Daniluk

This collection of papers explores various issues in English language teaching in Poland, mainly at the secondary and tertiary levels. The topics include Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and e-learning. The contributions also deal with teaching public speaking, pronunciation and writing. The contributors explore language education from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and propose solutions concerning English for Specific Purposes (Technical Writing in English and Maritime English) as well. The book also investigates teaching not only languages but also, inter alia, geography and linguistics, concentrating on the use of metaphors, prototypes and cognitive models.

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Effective use of e-learning in language education (Iwona Mokwa-Tarnowska)

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Effective use of e-learning in language education

Iwona Mokwa-Tarnowska

Gdańsk University of Technology

Abstract: For e-learning to be effective, course developers and tutors must maintain the right balance between technology and learning. The following features can demotivate even the most enthusiastic students: multi-coloured pages, animations, films, an intricate style of presenting information, pop-up windows, the complex hierarchy of a multi-layered text, buggy contents, a complicated structure, an inadequate level of difficulty, heavy workload, isolation of the learner and lack of support systems, especially tutor support. The analysis of four e-learning courses in Technical Writing in English, all of them characterized by low enrolment figures, relatively low dropout rates and strong tutor support systems, presented in this chapter demonstrates that effectiveness depends on well balanced support mechanisms coming from the course structure, resources, activities and the tutor, as well as on engagement techniques. Online courses can provide an excellent environment for language development and personal growth if they are run in small groups.

Keywords: e-learning, language learning, technical writing, VLE

1. Introduction: The nature of e-learning

The term e-learning, which nowadays is frequently used synonymously with online learning, became popular in 2002 (Littlejohn and Pegler 2007: 16). Previously, learning and teaching supported by computers and the Internet were described in various ways. The following terms and acronyms were the most popular: Computer-Based Learning (CBL), Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL), Computer-Assisted Instruction/Computer-Aided Instruction (CAI), Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and...

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