SHS Web Conf.
Volume 88, 2020International Scientific Forum “Issues of Modern Linguistics and the Study of Foreign Languages in the Era of Artificial Intelligence (dedicated to World Science Day for Peace and Development)” (LLT Forum 2020)
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Conference 2 - Methodological Problems of Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages Using Computer and Network Technologies|
|Published online||24 December 2020|
Teaching ESP online during the COVID-19 pandemic: An account of Argentinian students on this teaching modality
National University of San Luis, Ejército de los Andes 950, San Luis, Argentina
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
In today’s world, the language par excellence in written and oral communication in all the spheres of commerce, business, education and science is English (Swales, 1990). Undeniably, this is the most widely chosen language for communication in academic settings among nonnative speakers who share neither a common first language nor a common culture to carry out scientific interactions such as delivering a conference or university lecture, submitting a grant proposal, or writing a paper or dissertation, presenting a conference poster, to name just a few (Seildhofer, 2006). In many countries in which English is not the native language, most universities and institutions of higher learning adopt an approach called ESP (English for Specific Purposes) for English language teaching. ESP consists of tailoring language instruction to meet the needs of learners who belong to particular disciplines or professions and studies the language appropriate to such activities. Most universities have included ESP programs as part of their syllabuses because they acknowledge the importance of helping non-native speakers of English “master the functions and linguistic conventions of texts that they need to read and write in their disciplines and professions” (Hyon, 1996, p. 698). At the National University of San Luis, since the first years of any course of study, students are exposed to different genres which are published in English. This means that their exposure to the language starts at an early stage of instruction. In general, classes are face-to-face and in a classroom that is fit to that aim. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected pandemic, instruction was forced to adopt a different course. In this paper, we attempt to give an account of how the teaching of ESP is taking place under the circumstances we are facing due to COVID-19. We have changed our methodology so as to meet the demands of the students and the university alike. We administered a questionnaire to know the perceptions and opinions of our students as regards the material, teacher performance, testing, and online modality adopted. Results suggest that the opinions are divided as regards non-face to face or face-to-face teaching modality. Although many students prefer virtuality because of the time flexibility it provides, others assert that nothing is more valuable than teacher and classmates interaction.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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