ESP for Busy College Students

Is the Blend of In-Class, Online & Mobile Learning the Answer?

  • Agnieszka Palalas


Research conducted at George Brown College in Toronto identified a significant gap between students’ language proficiency, the requirements of the program from which they were about to graduate, and the language requirements of the related workplace. Specific language and socio-cultural competencies had to be packaged into a language support solution in a delivery format matching students’ needs and their demanding schedules. Based on these needs, an adjunct language support course was designed following paradigms of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) theories of learning. The resulting hybrid English for Special Purposes (ESP) course comprised three components: in-class, online, and mobile. Traditional ESL resources were combined with in-house produced audio-video podcasts and open source content. Results demonstrated that blending in-class, online and mobile language learning is an effective solution for teaching English to adult learners, and it is a solution that enables improved flexibility and individualization of practice.