Language learning in the Digital Age: teaching presence & pedagogy in virtual EAP classrooms
The focus of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of teaching presence and pedagogy in virtual classrooms for English for academic purposes. The poor performance in academic writing of English as a second language undergraduates and the lack of innovative strategies and technology for language teaching and learning are major issues that should be addressed in language learning in higher education. The current study was conducted for thirteen weeks with 82 second-year undergraduates from General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in Sri Lanka. Switching Replication was used for the research design. There were two randomly assigned groups and three waves of measurements in the study. Community of inquiry was used for the theoretical foundation of the current study and the data were analyzed qualitatively. The findings indicate that the participants preferred in-class teaching presence and pedagogy more than the virtual presence and pedagogy for academic writing skills. Nevertheless, for some instances, such as monitoring student participation, getting clarification and pointing out lesson objectives, the participants preferred virtual teaching presence and pedagogy more than the teaching presence and pedagogy in-class. It is believed that the knowledge obtained in this study can contribute to the field of computer-assisted language learning and applied linguistics.
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