Teaching EAPP To Students Of Communication Disorders: Blended Approach Through Moodle Virtual Learning Environment
Concerns are expressed worldwide about the rising prevalence of children and adults with communication disorders. The Department of Communication Disorders at Tel Aviv University (TAU) in collaboration with Tel Hashomer Hospital offers graduate study programs in this field. The primary goals are to prepare professionals for providing competent service and to advance research in academic and clinical settings. In Israel, a multicultural and multilingual country, English represents a third language for the majority of its population. Hence, special attention is attributed to developing students’ academic English language skills necessary fortheir university studies as well as professional activities and research.The Division of Foreign Languages at TAU offersblended courses in English for Academic and Professional Purposes (EAPP) based on a Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE). ThisVirtual Learning Environment (VLE)provides a setting in which educators and learners create a teaching and learning environment best suited to their needs.This presentation aims at sharing the experience of designing and teaching an Advanced EAPP course to students of Communication Disorders. According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, (CEFR), the course corresponds to the Independent User B2 level. Students are exposed to a wide body of theoretical and research literature in theirfield.English is taught from a broad medicine and health care viewpoint, enhancing language application through the development and integration of academic reading, listening, writing and speaking.The perception of Blended Learning has evolved to incorporate not only the integration of traditional face-to-face classroom teaching and learning with web-supported elements, but also a shift towards student-directed learning, adaptation of personalized student learning styles, student peer-to-peer collaboration as well as the integration of different pedagogical approaches. Flexible blending approach through Moodle allows for the appropriate balance of blending, contributes to the promotion of students’ interests, facilitates interaction between educators and students, enhances participation in online and in-class activities and positively impacts onlearning outcomes.
Key words: Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE), English for Academic and Professional Purposes (EAPP), Communication Disorders, blended approach, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)