IMPLEMENTING DESIGN THINKING AND PEER INSTRUCTION IN ONLINE ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES COURSES

Zuzana Sándorová, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia;

Abstract: Design Thinking (DT) and Peer Instruction (PI) are apparently distinct and innovative teaching methods that share several commonalities. Both are based on students´ active participation and communication. As such they have become recommended teaching methods in foreign language education as well. Since online learning has not only created new opportunities but also highlighted previously unidentified barriers to learning, the aim of the present paper is to evaluate the use of DT and PI in an online learning environment for several ‘English for Specific Purposes’ language lessons at ‘Constantine the Philosopher University’ in Nitra (Slovakia). Three research methods were applied to fulfil the required objectives: Action Research, Interviews with the Students and a Questionnaire Survey. Despite some technical issues and the students' mixed-language communication, both methods proved to be beneficial and effective, especially in terms of developing tourism undergraduates’ foreign language and team-work skills. Specifically, DT can more efficiently foster productive skills, i.e., speaking and writing, whereas PI can contribute to the improvement of receptive skills, i.e. reading and listening.

 

Keywords: Design Thinking, Peer Instruction, English for Specific Purposes, Online Learning Environment, Distance Education;

 

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