Wu, S., Fitzgerald, A., & Witten, I. H. (2014). Second language learning in the context of MOOCs. In S. Zvacek, M. T. Restivo, J. Uhomoibhi, & M. Helfert (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Volume 1 (pp. 354–359). Barcelona, Spain: SCITEPRESS. http://doi.org/10.5220/0004924703540359
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/9035
Massive Open Online Courses are becoming popular educational vehicles through which universities reach out to non-traditional audiences. Many enrolees hail from other countries and cultures, and struggle to cope with the English language in which these courses are invariably offered. Moreover, most such learners have a strong desire and motivation to extend their knowledge of academic English, particularly in the specific area addressed by the course. Online courses provide a compelling opportunity for domain-specific language learning. They supply a large corpus of interesting linguistic material relevant to a particular area, including supplementary images (slides), audio and video. We contend that this corpus can be automatically analysed, enriched, and transformed into a resource that learners can browse and query in order to extend their ability to understand the language used, and help them express themselves more fluently and eloquently in that domain. To illustrate this idea, an existing online corpus-based language learning tool (FLAX) is applied to a Coursera MOOC entitled Virology 1: How Viruses Work, offered by Columbia University.
This article has been published in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, © 2014 SCITEPRESS. Used with permission.