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Blended learning courses developed for students of English (Masters Programme)

As discussed in the introductory part, the great number of students and their varying schedules and circumstances have created the challenge of rethinking and redesigning many of our courses. We opted for a mixed-mode learning as on the one hand, face-to-face sessions require the pysical co-presence of teacher and students have the security of being part of a learning group. Also, they are exposed to content in a traditional environment, where they can interact naturally and are given the opportunity to develop a good rapport with their peers as well as their tutors. On the other hand, we have decided to also incorporate tasks through digital and online media which supplement in-person instruction, while they provide a different kind of challenge and opportunity, as discussed above.

We believed that by attending blended learning courses, students studying for an MA degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language would:

  • get easier access to learning and teaching materials (some of which are hardly attainable for them any other way);

  • gain a more profound understanding of the subject matter, as their learning experiences would be both supported by home-reading, essays and projects completed at their own pace as well as by getting expert assistance with difficult concepts within the frame of face-to-face sessions;

  • be encouraged to develop autonomous learning strategies as well as cooperation;

  • get the opportunity to contribute to the class by expressing their personal views and original insights in a stress-free and relaxed context;

  • be encouraged to reflect on their own learning experiences on a regular basis;

  • get familiar with tasks and techniques used by a mixed-mode learning;

  • learn to construct similar tasks and apply similar techniques themselves, taking in consideration their own teaching contexts and their learners' needs and wants.


The courses developed in a blended learning mode and presented below are the following: Narratives in TEFL, Issues in Language Pedagogy, and Teaching Culture. All three courses run for students who study for a Masters degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

The three courses are developed in a blended learning mode for correspondence students. In the correspondence program a number of 12 weeks is alloted to each course, and the regular number of face-to-face sessions is regularly five occasions per semester. Within the blended learning framework we planned three face-to-face sessions and regular online taks to be completed by a certain date, as negotiated by the course tutor and the students participating in the course. It is to be noted, however, that online tasks will not necessarily be assigned on a weekly basis, since this would not always allow the time for students to get a deeper understanding of the readings or to develop teaching materials and to experiment with them in their own teaching contexts. Rather than asking for too much in too little time (which tends to be a defining feature of our education system), we aim to nurture sudents' higher order thinking skills and creativity, and most importantly we want them to integrate the knowledge acquired during the course into their daily practice.

In what follows, this document will

  • present a potential syllabus for each course;

  • present course materials and describe and analyze the tasks and techniques used in the course, with particular focus on incorporating online tasks;

  • reflect on the benefits, potential disadvantages and on the special challenges presented by blended learning in the contex of each course.