Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

A Qualitative Study on Technology-mediated TBLT for Soft Skill Development in an ESAP Course

Maria Christoforou, Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)

Eftychia Xerou, Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)


The present study reports on university students’ views about the implementation of technology-mediated Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) in their undergraduate course and how that affects their soft skill development. The qualitative study involves 11 English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) first-year students of the Fine Arts Department and implements three technology-mediated tasks: a gallery interview, increasing audience engagement with books and creating an artefact for promotional purposes, all designed by author one. The tasks are used to provide real-content, in a Fine Arts-related context, and to reinforce the development of the following skills for employability purposes: convincing, problem-solving and creativity skills, pertinent to Fine Arts future graduates. The purpose of the study is to see a) to what extent the students believe the technology-mediated tasks affect their soft skill development throughout the semester and b) which skills they believe they have developed more through the tasks. The present study uses the collection and analysis of qualitative data through two semi-structured interviews conducted in weeks 3 (beginning) and 13 (end) of the semester. Qualitative research aims to offer a more exploratory investigation of the development of the students’ soft skills and probe for more information on their perceptions of soft skills. Research findings reveal that the technology-mediated tasks positively affect the students’ soft skills to a large extent, while convincing skills are the set of skills that are more developed through the tasks. Finally, it is important to note that data analysis also illustrates that, apart from the tasks, students feel that the whole ESAP curriculum and the class oral discussions conduce to the development of their soft skills. 

Keywords: technology-mediated TBLT, soft skills, employability, transferable skills, ESAP

[1] Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based Language Teaching and Learning. Oxford University Press.
[2] González-Lloret, M. (2015). A practical guide to integrating technology into task-based language teaching. Georgetown University Press.
[3] González-Lloret, M., & Ortega, L. (Eds.). (2014). Technology-mediated TBLT: Researching technology and tasks (Vol. 6). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
[4] Tran, T. T. (2015). Is graduate employability the ‘whole-of-higher-education-issue’?. Journal of Education and Work, 28(3), 207-227.

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