Abstract: The paper presents the follow-up of a case study investigation with students of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) on a tertiary level (1st and 4th year students), consisting of collaborative learner-teacher activities, including concept mapping and content-based learning. The results of our project in progress are considered for an optimal adaptation of an ESP textbook which is intended for students in several areas related to the Life Sciences (Agriculture, Biotechnologies, Biology, Genetic Engineering, Horticulture, etc.). The framework of the course support we propose, as well as our methodology and tool kit are provided by ecolinguistics and the aim is achieving ecological learning and meaningful communication in the language class and beyond. The object of this exploratory study is to highlight the potential of collaborative learning environments, to enable students to employ conceptual mapping and find relations between significant concepts in the Life Sciences. The feedback was collected from ESP learners as materials were collaboratively selected and designed together with students, based on the construction of conceptual maps. The question raised in our preliminary study draws on a review of the literature pertinent to meaningful conceptual learning. Some of the key concepts addressed in the ecologically-designed English courses are analysed, focusing on feedback from the students and constantly adapting our findings to better serve their needs.
Keywords: ESP (English for Specific Purposes), meaningful learning, quality, conceptual mapping, Content-based instruction
Recieved: 10.04.2019 Accepted: 21.06.2019 UDC: 159.953.5