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CUC2022: Otvaranje u zatvorenom svijetu - postdigitalna znanost i obrazovanje / CUC2022: Opening up in a closed world - postdigital science and education

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Experiences in online environment - comparative analysis of teaching adult learners

With the deterioration of epidemic situation in the fall of 2020, another lockdown became a matter of certainty. Following the directives of the Croatian Ministry of Health for tertiary education institutions and private language schools, almost the entire academic year 2020/2021 was conducted online, after only three weeks of live classes. The teaching staff was forced to switch to virtual classrooms mainly of their own choice, since most institutions of tertiary education only issued recommendations for teaching channels. Private foreign language schools had even more authority in organizing their work.

This paper presents a comparative analysis of advantages and challenges of online education in a case study of teachers’ and students’ experiences of teaching and learning general English and ESP in online classes via communication platforms in real time, and the use of e-mail and chat correspondence as an auxiliary tool.

The aim is to compare live and online classes in real time in terms of their effectiveness, establishing clear communication and building the teacher-student relationship. Furthermore, the authors will compare the difference in students’ attitude to online learning and their behavior in virtual classrooms with regard to their age and participation depending on the compulsory/elective status of the course. The last comparison in this analysis will address one of the most challenging aspects of online education for teachers: students’ evaluation and the question of ethical behavior in taking exams.

The qualitative method was employed, where a sample of the authors' students (20 students per each group) were interviewed on their experience and opinion of online classes. The answers are presented separately for students of tertiary education institution and the private language school.

The conclusion of this paper aims to outline the general advantages and disadvantages of online classes for adult learners based on the surveyed groups.

Antonia Treselj
University of Zagreb Faculty of Textile Technology

Antonia Treselj was born in 1981 in Split, Croatia. She graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb in 2007, majoring in English and German Language and Literature. Apart from a two year excursion in primary education, he has spent most of her professional life working with predominantly adult ESL learners in private language schools. Since late 2015, she has been working as English and German teacher at the Faculty of Textile Technology in Zagreb.

Blanka Treselj
Polyglotte Institute Ltd.

Blanka Treselj was born in 1978 in Split. She graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2002 with a double major in English Language and Literature and Comparative Literature. Having worked with various age groups at the beginning of her work as a teacher, she decided to focus on adult ESL learners early on. Since 2013, she has been a co-owner of Polyglotte Institute Ltd. foreign language school, where she is the head of English language department.

Potrebno predznanje: No prior knowledge necessary


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