NOTE FOR EDITOR: Piloting A Vocational E-Course At A Uk College: 
Developing Strategies To Support Non-Native English Speaking Learners To Complete The Essay-Type Questions Of Their Assignments

Stavroula BIBILA

This paper presents a study of practice that was conducted during the piloting of a vocational (health care) e-course at the Distance Learning department of a College of Further and Higher Education in England. The purpose of the study was to establish a course of action aiming to support non-native English speaking learners to successfully complete the essay-type questions of the e-course assignments. The exploratory nature of the study means that in effect the study comprises of two distinct, yet interrelated parts, with the first one looking into how two (2) non-native English speaking learners (participants) used different e-course resources to help them compose their answers. Based on the findings, the second part examines the role of writing frameworks (in the form of email communication between the tutor and the participants) in helping the latter to compose answers that met the assessment criteria in terms of a) content (subject) accuracy, b) length and c) originality. Discussion of the findings includes implications for providing additional English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support to distance learners, suggestions for further improvements to the e-course and recommendations for further research.

KEYWORDS: Vocational Distance Education; Vocational e-learning; Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC); English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) writing skills; English for Specific Purposes (ESP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP).