Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone is an online course dedicated to improving professional English. The length of the course is five weeks, and within that period, the different aspects of formal and professional skills of language are studied and discussed (Coursera, n.d. (a)). Each week is dedicated to a certain task: face-to-face communication, video conferences, phone talks, interviews, and presentations. The learning experience expected that the course would both contain theory and practice classes complementing each other. Nevertheless, certain aspects of the course require improvement, and therefore recommendations in these regards were developed.
Active learning is among these recommendations, as the interactive element was not present in the course. It would be adequate to add a form of practical tasks that would receive feedback from an instructor (Halim et al., 2021). Another recommendation regards the portions of the information. It would be more convenient and informative if the information was provided in smaller bits, as every week of the course contains three to four videos, which could be split into more pieces. Regarding practice, another piece of advice is related to the simulation of the situations where the skills are provided by the course. Such practice would allow us to understand how the information learned applies to real-life scenarios. The learners should be assessed before the start of their learning and at the end of it (Uppal et al., 2018). This allows to tailor the course for different levels of learners and motivates them as well. A great method to make the knowledge more comprehensive would be group discussions (Lim, 2017). They could be the situation where learners could practice as well.
Overall, the course was useful, informative, and engaging. Nevertheless, it suffers from the lack of opportunities for the learners to practice. It is helpful both for native speakers and those who are learning the language, as there is information that is not strictly related to the formalities of the language. Its area is dedicated to general skills related to different situations that a person may face, particularly at work, and does not concentrate on the language itself. Though, another course is dedicated specifically to that part of language and communication skills.
The course Take Your English Communication Skills to the Next Level is dedicated to cultural specifics of the language, accuracy, and style, as well as practice in fluency and pronunciation. The duration of the course is four weeks, and it is the same case as with the other course – each week is dedicated to a specific topic (Coursera, n.d. (b)). The recommendations for this course are different, as it, in contrast, is dedicated to practicing. As it is based on communication, implementing humor would be appropriate, as it would allow the learners to be more relaxed and comfortable during the course. Adding realistic scenarios and stories could be useful as well, as it would improve engagement during practice. Discussing the real-world benefits of the course could increase the motivation of the learners and understand the productivity of their learning. Implementing situations in the workplace is a good idea, too, as there are groups of peers who can share their experiences and help each other (Mosunova, 2018). A related recommendation would be to increase team interactions in the course.
This course seemed more practice-oriented but included theory as well. It felt very useful in terms of the results achieved from it, and it is worth taking it. Even though it meets the learning objectives, there are possibilities to enhance the course by making practice more oriented toward real-life situations. The recommendations for the course are related to improving practice which is sufficient already. The course itself is well-designed includes group sessions, and provides feedback, and the gaps that recommendations refer to are not critical. Taking this course is recommended for those who need to practice their language, especially if their work depends on their communication skills.
Coursera (n.d.(a)). Speak English Professionally: In Person, Online & On the Phone. Web.
Coursera (n.d.(b)). Take Your English Communication Skills to the Next Level. Web.
Halim, A., Mahzum, E., Yacob, M., Irwandi, I., & Halim, L. (2021). The impact of narrative feedback, e-learning modules and realistic video and the reduction of misconception. Education Sciences, 11(4), 158. Web.
Lim, F. P. (2017). An analysis of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools in e-learning. Advanced Science and Technology Letters, 143(46), 230-234. Web.
Mosunova, L. A. (2018). The formation of the information culture of students in the system of electronic education: A theoretical and experimental study. Scientific and Technical Information Processing, 45(3), 128-134. Web.
Uppal, M. A., Ali, S., & Gulliver, S. R. (2018). Factors determining e‐learning service quality. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(3), 412-426. Web.