Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd MEC TESOL Conference  2020                           Pp 49-63

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Teaching International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Writing and
Exam Strategies Online to Develop Omani Students’ Writing Proficiency

                                            Radhika Narayanan(Corrsepondent author)
Centre for Academic Writing
Middle East College, Muscat, Oman

Priya Mathew
Centre for Academic Writing
Middle East College, Muscat, Oman



The restrictions imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic have forced educators and students worldwide to adapt to online learning. Language teaching in L2 contexts also had to shift to the online mode without compromising the quality of teaching and learning.  This paper examines the perceptions as well as the performance of the participants involved in the online International English Language Testing System (IELTS) course offered by Middle East College, Muscat, Oman via MS Teams, an online teaching platform. Most IELTS courses offered online focus on the improvement of exam techniques; however, the developers of this course designed a syllabus based on a needs analysis to cater to the specific needs of the candidates, which would not only improve their test-taking strategies but also develop their writing skills. Adopting the Test, Teach, Re-test method, a diagnostic test was conducted initially, followed by teaching interventions and post-tests.  Interviews with teachers, feedback from students, a comparison of diagnostic test scores with exit level scores, and the use of corpus linguistic methods to examine lexicogrammatical features were carried out to determine the effectiveness of the online course. The results indicated that those students who were not motivated performed poorly, whereas the high achievers were those who engaged in self-study and were, to some extent, autonomous learners. This paper contributes to our understanding of the effectiveness of short-term online language classes for Omani learners as well as provides some recommendations for improving the design and delivery of such courses.
Keywords: academic IELTS, effectiveness, L2 contexts, motivation, Omani students, online learning, writing skills.

Cite as: Narayanan, R., &  Mathew, P.  (2020). Teaching International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Writing and Exam Strategies Online to Develop Omani Students’ Writing Proficiency.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd  MEC TESOL Conference 22020. 49-63.


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Dr. Radhika Narayanan currently works at the Centre for Academic Writing, Middle
East College, Muscat, Oman. She has a Cambridge DELTA as well as a Doctorate Degree in
English Literature. Her major fields of interest are Content and Language Integrated Learning
(CLIL), and teaching exam courses like the IELTS.

Dr. Priya Mathew is the Head of Centre for Academic Writing, Middle East College, Oman. She
holds a Doctorate Degree in Linguistics from CU University, UK. Priya does research in Language
Education, Teaching Methods, Educational Assessment, and disciplinary writing using the
methods of Corpus Linguistics. Her current project is ‘Omani Corpus of Academic Writing’.