Academic Publisher Versita Launches Open Access Book Series With Inaugural Title By Oleg Tarnopolsky

Press Release | EurekAlert! | January 23, 2013

Understanding that books continue to play a vital role as educational materials for students and practitioners, Versita is committed to bringing back the academic monograph alongside more equitable distribution of knowledge

Academic publisher Versita launches its Open Access Book Series with inaugural title by Oleg Tarnopolsky: "Constructivist Blended Learning Approach to Teaching English for Specific Purposes". This recently published monograph analyzes an innovative approach to teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in tertiary education. Dubbed as "constructivist blended learning approach" the method is based on students "constructing" for themselves their own knowledge and professional communication skills in English by making extensive use of Internet sites in English, combining traditional in-class learning with in- and out-of-class learning through the Internet (blended learning). Dr. Tarnopolsky offers a thorough analysis of the principal forms of learning activities in English for this approach.

Oleg Tarnopolsky (Doctor of Pedagogy, Fulbright Awards, 1994 and 2005) is Full Professor at Alfred Nobel University, Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) where he heads the Department of Applied Linguistics and Methods in Foreign Language Teaching. His research and publications focus on different aspects of language teaching. He is the author of more than 250 works (books, articles, textbooks) on teaching English as a foreign language published in his home country and across Europe, in Canada and in China.

The new title has already been acclaimed by fellow researchers, Prof. Jamie Schissel from the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, at Temple University, PA, among them, who recommends the book as " an excellent guide between theory and practice for ESP pedagogies". Schiessel points out at the well-organized structure of the book as well as "thorough reviews of literature and examples of classroom activities" that make the content "accessible for instructors of ESP, students preparing to teach ESP, curriculum designers, and university policymakers interested in integrating ESP into their programs". Schissel further observes that "the organization of each of the chapters allows readers to first be exposed to theories framing the chapter's theme before delving into systematically organized examples. Alternative, a reader could use the text as a reference by first selecting a sample lesson and then return to a previous part of the chapter to discover how that activity is situated in relation to learning theories or teaching methods".

The above mentioned approach is also enthusiastically received by Bridget Goodman from Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, who notes in her review of the book, that: "Tarnopolsky synthesizes theories developed over decades in the TESOL and psychology field, and shows how they apply both to the constructivist blended learning approach and to the teaching of English for Specific Purposes at the university level". Goodman, herself an avid advocate of ESP, writes: "I am familiar with ESP literature which recommends that foreign language teachers consult with specialists in their department to develop teaching materials, but Tarnopolsky is the only author I've seen who has developed full surveys of individuals in the field. He is also the first to suggest simultaneously developing students' language skills and their professional identity through a "big picture" approach to ESP curriculum development." Concluding on her review Goodman praises the author's "inimitable and readable" writing style that makes this book a truly enjoyable read.

Commenting on the Open Access Books initiative, Dr. Agata Morka, Product Manager, Books at Versita, says: "I believe that this form of publishing might change the status quo of the academic monograph, revive it and make it flourish again. Ultimately, books are written to be read and open access publishing gives authors an opportunity to reach an audience wider than the usual hermetic group of researchers. Rather than gathering dust on library shelves, Dr. Tarnopolsky's book has a chance to gather a diverse group of readers from all over the world, no matter what their economic or geographical circumstances might be."