Today, a group of secondary school teachers have questioned the fact that elementary students cannot learn proper English grammar through project working in the ESL class.
I have been teaching English for 25 years, using project working to improve oral and written communication, and I never had a problem with fixing grammar or verb tenses.
I always carefully plan, manage and assess while allowing some degree of students voice and choice. And what’s more interesting, doing PBL I help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products and presentations in ESL.
Why do I use Project Based Learning in TESL?
- is intended to teach significant content. Goals for student learning are explicitly derived from content standards and key concepts at the heart of academic disciplines.
- requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. To answer a Driving Question and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use higher-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team.
- requires inquiry as part of the process of learning and creating something new. Students ask questions, search for answers, and arrive at conclusions, leading them to construct something new: an idea, an interpretation, or a product.
- is organized around an open-ended Driving Question. This focuses students’ work and deepens their learning by framing important issues, debates, challenges or problems.
- creates a need to know essential content and skills. A typical unit with a “project” add-on begins by presenting students with knowledge and concepts and then, once gained, giving students the opportunity to apply them. Project Based Learning begins with the vision of an end product or presentation.
- allows some degree of student voice and choice. The opportunity to make choices, and to express their learning in their own voice, also helps to increase students’ educational engagement.
- includes processes for revision and reflection.
- involves a public audience. Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher – in person or online.
Adapted from http://www.bie.org/about/
Just two examples:
More on PBL:
To create checklists or rubrics for PBL http://pblchecklist.4teachers.org/index.shtml