The Project Based Learning

The Process of developing a project work

Step one:   Define a theme.

 

 In collaboration with students, identify a theme that will amplify the students' understanding of an aspect of their future work and provide relevant language practice. In the process, teachers will also build interest and commitment. By pooling information, ideas, and experiences through discussion, questioning, and negotiation , the students will achieve consensus on the task ahead .

 

Step two:  Determine the final outcome.

 

Define the final outcome of the project (e.g.: written report, brochure, debate, video etc…) and the presentation (e.g.: collective or individual) . Agree on objectives for both content and language.

 

Step three:   Structure the project.      

 

Determine the steps that the students must take to reach the final outcome and agree upon a time frame. Identify the information that they will need and the steps they must take to obtain it (e.g.: library research, letters, interviews……etc). Consider the authentic materials that students can consult to enhance the project (e.g.: advertisements from magazines, travel brochures……etc). Decide on each student's role and put them into working groups

  

Step four :     Identify language skills and strategies

 

a)  Identify the language skills (e.g.: reading, writing, speaking, listening) which students will need to gather information for their project. For example: will they have to write letters?   If so, are they familiar with the type of letter that is appropriate for their purposes?   Will they make interviews? If so, will they need class sessions devoted to the language of inquiry and related functions (e.g.:  how to ask for clarification, or for repetition?).  Should they practice the pronunciation of key words? Will they need help with intensive listening? Would role-plays help?  Do they need reading skills practice?

b)  Determine the skills and strategies that students will need to compile information that may have been gathered from several sources. For example, they may have to read each others notes, interpret visual materials (e.g.: charts and grids).   Plan activities to prepare them for these tasks.

 

Step five :  Gather  information

 

After students design instruments for data collection ( eg: questionnaires, surveys, interview questions, grids), have them gather information inside and outside the classroom, individually , in pairs, or in groups.

 

Step six :    Compile and analyze information.

 

Working in groups or as a whole class, students should compile information they have gathered, compare their findings, and decide how to organize them for efficient presentation. The teacher may assume the role of guide.

 

Step seven :   Present final product

 

Students will present the outcome of their project work as a culminating activity. The manner of presentation will largely depend on the final form of the product. It may involve the screening of a video; the staging of a debate; the submission of an article to the school newspaper or a written report; or the presentation of a brochure to a local tourist agency or hotel.

 

Step eight :   Evaluate the project

 

In this phase of project work, students and teacher reflect on:

(1) the steps taken to accomplish their objectives and

(2) the language, communicative skills, and information they have acquired in the process. They can discuss the value of their experience and its relationship to future vocational needs. They can also identify aspects of the project which  can be improved and/ or enhanced in future attempts at project work

                                                                                                                                          M.Louznadji