Project-Based Learning for World Languages


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PBL for WL is not done in quite the same as it is done in other subject areas, but it is nevertheless, a phenomonal opportunity to give students more access to their own interests in conncection with the languguages and cultures we bring to our students!

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Project-Based Learning for World Languages

  1. 1. Project-based Learning for World Languages or “I am totally #freakedin !” Don Doehla IWLA Conference October 2013
  2. 2. Presented by Don Doehla, MA, NBCT French Teacher, WL Department Chair Vintage High School, Napa, CA Co-Director, East Bay WL Project UC Berkeley Language Center (CWLP) WL Community Forum Moderator @Edutopia #langchat team moderator on Twitter @dr_dmd on Twitter Greetings !
  3. 3. •     Visit  my  wiki     h+p://pbl-­‐   •     Join  my  group  on              Group  code  #h35300   •   Visit  the  WL  Community  Forum  @Edutopia   h+p://­‐languages   •   Come  to  EB  World  Workshops  at                      UC  Berkeley’s  Language  Center:   h+p://   •   Come  to  CWLP/CLTA  Summer  Seminar                  @UCSB  –  July  2014   Where do I find all the information presented at this workshop?
  4. 4.
  5. 5. What are the characteristics of an ideal 21st graduate? What should(s) he know and be able to do? What do you think? infographic from:
  6. 6. Communication Collaboration Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Creativity/Innovation Information Literacy Media Literacy Technology Literacy Flexibility/Adaptability Initiative/Self Direction Social/Cross-cultural skills Productivity/Accountability Leadership/Responsibility 21st Century Skills
  7. 7. ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map
  8. 8. 21st Century Learning Infographic from
  9. 9. What is the role of the teacher in a 21st Century Classroom? Infographic by Andrew Churches at http://
  10. 10. The 8 Elements of PBL Infographic from
  11. 11. •  What is the significant content of the World Language courses we teach? •  How do we decide what it is we will teach our students? •  Do we just decide based on our textbooks? Who decided what to put in the books? •  Do we decide based on the things our teachers taught us? If so, how did they decide? Significant Content ?
  12. 12. What must students know and be able to do in WL?
  13. 13. •  ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines •  ACTFL National Standards •  ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map •  P21 Documents •  Common European Framework •  Common Core State Standards •  ISTE Standards Significant Content: Our Documents
  14. 14. Communication: interpersonal, interpretive, presentational - oral and written Control: vocabulary, syntax, structures, grammar Concepts: how language works, its purposes, its nature... Linguistic Content
  15. 15. Contexts for communication Control: the information needed to understand the cultural contexts... Concepts: how people relate to one another in various cross-cultural settings and why... Cultural Content
  16. 16. The PBL model allows much room for the incorporation of language and culture! •  language-based outcomes shaped by the need to know •  the target culture at the heart of the project •  students learn the target language in connection with the cultures of the people who speak it •  vocabulary and linguistic structures acquired as students listen and read in the target language while doing research •  students practice speaking and writing while interacting with peers, the teacher and others •  it is especially useful to pair classes with others in the target culture Significant Content
  17. 17. Since we live in the 21st Century this makes sense, doesn't it? •  Students use technology: •  to do research •  to demonstrate what they have learned •  Technology is a great support to learning: it is fun! •  Let kids be as creative as they want, but the standards are based on linguistic proficiencies and cross-cultural competencies, not technological skills! 21st Century Skills
  18. 18. AKA the Four C’s: •  Critical Thinking •  Communication •  Collaboration •  Creativity PBL offers a great opportunity to provide students a context to grow in these skills Essential 21st Century Skills Infographic from Innovation Advancing Education
  19. 19. These questions need to be crafted carefully ! •  Open ended •  Give direction for inquiry •  Cultural questions about deeper cultural viewpoints and values are often great! •  For example: what do "target culture" individuals/people groups believe is important about _____ ? •  ”What do French-speaking Canadians believe about their own distinct cultural identity within Canada? How are their values expressed in their literature, their institutions, and the ways they express their identity to each other and to the rest of Canada? What means do they use to express these distinctives?” A driving question
  20. 20. This naturally flows out of the driving question if crafted correctly •  Students need a sense of where they are going with their inquiry •  They need coaching to look for good sources, and to manage their time and work. •  The teacher's role: coach, guide, reflective questioner •  It is a challenge to remain in the target language •  I keep favorite links on a class wiki: on-line dictionaries, language tools and videos A need to know
  21. 21. I like to give students the opportunity to choose the platforms they want to use to demonstrate their learning •  a video •  a slide show •  a wiki or website •  Students must demonstrate both written and spoken language in response to their research. •  “Choice within a framework” Student voice and choice
  22. 22. One of the most important outcomes of the PBL model. Working together, students learn: •  how to solve problems •  where to look for good information •  how to distinguish good information from bad •  how to confirm hypothesis before coming to conclusions •  how to test those conclusions •  and more •  It is a big help to pair a class with another one in the target language culture - it adds another dimension to learning which is of inestimable value In-Depth Inquiry
  23. 23. Students need help to develop critical thinking and the ability to offer constructive criticism for improvement of their group's project •  They will need a protocol for scaffolding their discussions, such as Critical Friends (I like, I wonder, Next steps…) •  Teach students how to offer critique - it is not intuitive •  Provide sentence starters in the target language to help them stay in L2 as much as possible Feedback and Revision
  24. 24. For the PBL model to be complete, students must actually produce something that can be viewed and understood by an audience •  We have access L2 communities nearby or online •  Include parents! •  When parents do not speak the L2, students provide an outline so parents can follow the presentation in L1 •  Parents and community members offer feedback and comments for the students. •  This approach has been well received A Publically Presented Product
  25. 25. What is PBL?
  26. 26. •  What we know… •  What we need to know… Know / Need to Know
  27. 27. PBL-WL Template
  28. 28. •  Les Pirates (novice low) •  Family Album (novice mid) •  La cuisine de... (novice mid/high) •  La revue de mode (novice mid/high) •  Les poèmes illustrés (intermediate low) •  Mon abécédaire québécois (intermediate low/mid) •  An American in France - movie project (intermediate mid) •  Un Guide touristique de l'Afrique francophone (intermediate high/advanced low) •  Others in time… Example PBL-Aligned Projects
  29. 29. « Les Ados innocents »
  30. 30. •  Digital storytelling •  Global PBL •  Using Technology •  Edmodo •  Wikis / websites •  Web 2.0 tools Get a free copy of the #Langchat E-book! Other examples and resources
  31. 31. Above and Beyond
  32. 32. fin