Man, does anyone agree that we need to say it out once and for all on the Project Based Learning thing? We’ve knocked this around for years, and we all pretty much agree, and there are some qualifications to the PBL concept where they actually may have some value in terms of real acquisition, but I am liking the way Craig West just says it like it is below:
I’m doing my induction program and the current inquiry cycle is based on PBL. I’m reading the edutopia blog post about this and it’s all about students making menus in class and speaking as though they are the restaurant owner. While reading this I’m thinking that this kind of activity is probably kids looking up sentences online and copying them down, then memorizing them and repeating them back infront of the class. I don’t see how this constitutes language learning or acquisition in any way. How much class time should I really invest in this kind of project when it takes so long and steals so much needed time for Comprehensible Input? The only thing I can think of is that PBL “feels good” because it’s so cool to see all the kids collaborating and using their technology for a common purpose but honestly I see no value in this idea for language learning. What can two novice students teach each other about a language neither of them know?!