Teacher and Student Evaluations of Project-Based Instruction

  • Gulbahar Beckett

Abstract

Project-based instruction has gained some popularity in general education and in second-language (L2) education. However, a review of the literature shows discrepancies between teachers' and students' evaluations of this activity. For example, general education teachers and students find that project-based instruction creates opportunities for in-depth learning of subject-matter content, which fosters student independence and problem-solving skills. However, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers' and students' evaluations show mixed results. Although some anecdotal reports and one systematic research study show ESL teachers endorsing project-based instruction because it provides opportunities for comprehensible output and integrated language teaching, there is evidence that ESL students and at least one ESL teacher are frustrated by this form of instruction. These students felt that project-based instruction prevented them from learning from the teacher and textbooks and from focusing on language skills. The ESL teacher felt a loss of student respect and noted a drop in student attendance. These discrepancies are discussed from philosophical, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Recommendations for research and pedagogy are proposed. For example, it is suggested that a framework be developed to aid ESL teachers in assisting their multicultural students to understand the benefits of project-based instruction in L2 learning.
Published
2002-06-26
How to Cite
Beckett, G. (2002). Teacher and Student Evaluations of Project-Based Instruction. TESL Canada Journal, 19(2), 52-66. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v19i2.929
Section
Articles