The Phenomenological Study of ESL Students in a Project-based Learning Environment

By S. Alexandra Campbell.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This action research study attempts to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the content delivery methods of the New Tech project-based learning environment especially concerning the needs of the English Language Learner. Questions that were answered by this study include: How does the project-based learning environment affect the ESL student? What are the benefits and disadvantages for English Language Learners in a project-based learning environment? And how can the learning environment be manipulated to provide the student with the means to be the most successful? The content of the class, Integrated World Studies, was an interdisciplinary combination of English and World History. The students completed projects, which introduced them to the content knowledge required for the classes and presented several advantages and disadvantages for those students who were also attempting to learn English as a Second Language. For those ELL students, the project-based learning environment gave ample opportunities for genuine talk-time with native English speakers, but also limited the amount of time dedicated to direct instruction of the content and language objectives. This research was completed in a New Tech high school in Austin, TX. All New Tech schools provide students with a laptop for home and school use. These schools also often combine two subject areas, in this case English and World History, while presenting all content knowledge with a student-centered project approach.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, English as a Second Language, Engligh Language Learners, New Tech, Integrated, Combined Content Areas, Technology

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 11, pp.139-152. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.134MB).

S. Alexandra Campbell

Graduate Student, School of Education, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX, USA

S. Alexandra Campbell is a graduate student at St. Edward’s University, working toward a Master of Arts in a Teaching degree with initial certification. Campbell’s teaching certification will be in middle and high school History, but Campbell also has an interest in serving English Language Learners and at-risk populations. Campbell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bethany College in Bethany, WV, and developed a degree through the courses offered by the college. The content of Campbell’s degree integrated History, Art and Business and was approved by a board established by the college. In addition to being a graduate student, Campbell is currently an afterschool coordinator in Del Valle ISD outside Austin, TX and enjoys providing experiential learning opportunities to students including Ballet Folklorico, theater, and intramurals. Campbell strives to make content culturally relevant and engaging for students and hopes to teach abroad in the future, specifically in Morocco.

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