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