Integrating Language, Content, Technology, and Skills Development through Project-based Language Learning: Blending Frameworks for Successful Unit Planning

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2019-02-01
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Slater, Tammy
Associate Professor Emeritus
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Beckett, Gulbahar
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

History
The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract

In this article, the authors first summarize the literature on project-based language learning (PBLL), a sound approach to second language teaching, addressing its various benefits such as providing opportunities to develop language authentically in real-world contexts, building decision-making and problem-solving skills, and developing content knowledge. In acknowledging reports that have also suggested that students can struggle to see how language is being developed through PBLL, the authors then argue that by looking at a project as a social practice, educators can demonstrate how language, content, and 21st century skills can be taught as an integrated whole through PBLL. They describe two existing frameworks, Mohan’s (1986) knowledge framework and Beckett and Slater’s (2005) Project Framework, and illustrate how these can be combined to create unit plans that explicitly integrate language, content, skills, and technology. To illustrate the blending of the two frameworks, the authors present a unit plan that targets the content area of applying for American graduate schools. This unit plan offers eleven lessons that include teaching sequences, tasks, and learning objectives for the content, language, academic skills, and technological understandings that the unit comprises. The authors also detail how the combination of the frameworks led to the creation of the various lessons so that this process can be used as a model for creating future relevant unit plans.

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This article is published as Slater, T., Beckett, G.H. Integrating Language, Content, Technology, and Skills Development through Project-based Language Learning: Blending Frameworks for Successful Unit Planning. Mextesol Journal; 43(1).

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019
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