Part 1: Project-Based Learning, Session 4

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Lecture Guide for Session 4
[MS Word]


Session 4, RealPlayer
[RealPlayer is available for free for Windows and Mac from Real.]

Session 4 – January 20, 2006

Project Demonstration

Leslie Opp-Beckman, University of Oregon
Linguistics Department, American English Institute
Email: or use the Contact web page.

Cindy Kieffer, University of Oregon
Linguistics Department, American English Institute
Email: or use Contact web page.

About the Speakers

Leslie Opp-Beckman is a Senior Instructor in the MA Language Teaching Specialization program for the Linguistics Department at the University of Oregon. She also develops online training, teaches courses, and acts as Technology Coordinator for the American English Institute.

Cynthia Kieffer is the Director of Academic Programs and Research at the American English Institute, University of Oregon. She has many years of experience teaching in classrooms with students of all ages, as well as ongoing administrative experience as a supervisor and trainer for English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) educators.


This is the fourth session in 2005-06 in the 10-part professional development series for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) educators in Thailand. University of Oregon is partnering with the US Embassy in Bangkok, the Royal Thai Distance Learning Foundation, the Ministry of Education, colleagues at Chulalongkorn University, and at ThaiTESOL on this innovative and exciting project.

Discussion Questions

Read the Fredricka Stoller article from FORUM: Project Work: A Means to Promote Language Content (also listed below). These discussion questions are based on that article.

  1. What are some reasons (rationale) for using project-based learning in language classes?
  2. What are some important characteristics of project work?
  3. Summarize the 10 steps that she gives. In what ways are these steps similar to those we are using in this videoconference series?
  4. Step #10 gives some general suggestions for final evaluation of the project. What specific kinds of evaluation have we discussed as part of this videoconference series? (Hint: Review formative vs. summative evaluation from Session 3.)

Online Resources

Following are some recommended pedagogical and practical resources for this topic.

  1. Previously recommended:
    Implementing Project-Based Instruction, from NW Regional Education Lab (NWREL).
    There is no one correct way to implement a project, but this site offers some things to consider when designing effective projects. You can acquire this set of articles at no cost from NWREL (text-only and PDF formats), or as a PDF from this UO-Thai site.
  2. New: Project Work: A Means to Promote Language Content from FORUM.
    A 10-step model for integrating project work in language classes, by Fredricka L. Stoller.

Post-Lecture Classroom Applications

You have chosen and have been working on development of one of the following three project types to try in your class(es) plus a topic or theme .

  • Reports: e.g. in notebook or folder format.
  • Displays: e.g. in bulletin board, poster, or photographic format.
  • Dramatization (performance): e.g. in the form of a skit, play, or interpretive music.

You have now created goals, a checklist, and one or more evaluation strategies for the project.

The following is a suggested follow up activity (or “homework”) in preparation for the next session.

Step 1

Based on the information from this session (see Lecture Guide), make any changes that you feel are necessary to your project goals, student or teacher checklist, and evaluation items.

Step 2

Bring this information to the next session.