Why PBL in the TL?
School is not a place apart from The Real World, and learning happens all around us all the time. It is our job as educators to construct meaningful experiences for our students to grow and work toward goals that matter to them.
Project-Based Learning is an approach to education that promotes growth, collaboration, goal setting, and personal responsibility. Combining PBL with communication-based language learning is challenging, for both teachers and students. However, with careful scaffolding that marries 21st century skills with target language input and output, PBL is a powerful motivational tool for lifelong language learning.
Who is Sra. Spanglish?
I took French and German in high school. I majored in English Education. So of course I teach Spanish now. I had this idea before I became an English teacher that I would learn Spanish to communicate with students and parents . I got passed back to my student the first time I called home because his parents couldn’t understand me, or, in his words, “Your Spanish sucks.”
I took some more classes, traveled to Mexico, started teaching Spanish, expanded my family, failed National Boards twice, got my master’s in Spanish, passed National Boards, started presenting at conferences, traveled to Peru and then Mexico some more, and here I am.
I have become especially passionate about Project-Based Language Learning (PBLL) in part because of how prevalent and relevant PBL itself has become, but also because with the expansion of PBL, language learning tends to get left behind. My goal is ultimately to demonstrate to students, teachers, and administrators alike that languages are a key piece to engaging authentically with the world around us, and that we don’t have to wait until we’re fluent to communicate.
Where do I start?
I always suggest starting with your students. I’ve been working on 7 steps you can take to create your own PBL unit for your context, and the first step is knowing yourself and knowing them–and not just who you wish you were or they were!
If you would like some help walking through the other six steps, I’ll have a workbook coming out with Teacher’s Discovery in the coming year, and I love, love, love working with districts directly to walk them through creating their first projects. Feel free to drop me a line at SraSpanglish@gmail.com to set up a one-day or two-day workshop where you are!
- Gaston Spanish teacher among state’s top language instructors
- Putting Empowerment into Practice
- VoiceThread guest post
Spanish Portfolios and VoiceThread Commenting
- CUE Blog guest post
What a Time to Teach Languages! / Qué momento para enseñar idiomas
- CASLS Intercom contributor
Motivation: Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose
- McGraw-Hill Inspired Ideas guest post
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- Secondary Spanish Space
Project-Based Learning in the World Language Classroom