Project-Based Learning in the Target Language Making language learning real, relevant, right now PBL, PBLL, Spanish, foreign language, world language, projects, units, lessons, class UA-59956679-1

PBL Projects

This is a list of PBL projects I have attempted in my Spanish 1, 2, and 3 classes. I have included links to posts related to each project (where available) and evaluated the success of each project.

For more information on  Project-Based Learning in the Target Language,
check out the PBL FAQ page.


What do visitors to our community need to know to enjoy their stay?
Audience: Sister Cities guests
Why students care: other teenagers are actually coming
Success level: 10
What the project needs: a system to share the end product


How can I change one habit to improve my life?
Audience: teammates (support group)
Why students care: personal investment and rewards
Success level: 10
What the project needs: an outside audience and clear final product goal, more attention to interculturality
 
Why should people watch telenovelas?
Audience: language learners
Why students care: brain candy, eye candy, authentic culture, absurd acting and storylines
Success level: 9
What the project needs: a more purposeful final product goal
How can we work with local animal shelters to promote animal welfare?
Audience: local pet owners
Why students care: animals, choice
Success level: 9
What the project needs: an audience that specifically speaks Spanish, perhaps at local tianguis.
How can we present highlights of a country’s history in a 10-minute skit for a language competition?

Audience: language competition judges
Why students care: competition, choice
Success level: 9
What the project needs: more scaffolding for research and script revising in the TL

How can we help children at a struggling rural school in Colombia?

Audience: Colombian school children, charity organizers
Why students care: sympathy for children, curiosity about their lives
Success level: 8
What the project needs: more focused final goal and incorporation of communication into the final product

How can we create a picture book that teaches children to accept others’ differences?

Audience: elementary ESL class/library
Why students care: interaction with children, exercise creativity
Success level: 8
What the project needs: scheduled story time with actual Spanish-speaking children, more focus on story development scaffolding in TL 

How can you market a product you’ve invented to a Spanish-speaking audience?

Audience: representatives of local Latino community
Why students care: marketable skill/product, exercise creativity
Success level: 8
What the project needs: actual representatives from the community were hard to bring in, but the products and presentations turned out well

What are some recipes children can make themselves?

Audience: elementary ESL class
Why students care: interaction with children, field trip, eating
Success level: 8
What the project needs: to focus on simpler recipes, perhaps more culturally oriented, not requiring heating, if possible, more practice interacting with children

How do you respond to a medical emergency if the people around you speak only Spanish?

Audience: English-speaking EMTs, Spanish-speaking patients
Why students care: marketable skill/product
Success level: 7
What the project needs: a more flexible app interface and means of testing the final product with audience as well as more defined requirements

How can I convince my friends to study abroad with me?

Audience: classmates
Why students care: college goals + friends
Success level: 7
What the project needs: a more relevant audience and more defined requirements

How can you get kids in another country to participate in a fan club devoted to what you’re most passionate about?

Audience: English class in Argentina
Why students care: kids their age, choice
Success level: 7
What the project needs: more defined requirements and more opportunities for presentation

How can we inspire children to read in Spanish?
Audience: local elementary Spanish classes
Why students care: interaction with children, creative expression
Success level: 7
What the project needs: more engagement with the Spanish classes throughout, more book options

 

What are some fun games or crafts from Spanish-speaking countries that you could teach children?

Audience: Local Latino families/elementary ESL classes
Why students care: choice, interaction with children
Success level: 7
What the project needs: more scaffolding for research and presentation strategies

How can we save the world one material at a time?

Audience: school/local/online community
Why students care: choice, connections with other classes
Success level: 7
What the project needs: more specific–OUTSIDE–audience, more follow-up and connections IN other classes

How can we convince middle schoolers who speak Spanish to come to our school?

Audience: middle school ESL students
Why students care: school pride, marketable skill/product
Success level: 7
What the project needs: more defined requirements and opportunities to address audience directly

Is the person who other people see the person who you really are?

Audience: classmates
Why students care: self exploration, music
Success level: 6
What the project needs: a more significant audience and product goals, clearer connections between texts and self

Should narcocorridos be banned in Mexico?

Audience: students’ choose
Why students care: hot-button topic, music
Success level: 6
What the project needs: a predetermined audience and medium for presentation

 

4 Comments

Yun He · November 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

I love the ideas of your project! Thank you for sharing.

Rosemarie Leite · February 23, 2017 at 7:41 pm

I love the ideas you posted! Do you have a printable list you might want to share? I'm new to google formats and PBL.
Gracias,
Sra. Leite
rosemarie.leite@boone.kyschools.us

Theresa Baginski · March 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Thank you for sharing your projects. Do you have any workshops planned in the future on getting started with PBL in the language classroom?

Laura Sexton · March 23, 2018 at 12:10 am

Good question! Nothing is lined up right now, but I'd love to visit! We're also looking into setting up a PBLL conference for Summer 2019!