An ethnographic exploration of adopting project-based learning in teaching English for academic purposes

Yulong LI, Lixun WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Several university English teachers in Shanghai, China, have recently designed an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course that adopts the project-based learning (PBL) approach. Although there have been many studies about the adoption of PBL in EFL/ESL teaching, the integration of PBL into EAP teaching is relatively less reported, especially in the Chinese context. To fill this research gap, the present study has adopted an ethnographic approach to investigate the forms, effects, and challenges of integrating PBL into EAP teaching in the Chinese context. In particular, this paper will describe how the PBL pedagogy is integrated with the EAP course, how it helps to improve the students’ academic English, how it facilitates the students’ disciplinary knowledge learning and disciplinary identity formation, how it stimulates the students’ autonomy, and how it is instructive to their interpersonal ability and teamwork. It is hoped that the PBL EAP course developed by the EAP teachers will serve as a useful reference to English teachers around the world who wish to adopt a similar approach. There are, however, several challenges concerning the EAP teachers’ limited disciplinary knowledge and the restricted resources for conducting student-led projects, which need to be addressed carefully to ensure the success of the PBL EAP course. Copyright © 2018 Centre for Language Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-303
JournalElectronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching
Volume15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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Teaching
learning
teacher
student
Ethnographic
English for Academic Purposes
Teaching English
identity formation
teamwork
autonomy
China
Learning English
university
ability
resources
English Teachers

Citation

Li, Y., & Wang, L. (2018). An ethnographic exploration of adopting project-based learning in teaching English for academic purposes. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 15(2), 290-303.