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ERIC Number: ED407838
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 55
Abstractor: N/A
Is Project Work Worth It?
Eyring, Janet Louise
A study investigated the utility of project work in university-level English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) instruction. Projects are defined as assignments that incorporate student input, with content deriving from real second language use through extensive contact with either native speakers or native texts, integrating language skills, and extending over several weeks or more. Three distinguishing features of the approach were a negotiated syllabus, extended research of a single topic, and collaborative assessment. One summer ESL course was conducted using project work, and two conventional ESL classes provided comparison groups. Data were gathered through classroom observation, researcher-student interaction, and student surveys. Results suggest that despite extensive class time devoted to student-centered, project-related activities, neither teachers nor students were fully satisfied with the experience. Anticipated group solidarity and empathy were not experienced. Female students were most responsive to the project approach. Problems of focus were observed, somewhat more in the project group than comparison groups. While the project group was more satisfied than comparison groups, goals accomplished were mostly non-academic: e.g., having a lighter workload. Appended materials include notes on methodology, student questionnaires, a course description, and support materials. Contains 49 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A