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ERIC Number: EJ1088759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1750-1229
Project-Based Language Learning: An Activity Theory Analysis
Gibbes, Marina; Carson, Lorna
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, v8 n2 p171-189 2014
This paper reports on an investigation of project-based language learning (PBLL) in a university language programme. Learner reflections of project work were analysed through Activity Theory, where tool-mediated activity is understood as the central unit of analysis for human interaction. Data were categorised according to the components of human activity: the subject (or actor), the object (or motive of the activity), the psychological and physical tools used to fulfil the activity, as well as the division of labour, the rules governing the activity, and the community in which the activity takes place. Language learning projects were interpreted as the outcomes that would theoretically align with the object of activity, which was different for each learner. For some subjects, the projects were seen as an effective way to reach the object of the activity, or their true motive. For others, the outcomes did not align with the object of their activity, resulting in negative experiences. Whilst evaluations of PBLL were mostly positive, the analysis revealed contradictions in the activity system, including inequitable divisions of labour, perceived lack of time due to community obligations, or opposition to the rules (e.g. target language use) governing the activity in the modules.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A