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ERIC Number: EJ1236098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Using a Case Study in the EFL Classroom
Roell, Christine
English Teaching Forum, v57 n4 p24-33 2019
A case study is a teaching method based on the description of a real or hypothetical situation that requires a solution or action. No analysis is provided, so learners analyze the case themselves to make a decision or produce possible solutions. Case studies have been in use for several decades to train students in business, law, medicine, and other disciplines by exposing them to situations they are likely to encounter in their professional practice. Case studies are considered effective because "by presenting content in the format of a narrative accompanied by questions and activities that promote group discussion and solving of complex problems, case studies facilitate development of the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive learning; moving beyond recall of knowledge to analysis, evaluation, and application" (Bonney 2015, 21). Case studies are also useful for training learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) because to find a solution to a case study, the learners need to apply linguistic skills in combination with analytical and/ or interpersonal skills--the kind of situation that can occur in "real life," outside the classroom. Case studies, a form of task-based learning (TBL), allow teachers to implement the communicative approach: the central focus is on completing a task, and students use language as a tool to communicate their ideas instead of doing language exercises to practice a grammar point or lexical item. This article gives general guidelines for EFL teachers interested in incorporating case studies in their teaching; it also provides an example of a case study that can be used as is or as a model that teachers can adapt to their needs.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A