Two-Part Project-based Language Learning (PBLL) workshop
Where: Hosted virtually by University of California-LA
When: 23-24 October 2020 and April 30 – May 1, 2021
What: This two-part workshop introduced the principles and practices of PBLL to participants so as to support the development of instructional materials that can be incorporated into the curricula of Southeast Asian language classes.
Part 1: October 23-24, 2020
The Southeast Asia Language Council (SEALC) and UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies (UCLA CSEAS) jointly sponsored a Heritage Language and Project-Based Learning workshop on October 23-24, 2020 with workshop trainer Professor Maria Carrera of the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) at UCLA. Due to travel restrictions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop was reconfigured into a two-part webinar series. For Part 1, an online workshop jointly sponsored by COTSEAL was held on October 23-24, 2020 with r 26 participants, representing 7 Southeast Asian languages from 13 universities and community colleges, with a majority from the Southeast Asia National Resource Centers. Fourteen of these instructors will participate in Part 2, which will be conducted as a virtual workshop in April 2021.
The main objective of Part 1 was to introduce the principles and practices of Project-Based Learning (PBL) to participants to strengthen the development of instructional materials that can be incorporated into the curricula of Southeast Asian language classes. Prior to the workshop, instructors were provided access to and were required to complete two online modules addressing issues pertinent to heritage language (HL) students and the tools of PBL. The online modules, developed by UCLA NHLRC, included thought exercises and prompt questions on 1) key concepts and pedagogical approaches in HL teaching and 2) understanding and meeting the language needs of HL learners.
The workshop then built procedural knowledge to train instructors on how to instantiate this PBL approach in the classroom for students at different levels of proficiency. Day 1 introduced PBL to participants and illustrated how it could complement HL teaching. Participants were divided into language-specific breakout rooms to brainstorm possible project themes and practice identifying driving questions. Day 2 trained participants on how to align the products that students develop with their proficiency level by using ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and other standards to gauge the linguistic difficulty of projects. Each language working group met again in breakout rooms to discuss the stages of project-based instruction and select products for a sample project and then presented to the entire workshop. Participants on both days were able to work with many Southeast Asian language instructors from other universities and share ideas and recommendations for project-based teaching.
Part 2: April 30 – May 1, 2021
Part 2 of this workshop, virtually hosted by the NHLRC at UCLA from April 30 – May 1 and solely sponsored by SEALC, applied the principles and practices of Project-Based Learning (PBL) presented in Part 1 to the development of instructional materials designed for curricula of Southeast Asian language classes. Fourteen participants representing six Southeast Asian languages attended. Prior to the workshop, instructors were provided access to two required online modules with an optional third, developed by UCLA NHLRC, to better understand differentiated instruction and how to apply PBL principles to materials for mixed classrooms. Participants were also given additional reading material on Project-Based Learning by Maria Carreira.
Day 1 allowed participants to review their understanding of HL/PBL concepts and their experiences applying this understanding in the classroom since Part 1 of the workshop. Participants were divided into language-specific breakout rooms to again brainstorm possible project themes and
practice identifying driving questions, taking advantage of the smaller group size to delve deeper into contextual scenarios. They then took the next step to consider the needs of individual learners when collecting and processing information, building off the identified themes and questions. On Day 2, participants finalized their project proposals, taking into consideration strategies for teaching mixed classes. Each language group then presented to the entire workshop, followed by reflections and closing remarks by Maria Carreira.
Dr. Erlin Barnard oversaw the development of PBL lessons in small working groups, in tandem with four selected participants who acted as language mentors. PBL lessons were developed according to a project template provided by trainer, Maria Carreira. SEALC provided additional support and peer review of the development of modules prior to posting them online to the SEALC and NHLRC websites, for use by other instructors. You can find the finalized lessons (organized by language: Filipino, Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese) in the For Educators tab on the SEALC website.