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A road not taken: a breakthrough in English for specific purposes via problem-based learning

M. Anthony, Elizabeth and Abdul Kadir, Zulida A road not taken: a breakthrough in English for specific purposes via problem-based learning. Journal of Technical Education and Training. ISSN 1985-9732


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Problem-based learning (PBL) is purported lo empower learners by encouraging them to lake a deep approach to learning and become more confident and self-directed in their learning. This proper explores lecturer and student experiences of a first year undergraduate English for Specific Purposes (ESI) course that uses the PBL approach. The learning was grounded in genuine situations of practice in which high degree of team work and collaboration was eminent. In particular, this paper presents a PhD ethnographic case study that focuses on higher education student experiences of learning English in a PBL environment. A particular community was established in which lecturers and students interacted to negotiate and construct new understandings and develop life-long learning skills. Data on the lecturer and student experiences were gathered from classroom observations, a focus group, and student/lecturer interviews and access to student reflective journal entries. Students welcomed valued the opportunity of the new found learning territory of taking more responsibility for their learning and the freedom of function and thought. During the course, participants achieved new insight into themselves as language learners despite funding it challenging. particularly in the initial phase when they were confronted with learning in a different mode. They became very were genuinely enthused and interest in the learning process. This is seen as crucial and significant for developing the necessary competence in mastery of the English language in higher education. It is also useful in suggesting that PBL is viable as an (optional) subsequent teaching strategy in the Malaysian or similar contest.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: collaboration; English for specific purposes; group work; language development; language learning; Problem-Based Learning
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC0065 Social aspects of education
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Science and Technology > Department of Humanities
Depositing User: Normajihan Abd. Rahman
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 13:04
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2012 13:04
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/2857
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