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Project Based Learning in Teaching English in Vocational Training: Learning by Doing

ducation has evolved and the Social Learning proposed at the beginning of the Twentieth Century by Lev Vygotsky (psycologist, 1896-1934)  is increasingly taken into account in the first two decades of the Twenty-first Century. We have to bear in mind nowadays more than in the past the importance of how people learn by experimenting, connecting with the world, interacting and using social elements such as media, social networks and active methodologies. Currently, active methodologies such as workshops, case based learning, cooperative learning or problem based learning have been introduced to students all over the Globe independently of the level they are studying 

Primary, secondary and even university degrees are perfect to teach through practical exercises and projects. Precisely, this is a form to realise how necessary is learning by doing in education as John Dewey proposed at the University of Chicago in 1938. As we all know, the main advantage of learning by doing is students experiment by themselves. Following Kolb’s experiential learning model we have to take into consideration four stages: active experimentation, concrete experience, reflective observation and abstract conceptualization. At the same time, intellectual authonomy has become essential for every student in order to learn and success in their future profession.  

 Learning English as a Foreign Language is compulsory in Vocational Training in Madrid, Spain. Students have to complete 40 hours of English in the second course, in a year in which they are looking forward going to companies to practise and start their professional career in the real world. This is the main reason to make students being involved and not to appreciate English as a limit, but an opportunity to be in contact with more professionals of their area and arise the idea of going abroad to discover how is their profession in other countries in order to keep on learning in their area. This research revises the posibility of bringing together media education, foreign language, social skills, research and the use of ICTs in Vocational Training with the aim of encouraging students to create their own contents in English.  

Palabras clave

active methodologies education learning by doing PBL TEFL

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Nerea Cuenca Orellana

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