One of the new buzzwords in education is “Active Learning.” Active Learning is based on the belief that students can enhance their curiosity and motivation through being more involvement in the learning process, rather than being passive receivers of knowledge. Like many progressive concepts in education, there can difficulty in bringing something “new” into a teaching context constrained by traditional attitudes about what learning is and what students should be able to do on their own. Project Based Learning (PBL) has long been associated with the core components necessary for Active Learning (the “three C’s” of critical thinking, collaboration and communication), yet PBL has taken longer to take hold in second and foreign language education than in other subject areas. In this workshop, participants learned about active learning, where it originated, and how to provide more opportunities for their students to become more active in, and take responsibility for, their own learning. In particular, Project-Based Language Learning (PBLL) was introduced as an example of how to envision how active learning can take place, and examples of student work from the high school and university levels in Japan were provided.
Chris Carl Hale, Ed.D is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Global Communication and Language at Akita International University, Japan and formerly the Academic Director of the Tokyo Center of the New York University (NYU) School of Professional Studies (SPS). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses related to language acquisition and teacher training in the United States and in Japan for over 20 years. He is also an avid DJ and techno music producer.