LLAS News Blog

News articles of interest to higher education LLAS subject fields.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Enquiry-based learning in languages

On Friday 26th September, I attended a one-day conference on Enquiry-based learning in languages, organised by colleagues from the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester, with support from LLAS and the Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-Based Learning (CEEBL). Attended by over 60 people it was a truly excellent event that featured a wide range of interesting presentations. Topics addressed included the autonomy of the learner, e-learning, and employability, demonstrating how EBL taps into many key areas of interest for the teaching community. Many of the presentations described EBL projects being undertaken in languages departments across the land, which stood as inspiring models for future work.

The event ended with a lively roundtable discussion involving all the delegates, the aim of which was to determine where we should now go with EBL and what issues should be addressed. While there still lacks a consensus about a definition, delegates agreed that EBL focuses essentially on the process of learning through enquiry rather than the end product. Other discussions revealed that further work is needed in the theorisation of EBL, and models of good practice would be valued. What this event ultimately demonstrated was the significant interest in EBL as a teaching methodology for language, and enthusiasm for more work to be done in this area. LLAS will be looking into this over the coming academic year, so watch this space!

PowerPoint presentations from the day plus a full event report will soon be available here.

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