Enhancing the student experience through project-based learning by Jessica Florent and David Leach

Jessica Florent and David Leach, teachers at the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE), have recently been published in the Cambridge Research Notes journal. Research Notes is a quarterly publication that explores research, test development and validation within Cambridge Assessment English.

Issue 74 of Research Notes presents six papers from the 2018 English Australia/Cambridge Assessment English Action Research in ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) Program. Florent and Leach's paper, Enhancing the student experience through project-based learning, explores whether using English for meaningful purposes in authentic settings would enhance their students’ learning. We see how, after taking part in a fundraising project, ICTE students reported positive gains in confidence, communication skills, and intercultural engagement.

Enhancing the student experience through project-based learning

Jessica Florent and David Leach

"As teachers, we have a strong desire to see our students fully engaged in language learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. However, students can have difficulty accessing opportunities to use English in meaningful ways in the latter. Our action research (AR) sought to enhance the student experience beyond the classroom by offering an ‘out-of-class learning project’ (Reinders and Benson 2017). We designed and facilitated an extra-curricular project in which a small group of students from the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) program volunteered to manage a fundraising event for the Cancer Council of Queensland.

Our AR was carried out at the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education (ICTE), the English language centre at The University of Queensland"

Read more: bit.ly/2jYVMwL


Jessica has worked as a TESOL language teacher for over 20 years. Jessica’s current special interest is in Action Research and she has just been accepted to work with Anne Burns on the English Australia Action Research Program 2018. This will give her the opportunity to carry out research to better inform her knowledge of project-based learning and the student experience.

David has worked as a TESOL teacher for over 30 years. David has recently been accepted as a participant on the English Australia Action Research Program 2018. This will provide him with the opportunity to pursue his interest in project-based learning and the student experience.

Last updated:
5 September 2019