Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Project-based Learning at Ton Duc Thang University: A Case Study of Its Implementation and Challenges Facing Students

Nguyen Huu Ngoc Nguyen, Ton Duc Thang university (Viet Nam)


This qualitative case study was conducted to (1) explore how PBL is implemented in English courses at TDTU, a public university in Vietnam and (2) investigate some difficulties facing first-year non-English students during the execution of PBL in groups. There were two intact classes of 62 students and two English teachers participating in the study. To achieve the research objectives, three main instruments were employed which are eight in-class observations, four students’ focus groups and semi-structured interviews with two teachers. The data collection began with a series of observations in the two classes to look into the current practice of PBL at the chosen research site. Then students’ focus group interviews and interviews with teachers were administered one after another to discover certain difficulties that the students encountered during their PBL implementation. The study found out that there was a close match between the steps of PBL at TDTU and those advocated by Korkmaz & Kaptan (2000). During the six-step procedure of PBL, the teachers and students had various activities to prepare for the project products. In addition, it was revealed that the students met five main difficulties during PBL stages, namely the lack of PBL experience, group work, presentation delivery, deficiency in English competence and failure in receiving timely support from the teachers. These findings made a humble contribution to the pedagogical implications for teachers as well as further research on the same field.


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