American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/education Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
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American Journal of Educational Research. 2015, 3(1), 43-48
DOI: 10.12691/education-3-1-9
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English Language Learning in a Community Setting: Creating Pathways for Civic Engagement

Melissa Lavitt1 and Diane Boothe2,

1Academic Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, USA

2Literacy, Language and Culture, Boise State University, Boise, USA

Pub. Date: January 08, 2015

Cite this paper:
Melissa Lavitt and Diane Boothe. English Language Learning in a Community Setting: Creating Pathways for Civic Engagement. American Journal of Educational Research. 2015; 3(1):43-48. doi: 10.12691/education-3-1-9

Abstract

Actively engaging community members and incorporating a problem-based learning (PBL) model in a community setting strengthens English language acquisition. This transformational learning strategy is based on three elements; achieving success in English language learning (ELL) through innovative pedagogy, creating hands-on PBL real world activities to empower students, and supporting learning by building community partnerships and fostering collaboration. Community members actively engaged in robust ELL contribute economic, societal and cultural benefits and create new avenues to inspire creativity and enthusiasm for learning. By utilizing PBL methods that empower critical thinking and incorporate real world experiences and pathways for civic engagement, ELL becomes a collaborative effort rewarded by communication with community leaders who will challenge students and strengthen learning. Implementation of this innovative PBL multi-dimensional model engages and motivates all learners, including those from underserved populations, and provides the opportunity to build relationships and connect with community members in ways that they never thought possible. Integrated technologies can also be utilized to improve ELL instruction and build workplace skills across the spectrum of community responsibilities. Examples of ways to leverage a variety of community resources and professionals to transform ELL are provided. This approach can also be expanded to myriad contexts and disciplines incorporating content across the curriculum. The pedagogical potential including meaningful research opportunities and analytics, as well as strategies for ELL educators to frame best practices focused on the diverse learning needs of the students is discussed.

Keywords:
english language learning civic engagement problem-based learning community collaboration

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