A Problem-Based Learning Approach to Integrating Foreign Language Into Engineering

Authors

  • David O. Neville,

    1. Utah State University
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      David O. Neville (PhD, Washington University in St. Louis) is Instructional Designer at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

  • David W. Britt

    1. Utah State University
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      David W. Britt (PhD, University of Utah) is Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.


Abstract

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional methodology placing primary emphasis on students solving realistic problems in a team-oriented environment. Here we discuss using PBL to integrate a language for specific purposes (LSP) track into an undergraduate biological engineering curriculum as a way to prepare students for an engineering career requiring job-specific foreign language skills. In Part I we review PBL theory and anticipate problems that may arise when merging it with an LSP track. In Part II we detail the development of a PBL/LSP module, including module performance objectives and assessment instruments. Areas of potential future research also are highlighted.

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