British Journal of Education (BJE)

EA Journals


Developing Dual Language Skills and Intercultural Communication Strategies in a Bilingual Learning Environment: Investigating a Project Based Learning Programme (Published)

This study investigated a project-based learning approach and explored developing bilingual language skills and enhanced intercultural communication within an existing Bilingual Learning Community. The study mainly looked at the increased importance of bilingualism and intercultural understanding needed to be successful in a global society. It investigated the effectiveness of using Project-based learning to promote these essential skills and competencies. The research used a mixed methods approach that integrated qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods. The study took place in an international school setting in China within a bilingual learning community using English and Chinese, project-based learning, and STEM activities to enhance language proficiency and intercultural understanding. The qualitative component of the study involved interviews with various teachers involved in the Bilingual Learning Community study, and the specific students in the classes were analysed regarding their understanding of intercultural communication. Questionnaires gathered information about the teacher’s and student’s knowledge of the concepts. Observations and comprehensive notes were utilised, and natural interactions with students were encouraged so they could be observed under normal circumstances. The quantitative phase employed pre-and post-tests to measure the students’ language proficiency and focused explicitly on developing cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) skills. These tests also measured the student’s intercultural learning and competencies. The data collected was analysed using statistical methods. These statistical methods determined the effectiveness of Project-based Learning as a pedagogy to promote bilingual language acquisition and develop intercultural understanding and communication. The findings of this study contributed to the existing body of knowledge on bilingual learning communities, intercultural understanding, and Project-based learning. The study also significantly contributed to the theoretical scientific knowledge by creating a detailed framework with descriptors that related to bilingual language development for students and intercultural communication competence that other scholars could develop further. It was also expected to contribute significantly to applied scientific knowledge. It provided practical information about the students’ language skills, communicative behaviours, and difficulties when dealing with problems and will be helpful for teachers in China and abroad.

Keywords: Learning, Project, Teaching, bilingualism, interculturalism

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