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Project-based language learning: In pursuit of authentic connections

Multiple news sources early in 2017 cited a study by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) that estimated almost four in ten US jobs could be lost to automation and artificial intelligence over the next 15 years. Soon afterward, a report from the Institute for the Future, commissioned by Dell Technologies, projected that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have not yet been invented. While the economic landscape faces mind-bending changes, the education system has not fundamentally changed in more than 100 years. The disconnect between the discipline-based “industrial model” that prevails in educational institutions and the 21st-century needs of economic actors is acute, and educational consultants are sounding the alarm. The problem? Existing educational models built around the temporary mastery of bodies of knowledge, assessed using standardized testing, turn out to be very bad at helping learners retain the knowledge past testing time and apply the knowledge to produce creative solutions to real-world problems.
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