Investigation into the effectiveness of using Problem-Based Learning in Teaching Communication Skills in English to Engineering Students

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Ngọc Lệ Phan Thị


In the trend of innovating university teaching methods in the direction of student-centered learning, the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method is being studied and applied in higher education institutions in many countries. The article proposes the application of a problem-based teaching approach to teaching English communication skills to engineering students. The study included 45 undergraduate students, 42 males and 3 female, majoring in Engineering and Technology of Fast-tracked program and enrolled in an EFL course at University of Engineering and Technology, Vietnam National University. With a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the research has shown the effect of the application of problem-based learning in teaching communication skills in English to engineering students, and shows students' positive attitude towards these activities in their learning. Besides, the research has also found out the main difficulties of students when they implemented group works to solve problems. It came to the conclusion that problem-based learning is an ideal teaching method since it enables engineering students not only to improve significantly their oral and written communication skills but also to apply the content knowledge in their major in the English language course. It is hoped that this study can provide researchers and teachers with useful implication for using English as a medium of instruction in sciences related subjects.



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