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Project-based learning is an increasingly popular approach to instruction that allows students to engage in authentic learning activities based on their individual interests and motivation. For English as a Second Language (ESL) students, project-based learning typically integrates the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and encourages the use of English outside the classroom. Student projects may be collaborative or independent, and require students to use their developing language skills to negotiate, solve problems and acquire new information.

Technology Projects
Technology-based projects not only enhance language learning, but also help students improve their technical skills. One common type of project is to have students use the Internet to research a topic of interest. The results of their research can be used to construct a website, write a report or give a presentation. Technology-based projects are not limited to computers, however. Using video and audio recorders, students can create documentation of interviews, music, poetry readings, skits or plays. Recordings may be presented in class or posted to a website such as YouTube for wider viewing.

Writing Projects
Writing projects involve far more than just writing. A popular class project for ESL students is a class newsletter or newspaper. Students use verbal communication, analytical thinking and problem-solving skills while working together to choose topics and types of articles; edit and revise content; and design the layout. Other possible writing project for ESL students include letters to pen pals, political figures or celebrities. Students may also enjoy developing short stories, poetry, biographies, autobiographies or other types of creative writing, which can be bound together into a class book or published to a website.

Community Projects
English classes are a valuable way to learn the language, but eventually students will need opportunities to use their newly acquired language skills in a real-world context. Volunteering gives students a meaningful opportunity to practice their developing English language skills, as well as engage with the local community and learn about culture and language outside the classroom. Volunteer opportunities can be a one-time event or an ongoing activity, and may take place at locations such as public libraries, community and charity events, schools and soup kitchens. Possible volunteer responsibilities could include helping with neighborhood cleanups, tutoring children, preparing and serving food to the hungry, providing logistical support for fundraisers or doing clerical or translation tasks.

Presentation Projects
Presentation projects can take many forms. Often a presentation is one element of a larger project. For example, students who take on a research or community project may present information about their project to their classmates. A presentation may also be a project unto itself. For example, students may write and perform a skit or give an informative talk to an outside audience of school children or members of a club. Presentation projects can be basic and low-tech, with the students' spoken communication as the main focus, or they can involve a technical or creative component such as advanced visual aids, extensive research or costumes and other props.

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