Going beyond: The added value of Project-Based Language Learning

By Ryan Casey

@rcaseylhs

My favorite day of a thematic unit on volunteerism with my ninth graders is the day of their oral presentations. I love watching them pitch their ideas for volunteer projects (organizing a day to celebrate our custodians; cleaning up the trash on our campus) to their classmates, who are typically so impressed with each other they have a hard time voting for their favorite idea. 
 
While watching their presentations a few years ago, however, I felt something was missing. What if students actually executed these projects instead of merely envisioning them? 
 

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Featured Teacher: Ryan Casey

Our Featured Teacher series introduces world language educators from across the country. Today we are excited to feature Ryan Casey, who teaches Spanish in Lexington, MA, and he is also a former Latin teacher. According to colleagues and students who nominated him, Ryan is a teacher who never stops learning and exploring. Read our Q&A with him below. Do you know a world language educator you would like to see featured on this blog? We’d love to hear from you!

Wayside Publishing: What language do you teach? Do you speak any other languages?
Ryan Casey: I teach Spanish, although I taught Latin during my first year. I teach grades 9-12 at Lexington High School, my alma mater, in Lexington, MA. I am in my fifth year of teaching.

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