21st Century Skills: Project Based Learning in Second Languages


French Immersion, Teacher Professional Development, District-level initiative, Thompson-Okanagan Region,  2016-2017


The new BC curriculum is focused on having students engaged in doing authentic and communicative activities:
• A team of administrators and teachers went to High Tech High to observe this type of learning in action. Two French specialists were a part of this team and focused their attention to how languages were taught and supported in this model.
• The district languages coordinator, accompanied by the teacher librarians and school based language coordinators attended two sessions on 21st Century Skills, inquiry, creative and critical thinking, design theory, and projected based learning in second languages by Charity Allen with PBL.org
• Sessions offered on professional development days, district wide encouraging teachers to create projects of their own. On these days, PBL was modeled through presentation and video. The theory behind PBL was shared and discussions on mini-lessons and assessment were held. Also, teachers were provided with the opportunity to work collaboratively across various grades, schools and programs to create PBL units of their own.
• A new planning template was designed that would help guide teachers through the creative process of designing a PBL unit.
• A variety of on-line and print resources were provided.
• One-to-one mentorship with District Languages Coordinator was offered to teachers in the creation and implementation of PBL units.
• District Languages Coordinator created a website with an exemplar project for teachers to use, adapt or model after in the creation and implementation of PBL units.


1. Increased ability to ask questions and use French authentically increased awareness of places/ cultures in North America and beyond. 2. Powerful representations, increased opportunity for differentiated instruction (interviews, plays, posters, videos, visual arts) 


  • Name: Lavern Butchart 
  • Contact email: lbutchart@sd73.bc.ca
  • School district:#73 Kamloops/Thompson