The role of the active learning approach in teaching English as a foreign language

Heloísa Pedroso de Moraes Feltes, Luciane Alves de Oliveira


This study aimed at elucidating what the Active Learning Approach (AL) is and determining its role in the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language, proposing, therefore, some activities that follow this perspective of knowledge construction.  In order to reach the proposed objective, an extensive review of the literature was conducted. Overall, the proposed activities following AL have the potential to regain students’ interest in learning, because it is a student-centered approach and its main objective is to promote autonomy and engagement in the learning process. Moreover, the AL Approach has proved to be a powerful tool when teaching and learning English as a foreign language. This is due to its capability of promoting a more independent learning, and consequently, helping the student to develop more efficiently the abilities needed to communicate in a new language. Having that in mind, we proposed seven activities, using active learning techniques, such as portfolios, discussion in class, projects, visual-based instruction, flipping the lesson, debate as a learning activity, and think-pair-share. Such activities were designed for A2 (basic) and B1 (intermediate) learners according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.


Active Learning, Autonomy, EFL teaching.

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