Service Learning Project in ELT: Connecting Classroom Experiences to Community
Keywords:classroom experiences, community needs, content analysis, ethnography, service learning project
Among the mandated functions of a higher education institution includes community extension. This area is also being evaluated by accrediting bodies for the upgrade of academic standards or levels. Schools have different and similar ways on how they extend community services. However, the task itself may not be a slice of cake. There are certain elements, tools, and procedures to be observed by people who would be involved in the process itself. This is where the direction of this study emanated. Its main purpose is to describe and analyze the purpose of a particular service learning endeavor and how it connects classroom to community needs. The design of this paper is qualitative in nature. Moreover, the specific approach employed was ethnography. There were five participants involved in the study and the reflections of both the researcher and participants contributed to the development of the ideas leading to insights. In the selection of the participants, purposive sampling was used. The teachers are handling purposive communication, which is a general education course at college level. Two instruments (i.e. reflective essay and field observation) were used to collect textual data. Content analysis helped the researcher analyze and synthesize the data that were transformed into conclusions or insights. In concluding the study, the researcher found out how participants practice service learning project and with their critical reflections, a new definition of service learning was put into shape.
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