Ho Xuan Mai, Nguyen Huynh Trang


This descriptive study explores the reality of applying Project-based Learning (PBL) in the context of lower and upper secondary schools in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. It also aims to investigate the challenges English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers encounter in applying PBL in their actual language teaching classes. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were employed to collect the quantitative and qualitative data for this study. A total of 80 EFL teachers from 12 provinces of the Mekong Delta participated in the research, including 8 teachers purposively selected from the population for the interviews. The findings of the present research revealed that team PBL and classroom PBL were implemented most in EFL teachers’ teaching contexts. At the same time, whole-school PBL was seldom conducted due to its complexity in implementation. Most teachers fully carried out the step-by-step process of PBL implementation in their teaching. The results also indicated that EFL teachers face certain challenges when implementing PBL. The major challenges included challenges related to curriculum in terms of lack of time, no specific guidance and assessment criteria for PBL implementation; challenges related to students regarding their mixed abilities, differences in interests and learning styles, and lack of necessary materials and skills for doing projects; and challenges related to teachers comprising adaptation of project activities, lack of time for student support, and controlling large classes. These results provide insightful pedagogical implications for how PBL can be more feasible, applicable, and successful in Vietnamese teaching contexts.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


project-based learning, EFL teachers, reality, challenges

Full Text:



Ahmad, S. R. (2016). Importance of English communication skills. International Journal of Applied Research, 2(3), 478-480.

Aldabbus, S. (2018). Project-based learning: Implementation & challenges. International Journal of Education, Learning and Development, 6(3), 71-79.

Asma, B., & Sabrina, B. (2021). An In-depth Investigation into the Project-Based Learning in Algerian Secondary Education: Teachers’ and Learners’ Perceptions, Challenges and Difficulties. ﺚﺤﺑ ﻣ. Ichkalat J, 10(1), 579-596.

Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the future. The clearing house, 83(2), 39-43.

Bender, W. N. (2012). Project-based learning: differentiating instruction for the 21st century. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Bradley-Levine, J., Berghoff, B., Seybold, J., Sever, R., Blackwell, S., & Smiley, A. (2010, April). What teachers and administrators “need to know” about project-based learning implementation? In Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Denver, CO.

Brown, H. D. (2003). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. Pearson Education.

Cheng, R. W., Lam, S., & Chan, J. C. (2008). When high achievers and low achievers work in the same group: The roles of group heterogeneity and processes in project-based learning. British Journal Educational Psychology, 78(2), 205-222.

Cresswell, J. W., 2012. Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Dewey, J. (1959). Dewey on education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Dewi, K. A. P. (2020). Engaging EFL Students on Project-Based Learning Activities to Promote Speaking Skill. Singaraja-Bali| 5th-7th August, 2019 Volume 4, 20.

Dewi, K. A. P. (2020). An investigation of project-based learning implemented by teachers in teaching English to young learners at Bali kiddy school. Doctoral dissertation, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha.

Doyle, L., Brady, A. M., & Byrne, G. (2009). An overview of mixed methods research. Journal of research in nursing, 14(2), 175-185.

Fleming, D. S. (2000). A Teacher's Guide to Project-Based Learning. Scarecrow Education, Attn: Sales Department, 15200 NBN Way, PO Box 191, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214.

Haines, S. (1989). Projects for the EFL Classroom. Edinburgh: Nelson.

Hanardi, L. G. (2015). A project-based assessment model of English for senior high school grade X. Indonesian Journal of English Language Studies (IJELS), 1(1), 70-92.

Harris, M. J. (2014). The challenges of implementing project-based learning in middle schools (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

Johnston, T. C. (2005). Roles and responsibilities in team projects. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 2(12).

Kodriyah, L. (2017). Project-Based Learning In The Classroom For Efl Learners: Why And How?. In National Seminar Proceeding.

Krajcik, J. S., & Blumenfeld, P. C. (2006). Project-based learning (pp. 317-34). na.

Marx, R. W., Blumenfeld, P. C., Krajcik, J.S., & Soloway, E. (1997). Enacting project-based science: Challenges for practice and policy. Elementary School Journal, 97, 341-358.

Moss, D., & Van Duzer, C. (1998). Project-Based Learning for Adult English Language Learners. ERIC Digest.

Nguyen, L. V., & Nguyen, L. H. C. (2019). Implementing Project Work in Teaching English at High School: The Case of Vietnamese Teachers’ Challenges. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 7(26), 11-25.

Pallant, J. (2005). SPSS survival guide: A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS for windows (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Open University Press.

Papandreou, A. (1994). An application of the projects approach to EFL. English Teaching Forum. 32(3), p.41-42

Stoller, F. (2002). Project work: A means to promote language and content. Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice, 10, 107-119.

Stripling, B., Lovett, N., & Macko, F. L. (2000). Project-based learning: Inspiring middle school students to engage in deep and active learning (Edit in 2009). Publisher: NYC, Department of Education, 52 Chambers Streets, New York.

Thomas, J. W. (2000). A review of research on project-based learning.

Tu, T. P. N., & Thao, T. Q. (2019). The important roles of project-based learning in teaching English to high school students. Dr. Dao Xuan Phuong Trang English Teachers’ Roles and Identities in The Era of Technology from The Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives........................................ 80 Duong Thi Thuy Uyen An ICT Tool Based Teaching-Learning Model Focuses on, 279.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (ISSN 2537-1754) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).