Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Event-based learning, language support, immersion, learner motivation


Event-based learning (EBL) is viewed as an extension of the task-based approach, with ‘much of the task preparation done in the classroom’ and ‘some sort of main event or performance open to the public’ (Higginbotham, 2009). It is the need to prepare for the final event that ‘sparks interest in the language’ and provides ‘positive pressure’ that makes EBL tasks ‘more intrinsically motivating’ for learners. EBL also refers to ‘learning that takes place in Response to planned events in real-life contexts’ (Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority, 2018).

Immersion takes place when learners are involved in environments where they can only use a target language in a (series of) learning event(s). It usually takes place where the language is spoken as a native tongue or a lingua franca. This provides an immediate and immense need for learning. MacIntyre, Baker & Clément (2001) comment on learners’ willingness to communicate after taking part in immersion programmes.

This paper covers a less-explored area of producing event-based language learning material through the experience of developing a 21-hr preparatory language programme for a group of about 60 Hong Kong learners shortlisted for the WorldSkills Competitions 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Non-credit-bearing and unassessed, the programme featured a lot of flexibility in terms of design and delivery. The paper offers a descriptive account of how materials were produced to attain utmost interactivity, learner-centeredness and be fun-driven to ready learners for optimal immersive learning experience. Results of the Student Feedback Questionnaires show that the programme was well-received by the learners.

From background research and interviews of former competitors to drafting of the Scheme of Work and the Teaching & Learning Package and to the administration of quality assurance measures, such documentary evidence may bring new insights to curriculum developers on EBL as well as Content-based Second Language Acquisition, Content and Language Integrated Learning, and English for Special Purposes.

Source Publication

FSTE Conference 2018: Striving for Quality Education