A model for implementing problem-based language learning: Experiences from a seven-year journey

Saleh Al-Busaidi, Tariq Yusuf, Hayo Reinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it aims to identify the challenges and barriers experienced in implementing problem-based Learning (PBL) in a language program at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. Second, it proposes a working model for integrating PBL into an existing program. The research was conducted using a case study approach underpinned by design-based research principles. The proposed model came as a result of tracing the development of the program over a period of seven years with a total of 14 instructors and 2800 students. The model consists of a number of elements which include the use of hybridizing courses, the careful scaffolding of teachers and students, and the development of a PBL culture of collaboration and interdependence. Each of these elements is described from a process perspective, detailing how we attempted to implement them and how they reacted to challenges along the way. Even though the model was designed for a specific language learning and teaching context, it can be adapted to suit local needs. The model is unique in that it creatively integrates the relevant PBL and linguistic aspects that are often missing in PBL designs but are essential for a successful implementation. The skills training and the scaffolding that the model proposes can offer one means of working around rigid institutional and curricula requirements that often face PBL adoption. It is hoped that the model may support future implementations of successful PBL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • English language teaching
  • Hybridization
  • Oman
  • Problem-based learning
  • Scaffolding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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