Experiential learning, also known as EXL is the learning process through experience, or “learning through reflection on doing.” It is a form of active learning, where it gives a hands-on approach to learning that moves away from the direct instruction of a teacher at the front of the room and transferring their knowledge to the student in a more involved way. Jennifer A. Moon has explained that experiential learning is most effected when it involves a “reflective learning phase”, a phase of learning resulting from the action inherent to experiential learning, and “a further phase of learning from feedback.” In order to gain knowledge from an experience, the learner must have 4 abilities:
- The learner must be willing to be actively involved in the experience,
- The learner must reflect on the experience
- The learner must possess and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience; and
- The learner must possess decision making and problem-solving skills in order to use the new ideas gained from the experience. (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).
My group has decided on teaching English to a group of people in grades K-12. Experiential learning somewhat aligns with our chosen topic because in order to fluently learn the language, one needs experience with speaking the language to other fluent speakers. Experiential learning helps with language learning as it allows the students to be more involved, in contrast to direct instruction teaching, as you may be able to learn the grammar and vocabulary of English, but if you do not physically use the language itself daily then it will be difficult to learn. With experience, learning English will become easier.
Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: a comprehensive guide. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.