IN SYNC CLIL PROJECTS INTRODUCTION Pair and group projects are effective teaching and learning tools. They are particularly important in second- and foreign-language teaching and learning. They provide opportunities for all kinds of learners to be actively engaged and involved in their learning. They provide measurable and clear evidence of what students have learned. They increase student motivation and interest. They serve as a way to consolidate and apply the skills and new language just learned. They promote team building and cooperation. They teach students negotiating skills and how to reach compromises. They enable students to learn from each other and respect each other’s ideas and knowledge. HOW TO HANDLE CLASS PROJECTS For a project to be successful, preparation is key. Before students start work on a project task, they need to be given time to explore the project topic or topics and to generate ideas. For this reason, each of the In Sync CLIL projects asks students to complete a preparatory activity to stimulate creative thinking and to generate ideas before the actual project task begins. These preparatory activities include brainstorming, pair and group discussions, and Internet research. 1 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education. PREPARATION Note: If possible, before assigning any of the suggested projects to your classes, try to consult with the relevant subject teacher on the project topics for ideas and for linking the projects to specific content subjects. For example, if the project is about the importance of English and why people from different parts of the world study English, consult with a social studies teacher on how this topic can be more closely linked to social studies, or ask for other ideas on the topic that students can research on. Brainstorming and pair/group discussions: Suggested procedure Explain the objective for the brainstorming activity. Write the objective on the board. Pair or group students. Be sure that each pair or group includes at least one strong or active student. Set a time limit. Give or elicit rules for the brainstorming activity: For example, - Do not criticize someone’s ideas. There’s no such thing as a dumb idea. - Encourage all ideas. The more ideas, the better. - Stay focused on the topic. - Listen and show interest when someone is talking. Don’t interrupt. - Do not dominate the discussion. Encourage shy members to speak up by directing questions to the shy member. Have students answer the warm-up questions that are usually provided on the project topic. Tell the group or pair to choose someone to take notes. If possible, review students’ notes before they begin the project task. Be sure students’ ideas are relevant and useful for their projects. 2 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education. Internet Research: Suggested procedure Before asking students to do Internet research for a project, make sure that they have access to computers and are able to do Internet research on their own, outside of school. If they are not, you will have to find other ways for students to gather information for projects. For example, for all the CLIL project tasks that ask students to do research or find pictures, you may want to search for information or pictures yourself before assigning the project task and then bring books or printouts to class and distribute them to students. Keep in mind that parents may not allow their children to go over to their classmates’ houses. This will also make it difficult for you to assign pair or group research as homework. You can ask students to do the research individually at home and then compare the information they have found in class, or provide classroom time for students to do research for the project. If students are able to conduct Internet research outside of class, remember to assign the research as homework BEFORE students are asked to complete the project task. Make sure that students understand the mechanics of searching for information on the Internet (typing words into a search engine such as google.com, for example). Explain the objective for the research. Suggest research strategies that are tailored to the task at hand, particularly if the topic of the project may be difficult for students to understand. For example, for a topic like the discovery of DNA, you may want to research the topic yourself beforehand and find a few websites that present the topic in clear, simple English. Then you can give students the website addresses and ask them to visit the websites to search for information instead of doing a more general search. Encourage students to ask for help if they need it. For example, they can ask the relevant subject teacher to help them gather information or to provide guidance. For example, for a science project, advise 3 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education. students to approach their science teacher for guidance, information, or direction. Some websites that are useful for Internet research include: www.google.com; http://www.wikipedia.org/; www.infoplease.com WORKING ON THE PROJECTS Project tasks: Suggested procedure 1. Review the "Materials Needed" box at the top of the project handout and make sure you or the students have assembled all the required materials before students start work on the project. 2. The first step of each project almost always builds upon the brainstorming/discussion task that students completed on the Student Book project page (page 139 or 140). For this reason, remind students to make sure they have their notes from all previous brainstorming and discussion sessions when they start work on the project. 3. Explain the objective for the project. Write it on the board. What’s the topic about? What’s the expected outcome or final product? What are students expected to do once they have completed the project? 4. Tell the class what parts of the project they will do in class and which parts they can or will do outside the classroom. 5. Types of project tasks include surveys, posters and collages, timelines, schedules, word webs, brochures, articles, letters, and websites. For each project, go over the specific step-by-step instructions with the class. Review the examples provided to make sure that students understand what they are supposed to be producing. If you think students need it, provide them with additional scaffolding for the task. For example, for a newspaper article, you could prepare a partially completed article with blanks for students to fill in. 6. Give a deadline for completion of the task. 4 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education. 7. Encourage students to come to you or to any of their subject teachers for help and guidance while doing the project task. Presenting the projects: Suggested procedure Before students embark on working on their projects, let them know that they will be presenting the results of their work or their projects to the class. They can either choose a group member as presenter or members can take turns presenting a part or parts of the project. You may need to guide or assist the students on how to assign the parts of a presentation to the presenters. When students are ready to present their projects, encourage them to: prepare well before the presentation: review the presentation for accuracy and practice giving it, if time allows. greet the class (the audience). look at the class while talking. smile. speak clearly and slowly. Don’t rush. use the images and texts in the project as visual aids to engage and get the interest of the audience. Make sure the audience can see the pictures and refer to them during your presentation. answer questions after the presentation. Presentation follow-up: Suggested procedure After students have presented their projects, encourage the class to: be supportive, not critical of their fellow students' efforts. They may clap after a presentation to show their appreciation. ask the presenter(s) any questions they may have. compare their projects to their classmates' projects and note or discuss the differences between them (particularly if all students have completed the same task). 5 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education. answer / discuss any follow-up questions in the last step of the project instructions. ask them for any new and interesting insights or new knowledge they have learned from the presentations. complete any follow-up tasks in the last step of the project instructions, such as voting on the most interesting idea presented or deciding on the best solution to a problem. 6 Copyright 2011 by Pearson Education.