Friday, April 29, 2011

Just an example of Project Working in Primary English Teaching

CLIL teachers should know Project Working very well. It is a teaching methodology that provides pupils with the opportunity to transfer knowledge and strategies from various school subjects. Furthermore, it allows children to critically and creatively apply this knowledge to real life situations. 

Project working is a challenge for teachers and for students. They have to work in different levels of the Bloom’s taxonomy, not only for designing the activities or new types of questioning, but also for searching solutions to real life problems.
But, how can we do project working in Primary English teaching? And, how can we do that if we are not CLIL teachers? Students still don’t have enough English language command to put into play the different skills needed for project working: collaboration, communication and independent learning. Moreover, we are tied to a language syllabus and we haven’t much flexibility...

So what?

If we, as teachers want to develop a complete project in English, then we will need to adapt a lot of language and vocabulary in order to get a successful and an “age appropriate” outcome. And this may lead us to a depression!

As a suggestion, what about doing it in a bilingual or trilingual basis? What about collaborating ourselves with the science or mathematics teacher? And what about designing parts of the project to use a different language in each of them? 

This is the sort of thing we are doing in my school nowadays. We haven’t got the possibility to do a CLIL project, but we have the chance to develop “bits of the projects” in our three languages: Catalan, Castilian, and English.

This is just an example. Children from Year 4 found an egg of a butterfly on a fennel branch in the school playground and ran to his teacher to show the “discovery”. At this point, the teacher took benefit of the situation and started a full project about the life cycle of a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, butterfly metamorphosis, egg.

My colleague, the Castilian teacher, and I (the English teacher) joined the project to carry out a part of it. 

Children worked some calendar models out in Castilian. And we were the responsible of doing a Power Point in English to show the process to other children and to parents. 

Open publication - Free publishing - More butterfly

I found it interesting! The learning outcomes for project work:

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge Application
Students will acquire the ability to make links across different areas of knowledge and to generate, develop and evaluate ideas and information so as to apply these skills to the project task.
Students will acquire the skills to communicate effectively and to present ideas clearly and coherently to specific audience in both the written and oral forms.
Students will acquire collaborative skills through working in a team to achieve common goals.
Independent Learning
Students will be able to learn on their own, reflect on their learning and take appropriate actions to improve it.


  1. Thanks a lot Enric. I'm sure we will take profit of your blog. This is a fantastic spring project, thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Hi Enric,
    I just found your blog and it's full of things I've been looking for!
    Great job and thanks for sharing all of this!
    Robert Ransley