Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Setting up a Project. Some Tips

I have been working on Projects in my ESL classes since... (Dear me! I don’t remember! I’m getting old, for sure!), and I’m totally convinced that Project Working is potentially the most motivating way for children to “spend” their classroom time. You either can call it TBL or PBL, but anyway...

Based on my experience setting up projects in primary ESL classes and doing some teacher training on this topic, here are some tips adapted from Diana Fried-Booth in her book Project Work (OUP 1986) (yes, I know it is a 20 years old book but there are things still worth considering!)

It is not a closed list and it doesn’t mean that you must follow all the steps! It is just a model that you could think of following.

Setting up a project

1. Stimulus
  • Doing some kind of speaking activity, or reading and speaking, to stimulate interest in the project.

2. Definition of the project objective
  • Discussing and negotiating what the students will achieve exactly with this project.

3. Skills work
  • If the project involves data collection or writing up, then this stage could be to prepare them with the language they need for that.

4. Design of materials
  • Questionnaires, maps, grids for data collection. These can be made together in class.

5. Group activities
  • This is actually when they go and do the project.

6. Collating information
  • Reading and discussing what was found out.

7. Organization of materials
  • Designing the end product, again perhaps in class.

8. Final presentation

You can also have a look to the following PowerPoint from a Project Work Teacher Training Session, conducted by Patricia Meneses and I in Vic, Barcelona.

In the Issuu paper you can get some ideas and hints (developed by the teachers in the seminar) in order to plan, design and develop your projects in the ESl class.

Hope you find them useful!

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