En el marco de “Maximise you online teaching” Lola Reeves, patrocinado por Trinity College London Approved Service Provider Spain y Portugal, imparte los webinars “Basic principles, steps and elements in the creation of online projects” y "Practical scaffolded materials and resources to develop higher order thinking skills and creativity in the mixed ability classrooms" el 10 y 24 de Marzo respectivamente.
Organizados y celebrados por APABAL.
Post de Lola Reeves:
A second/foreign language and content are best acquired when students use them in real-life situations. As such, how can we make the learning of a second/foreign language and content more project-oriented to make learning more meaningful?
What is a project (or PBL, Project-based learning)?
Working with the project-based learning approach brings reality into the classroom.
A project has three main elements: an anchor, a driving question and an artefact. A project is based on a real-life situation (an anchor) which serves as the motivation behind the creation of a project, the setting of an objective (driving question), and the creation of an artefact (final product) that meets the needs of the anchor.
For example, students are presented with an anchor: Do you think everything has been invented? There are many problems in our school, neighbourhood, classroom, etc. Think about a problem in your school, neighbourhood, at home, etc. that needs a solution. Then, they are presented with a driving question: How can we create something to solve a real- world problem? For the elaboration of the artefact, students choose a real life day-to-day problem (an anchor) and create an invention to solve the problem. The latter represents how, by working through projects, “reality” is brought into the classroom, and therefore, the use of resources (linguistic and content-based) become more meaningful.
How does second language acquisition relate to working with projects?
Attention is given to the function of structures as students must be able to use certain grammatical structures and the related lexis to be able to publish, and/or present their artefact to an audience. Another basic feature of project- based learning (PBL) is the fact that the students’ artefact goes beyond the classroom walls, which makes its creation even more real.
Eight Steps to Successful PBL
- Get learners involved and present an anchor to set the stage of the project.
- Involve learners in the creation of the driving question to set the objective of the project.
- Break down the topic (inventions) into specific tasks and use different ways to present related content E.g. videos, songs, graphic organizers, communicative games, stories, etc.
- Divide your class into project groups.
- Set roles and tasks for each of the members of the groups.
- Facilitate scaffolding and monitor the creation of the artefact.
- Help learners choose effective ways to present their artefact.
- Facilitate different ways in which learners can reflect on the project.
Project based learning is relevant to our students’ needs and therefore motivating. It not only helps students acquire a language more effectively and enables to consolidate specific content, but also encourages students to be aware of the way they learn (metacognitive awareness). It encourages an inclusive way of learning, in which social and cognitive skills are practiced. The benefits of PBL go beyond the classroom walls and puts the students on a path to lifelong learning.
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