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Four ideas for project work in the language classroom

Four ideas for project work in the language classroom

Projects take students’ noses out of their workbooks and help them foster writing, speaking, listening, reading, vocabulary, grammar, and researching skills in a new, exciting environment. Easily adaptable, suitable for individual and groupwork, and with endless ideas and formats – what’s not to love? For example, to help you begin using project work as a tool in class, we hosted a webinar that outlined ideas, preparation times, and online resources.

At all our webinars, you’ll get first-hand advice and actionable teaching tips, plus receive attendee-only resources. After attending the webinar series, teachers gain their Teacher Development Certificate – a credential that shows a continued committment to your professional development. We’d love to see you there. Meanwhile, enjoy these four ideas for project work.

1. Favorite object

Level: any
This oral presentation activity demonstrates students’ fluency and pronunciation, and challenges them to give information and sustain arguments in a monologue.

Process: Students bring in an object from home and give a speech about it. Teachers can adapt the assignment by changing its length or requiring speeches to reflect the unit’s target language (i.e. isolating a verb tense, choosing a lexical set, etc).

2. Examinations

Level: intermediate plus
This graded test activity involves students in the exam-preparation stage and reviews meaning and form of target language.

Process: Students work in small groups to write an exam that tests target language. The teacher provides strong prompts and support during this stage, then reviews all tests. Tests are then distributed to other groups to be completed, before being graded (and discussed if necessary).

3. Editorials

Level: intermediate plus

This writing project requires students to write clearly, give details, and synthesize and evaluate information.

Process: Students create the sections of a typical newsletter, working in small groups to distribute labor. The class may like to decide on a topic for the newspaper or create a general publication. Sections include interviews, sports, weather, international news, opinion/editorial, travel, health, kids/families, letters to the editor, and more.

4. Host a Historian

Level: intermediate plus

This reading activity challenges students’ ability to read for gist and details, so as to summarize key information.

Process: Students will read about the history of a culture or several cultures. Following this, each student must complete assigned readings and dress up as a character from the historical period in question. In a later class, there will be a “party” where students talk and act like their characters, while completing a mingle style activity chart.

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