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“ Integrating project work in the adolescent EFL classroom”

P. Zafeiriadou, ELT School Advisor – Drama 20-11-2008
CLASS PROJECTS with teenagers
Class projects are a great way to put into practice skills that have been learnt during an
English course. The following projects that I'll be sharing with you have worked really well
with teenagers who were on short term courses of a few weeks. It's a fun break from
structured lessons and also gives the teacher a break for two days!
Class Magazine
To lead up to this activity ask students to brainstorm types of maga!ines and what sections
they would find within them. E"plain that you will be creating a class maga!ine over the ne"t
couple of days and ask students to pick two topics from the board in pairs #fashion agony
aunt technology food and drink news editorial etc.$ %et the students to appoint an editor
who will oversee the article writing and delegate work to the pairs.
&ave several different types of maga!ines at hand for the students to look at. Initially ask
them to brainstorm with their partners and get ideas about what they'd like to write about.
(hen they feel ready they can attempt a first draft which the teacher will correct. )or the
final copy they can cut out pictures from the maga!ines available and personalise their
pages. The editor will then be in charge of collating the articles and as a group they can
choose a title for their maga!ine. *tudents are often +uite proud of their maga!ines so we
pass them round the different classes. This activity although very fun and rela"ed is very
beneficial as it re+uires students to discuss with their partners in English and write an article.
This type of project can also work with a class newspaper although the format and reporting
styles would be different. , newspaper often works better with adult and business students
as they can write about a topic relevant to their interests or careers.
Perfect EFL School Brochure
The following project is +uite similar to a class maga!ine as you will need an editor and a lot
of creative input. To start off with ask students what they think of their language school and
what can be improved. Then let them decide what could be improved and what their idea of
a perfect language school is.
Collectively they should decide what country their school is in what it should be called and
what its ethos is. In groups students can then proceed to write up a school and
accommodation description class schedule e"tra curricular schedule teacher profiles
interview with the -irector of studies menu etc. being as detailed as they like depending on
the si!e of the class.
*urvey projects are always a favourite because it means the students can leave the class to
go out and find their data. There are infinite topics for surveys and +uestionnaires so put the
class into groups and let them decide what they would like to survey. %ive them some
e"amples such as restaurants entertainment local people and foreigners' perception of the
Ensure that your students have discussed and written out their +uestions #usually at least
./$ relevant to their survey. 0nce they have been corrected send them out for an hour to
research their topic or to ask people.
(hen they are happy with the material they have collected they can then decide how to
present their information as graphs paragraphs pamphlet or poster. ,t the end of the
activity all groups will have to present their findings to the class and discussions can be
started according to the topics.
I always like to keep the best e"amples of previous students' work in my classroom to show
my new groups. It gives them an idea of what level of work is e"pected from them and gives
them something to try and improve on. These projects have worked well as a finale for a
departing class or as a breather when there was just no time to prepare a lesson!