Some useful information on how to tackle projects with your students.
An example of a project is a class newspaper.
After studying English language newspapers or looking at television news stories on channels like CNN, students are encouraged by their teacher to create their own newspaper.
They organise themselves into groups and decide which part of the paper they are going to produce. One group may be involved in creating the crossword, another with writing some news or sports items, yet another with writing the horoscopes. The topics can be light-hearted or serious, real or imaginary – it’s up to the students to decide.
A certain amount of time is put aside for the project with a deadline, when the newspaper will be ready for ‘publication’. This really depends on how much time is available. You don’t want a project going on too long as students may lose interest and momentum.
They can ask their teacher for any help they need: this can be linguistic like helping get the grammar right or practical like supplying stationery.
Students have to work together to organise who does what and what the final result will look like. When I have done this, the students took over a wall in the classroom and displayed their newspaper there so other students and parents could come in and see it. They could have used the school photocopier to make copies and distribute it.
The language that is produced is not controlled, but students should have had input on the kind of language that the projects needs. For example, news stories often use a lot of passives e.g. the jewellery store was broken into and ten diamond rings were stolen. Having studied news stories before doing the project, students have had recent contact with the language needed for their own stories. They are now practising the structures in a meaningful, creative and, hopefully, enjoyable way.