1. ‘Our Focus Was on 'Writing', so We Decided to Write about Football’
Hanne Thomsen, Karlslunde Skole, Copenhagen & Teachers’ Resource Centre, Roskilde, Denmark
May Projects, YEAR 6, Karlslunde Skole, Denmark, June 6th 2006
Three 12-year-old boys, in their third year of learning English, are working together on a writing project, which is about football. Two of them are keen football players and the third boy, who isn’t, enjoys working with them. All three of them are highly motivated and ambitious about learning English.
Posters as signposts and reminders
Learning posters in the classroom remind them of the class motto 2006 - ‘I can do well if I bring my strengths to it’. Other posters describe good group strategies and grammar rules that have been focussed on this year.
Today they are handing in their written report and presenting their work to the rest of the class of 22 learners, the teacher and two guest teachers from Britain. Quite obviously they are nervous, but determined to do well. They are presenting as Group No. 6.
From their evaluation:
Our presentation was great. We had done a good research and had a good team work. We divided the topic into three parts. My part was the football club ‘Real Madrid’ – and the World Cup.
My team partners are good at English and keen to do a good project. In the beginning we didn’t know how to go about it, but in the end we did.
Our class mates were listening and the guest teachers were looking at us all the time. We think they liked it.
In our next project we would like to focus on listening; to watch a movie without subtitles to check how much we understand – perhaps to watch a football game on Eurosport to see how difficult that is. Perhaps to use some word cards to prepare and help remembering new words. CNN news about the world could also be very interesting. Sometimes we have watched it for a few minutes, but it seems difficult. We think English can be very difficult when it is not spoken directly to you.
We would also like to get some new extra readers about football/soccer and about famous football players of the world.
Very good indeed and convincing. It shows that you are fascinated by and passionate about football. You have done a lot of thorough research – your English is very good and the use of visual aids supported your presentation in a very efficient way.
The European Language Portfolio
The YEAR 6 learners are using the Danish ‘pilot version’ of the European Language Portfolio for young learners, so now they can tick the boxes saying ‘I can present a topic to other learners’ and ‘I can write about a topic’. Then they can put their written work, their own evaluation of their work, plus the teachers’ evaluation, into the dossier to illustrate how well they managed. They are now well prepared and a bit more focussed on the next step of their own learning. Also the teacher knows more about these three learners than before, as well as about the rest of the class, and how to facilitate learning in the best way for all learners in this particular group.
The development of autonomous learners
As Keeper of one of the ‘learner autonomy worms’, I have tried to throw some light on the subject of self-assessment from my point of view as an English teacher teaching in a primary and lower secondary scho...