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Using Projects To Increase Interaction at the University level
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Using Projects To Increase Interaction at the University level


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This presentation defines projects and gives suggestions for incorporating them into university level classrooms.

This presentation defines projects and gives suggestions for incorporating them into university level classrooms.

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  • 1. Using Projects to Increase Interaction
    JoAnn Miller
  • 2. What is a Project?
    An extended piece of work on a particular topic where the content and presentation are determined principally by the learners.
    The beginning organization begins in class, the student completes the task at home and then reports back to the class in some way.
    Projects can be manual, oral only, visual, etc.
  • 3. It’s a dynamic approach to teaching
    Students explore the real world
    Work in small collaborative groups
    Cross-curriculum skills
    Real-life problem solving activity
    Inspires students to get more knowledge
    Develop confidence and self-direction
  • 4. Common characteristics
    Hard work
  • 5. And an EFL project?
    Look at the textbook unit
    Not the grammar---the theme
    Historical people
  • 6. Why do projects work?
    Learning through doing
    Sense of achievement
    Educational value
    Independent investigation
    Cross-curricular studies
    Integration with other skills
    Real needs of learners
    Language and culture
  • 7. What should they produce?
    Power point presentation (flash) with oral or recorded presentation
    Recorded by students
    Recorded by teacher
    Blog, Wiki, Website
    Some format that they will commonly use in the future in their field
  • 8. Oral and Written / Accuracy and Fluency
    All projects should contain practice in both pairs.
    Accuracy comes with rehearsal. This is what they prepare for the class presentation.
    Fluency is unrehearsed. This is practiced in Q-A after the presentation.
  • 9. Introduction to the project
    T helps Ss to understand the theme (schemata) and objectives (brainstorm, pictures, personal experience, previous examples)
    Ss may do a pre-activity for vocabulary building or pre-investigation
    Ss can be given preparation time to think about project or discuss it in groups.
  • 10. Project 3: Reader
    Objective: You will read a “reader” that the teacher has approved (this book is donated to the English Department after completing the project). You will make a diorama (maqueta) based on your favorite scene in the book. You will present a brief oral report telling the teacher what your book was about and you will answer three questions about the book.
    Diorama: Must be creative and involve more than 10 minutes of work before class. It must represent some scene in the book, including characters, background, etc.
    Report: You will tell the teacher about the book and answer three questions.
    Diorama (15 points): Creativity: 15 points (if you don’t really work on this, you will lose points)
    Report (15 points): Oral report about reader (7 points), Answers to teacher’s questions (8 points)
    Due date: Give reader to teacher: November 19 (at the latest) Diorama: November 24, 1998 (no late material accepted)
  • 11. Project Development
    related to something being done in class. It can be used to provide practice in a structure, improve vocabulary, introduce culture or investigate a theme.
  • 12. Preparation
    Preparation is what the Ss do at home and it prepares for next stage where Ss report to whole class or teacher on how they did task and what the outcome was.
    Ss draft, rehearse and record in some fashion what they want to say.
    T helps advising Ss, before, during and after class
  • 13. In-class Presentation
    T asks Ss to report what they did briefly to whole class so everyone can compare findings or the T interviews the Ss individually or in groups. They show movie or use pp presentation
  • 14. Evaluation-Rubrics
    "a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work…" (Heidi Goodrich)
    list the things the student must have included to receive a certain score or rating.
    help the student figure out how their project will be evaluated.
  • 15. Rubistar
  • 16. Projects at the University Level
    One of the greatest problems of all university-level students, no matter what their level of English, is the inability to communicate at the formal level required in the professional community. They can order a hamburger, but they can’t give a formal business presentation or contribute in a meeting.
  • 17. Students should know
    How to dress for a presentation
    What register to use
    How to prepare and organize presentations in English
    What is different between a presentation in English and one in Spanish--wordiness, organization
  • 18. Suggested topics by level of English: Low Beginners
    Introduction to their fields of study
    build a glossary of terms in English
    investigate work opportunities in the field
    investigate how English is used in the field
    investigate exactly what skills are involved in their future occupation
  • 19. Suggested topics by level of English: High Beginner
    Relate field of study to “reality”:
    Find scenes in movies, television shows or songs representing the field of study, present them and relate them to Mexico
    Find professional articles in English used in field. Read them and summarize the main ideas.
  • 20. Suggested topics by level of English: Low intermediate
    History of the field
    Discover how the field began
    Investigate important people in the field
    Find case studies of the work the field does
    What changes have occurred in the field in the last 20 years
  • 21. Suggested topics by level of English: Intermediate
    Interpersonal presentations
    Do a roleplay of a meeting, solving a problem
    Do a roleplay of an experience meeting the public
    Set up a booth to provide other students of the university information about the field
    Interview someone in the field in a public setting
  • 22. Suggested topics by level of English: High Intermediate +
    Professional presentations
    Develop a presentation in the field and present it to a group of students. The presentation should be of a type that would be commonly used in the field--a new product, a new idea, a campaign, etc. Support with visuals, etc.
  • 23. An example: Tourism
    Beginner: common to all
    High Beginner: Find a movie about a tourist guide and say why it is or isn’t realistic
    Low Intermediate: Report on the life of Conrad Hilton
    Intermediate: Set up a booth in the school giving information about study abroad opportunities Ss have found on the internet.
    High Intermediate: Presentation about a new tourist complex, try to sell condominiums
  • 24. An example: Graphic Design
    Beginner: common to all
    High Beginner: Find a magazine about graphic design in English and talk about it in class
    Low Intermediate: Report on the changes in advertising graphics in the last 20 years
    Intermediate: Bring in a graphic designer and talk about one of his/her recent productions
    High Intermediate: Design a visual presentation for a product and try to sell it to a company
  • 25. An example: Psychology
    Beginner: common to all
    High Beginner: Bring a short article from a psychology journal and explain the main ideas
    Low Intermediate: Report on a case study
    Intermediate: Do a roleplay about an adolescent with problems and his counselor
    High Intermediate: Present a brief paper as in a convention
  • 26. A handout available at:
    Take time to look around….there are a number of downloadable and online activities for all levels
  • 27. Thank you.
    JoAnn Miller
    Handout available at: Presentations