Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 38

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Integrating eTwinning projects into classes of English Language Although the portal of eTwinning can largely be used in most European languages it is a fact that, as in most other areas of life, English has become the language of communication among most eTwinning users. Thereby, it has also become the work language of most projects. Taking into account previously stated, teachers of English were the first to accept integrating eTwinning projects into classes. Integrating projects in English, whereby one can choose themes and adjust them both to the national education plan and programme and one’s own plan, came up as something natural in classes of English. Clearly, it is hard to imagine contemporary classes of English without information and communications technology. eTwinning enables teachers to develop their IT skills and educate each other about new internet tools. We can say that it was through eTwinning projects that we came up with the idea of collaboration of teachers of English and IT. The inseparability of English and information and communications technology, as well as the syllabus of English as a second language and Information Technology as school subjects provides a strong background for their successful integration in praxis. Integrated classes of Information Technology and English in eTwinning projects Integrated classes of English and IT are a part of most eTwinning projects at II Primary School Čakovec. They are carried out in form of double lessons and are divided into mostly theoretical and mostly practical part. Although in none of the parts school subjects can be fully separated (and this is not our intention), we can say that in the first part English is emphasized, whereas the second part tackles mostly IT. In the first part the English teacher teaches vocabulary and structures of English related to the theme of the project. Then, the IT teacher teaches about the use of the computer programs and/or Web 2.0 tools. Finally, in the practical part both teachers play an equally important role. Thereby their main goal is not to function as guides to students but as their assistants. This form of classes can be successfully carried out only if both teachers possess at least minimal knowledge of their colleague’s subjects. If both colleagues get interested through joint work in the other one’s subject and expand their knowledge, the success of future projects done together shouldn’t come into question. In the practical part of the classes students work individually or in pairs on computers with their teachers discreetly supervising them and providing help when needed. In this way an informal way of teaching is achieved with the highest possible autonomy of students in the process of project work in the classroom. In this way, for example, activities were carried out in the project˝ Sustainable Energy – Clean Energy for the Future”. The main goal of this project was to learn about the possibilities of the energy of the sun, water, wind, biomass and geothermal energy. Students of grades 6 and 8 took part in the project (age 12 and 14). After they got the assignment to do the research on renewable sources of energy and find out about the most important facts, the integrated classes of English and Information Technology were held. In the theoretical part students were shown a thematic animated film in English followed by exercises of comprehension and expanding the vocabulary. Finally, the students had to create written matching exercises and quizzes. The IT teacher made students familiar with the program HotPotatoes. In the practical part of the classes students turned the previously created 38