THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
Under the guidance of 5 teachers, 80 students created a networking site consisting of truncated songs illustrating English grammar topics; the objective of the site is to offer a song data basis that contains a great number of lexical and grammatical topics to pupils, English teachers from our school and other schools too, and to everybody who is accessing the Internet.
• Launching a school project in order to obtain a product with educational value
• Achieving a data basis that is as rich as possible in order to give an equal chance to pupils, teachers and all those interested to access a large number of videos that cover the main grammatical issues taught during English classes.
• Perceiving grammar as a « living element » of the target language, not as an abstract concept.
• Learning how to create a web page.
• Learning how to make use of pertinent key-words in order to work with search engines.
• Expanding one’s musical horizons.
• Cultivating self-teaching through reading, understanding, and following procedures
• Proving solidarity by helping pupils who have a hard time finding songs that illustrate a certain grammatical topic or failing in creating their own web site from their first try.
• Writing a press article in order to promote the web site
• Writing a booklet for pupils, present and future, and for the professors working in the institution
On the school open day (Saturday, the 14th of May) :
• Web site presentation
• The organisation of a karaoke event
• The organisation of a competition in order to show the visitors how to use the website
The project was difficult to implement because the IT material in school is obsolete and the small number of computers does not allow the simultaneous work of all the concerned pupils within school ; therefore, it was not possible to demonstrate the creation of a website page to all pupils at the same time by means of a projector. Instead, they had to accomplish the web page at home based on a received website model.
Implementation steps :
1. One of the 5 leading teachers had the idea of creating a project that would link grammar to songs ; therefore, she established a site that would allow pupils to create their own web pages. She submitted the project to her 4 colleagues who accepted to participate and proposed the classes of pupils who would contribute to the site.
2. Each professor came up with a list of grammar (or lexical) topics that are usually taught during the school year.
3. The « webmaster » filtered out the doubloons and distributed the topics once more to her colleagues.
4. Each teacher presented the project and its objectives to the pupils.
5. The grammar topics were distributed to pupils (teachers had to organise their classes - 1 pupil for each topic, 2 pupils for each topic, or 1 pupil working on two topics).
6. The first task was to present the grammatical theory and the songs to support it. Pupils received a list of « tricks » in order to find the songs. Teachers had to explain how to use key-words in order to work with search engines. The grammatical theory was provided by each teacher or searched by pupils on the Internet ; pupils worked at their own pace.
7. Teachers corrected the pupils’ work and gave advice; some pupils had difficulties in finding the right songs.
8. Pupils had to create their own web page based on the information acquired; for that, they were given a visual model web page that presented the steps needed to be followed. This was a first time experience for most of the students, who had to do almost all the work by themselves.
9. In addition, pupils received a document entitled « Did I follow the instructions accordingly? », comprising 20 yes/no questions that allowed them to check if they achieved a homogenous website.
10. All pupils and teachers have author status on the website. Each teacher provides correction or improvement advice via e-mail or footnotes. The webmaster is the contact person who gives answers by e-mail to all pupils who find it difficult to create their own web page.
The participants (both pupils and teachers) seem to be proud of the accomplished work, at both qualitative and quantitative levels.
- Covered a large number of grammatical topics
- Know where to search for grammar rules from now on
- Learned how to use a search engine in an intelligent manner
- Learned how to create a web page
Each teacher can consult the site for grammar revisions at the end of the school year; also, all Internet users have access to the site and, consequently, to a playful way of approaching English grammar.
The entire work is available at the following web address :
The project team filled in the application form for the Label
- We collaborated with one of our colleagues who asked the pupils to write an article in which they presented our site. The article will be published in our institution’s newspaper and presented on the school website too.
We also hope to publish it in various newspapers and magazines, and have it presented on radio stations; this way, the information will reach a great number of Internet users who would access our site.
- The start page will be accessible to users of FACEBOOK and of other social sites who will be able to connect to our site directly from there and also publish our URL on those social pages.
- We will inform Michelle HENRY, from the NANCY-METZ Academy, of the existence of the website, hoping that she would promote it
- A booklet will be created for pupils and teachers containing the site address and an index with the grammatical topics in order to create the reflex of using it. The booklet will also be distributed to the future pupils in the years to come.
- Finally, the website will be shown to pupils’ parents and to other visitors on the school open day (the 14th of May). On that day we will organise a small contest in order to give a chance to those who are interested to become familiar with the site.
The project proved to have a high potential for transferability as all teachers who have an interest in IT and are willing to dedicate time and effort will be able to create such a website together with their pupils, no matter the classes they are teaching.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
The project meets the concept of « linguistic diversity » because the grammar topics titles are written in English on the side column, just like it is done during classes. Therefore, even if the grammar concepts are detailed in French, all English professors throughout the world are able to find the videos that accompany the grammar lessons.
Comments on this Case Studies