Time for other ways: Today's Families
- Student Portfolio
- European Language Portfolio
- Key Competences
- Learning Standards
- Web 2.0 Teaching Tools
The purpose of this OER (Open Educational Resource), Time for Other Ways! - which is composed of 9 units - is to offer students and teachers a new approach to learn English in a different way by means of new technologies, but without forgetting other methods or strategies related to the learning-teaching process.
Today's Families, the didactic unit introduced here, has the following structure:
- A cover: Today's Families
This page has been thought up with a motivating message, a picture and a quote to get started, as well as a visual aid (a poster created with the web 2.0 tool, genial.ly) to help the students to be aware of the contents and the tasks to do.
- Getting warmed up!
A strategy to get the students familiarize with the content and topic of the unit, by means of videos, a brainstorming activity and a final writing task.
- The four Language Skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking (also taking into account Social Interaction) and Writing.
Every section dealing with the four skills is presented with a motivating introductory message together with a "Reasons Box", that is, a series of reasons annotating why that skill is really important as regards learning a language like English. The students are led to a variety of activities along the unit:
- Are you ready?
Different activities or tasks have been outlined so that the students embrace the content and enjoy with it. It is real practice to learn new vocabulary, structures and use of English above all by means of videos, readings and challenging activities.
- Yes, we can!
This task (or tasks) has been designed to assess or evaluate the language skill by means of a simple rubric. Besides, the student will upload into his/her personal eportfolio a given task to be graded by the teacher and some other times, by themselves or their classmates.
- Accept the challenge!
More practice would be needed in order to revise vocabulary and/or grammar. Students are provided with online exercises and worksheets to practice autonomously or with the help of the teacher.
- Inside my schoolbag
A collection of websites to help students improve the language skills.
- Sightseeing tour
Students will take here a quick look at the different contents of the unit through several posters and videos.
- Time to ... have fun
The perfect time to learn English and enjoy at the same time throughout a FUN CORNER. It has been designed as a crucial moment to enjoy things such us reading for pleasure, approaching to a different culture, music, short films and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). The teacher might make the decision of grading these activities or some of them.t:
- Time to ... get better
It is time for students to get to work and practice the contents of this unit by means of three sections:
- My Dear Diary
Just the right moment to write for pleasure and improve the student writing level using the online tool PENZU.
- Do it yourself
The student has to download a workbook in this section before starting the unit as an off-line resource. It will complement the wide variety of activities throughout the unit, apart from a grammar reference, a pronunciation guide and a list of irregular verbs.
- Quiz me
A section to test the level of English of every student in every single unit by means of KAHOOT quizzes.
Teaching Methodology and Strategies
Each unit can be carried out, either following a pre-established order, or without following it. There are tasks or activities that can be done individually, in pairs or in groups of 2 / 3 people.
In addition, the units are based on an active learning approach and has several centres of interest:
- Students have to accomplish different activities and a final task (sometimes more than one) to reflect on the process of learning.
- Students are expected to actively work with information and communication technologies, learning how to use different web 2.0 tools to help and motivate them in the process of learning and improving their level of English.
- As a suggestion, students also have to complete their personal ePortfolio (see next page), using Google Apps Educarex where they have to upload their learning evidences into a folder in DRIVE designed for this purpose, throughout a collection of the student's work that shows: efforts, progress and achivements over the learning process.
The student ePortfolio provides an opportunity to support the learner's ability to collect, organise, interpret and reflect on his/her learning and practice. Click on the picture to see a video defining what an eportfolio is and then read the information below.
- A collection of the student's work that shows: efforts, progress and achivements through the learning process.
- It involves the student in the collection, selection, self-reflection and evaluation entries.
- It contains a variety of dated products. It may also contain one or more works-in-progress that illustrate the creation of a product, such as an essay, evolving through various stages of conception, drafting, and revision.
- To gather authentic assessment information.
- To provide the student an opportunity to demonstrate growth and proficiency over time.
- To build a sense of responsibility for the student's learning.
- To promote an ongoing process where the student demonstrates, assesses and revises in order to improve and produce quality work.
- To provide opportunities to assess both process and products.
- To allow for self and peer reflection and goal setting.
- Establish a purpose and focus.
- Decide on a container design.
- Collect work samples.
- Throughout the academic year to document growth and learning over time.
Although there are many tools on the internet to create portfolios such as:
We suggest you, as a teacher, organize students' portfolios by using DRIVE with an educarex account. For this purpose, we recommend you to visit EMTIC, the Technology and Innovation website of Extremadura Department of Education and Employment. Once there, read the information given and create an account for every single student in your class.
Look at the following poster which shows you a possible model for your Class ePortfolio. Your students should be required to create their own folders: Language Portfolio, Language Biography and Dossier (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing subfolders for student's activities).
Finally, if you are interested in acquiring sound knowledge of students portfolios, we strongly recommend reading the next page of the Didactic Guideline dealing with the European Language Portfolio, which will be a useful help to carry out students portfolios in general.
European Language Portfolio
When studying languages it is important and advisable to develop a portfolio, that is, a document to record and reflect on your language learning and intercultural experiences. It supports the development of learner autonomy, plurilingualism and intercultural awareness. This is called, The European Language Portfolio (ELP).
Its main aims are:
- to help learners give shape and coherence to their experience of learning and using languages other than their first language.
- to motivate learners by acknowledging their efforts to extend and diversify their language skills at all levels.
- to provide a record of the linguistic and cultural skills they have acquired (to be consulted, for example, when they are moving to a higher learning level or seeking employment at home or abroad.
In an ELP all language proficiency is valued, whether it was gained inside or outside formal education. In addition:
- The ELP is the property of the learner.
- It is linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (users assess themselves in relation to the CEFR’s proficiency levels).
- It conforms to a common set of Principles and Guidelines that have been approved by the Committee of Ministers and recommended to Member States (see Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)7E).
Why develop an ELP model?
Tap the "play video" picture below and you will discover some more information about the European Language Portfolio.
- It encourages learners to take responsibility for their learning.
- It helps the teacher to cope with heterogeneous groups.
- It helps to make progress visible and increases learner satisfaction.
- It promotes communication within the class by providing a common language thanks to the CEFR's approach to describing competences.
- It helps make achievement visible and comprehensible for others (employers, other schools, etc.)
- It puts learning into a wider European context.
- It facilitates mobility.
It has three components:
- Language Passport: the language learner can summarise his/her linguistic and cultural identity, language qualifications, experience of using different languages and contacts with different cultures. Here you are a template students might use.
- Language Biography: it helps the learner to set learning targets, to record and reflect on language learning and on intercultural experiences and regularly assess progress. The Language Biography section of each ELP model should address each of the headings below.
- User’s plurilingual profile
- Goal-setting and learning how to learn
- Intercultural awareness and experience
- Dossier: the learner can keep samples of his/her work in the language(s) he/she has learnt or is learning.
Texts, templates and resources to draw up the student ePortofolio may be consulted on the Council of Europe website. Remember that you can use or adapt them at your convenience.
Lastly, we would like to include in this section, information about another document you and your students should bear in mind when developing a portfolio, The Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR), an international standard for describing language ability. It describes language ability on a six-point scale, from A1 for beginners, up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing, such as teachers or learners, to see the level of different qualifications.
The CEFR defines levels of attainment in different aspects of its descriptive scheme with illustrative scales. These are summarised in the Self -assessment Grid.
The following is a video presentation with the contents of this unit:
We hope it might be useful in order to visualize the unit, and as an introductory tool to show the students the different elements of this open resource.
The unit is designed to be worked in at least 15 different sessions, bearing in mind that some of them may take a little bit shorter or longer. It is obviously approximate and it will depend on the learning pace of the students, their interests and the activities done in class.
The teacher will evaluate the active participation and the tasks accomplished and uploaded into the eportfolio by the students as follow:
- Listening Tasks: 20%
- Reading Tasks: 20%
- Speaking Tasks: 20%
- Writing Tasks: 20%
- Use of English / Active participation in class: 20%
Lastly, It would be important and advisable to take into account the self and peer assessment rubrics designed for the unit and be graded as well as part of the final mark.
The nomenclature and definition of Key Competencies in the LOMCE is based on a European Commission document on 21st century competencies.
The LOMCE defines 7 competencies:
- Linguistic competence
- Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
- Digital competence
- Learning to learn
- Social and civic competencies
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Cultural awareness and expression
At the end of the unit the student will have worked and developed specific competences:
- Knowing and using vocabulary regarding family members.
- Revising the following grammar points: possessive adjectives, genitive case, verb have got, demonstratives, subject and object pronouns and prepositions of place.
- Studying countries and nationalities.
- Talking about people's appearance.
- Interacting with certain autonomy when debating about family.
- Listening and reading activities: students understand general information and identify specific information in oral and written messages.
- Making conversations to answer and ask about other people's family.
- Working collaboratively in pairs and groups.
- Evaluating their own work and their partners', giving opinions and feedback.
- Social and civic competence.
Students will also develop different ICT competences:
- Sharing and working individualy, cooperatively and collaboratively using DRIVE.
- Becoming familiar with a web tool like Storyjumper to create an online book.
- Recording a video of their presentations and/or dialogues with their mobile phones or using a school video camera. Editing might be done either using apps for the mobile phone or online tools.
- Starting running DRIVE folders which they are going to use as a portfolio.
Block 1: Oral Comprehension
1. Captures the main points and relevant details of messages and brief communications which are pronounced slowly and clearly (e.g. pronunciation and description of family vocabulary), providing that the acoustic conditions are good and that the sound is not distorted.
2. Understands the general drift of what is said to him / her in day-to-day structured transactions and operations (e.g. in the school or work).
3. Identifies the general meaning and the principal points of a formal or informal conversation between two or more interlocutors which takes place in his/her presence, when the topic is familiar to him / her and the discourse is articulated with clarity, at medium speed and in a standard variety of the language.
4. Understands, in an informal conversation in which he / she participates: descriptions, narrations, points of view and opinions regarding family and topics of his / her interest, when he / she is spoken to with clarity, slowly and directly and if the interlocutor is prepared to repeat or reformulate what they have said.
5. Understands, in a formal conversation, or interview (e.g. in centres of study or work) in which he or she participates, that which is asked of him / her with regard to personal, educational, occupational matters or affairs of personal interest, as well as simple and predictable commentaries related to the above, providing that he or she may request that what has been said be repeated, clarified or elaborated upon.
6. Distinguishes, with the aid of an image, the principal ideas and relevant information in presentations on educational, occupational or personal interest topics (e.g. about a curricular topic).
7. Identifies the essential information in recorded videos on family matters articulated slowly and clearly (e.g. news, documentaries or interviews), when the images aid in comprehension.
Block 2: Oral Production: Expression and Interaction
1. He/she makes brief rehearsed presentations, well structured and with visual aids (e.g. boardgames), on concrete aspects of topics of interest to him/her or related to family, and responds to brief simple questions from the audience on the content of the above.
2. He/she copes well with possible procedures such as debates about family, following basic norms of courtesy (greetings and treatment).
3. Participates in informal conversations whether face-to-face or by other technical means, in which social contact is established, information is exchanged, opinions and points of view are expressed, invitations and offers are made, things are requested and offered, instructions are asked for and given, or steps are discussed which must be followed to perform a group activity.
Block 3: Understanding Written Texts
1. Identifies, with the aid of an image, family vocabulary.
2. Understands the principal points of reading comprehensions related to teenagers and sport formulated in a simple and clear manner, and related with matters of personal interest, in personal, academic and occupational areas.
3. Understands specific information about family, countries and nationalities.
4. Captures the principal ideas in brief texts in any format if the numbers, the names, the illustrations and the titles convey a large part of the message.
5. Understands the basic information in short and well-structured fictional stories and obtains an impression about the character of the different personalities, their relations and the plot.
Block 4: Production of Written Texts: Expressions and Interactions
1. Completes simple texts with the correct form of the present simple (e. g. verb to be, to have, ...), matching exercises, True or False activities, etc.
2. Writes an informal diary or journal, in which brief commentaries are made or instructions and directions are given in relation with activities and situations of daily life and of interest to him/her.
3. Writes short messages related with activities and situations of daily life, of personal interest to him/her or on current affairs topics, respecting punctuation rules.
4. Writes very brief essays in conventional format with simple and relevant information about family, describing in a simple manner situations, people, objects and places and signalling the principal happenings in a schematic manner.
You have access here to all documents and rubrics of the didactic unit.
- Listening: Alice's Family
- Listening: My family
- Listening: Talking about families
- Listening: Grammar Auction
- Speaking: Who is who
- Speaking: Describe a classmate
- Speaking: Guess who
- Speaking: Description Battleships
- Speaking: Meet a famous person
- Writing: My international family
- Writing: Alice's family
- Writing: Family Tree
- Writing: Where is my family?
2. Learning Standards
- Rubric: Listening/Reading Comprehension (Grammar Auction)
- Rubric: Reading Comprehension (Guess my country)
- Rubric: Speaking (Meet a famous person)
- Rubric: Writing/Speaking (A storyjumper book)
Web 2.0 Teaching Tools
It refers to web 2.0 tools, online software programs that allow students and teachers to carry out a number of different and motivating activities in the learning-teaching process. They can be used to teach curriculum content, store data, create/edit video, edit photos, collaborate and much more.
As educators, the use of web 2.0 tools is transforming teaching, and more specifically the way we support students in the classroom. As schools bring more technology into their classrooms, teachers will in turn strive to put more technology in their students’ hands.
We offer you some websites with information about this kind of tools:
The ones used or menioned in this unit are the following: