Projects provide an active, interactive, and creative way for teenagers to use their language and express themselves. They engage learners in multi-sensory experiences that contextualize both content and language. Projects provide concrete examples of what they have been learning in other classes or experiencing in their lives, and they can share these projects with others (their class, their friends and families, their school, or even other schools in other countries). Projects also can help teenagers develop the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking and problem solving and also develop as global citizens.
In this workshop, we’ll discuss the characteristics of successful projects for teenagers and describe a number of engaging projects: writing and performing skits or TV sitcoms, surveying classmates and representing the results, developing and conducting quiz shows, creating comic strips or TV sitcoms, conducting internet research and presenting results, imagining the past or the future, and writing advice columns, brochures, or advertisements. These activities appeal to a variety of learning styles and can be done individually or with others.
Dr. JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she co-directed the M.A. TESOL Program and established and directed the Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy, and Culture. She is coauthor of the professional development book Teaching Young Learners English., and a series editor for the Our World suite of materials for young learners, including Welcome to Our World, Our World, and Explore Our World, and Impact, a program for teens.