Monday, August 11, 2008

Motivating weak students - Creating a Scrapbook

"I hate English!", "I don't need it!", "Do we really have to study it?", "What's English for ?" were my students' feelings in the beginning of the year. They belonged to a CEF class. They were sixteen-seventeen year olds who had been failing for years. This class was their last chance to complete 3º ciclo.
So, what to do with a bunch of unmotivated students?
I tried to think of something which would mix handicraft (one of their best areas!) and their (scarce!) knowledge of the English vocabulary and grammar. So, I asked them to create a Scrapbook with the following sections:

1. Personal Identification
2. My Family
3. My Friends
4. My School and my teachers
5. My daily routine
6. My hobbies
7. (Student's choice)

Well, the idea proved to be a good one, because they really got involved in it. They looked for photos, pictures, materials to create it. They were afraid they didn't know how to write their texts, but each one developed the texts according to their knowledge. I'm glad they enjoyed it!
Here are some examples:

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