English Teacher Training Course
Date du début: 7 juil. 2014,
Date de fin: 7 juil. 2015
The main aim of the project was to give our students the chance to find out about the differences and similarities of two European countries, namely their home country Austria and Ireland. We decided to conduct the project in the 4th grade as the topic Ireland is part of their curriculum. Before we started our project we gave them various background information on Ireland in the subjects History, P.E., Music, Geography and of course English. Throughout August and September we also tried to find an Irish school via E-Twinning willing to work with us but unfortunately we weren't able to find any interested schools. However, during our stay in Ireland we had already found some interested teachers in our language school who told us that they would support us, should we not be able to find a partner school. Besides we also got the chance to invite an Irish student (who was doing an internship at a Carinthian school) for a couple of lessons. Having an Irish native in school was of course not only a great help but also an exciting experience for our students.
In October the students were told to get together into groups and to choose a topic they'd be interested in. They were also given a deadline of a week for finding a topic of their own interest. Apart from 1-2 exceptions this worked out quite well. Those who weren't able to find a topic themselves got one from us teachers. Initially we had planned groups of 4-5 students but as there were only 18 students left in this class at the beginning of the school year we decided to form smaller groups (2-3 students) in order to have a greater variety of topics. From October to January we had a project lesson every week in which students could do research (library or Internet), get in touch with our Irish teachers via e-mail or Facebook or talk to our Irish student in order to get the necessary information. Every two weeks we had a lesson in which the students had to present us the progress of their project.
In January the students had already got lots of information on their topics and now it was time for them to start preparing posters or powerpoint presentations and practising their presentations orally. At that point we also stated to arrange dates for their presentations. We had decided on presentations in class first (as a so-called warm-up) and then the other 4th graders, teachers and our headmistress were invited to watch them present their topics. As a last step those doing really well in their presentations were asked to present them to their parents at the so-called ""KEL-Gespräche"". This is a special meeting (teacher, student, parents) at which students have to show their parents what they are especially good at and what they have achieved throughout the school year.
It has to be said that some teachers were really supportive and even practised with the students in the afternoon, for example teaching them Irish line dance, Irish songs or baking traditional Irish Christmas cake with them. As students were willing to stay in school after their regular lessons you can see that they were really motivated and enjoyed working on their chosen topics.
We worked on the following topics:
* Christmas in Austria and Ireland
* Typical Austrian and Irish music
* School system in Austria and Ireland
* Traditional sports in Austria and Ireland
* Dublin versus Vienna
* History of Austria and Ireland
* Traditional food and drink (Austria vs. Ireland)
* Geographical features of Austria and Ireland
Apart from the presentations, Ireland played and important part throughout the whole school year. The Art teacher for example taught the students Irish art, students created their own Celtic crosses, signs, etc. On St. Patrick's day we had an additional presentation on St. Patrick's and a little celebration in class. In order to conclude the project we decided to have an Irish breakfast together with all teachers involved.
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