This activity pack is accessible through the Activity Library on the IWitness website of the Shoah Foundation. Registration is required but the resources are totally free. The Lesson is divided into the following 4 Cs - Consider, Collect, Construct and Communicate. Students/leaners can easily adapt to this resource as, by following all the steps suggested, they can use it rather autonomously.
There is also a tool kit on the right that students/educators can open to access 5 folders - About this activity (with the activity guide for teachers and downloadable resources), Educators (with more resources), links to the Encyclopedia, Glossary (organised alphabetically) and Notes (where students can return to the notes they produced throughout the activity).
1. This activity was implemented with a group of 20 students in the 3rd year of the degree course in Languages for International Relations. As this was the second lesson we had, it was a good way to assess students’ level of English because this activity allows moments of both speaking and writing, besides individual and group work.
First, students were asked what rights and responsibilities citizens have in a democracy and then, they read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, in groups, chose the three articles they found most important, giving reasons for their choice. After that, we all watched together the video What is the Guatemalan Genocide? at IWitness and students said what fundamental human rights were violated in Guatemala in the 1980s.
After this, students registered on the website using the Keycode I gave them and did the interactive activities proposed.
In the end, we all looked at word clouds created for each of the videos provided and compared the choice of words and the six-word stories. Students were then encouraged to leave a comment on their colleagues’ final work as feedback.
This activity worked really well and students got a glimpse of what is expected from them at this level in terms of autonomous work, collaborative work and critical thinking.
The lesson provides all the necessary guidelines and they are to be used autonomously.
At the stage of considering, there is a 4-minute video (in English) introducing the topic, then the picture of two women - Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez - the first accompanied with some questions and the second with a short text, where the students have the possibility of writing down their notes. At the end of this information quest, students can click on five photos titled Opportunity, Women’s Collectives, Choices, Social Justice and Indigenous Activism. Each allows access to videos that vary from 1 to 4 minutes (in Spanish with English subtitles).
In the Collect stage, students can create their own cloud words that they gathered through or retrieved from the previous stage. They can choose the colour and size of the words to match the feelings the quest triggered and the strength or importance they hold. Once having done this, students can explain their collection by writing down their reflections.
As for the Construct stage, students can create their own quest and write their story that they will then describe in 6 words for their colleagues to see/read. At the last stage - Communicate -, students can access their colleagues’ word clouds and information quests and provide “respectful feedback”.
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students
The provided tangible improvements
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills
Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning
Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries
Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning
Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need
Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student
This resource matches both lecturers and students’ needs. It is ultimately an activity pack that can allow students to practise and enhance their autonomy, reading and writing, along with their critical thinking. Students are also able to interact with each other and access each other’s productions at the very end of this lesson. There is a myriad of activities and tasks, all technology based, and students will eventually appreciate some if both all of them. Technically, it is very easy to use, enabling students to go forward or backward. It can be one whole lesson in itself.
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