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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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“Lost Property” – Memories and emotions, the value of Mental Health

Date of Publication

15 August 2018

Target Group


Domain Area

Medicine & Nursing

Learning Scenario

Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material


Linguistic Features





From a technological point of view, to use the resource you need a computer with internet access and a platform that allows screen sharing.
The resource is aimed at students with an intermediate (B1) level of language proficiency. Students who may be less comfortable with the topic may be able to complete the task in a less descriptive and developed way.
The resource presented is an optimised version of another resource applied to two classes of Chinese students learning Portuguese as a foreign language.
The validation occurred after each application and allowed the adjustment and improvement of the resource, which led to the version presented here.

Case study

This resource is intended for the 2nd year course unit, semester 1, Conversation in Portuguese III, part of the Applied Portuguese Language course and for Chinese students.
Students attend the first year of the course in China and the second and third years in Portugal in linguistic immersion.
Since, in today's society, students are easily captivated by images, the resource aims to stimulate oral production from the reading of a moving image (video) by calling on inferential skills since the video does not have any text. This way, we intend to articulate very closely the reading of the image with the oral expression.
With this resource, the students were able to combine the knowledge of the elementary level, i.e. using simple vocabulary for the objective description of the images, with the thematic and linguistic knowledge of the intermediate level. The resource was created in this way precisely to respond to the heterogeneity of the class, allowing all students to feel capable of performing the task.


Step 1: Activating the topic
The teacher, based on the dialogical relationship, begins the lesson with a review of the previous lesson, recovering some fixed expressions such as "stay/keep in memory"; "have a good/bad memory"; "be a good/bad memory".
Step 2: Presentation of the video
The teacher gets students’ attention and asks two questions: a) Which objects are important in the story? And why?; b) What is lost and what is gained throughout the story?
Step 3: Understanding the video
The teacher begins by asking appreciative questions about the video. What the students liked/didn't like and why; whether it is a children's video and why.
Following this, the teacher asks the question about the important objects, taking the opportunity to recall some housing vocabulary; then the second question and discuss/explore the real message of the resource (ageing causes memory loss and there are diseases that affect memory, e.g. Alzheimer's, depression, dementia...)
The teacher writes down the most important words of the topic on the board.
Step 4: Spoken production: sharing a good memory
The teacher asks students to prepare, in about 5 minutes, a presentation of a good memory, providing some guiding topics (What happened? When and where did it happen? How did you feel at the moment it happened? How do you feel now remembering that moment? How do you feel it helped or hindered you?) The fact that there is little time for preparation is precisely to avoid writing the text and then reading it (a tendency of students learning a foreign language). The intention is that they should just take notes. Students can look up some vocabulary so that the presentation is emotive, fluent and gives the feeling of spontaneity and naturalness characteristic of oral discourse.
The teacher introduces the activity to the class and presents an example of a good memory, a fact from their life.
Each student presents their 'good memory' and after each presentation, the teacher asks questions to ensure that the rest of the class is attentive and makes effort to understand their colleague.
Note: The teacher writes down each student's performance on a grid. The grid is easy to fill in and has few parameters, namely: task fulfilment; use of specific vocabulary; linguistic correctness; fluency. It is filled in with the numerical classification 1 (weak), 2 (insufficient), 3 (sufficient), 4 (good) and 5 (very good).
Step 5: Recording Emotion


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
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


As the resource is based on an animated product that exemplifies the art of filmmaking and offers a moving image, it is a highly motivating factor for young adults and adults in general.
A gradual exploration of the resource and the theme is intended as the resource moves from the objective to the subjective, from the physical and real world to the world of emotions, which also calls upon vocabulary of different levels in order to allow on the one hand the systematisation and on the other the application of new words, making the task with a balanced level of difficulty and accessible to students with less linguistic skills.
The presentation of a model is considered central even at this level of proficiency and bearing in mind the heterogeneity of the students. The intention is to impel the student to action, guiding him/her.
The resource is current and innovative because it associates two areas of knowledge (art and health) and promotes critical thinking. This articulation is extremely important so that students understand that "going to the cinema" can be a moment of leisure, but also a moment of culture, knowledge, reflection and personal growth, a fact that can be widely developed, even autonomously, due to the accessibility of the resource and others of the same kind.
The evaluation of the oral production was simultaneous to the presentation and guided by a previously prepared grid. If, on the one hand, the grid is simple and easy to fill in, on the other hand, it does not allow a detailed record of the student's performance. Even though it is a formative assessment, this record is considered adequate for the purpose. It is extremely important that the teacher gives this feedback to the student so that he or she understands what needs to be improved.
The evaluation of the oral productions could also be done by the student him/herself (self-evaluation) and by the peers (hetero-evaluation).
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