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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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Report Writing

Date of Publication

19 October 2016

Target Group


Domain Area

Business & Communication
International Relations
Teacher Education

Learning Scenario

Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material


Linguistic Features





This online powtoon video was used because it is interactive and engaging for the students. It was used as a warmer and as a motivational trigger prior to introducing the explanation/powerpoint itself. This method was validated considering that students engaged into the task and produced well-structured reports. The groups of learners were CEFR Level B2, therefore they were prepared to able to follow the online video.
Methods of validation include the online video being used in other Higher Education Institutions, with similar outcomes, student academic engagement and academic achievement when tested informally, through continuous assessment and when tested more formally at mid-term and final assessment.

Case study

The resource was used as a warmer to introduce a ‘hard’ topic, which was writing reports, this being taught online. It was used right at the beginning of the lesson, with plenty of animation on the video, but most importantly with serious content. Therefore, by resorting to language play, the teacher was able to capture students’ attention and trigger their motivation for a difficult topic, which is writing a formal report. The target students were attending Year 1 of the Degree in Languages for International Relations.

This was followed by a more serious powerpoint presentation on formal vs informal reports (enclosed). Then the Coursebook (First Expert) was used, where there was a sample report, which was analyzed jointly with the students, with the main aim of students producing a similar piece of writing (formal report). Student numbers were around 120.


The video can be divided into different sections, even though they are all related, with the teacher pausing at each step. This resource can be used as a warmer/ice-breaker for introducing the topic (03.00 minutes). Then the lecturer can move on to a more extensive ‘animated’ powerpoint (enclosed).
Duration of the video: 03 minutes
Following a task-based approach, some guidelines are provided:
1. (warmer) The Lecturer explains that students are going wo watch an animated video which contains a brief introduction to reports.
2. In order to prepare students for watching the video, L. asks the students whether they have written reports for other curricular units before.
3. Then, after watching the video, L. asks students if they are clear about the structure and objectives writing a report
4. Afterwards the L. starts a powerpoint (also a digital resource) explaining the structure and differences between formal and informal reports (enclosed).
5. Students are then invited to write a report, as per the example in their textbooks (commenting on charts, graphs and figures).

Possible follow-up exercises
Students write a formal report according to the instructions in their Textbooks.


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 mentioned previously, this online resource boosts students’ motivation and engages them into the formalities of academic writing. Moreover, the interactive nature of the ‘powtoon’ video is also useful to keep students paying attention to the lesson and it is certainly helpful in avoiding student’s distraction, such as checking their mobile phones and accessing the Internet for other purposes.
At present Higher Education Lecturers deal with an ‘online generation’ in their classrooms (on-site, online and blended learning paradigms), therefore we are all challenged to counteract students’ distractions and keep them engaged in lessons to ensure academic achievement in order to better prepare them to life in society. As such, in my own view, online resources, if properly and carefully selected, should be a key part of our HE daily teaching practice.
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