This year our school started a new project, a bilingual subject in which a group of students of 3rd ESO studied Biology in English. The project was carried out by biology teacher Elena Juíz. I want to congratulate her, the students of the group and a wonderful speaking assistant- not my words, she collaborated very closely with Elena two hours a week and they did a great job - Emma Vail. We were lucky to work with a reasonable sized group for a language - 16-, a motivated group whose only problem was being too worried about gook marks to risk doing the exams in English.
Anyway, they had at least
one biology lesson a week in English, we dedicated most of the weekly speaking lesson
to speak about science topics, especially those related to the human body, health
and disease, prevention and, as the final work of the year, the students
created four stories about how body organs work and common diseases. That is
what you will be able to see in this entry, and I think they are really
brilliant and were very wonderfully represented in front of the class and other
groups. If the goal was to get students
to speak English, they have reached it.
In addition, they became used to speaking in front of other people –
serious problem they had in general-. Most
of them could do it without reading, in a very natural way, and they gained
motivation and confidence to go on improving next year.
As coordinator of the
project, I must say it has been really rewarding working with both students and
Elena and Emma, and see that the students were able to do the exams in English-
all of them were written in English- and see them become more and more
confident when using this language. I
think the basic question is to create a relaxed environment during lessons and
make them understand that making mistakes when speaking is not something to be
punished, but a necessary step to improvement.
This way they are not afraid of taking part in conversations or presentations,
it is part of the training, the practice, the only way to progress towards proficiency. They do not feel they are being tested all
the time and so they are willing to participate.
Presentaciónes 3º Bilingüe