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Mobile Project with Brazil

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2013 is the German-Brazilian year; the school I work for wanted someone to do a project on Brazil. I started thinking about ideas for intercultural mobile projects so I wrote to an English teacher I know in Brasilia and asked if she was interested in working with me next term. She was so keen on the project that she even invited a friend to join us with his group. We started immediately. A project between Brazil and Germany would not be possible without computers or mobile phones. The first problem we encountered was that the school in Brasilia had no internet connection;

however, that was not going to stop us and the teacher over there soon found a solution. At my end I searched for tools to fit my ideas and ended up using Padlet  a nice and easy way to upload own photographs, videos and write something on one interactive wall which can be used with mobile devices and computers. Padlet can be for the public or for a closed group.                 I recommend the second alternative for school projects. The plan was to make our groups interview each other. The whole process of filling the wall took four weeks. My group needed nine sessions of 45 minutes each. We used computers, cameras, tablets and mobile phones. The project can also work with only one tablet and beamer.

There were five steps:

  1. My group started reading about the two cities Rio and Brasilia  and started thinking about questions to ask the Brazilian groups. Some topics were food, school, fashion, jobs, sports and free time. That was a really good reading practice.
  2. The group was divided into small groups of two to five people according to their topic of interest and they started making questions, I made corrections while they were working and then uploaded the questions together with pictures of our school and a link to the sites of our city Duesseldorf plus the mobile version m.duesseldorf-tourismus This way we revised tenses, syntax and vocabulary.
  3. The teacher in Brasilia printed out what we wrote and filmed the answers of her students, later she uploaded everything on Youtube and put a link on our page.
  4. The groups in Rio wrote their answers and filmed questions for my group. That was an extraordinary listening comprehension exercise for my group!
  5. My group answered the questions of both groups in written version, but we sent a video too. That was writing and oral challenge for all students.

I found the whole process to be very good language training. It was also interesting to learn so much about Brazil. The wall was finally full of wonderful pictures and written work. Our students liked the intercultural exchange, they are motivated and want to continue with the project, so we are expanding it using other tools and hopefully putting new ideas into practice next term. One of our wishes is to invite more countries to join, if you have a secondary school or preparatory school course and are interested in joining, contact me.


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