What our Young Learners get up to: English learning projects in Kent

This post was written for us by Bethan Edwards, our Academic Manager for Young Learners in Torquay.

There is always something going on at our English schools and this summer, our teachers and students at the Kaplan Young Learner Centre Kent have been working extremely hard and of course having great fun at the same time!

The classes have been working together on projects in English that involve working collaboratively and using communication skills to boost their English language education.

Projects to help you learn English

One of our projects involves working collaboratively and cooperatively in a group to produce a single piece of work.  Students come together to create, plan and produce a creative piece in English such as a video, a fake advertisement, an international cook-book or even something a bit different like designing a restaurant!

Before starting on the project, the Kaplan teacher gives out a topic and some activities and exercises on useful vocabulary related to it. Students also practice using functional phrases that will help them discuss ideas in English.

With the first planning stage of the project, students work in their groups to decide what they want to produce and how they’re going to go about producing it. Members of the group are then assigned different roles and work can begin on bringing the project together.

While the students are working on projects, the teachers observe, help groups out and guide the work where necessary. They also of course help out with any English language questions.  At the end of the week, it’s presentation time, which is the chance for the students to show the whole school how hard the group has been working and show off what they have produced.

As an example, for the international cook book project, the group researched different international foods, put together different menus and recipes based on their research and then presented their work back to the class.

young learners 3 How effective are group projects in helping you learn English?

One of the project examples we mentioned above was designing an international restaurant. They wanted to share how much they got out of their project:

The idea of this project was that everybody can make international meals of other countries and make more friends.

In this project we learned a lot of things. We learned the traditional foods of other countries and we learned why they are very important to the country.

We had a chance to work in groups, to listen to others, to respect other group members and we learned more English. Most importantly, we learned to make friends! The groups were fun because nobody did anything they didn’t want to. Everybody had an idea that we all liked and we did it together.

 This project also helped us to speak in English and made everyone feel comfortable to talk.

How can project work help me improve my English?

Exactly how can group work improve your English? Here are some of the ways you can benefit.

  • Group work requires you to speak in English to discuss your ideas with your group. As you work on your project you need to look up new words and phrases to help you in your presentation. You can use your dictionaries and of course your Kaplan teacher will help you too.
  • By using your English skills to share your ideas and plan you project with people from other countries, you are getting great practice in communicating in English. You need to find ways to express your ideas, agree and disagree and carry out research on your topic.
  • You also get a chance to practice your writing skills, as groups usually produce a written presentation to show the school.
  • Projects are also a great way to improve your presentation skills. At the end of the week you present your work, your ideas or even put on a show for the whole school so you get to practice your public speaking skills!

Some other English language projects from Kent

This year, students in Kent have worked on a great variety of projects. Here are another two examples:

  • Michal’s class worked on a news segment – Kaplan news. They included slots on current affairs, things that had been happening around campus during the week, a guide to Kent and the great things you can see and do at Kaplan Kent Young Learners Centre. They also conducted interviews with the Director of Studies, Sarka Cox, who explained why she enjoys working at Kaplan so much.
  • Magda, one of our teachers, does street dancing, and so the topic for one week was Entertainment. The class decided to research, rehearse and perform a street dance. In their presentation, they included facts and details on the vocabulary and skills you need to be a good street dancer as well as giving a dynamic performance in the farewell ceremony!

Got an idea for a project or want to know more about what our Young Learners get up to? Drop us a comment!

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