Course ePortfolio

PenPals: A language and cultural immersion experience

This 4-week prject has been designed to support and consolidate your English learning process as a second language. So far, you´ve been exposed to the English language at school and in its classrooms by interacting with your teachers and classmates in order to rich a high-intermediate level of English so far. This course is intended to take you to a higher level in your language skills and to also have a meaningful immersion experience with different English speaking school students from different cultures around the world. This online learning community will facilitate the connectivity and interaction with other students around the world, that like you, study in high school program and share similar characteristics in life and learning, but in different cultural contexts. As you may notice soon, culture is the best way of learning a second language. Welcome to a fun cultural and learning experience! 

Esta project de 4 semanas se ha diseñado para apoyar y consolidar tu proceso de aprendizaje de inglés como segunda lengua. Por ahora has estado expuesto(a) al idioma inglés como segunda lengua en el colegio y en las aulas interactuando con tus profesores y compañeros de clase para alcanzar un nivel alto - intermedio de Inglés hasta el momento. Este curso busca llevarte a un nivel más alto en tus habilidades de lenguaje y también ofrecerte una experiencia de inmersión significativa con diferentes estudiantes hablantes del idioma inglés de diferentes culturas alrededor del mundo. Esta comunidad de aprendizaje virtual facilitará la conexión e interacción con otros estudiantes que como tú se encuentran cursando el mismo grado escolar y comparten características similares y experimentan las mismas etapas de vida y aprendizaje, pero en contextos culturales diferentes. Como ya lo hemos discutido con anterioridad, la mejor manera de aprender una segunda lengua es a través de su cultura. Bienvenido(a).  

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In order to be able to participate in this online learning consolidation stage of our first learning cycle, you must have alredy achieved the English subject goals which are a prerequisite for language level for this immersion, with a minimum grade according to the school standards. 

Pedagogical Approach

This is a blended extension and complementary course for a formal educational program a at a high school language class. The focus of this course is to have communicative, cultural and interactive approach to make a language learning experience meaningful through the interaction with other cultures in real contexts. Therefore, this course lies in a Connectivist approach which will allow students to learn directly from others experiences and cultures by having them connecting to a schools learning community.

Learning Outcomes

  • Ss (students) will use social skills to interact with others in a new, rich culture and real context to exchange meaningful experiences. 
  • Ss will challenge themselves to explore and start a new learning experience using their language skills in a second language and gain confidence. 
  • Ss will go beyond the linguistic features and rules to experience the cultural component of a second language and learn from it meaningfully. 
  • During the whole process Ss will transfer important language and cultural silks to their daily lives.  

Assessment

Students will join the PenPal Schools community world widely known and register in a project called "schools around the world" in order to exchange experiences and cultural facts from their life at school and about their culture main and outstanding characteristics through weekly strategically designed tasks. Once students join the PenPal Schools community, they will create a student profile indicating their country and schools details and personal-academic interests. Students will then join a specific project by registering with a class code sent by the teacher via e-mail through the PenPal platform. Right after this, students will fill a pledge format where they get the compromise of interacting with their PenPal a minimum time per week and to follow some social interactions standard rules. Once students visualize the course, they will have access to a introduction-guide that will let them realize about the context, impact and purpose of the project. Immediately, students will meet the first task description, a deadline, a task sample and tips and the evaluation indicators to develop it. These evaluation criteria are previously socialized by the teacher with students in their face to face classes at school as well as the complete project description and outcomes. Teacher will implement both summative and formative assessment strategies: Summative: there will be an ongoing process of evaluation by checking student's whole process (number interactions, quality and relevance of the content, weekly participation, materials used to fulfill tasks, motivation, etc.) which will reflect the 40% of their overall project performance.  Formative: final products; tasks and the ePortfolio will be evaluated as the 60% of students' final course grade.  The teacher role will be supportive by monitoring and following students' activity on the PenPal platform. 

Other Information

All the outcomes; learning experiences, memories, tools used to fulfill the tasks and reflections on the process will be socialized in the school classroom with the entire school community. 

Course Resources

  • PenPals Schools
    PenPals Schools (External link)
    PenPal Schools is a global learning community where teachers can foster global awareness and understanding of a variety... More
  • PenPal Schools: Brendan & Moneer
    Watch this video to comprenhend the dynamics of the community 
  • Student Log In instruction
    Student Log In instruction (External link)
    Check this out to support your log in process 
  • Project presentation and general instructions
    Read this document to follow the isntructions for the project 
  • Guía de evaluación y desempeño
  • Instrucciones ingreso del perfil del instructor UOC
    Para uso exclusivo de la UOC. Fund. del DTP