Documentary about your school

Additional Info

  • Name: Documentary about your school

  • Linguistic dimension

  • CEFR Level: A2, B1
  • Linguistic dimension - Skill(s): Speaking / Listening / Writing
  • Duration: 3 x 60 minutes but variable dependent on individual circumstances and degree of outcome
  • Target language: Any
  • ICT dimension

  • ICT resources:

    Camcorder or other similar device capable or recording images and sound, PC for editing, Internet for clipart, projector, Internet access, Youtube account

  • ICT competences: Camcorder filming and editing, internet browsing. PC use.
  • Detailed description of the task

  • Situation / theme(s): Create a documentary about your school Note: the context for this task is flexible. the skills and competences and some of the vocabulary could be generic, the context could be about your home town for example-
  • Product requirements or prerequisites: Students should already be familiar with the vocabulary related to facilities in a school and to basic questioning techniques.
  • I can...:
    • work effectively in a group and fulfil the role allocated to me
    • devise a script for a short documentary in the foreign language using appropriate vocabulary and grammar
    • interview a selection of peers and adults in the school community
    • assist in the editing and production of the final documentary
    • present the documentary to peers and teacher(s) for comment and approval
    • upload the documentary to intranet or Youtube
  • Product: Filmed documentary for school intranet or web upload
  • Product requirements or prerequisites:

    Students should already be familiar with the vocabulary related to facilities in a school and to basic questioning techniques.

  • Process:
    • Students (in groups) are asked to discuss what should be included in the documentary

    • A summary of the draft outline of the proposed documentary is shared with peers in group discussions

    • Groups amend, as necessary, their original proposal in the light of group feedback

    • Now, detailed discussion takes place in the individual groups. In order to do this efficiently, groups should appoint roles and tasks among the group members.

    • Permissions need to be sought to allow students to leave the classroom to complete the filming schedule and, if appropriate, any interviews

    • Viewing of the film and audio recording to make selections

    • Editing of the selected material and inclusion of graphics as appropriate

    • Presentation of draft documentary to peers and teacher

    • Upload of approved final version to intranet or internet e.g. Youtube

  • Division of roles (optional): Groups assigned at the outset by mutual agreement or by the teacher as deemed appropriate Roles within the groups are negotiated by the group with the teacher acting as adviser where necessary
  • Consolidating activities suggested or follow up plan:

    Groups watch and listen to the documentaries and make notes. Opinions and comments are shared with the presenters. The teacher should point out any key vocabulary or structures that have commonly been used throughout the task and assist with any language difficulties.

  • Success factors or evaluation criteria:

    Students will have succeeded if they achieve the following:

    • identify appropriate information for the documentary

    • establish a ‘running order’

    • negotiate roles fairly within the group

    • complete a filming/interviewing schedule

    • present in a coherent and fluent manner

    • be informative and entertaining

    • be able to provide constructive criticism on peer work

    • act on feedback provided making amendments as required

    • upload completed documentary to intranet/internet

  • Authors: John De Cecco, Lindsay Dombrowski.
  • Didactic added value of the task and other information

  • Practical hints for teachers:

    Students should already be familiar with camcorder filming and editing. Presentation skills and working collaboratively are will be further developed.

  • Additional methodological or didactic comments:

    Some technical assistance may be required at the outset and this may involve a whole class demonstration/exemplification of the style or format of the documentary.  

  • Reasons why this task is a model of best practices:

    The ICT skills are key competences for educational, social and work-related use.

    The task requires essential competences in working with others.

  • Impact that it is expected to have on the teaching practices and attitudes:

    The task facilitates the incorporation of ICT into the classroom and encourages collaborative working. Student motivation is enhanced by the development of useful, real-life skills which will serve students well throughout their lifelong learning.

  • Reasons why this task travels well:

    The task incorporates many significant features of language competences across national curricula, development of ICT skills and collaborative working.

    The specific situation however can be modified, adapted, or expanded where necessary, to suit curricular constraints while still maintaining the essence of the task’s products and skills set. Any such modifications might require adjustments to the CEFR levels.  Indeed, the original CEFR levels, as stated for this task, should not in themselves impose restrictions on the range of abilities for which the task is appropriate.  Teachers will use their professional expertise to determine what modifications are necessary.

  • Rationale and/or theoretical underpinnings of the task: TBLT using CEFR common reference levels

Tasks By Country