There are more than 1.5 billion English Language Learners in the world today. Are you or your students included in this statistic? PenPal Schools helps ESL students develop essential reading and writing skills through global project based learning.
Global communication is a perfect way for our students to study English as a foreign language and to present their own culture, customs and traditions to their new friends. What is more, they can improve the usage of ICT.
Global PBL with PenPal Schools promotes several best practices for teaching English Language Learners. Our online community of students from over 150 different countries is a low-stress environment for students to practice the English language in an authentic way. Each PBL unit incorporates a variety of ways to share information including images, videos, and peer interactions. Finally, many of our projects focus on student interests and are designed to motivate students to use their background knowledge to continue growing as English speakers.
This week’s newest PenPal Star is Auguste from Lithuania! Auguste is an English Language Learner that participated in Clothing & Culture of the World. This is a great PBL unit for English Language Learners because it allows students to use what they know about fashion and connect that understanding to a more abstract concept: culture. By analyzing clothing around the world, students gain a greater understanding of different countries’ climates, histories, favorite activities, and identities as well as their own. Who knew that you could teach so much through fashion?
I think that PenPal Schools is like a classroom without walls. It gives my students a chance to get connected with their peers in any part of the world. They enjoy the rich diversity of new foreign friends in the online environment. Also, there is a huge increase in their knowledge and self- confidence.
For the Final Showcase Project, Auguste analyzed different fashion trends from her country and shared about her favorite shoes! In the project, Auguste does a great job describing fashion using strong vocabulary words, multiple details, and photos to support her writing. Learn more about Lithuania’s current fashion trends in this project based learning example and ask your students, is Lithuanian fashion similar to fashion in your country?
There are trendy clothing in Lithuania that have survived in the 90s. People dress up very colourful. This autumn is a trendy tiger coat. Also in Lithuania it is fashionable to wear FILLS shoes.
In 1 photo: The wide trousers are currently very popular, which also came from 90s.
In 2 photo: Simple black belt is very is fashionable with colourful or plane trousers, this fashion is worn most often in autumn.
In 3 photo: Like in, there is also a very fashionable WAIST BAG. Waist bag- this is a small, usually zippered pack or pouch attached to a belt and worn around the waist, also called belt bag. It also survived from the 90s.
These are my black trainers:
My mom brought them from England.
I like them very much, because they are in fashion.
These have white line, they are tired of VANS shoes, but they
are not like that.
They are made of canvas.
I wear them to school, because this is not prohibited in our school.
I wear them when there is warm air, during the rain [it is] not possible [to] wear.
This project does a great job of presenting Ukrainian fashion for other students around the world. When Auguste says that her black trainers “have a white line” and are “made of canvas”, she is able to paint a picture in her readers’ minds.
It was so fun to learn about Lithuania’s fashion with Auguste! We reached out to her to find out more about her and her experience with PenPal Schools:
What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
Auguste: [My] most favorite part of the project was that I could find out more about styles of different people in various countries. I learned that a lot of people around the world like the same style as me.
Tell us about the final project you decided to publish in the showcase! What did you choose to create, and why? How did you come up with that idea?
Auguste: I wanted to find out if trainers like mine are worn by other students in other countries.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
Auguste: [I learned that] everyone has his own style.
What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Auguste: My favourite subject is Lithuanian language as it is easy to study and I think my native language is very nice.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Auguste: I would like to visit France because there so many famous places.
What do you like to do after school or for fun? Are you in any clubs or activities?
Auguste: I like to play with my pet dog. It's name is Lota. I like reading fantasy books, too.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
Auguste: Because you can ask any questions you like.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Auguste: Be active, communicate to everyone and not to be shy. Communication is the most valuable source of knowledge.
Congratulations Auguste! You did a great job sharing about Lithuania’s clothing and culture with other students around the world. Thank you for being such an awesome PenPal Star!
Want to learn more about how global project based learning can support ESL students? Check out these resources and PBL examples:
PBL Example: ELLs from Hungary Showcase their School Pride
How to Teach Writing through Global Project Based Learning
PBL Example: Student in Argentina Discovers a World of Similarities
Meet our Global Ambassador: Lori Wu from Taiwan