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Five Good Reasons and More for Visiting Trieste

Il progetto didattico

The work was divided into two parts

Part one (collecting and organizing information):
1. The different topics presented in this work were explored through a starting brainstorming activity in class: the idea was to list what is peculiar in our town and is worth a visit.
2. After a collection of topics was made, each student decided which of them he would work on, finding both pictures and information about it.
3. A week’s time was given to get ready to present that topic. The work had to be individual: it consisted in an oral presentation supported by images. Students could make use of the interactive multimedia board installed in their classroom. In case a student could not find relevant data about his or her topic, his classmates would try and help. Both books about Trieste and information on the Internet were made available.
4. All the students prepared their materials at home and submitted them to the class during the presentation: they could check if the contents were dealt appropriately and if their uses of English were adequate.
5. Having tested their work, they made a presentation to the foreign students.

Part two (working for the multimedia narration):
6. Texts and pictures underwent a collective selection: the five categories (peculiar buildings, interesting places, great writers, great events, legends and sayings) were established and the topics to be inserted in each category selected.
7. The authors of the different texts recorded their productions at school. In small groups, students mixed voice recordings to soundtracks.
8. Students gathered pictures on the Internet; they also took pictures with the aid of the teachers.
9. The collection of written material, of audio files and of pictures was collectively prepared for publication. Teachers helped in organizing the activities.

This project resulted in a deeply motivating series of activities for three main reasons:
- Students learnt facts about their town, not because they were assigned a traditional work by their teachers, but because they felt responsible for what the two foreign students came to know about Trieste. Looking for curious places and discovering their histories, finding information about local poets and narrators, tracing visual clues and taking pictures became a sort of ‘treasure hunt’ where the true treasure students got to was knowledge.
- Being involved in an English multimedia project, students had to collect different materials and prepare for both a written and a spoken presentation. The aim of making effective English messages made students aware of the importance of writing good texts. This resulted in a higher control of their communicative skills in English.
- Students worked together for a common project: this meant selecting good strategies for interacting, coping with difficulties in communication, supporting low performances and encouraging classmates. There was an improve in the quality of the relational climate.