Student and Teacher Perspectives on Co-created CLIL-Appropriate Materials Focused on Critical Thinking and Active Citizenship
Keywords:21st-century skills, active citizenship, CLIL materials, civic engagement, student-centered
The International Relations English program at a university in the north of Colombia is a CLIL-based program. Students share an interest in issues related to rights and politics, both locally and globally. Colombia arrived at a historical juncture with the signing of the peace accords between the government and FARC guerrillas in 2016. However, this coincided with an extreme polarisation of political discourse. This polarisation was evident throughout the 2016 plebiscite on the peace agreements and further intensified in the build-up to the 2018 presidential elections. In response, teachers and students created a web series where students outlined the candidates’ critical proposals without revealing the candidates’ identities. Students researched the proposals and worked with a teacher to prepare English transcripts of the proposals. Eight videos were created, shared via social media, and made available to local English teachers at secondary and university levels. The project’s purpose was to encourage active citizenship and foment a more critical analysis of the candidates’ proposals. To achieve this, students utilised the anonymity of the candidates and English as the chief medium of communication. This project allowed teachers to use authentic and relevant student-generated materials to encourage more critical discussion. The students involved in the project reported feelings of political efficacy and civic engagement. Teachers expressed satisfaction at having contextually rich language materials. This project indicates the potential for student-generated materials to provide contextually relevant and highly motivating educational materials.
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