Project WorkLearning outcomesProject ideasFAQShort film project: OverviewScopePlanningPreparationFinalising and follow-upEvaluationLessons: 123456789101112131415Deliverables: Main ideaProgress reportOutline ScriptReferencesPowerPointPortfolio
A practical guide to running a successful 30-hour (15-lesson) short film project in English with (pre-)intermediate students: planning, lessons, evaluation, deliverables, samples and experiences, plus ideas for other projects.

Short Films and Other Project Ideas

If you want to do your own English project you can for example let your students produce a short film, web site, blog, tour, quiz show, play, brochure, newspaper or magazine. Have a look at some project samples in the side bar >>> and read our experiences below.

Short Film. Teams produce a 5-10 minute short film about their school, their life or any other topic depending on the scope set
by the teacher.

The first short film project that was done brought mixed success regarding the participation of team members and the quality of the English in the finished products, but once we found a solution to these problems two subsequent short film projects were very successful. The films were posted on our departmental YouTube channel and we organised a short film festival with the best films and an awards ceremony afterwards.

This blog describes the short film project from scope, planning, overview, preparation and lessons to finalising and follow-up, evaluation and deliverables.

Web site/blog. Teams produce their own websites about the school, their clubs, their activities etc. Afterwards the teacher incorporates the best sites into the school web site. 

You don't have to be an expert to make a weblog like this one on, but the teams need Internet access for the duration of the project. You don't need Internet access if you let the teams build a web site locally, but using a local web builder requires more expert knowledge.

We have done this kind of project twice introducing sights in the Academy and the students' activities. We assigned the teams to write at least the following 5 sections on their blog: a team introduction, a description of the sight / activity, at least 5 photos with captions, a link section with at least 5 relevant English-language links and an interview with a supervisor of the location / activity.

Instead of building a web site or a blog, you could also build your site as a wiki, easily created and maintained by a group of students collaboratively.

Limited technology?
If you have no or limited access to technology, there are still many types of projects you can do:

Tour. Teams describe sights and/or important places in the school grounds and give visitors a guided tour at the end of the project. 

Before we had our language lab with computers we used to do projects without or with limited technology support. Each team selected 4 sights in the Academy, researched its history and background information in the library and wrote a description of the sight. Another project comprised writing about 2 famous people in the Academy's Hall of Fame.

For the tour around the Academy and the Hall of Fame we asked the foreign and local English teachers to act as visitors, listen to the teams' presentations and ask them questions about it. Whenever real foreign visitors came to the Academy later, our students were sometimes assigned to show them around.

The only ICT support we used in these projects was MS office for the later drafts of the written work. I later added the sight descriptions with a team photo to the Academy's website (some were replaced by weblogs built in later projects), but we never published the Hall of Fame work because of the low quality of the research. From this project we learnt to check the references earlier on in the project.

Other low-technology project ideas are for example setting up a quiz show for e.g. class teams, performing a play for the school, making a brochure about the school, writing a school magazine, or publishing a class newspaper. We have also been thinking about integrating English and another subject in a project but we haven't tried yet. Use your imagination!