31 12-year old students, enrolled at Colegiul National Gheorghe Lazar in Sibiu, Romania embarked on an imaginary time machine during the school year 2012-2013. They were taken to various moments of myths and legends, which they described to their project partners in Athens, Greece! Meanwhile, they watched and reflected upon the presentations prepared by their Greek peers about well-known Greek myhts – all in a unique educational project called ”Virtual e-Class” initiated at, and supported by, the Faculty of English Language and Literature of the University of Athens.
The project coordinator was Ms Sofia Argyropoulou, a Greek professor, who worked with a group of 21 students of the same age, 12, at the 2nd Model Experimental High School in Athens, under the supervision of their teacher of English Ms Eleni Xanthakou.
Our presentations describe the following myhts and legends:
- Manole the Craftsman
- Cuza’s Weight
- Dragos Voda’s Moldova
- The Legend of the Lark
- The Legend of the Rivers Olt and Mures
The main goals of the project are: development of communication skills in English, interlingual and intercultural awareness, development of of the skills of accessing and valuing information about the content dealt with, and development of collaborative skills.
The students in this project created and displayed a written and oral discourse in English based on their own socio-cultural reality. It was a fruitful and, at the same time, relaxed relationship, and all the students actively participated in the project activitites.
Here is the ebook the Greek and Romanian students built together:
Students and teacher learnt a lot during this project – perhaps the most rewarding lesson for me was learning how to trust my students with more responsibility in the decisions to be taken because they can handle even the initial design phase, and also later in the project. I managed to give them the opportunity to play a central part in the project, even if they were just 12 years old – they indeed owned the project.
”What I liked most about this project was the fact that all my classmates understood that we were all creative and imaginative, and we all worked enthusiastically and passionately. I was also very pleased with the cooperation with my classmates, because each brought their own knowledge, experience, skills, talents for the benefit of the project.” (Teodora Bratu, 12 years old, Colegiul National Gheorghe Lazar Sibiu)