‘Moi, Toi, lettres à nous’ has won the French Language prize (jointly sponsored by the International Federation of Teachers of French and the eTwinning National Support Service in France).
This project has brought together sixth form pupils from five countries, strengthened their French language skills and increased their confidence with using digital tools.
I was invited in September 2013 to participate in an eTwinning project, entitled ‘Moi, Toi, lettres à nous’, which was to be a five country project, in French, asking pupils in their sixth form to write monthly letters about areas of mutual interests. The five countries were France, Portugal, Italy, Poland and the UK. The educational establishments were very different in character and ranged from a vocational lycée in the Paris suburbs to a boarding school in the UK. The project began with pupils introducing themselves via an object or possession, which meant the most to them. They then selected the six topics on which the letters would be based. These were: Our town; Christmas and hobbies; Our ambitions and hopes for the future; Love and relationships; Our school and education; Our culture and identity.
In addition to these letters, the pupils sent photos, Christmas cards and New Year greetings and some also chatted online using the eTwinning TwinSpace and the forums which exist within this platform. The TwinSpace is a multilingual tool designed specifically for eTwinning projects. Through a variety of tools, how you decide to use your TwinSpace is completely up to you! You can use it as a base for all communication and project activities, a showcase of project outcomes or simply a location to store all documentation.
A broad picture soon emerged that, while young people experience the same issues, joys and frustrations, the economic crisis was having a marked effect on the Mediterranean countries and most of the pupils from Portugal and Italy expressed a desire to move overseas in order to seek employment.
Most of the letters were illustrated by a photograph or a logo, which also served to enhance the empathetic dimension of the letters. The pupils had been placed into groups in order to write their letters and it soon became clear that there was a real bond of mutual understanding between them.
Towards the end of the project a series of possible logos were proposed and after a vote, one of the Polish participants’ design was chosen to feature on the cover and pages of the final version. The letters were incorporated into an online book, which ran to almost 300 pages.
Pupils then evaluated the value of the project and the main benefits for them had been their developed ability to manipulate Web 2.0 tool and to use the various features of the eTwinning Twinspace, improvement in their written French and the wider understanding of their partner countries across Europe.
In addition to National Quality Labels in all five countries, the project also received national prizes in Portugal and the UK for creative language learning. The project also received a European Quality Label, before being shortlisted for the European eTwinning awards and ultimately winning the French language prize. Needless to say, all five teachers have been busy in 2013/14 on new eTwinning projects with new partners!
Are you currently running an eTwinning project? Your project could be award winning too! To be in with a chance next year your project must be awarded a Quality Label, if successful then the next step is a European Label. Full details can be found on our website.
New to eTwinning and want to learn more? Then take a look at British Council Schools Online for full details.
Keep up to speed through the official prize event blog.