Universidad de Almería (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5543-5551
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Bilingual educational programs are getting more and more importance through the non-English speaking countries in Europe. Spain is one of those countries trying to adapt educational programs to that new global situation. However, given the cultural an idiosyncratic status of the Spanish language in the world, it is quite difficult to make students aware of the relevance of studying and improving their English competence. An intuitive strategy encouraging students of psychology to improve their English skills is reported in that paper.

A group of 88 students of psychology enrolled in the subject Psychometrics at the Universidad de Almería participated in that study. Psychometrics is a compulsory subject in the third level (out of five) of the Psychology Degree at the Universidad de Almería. All the information of the course was uploaded either in Spanish and English in the WebCT platform (Blackboard Inc.). The assessment criteria included a formative evaluation process (attending and participating in lecture sessions) and a summative one (assessment of practical research projects). Additionally, a creative and collaborative task was proposed to add extra mark to the individual curriculum of each student. This is the focus of that paper. The proposed task consisted in creating a short film in English about a scientific essay related with the content of the subject (“The mismeasure of man” by Stephen J. Goulud). The short was thought to involved the whole class and to be uploaded in YouTube ( the official date of the exam. An extra mark of 2.1 out of 10 was offered to every single student who participated in the short.

The effects of the proposal were moderated at the beginning but in the mid and long term most of the students got involved. They created scripts and different scenes in English showing collaborative team work. The short was presented the official date of the exam (the deadline) but it was not uploaded in to the web. There were also some complaints from some students who did not participate in the short but the general opinion about the initiative was positive.

The experience reported in that paper could be helpful for professors trying to implement studying programs based on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) philosophy. More specifically, useful ideas about the organization of the sessions and the assessment system arise from that experience. Additionally, the most important contribution of the experience was the stimulation of creativity and team work amongst students.
Higher education, creativity, team work, Content and Language Integrated Learning.