As high school students in our ESL program reach upper years, they're assigned more critical thinking tasks and project-based assignments. Rather than being directly presented with content, students are invited to dig deeper into global and societal issues that affect the world around them and to reflect critically on their place in it, through research, discussion, analysis, and reflection.
This year, in the final term, Grade 11 students completed a self-directed inquiry project as a culminating task for the year. They applied all of the different skills that they have learned and sharpened over the year, such as using the writing process, essay writing, note taking, research skills, and persuasive writing skills to present an issue of their choice. Over the course of five weeks, they completed a source analysis, 3000 word essay, and an academic presentation. They presented their issue and arguments to an audience of their peers, teacher, Foresight program directors, and numerous principals. They also answered questions and received feedback on their presentations.
Overall, the students did exceptionally well on this project, especially when it came to overcoming the challenges of writing an essay of such length in their second language and presenting to an audience. We know that presenting in another language can be incredibly nerve-wracking, especially with an audience of both peers and important guests! For these students, it was their first time completing a project of this magnitude in English class and we are incredibly proud of how well they rose to the challenge, as well as how far they have come throughout their time in our English program.