Reflections on the WPF English Project 2015

April 2014

The WPF English Project 2015, which took place on the 15th and 22nd of April between the IRGW (Islamisches Realgymnasium in Wien) and the AHS private school at Friesgasse, was an idea brought forth by the two mentor teachers of the respective schools, Mag. Paul Mychalewicz and Mag.a Gabriela Wiederer. Their idea was to unite the two WPF English classes for two weeks, giving the students a chance to visit the other school and students in a workshop like setting.
I had three objectives in mind when planning for the two lessons. Firstly, I wanted to push the students beyond their comfort zone. Thus I required and encouraged the students to interact with the students of the other school before interacting with their own classmates. Secondly, I wanted to facilitate a cultural exchange since the students from both classes all come from different countries/areas. Therefore, the focus of the different activities was on culture, stereotypes, and communication. Thirdly, I wanted the students to speak freely as well as to enjoy their time with the new students. That is why most of the activities were speaking games, which helped to produce a low-anxiety environment but at the same time required the students to speak.
            Overall, I think the two weeks were a great success. The students seemed to enjoy themselves and were relatively pleased with the project. I personally enjoyed planning the activities for the two lessons, as I had free range of what to do with the two lesson slots. Some students have even asked for a reunion of sorts as an end of the year activity. Therefore, I am calling this the WPF English Project 2015. I hope that there may be a repetition of this project in the future as I think it is beneficial for the students and an interesting change to the typical WPF lessons.
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