ETwinning Projects – A Small Good Practice Guideline

The present article is meant to encourage teachers and students to engage in international projects via the eTwinning platform, by providing a good practice guideline. In what follows, I will talk about two projects I and my students took part in a few years ago: one which was longer and consisted in the partnership between two schools and one which was briefer and included several partners.

The project entitled ”Youth around Europe: English Exchange for Teens (13-16 years old)” was carried out over a two-year-period, prior to the co-vid pandemic (2018-2020). Its primary beneficiaries were students from Nissnikun Koulu Secondary school, located in the town of Kirkkonummi, Finland and students from Lower-Secondary School No.189 in Bucharest, Romania. The project was initiated by myself, a teacher of English, and Ilona Nukari, a Finnish teacher whom I met in Warsaw, Poland, during an Erasmus+ contact seminar in November 2017. Although I was privileged to have met my project partner in person, this is not a necessary condition, since the eTwinning platform enables participants to start a project and anyone interested in the topic may join.

Meant as an online cultural exchange for students, the project included about 60 students each of the two school years. The Romanian students were aged 13-14, whereas the Finns were 2 years older.

The students were eager to take part in it since they had the chance to communicate with teenagers from a different cultural background, while practising English as a common foreign language. They tackled issues related to their daily programme, school (timetable, breaks, school subjects, exams, holidays), hobbies (favourite sports, music, films, books, games, etc.), customs and traditional food.

The students were allowed to work individually/ in pairs/ small groups. The topics to be discussed were proposed one at a time and students wrote one another ‘letters’ on the eTwinning platform. When they got the replies, they shared them with their classmates, by reading them aloud in class and analysing the similarities and differences concerning various aspects of their daily lives.

The second project, entitled Valentine’s Cards, was much briefer than the first one, as it only lasted for two weeks in February 2018. Its goal was to devise literary and artistic creations to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The project, which was initiated by a Ukrainian teacher, was joined by several partner schools in eastern and southern Europe. Thirty of my students aged 12-13 were involved in the project. Whether they worked alone or in pairs, they wrote Valentines, i.e. short love poems and illustrated their content by suggestive pictures. Then, they uploaded them on the platform, by using Padlet – a tool which helped the students to share their ideas and work with one another. After that they read out in class their own and the other participants’ poems and, finally, they voted for the most beautiful literary creation and the best artistic work.

To conclude, both projects provided an opportunity for the students to improve various skills and competences: their communication skills in their native tongue and in a foreign language, their cultural awareness and expression competence, their ICT skills, their personal, social and learning to learn competence. As a result of the students’ participation in the above-mentioned projects, students’ self-confidence and self-esteem also grew stronger since they realized that, by completing the project tasks, they could do things they had not done before. Thus, their motivation to get involved in more extracurricular activities also increased.

The drawbacks or obstacles students faced while being engaged in the two projects were mainly related to the limited time resource and to the scarcity of the technological devices at their disposal. As a teacher, I sometimes felt that my students were involved in too many activities and did not have enough time to complete the tasks in due time, so they needed some extra time. I also noticed that they did not have access to laptops and computers at school, or even at home, so they had to work either at home, individually, or to invite one or two classmates over to their place to work together on one device.

All in all, I believe that the experience of working together was rewarding for both the students and the teachers involved in these international projects.


prof. Loredana Iordache

Școala Gimnazială Nr. 189 Alexandru Odobescu (Bucureşti) , România
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