Ah, the dreaded research project. We’ve all been there — staring at a blank Word document with no idea where to even begin. But what if I told you that research projects don’t have to be a drag? In fact, they can be downright enjoyable…especially when inquiry projects are involved. Here are 3 reasons why French inquiry projects rock!
What is an inquiry project?
If you’re not familiar with inquiry projects, they are student-driven learning experiences in which students choose their own topics of interest to research. Not only does this make the process more enjoyable for students, but it also allows them to explore topics in greater depth and learn about things that they’re actually interested in. And in my experience teaching French, I can tell you firsthand that inquiry projects are the best. Here’s why:
#1 – Inquiry Projects Encourage Ownership of Learning
When students are able to choose their own topics for research, they naturally become more engaged in the learning process. They’re more likely to pay attention in class and put forth extra effort outside of class because they want to learn more about their topic of choice. This is in contrast to traditional research projects where students are given a topic by the teacher and often times feel like they’re just going through the motions. This is one great reason French inquiry projects rock.
#2 – Inquiry Projects Promote Authentic Language Use
Since inquiry projects allow students to choose their own topics, the possibilities for authentic language use are endless. If a student is interested in researching a particular artist or writer from France, for example, they may be more likely to read articles or watch interviews in French (outside of class) in order to gain a better understanding of their chosen topic. And as we all know, authentic language use is key when it comes to developing language proficiency.
#3 – Inquiry Projects Help Students Develop Essential 21st Century Skills
Not only do inquiry projects promote authentic language use, but they also help students develop essential 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. For example, when working on an inquiry project about a particular region in France, students may need to get creative in order to find authentic sources of information. Websites, books and articles written in French about their chosen topic may be chosen. They will also need to think critically about the information they find and determine which sources are most reliable and relevant. And finally, they will need to collaborate with classmates and/or the teacher in order to share resources and ideas. These are all skills that will serve students well both inside and outside the classroom.
So there you have it – 3 reasons why French inquiry projects rock! If you’re looking for a way to spice up your research projects and get your students more engaged in their learning, look no further than inquiry projects! Your students will thank you for it…I promise.
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