Launching a solidarity campaign: Technology-Enhanced Project-Based Language Learning for social awareness

Dolors Masats, Maria Mont Algamasilla, Melinda Dooly Owenby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


To promote social consciousness and a sense of responsibility, educational proposals organised around the principles of technology-enhanced project-based language learning (Dooly & Sadler,2016) should engage students in a process of reflecting upon and responding to crucial social issues. Thus, in this paper we will present a project carried out by two groups of primary students who launched a solidarity campaign to collect money for four Syrian children living in a refugee camp in Greece. The project was implemented in a cross-disciplinary Arts and Crafts class taught through English and resulted in significant outputs in English (those addressed to the Syrian children) and in Catalan (those targeted at the local community). First, we outline the student-led project and then we analyse some fragments of student plurilingual practices during the project development that demonstrate their learning gains. Our findings reveal that our meaningful contextualised cross-disciplinary project favoured the natural integration of multiple skills, competences, and field knowledge form various disciplines while promoting a sense of social consciousness and empathy. First, it enabled children to put their plurilingual competence into play and take decisions regarding language choices to meet particular communicative objectives. Second, it contributed to the acquisition of 21st century knowledge, competence, and skills, while helping the learners gain social values. Third, it engaged learners in processes of problem solving, decision making and creative thinking that lead to the development of entrepreneurial competencies. To conclude we argue that when young learners are given responsibilities and opportunities to take up socially relevant challenges learning becomes meaningful for them and those around them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Technology and Science Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • 21st century skills
  • cross-disciplinary learning approach
  • integrated learning
  • English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
  • Conversational analysis
  • Primary education


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