Linguistics and Literature Studies 6(6), p. 307-311 (2018); doi:10.13189/lls.2018.060606
This article introduces “Learning Outside the Classroom”, a project based on the use of cultural heritage elements as resources or contexts to foster primary and secondary students´ oral communication skills in English as an additional language. The main objectives of the project have been to improve students´ oral communication level in the English language, to get to know the school‘s surroundings and learn about the cultural heritage in the area, to develop a taste and an appreciation for art and heritage and to improve students’ and teachers’ motivation. Most of the activities have been carried out in non-formal spaces such as museums, art galleries, parks or historical buildings. The methodology used in the research of this project, which has been led by the Education Sciences Department at the University of Oviedo, allowed the author to assess and validate its design. This qualitative research has been based on Lewin’s action-research principles: Planning, action, observation and reflection. The tools put to use have been the ethnographic observation (participant and non-participant) and the discussion groups. The observation results have shown an increase in students’ and teachers’ motivation levels due to the use of non-formal spaces and heritage elements as resources. Reflection about the development of the project has provided new guidelines to re-start the action-research process again.