Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Making a Difference: English Learning, ICT and the School Library Hand-in-Hand

Cláudia Mota, Colmeias Joint Group of Schools (Portugal)


Teaching English as a foreign language to 8/9-year-old students (especially when you are used to working with teenagers) can be really challenging, but also highly rewarding. You must definitely leave your “comfort zone” and risk new approaches. Introducing ICT in the scenario and making use of the school library resources (books, iPads, digital tools) and space conditions can lead to countless ideas and initiatives, which arise gradually as time goes by and imagination takes the lead. As an English teacher and librarian teacher of a joint group pf schools in the centre of Portugal, I developed this project with about 100 primary school students, plus 20 kindergarten children, in the course of two school years (2016-2018). The project became “Merit Idea Project”, supported by the Portuguese School Libraries Network. Not to lose its dynamics, it has been reconfigured and is still at full speed in this school year (2018/2019). In it, ICT tools are not an END, but a MEANS, to learn English and become digitally (cap)able in a modern world. English children’s books and other school library resources are also a great instrument to develop one’s vocabulary, pleasure in reading, creativity, sense of citizenship and opinion about the world. Songs, nursery rhymes, videos, English apps and games are also on the core of this project, which I consider worth spreading to other teachers around the world. A lot of effort, but also a lot of pleasure, are definitely involved in the process. There were steps forward and some backwards, but motivation to learn a foreign language and the pleasure of playing and sharing were/are always present in the English classes.   

Keywords: English, ICT, school library, motivation, children’s literature

[1] (Facebook page of the project).
[2] HERNON, Peter – Outcomes are key but not the whole story. Journal of Academic Librarianship. 28:1/2 (2002) p. 54-55.
[2] PORTUGAL. Rede de Bibliotecas Escolares - Programa Rede de Bibliotecas Escolares. Quadro estratégico: 2014-2020. [Em linha]. Lisboa: RBE, 2013. [Consult. 10 mai 2019]. Disponível na Internet: <URL: >
ISBN 978‑972‑742‑366-8.
[3] National Literacy Trust (2015). Retrieved from>.
[4] López, P. L., & González, I. V. (2008). Educácion para la ciudadanía y biblioteca escolar. Gijón: Ediciones Trea.

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