Today I wanted my students to (want to) learn about human trafficking. Quite early on, we listened to two stories about trafficking from the Access to International English web page (Cappelen). Then I had come up with some statements that were either true or false, or just partly true. I asked my students to pick from my list, and also to make a strategy: what was their plan on how to find relevant information? One of my aims was to show them how they can form statements and hypotheses in future projects.
These were my statements:
MOST VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING ARE BETWEEN 35 AND 55 YEARS OLD
MOST TRAFFICKING IS LINKED TO SEX SLAVES / THE SEX INDUSTRY
POVERTY IS ALWAYS AT THE ROOT OF THIS PROBLEM
MOST VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING ARE WOMEN
MOST TRAFFICKING TAKES PLACE FROM THE DEVELOPING WORLD TO THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD
TRAFFICKING CANNOT BE COMPARED TO SLAVERY
They probably spent a good 30 minutes on this task, and I believe they were fairly focused – some of them worked really hard, too. This topic can be quite shocking to some, and it is quite disturbing to discover what a huge problem this is, and how much of it is linked to sex abuse of children.
I believe it is very important to evaluate work methods and also check with students when they have completed tasks. Quite often, they want to let me know that they have learnt something, and more often than not this kind of searching leads us to more interesting stuff than just me talking about the topic. Therefore, after they had searched for information about trafficking, I asked them some questions:
1. What was your strategy? Did you consider how you wanted to pay attention or stay focused? Did you plan on how to search for information?
– To this question, most of my students said that they did not really have a plan, or they planned to google things. Some looked for particular words, some tried Scoop.it as I had suggested there might be some material there (one of my students rescooped one of my scoops) and one student said: «My strategy was to google words that may occour in texts about «Human trafficking». I payed attention to look for any words that includes human trafficking victims, and I looked for the word «age». My plan was to first google it, and then go from one side to another links that I may find on a page I was reading». Another student said that «I tried to search for both trafficking and slavery in the same sentence, to find some articles that could include and compare them both».
2. What did you want to find out about (human) trafficking?
Most students wanted to check out statement number 2.
3. What did you learn about human trafficking? Did anything surprise you?
«I learned that trafficking is a much wider problem that I though to begin with. It surprised me how many slaves there are today».
4. Suggest a question about trafficking that could be included in your test
Here are some good ones:
– Do you think trafficking is a global challenge? Why / why not?
– What are some consequences of human trafficking?
– What common traits does trafficking and slavery possess?
– What is human trafficing? How is it a problem on a global basis? Can you suggest any solutions?