Passport –  /ˈpɑːspɔːt/

Noun – an official document issued by a government, certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship and entitling them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.

The word passport entered the English language, as did many, through French back in the 15th century. “Passer” which means to pass and “port” meaning a sea port were combined to create a word which meant one had authorisation to depart from a sea port.

The word passport entered the Global Connect vocabulary in 2017. However, we prefer the second definition found in the dictionary:

Noun – a thing that ensures admission to or the achievement of something.

What is a Global Connect Passport?

The passport itself is similar to the one we all have tucked away in a drawer at home, a small booklet which gets stamped when we visit another country. Although, as the definition suggests the passport we use in class is so much more! Not only is it a little more colourful, It’s a is a fun and exciting way of motivating our students to speak English as well as expanding their vocabulary and knowledge of not only the English-speaking world, but our entire planet.

How does it work?

The idea is simple, yet super effective. Throughout the class, students are rewarded for speaking English, good behaviour and being helpful and kind towards their classmates. Every time the teacher feels the student does something positive, they receive a point. When a student speaks Catalan in class they lose a point. At the end of the class if a student has received enough points, they get to stamp their passport. During the school year, by speaking in English, they travel around the world. They soon learn lots of vocabulary related to travel and the names of places they otherwise wouldn’t come across. I was surprised to see a group of six-year-olds quickly using vocabulary and structures I would never have expected from them.

What do the students think?

In my experience in the classroom, the students love their passports and they really work hard to make sure they get their stamp each day. They really enjoy choosing “where” they’re going to travel to that day, “how” they’re going to travel (each stamp is a different mode of transport) and their faces light up when they fill a page with stamps and can “travel” to a new continent.

The race around the globe has begun! Bon Voyage!