In the Share Portfolio ESL project students make, track, and review the performance of hypothetical investments.
Students can complete this project individually or in pairs.
- Give each student/pair a hypothetical amount of money (around $10,000 works well). They choose three to five companies listed on the stock market to invest that money in.
- Each student/pair shares their choices (and investment amounts) with the class. They should also explain their decision-making process. Keep a record of the choices and amounts.
- The students track the progress of their share portfolio over a set time period. The length of this period will depend on your class, but one to four weeks is usually sufficient.
- The same goes for the frequency of the tracking. Business English students may be required to keep a daily record in a spreadsheet, but just the start and end price plus one or two values in between may be enough for others.
- At the end of that time period, students review the performance of their portfolio. You can ask them to write a report and/or present a summary to the class, using the target language.
The Share Portfolio ESL project is primarily designed for business English students. Their review should include lots of vocabulary and expressions from this field (blue chips, par value, yield etc.), along with graphs for illustration purposes.
However, this could also be a valuable project for other high intermediate or advanced students. In particular you could ask them to focus on using the third conditional in their review, describing how they could have made more money. For example, We would have made more money if we’d invested in Amazon.
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