An investigation into the effectiveness of the project work in an efl context

Acquisition of new knowledge and learning to acquire it is based on student’s performance of various exercises, perform analytical work and work with handouts. One of these works is the design methodology that is currently widespread, especially in sphere of education.

The advantage of this procedure is that students see the end result of their work and have the opportunity to choose the theme of the project.

While using design technology, teaching a foreign language becomes a process of self-mastering system of educational cognitive activity sequences. Independent work on the project teaches students to think creative, plan their action, predict possible solutions of the challenges they face.

The process of learning a foreign language is a complex method of projects overlooking training activities, it integrates various kinds of foreign language, verbal communication in order to address challenges and problematic issues.

Design technique is one of the most progressive and developing teaching methods in the modern world. This technique is based on student-centered approach, however it does not fully exhaust the concept. Method of projects originated when the search of active development and independent thinking of student began in order to teach him to apply this knowledge in practice. The founders of this technique are considered U.S. educators John Dewey and WH Kilpatrick, who developed this idea from troubled projects of teaching method.

In turn, ES Polat gives the following definition of "project" as a method and as educator’s technology: "The method of the projects is the development of cognitive student skills, abilities to independently design their knowledge, skills, navigate the information in dimensional space, the development of critical thinking.If we talk about projects as a method of educational technology, "this technique involves the collection of research claim, the problem methods, creative in its essence".

As part of learning a foreign language project method acquires a number of features such as:

  • use of language in situations as close as possible to the conditions of real communication;
  • emphasis on independent work of students (individual and group);
  • selection of an item of great interest to students and directly related to the conditions in which the project is carried out;
  • language material selection, types of tasks and the sequence of work in accordance with the theme and purpose of the project;
  • visual representation of the result. When the design work orally or in writing, it must follow some of the recommendations:
  • as a project work enables students to express their own ideas, it is important not too explicit control and regulate them, it is desirable to encourage independence.
  • design works are mostly open, so there can be a clear plan for their implementation. During execution of project tasks, some additional material can be entered.
  • most of the projects can be done by individuals, but the project will be more creative if done in groups. Some projects are carried out independently at home, some of the design specifications of the lesson is spent on others a lesson. Some importance takes ways of performing and presenting the project. Projects can be implemented and based on the creative potential of students. Competitiveness of both individual students and groups is allowed.

By the nature of the final product of the project work in the field of foreign language teaching, we can allocate the following types of projects:

  • Construction and Practical Projects, for example, collage, diary of observations, creating a game and its description.
  • Role and Games Projects, such as enactment of games, dramatization or writing essays of own plays.
  • Information and Research projects, for example, "English language and its use as a language of international communication", "Study of a region or a country."
  • Survey projects, for example, "The Effects of American and British culture on life in my country," "The ratio of foreigners in my country", "The use of English in my country, in my city," "Risk groups".
  • Production Projects, such as "Picture of my class", "Radio program", "School wall newspaper".
  • Performance and Organizational projects, for example, "The organization of the club meetings," "Night of the English language and culture", “Talk show".

Creative works, such as the free literary composition (fairy tale, story, comics, etc.)translation of the work into their native language.

It should be noted that the autonomy and creativity is becoming one of the most popular personality traits of a new generation, which underlines the promising methods of educational technology projects as providing educational needs of at generation of the new century.

Overall project work includes three phases: preparatory organizational, technological and final stage. At the first stage is carried out to find the problem, the selection and justification of the project, analysis of upcoming activities, choice of optimal implementation. The second phase involves the implementation of the planned operations, selfcontrol of his actions. The third stage involves the control over the execution of the project, the correction of the steps and summarizing.

The purpose of this kind of self-study is that the students themselves are willing to acquire the missing knowledge from different sources, learn how to use the acquired knowledge to solve practical problems and develop research skills at.

Thus, this form of self-study not only encourages students more deeply to learn a foreign language and culture, but also contributes to obtaining practical skills.

Note that the preparation of the project requires compliance with the following conditions:

  • reasonably determine the time frame;
  • considering what materials and resources students can use;
  • choosing the optimal form presentation of the results;
  • making a rough plan and discuss the work.

However, the effectiveness of project activities fully depends on the organization and coordination of the teacher. After all, only a well thought out independent work can lead to a positive result. Besides the enormous potential that bears the method itself projects to develop skills not only of independent work, but also communicative competence, significant additional opportunities arise in the use of information resources and services of the Internet in the process of project activities. Only with the help of the Internet, you can create an authentic language environment and pose the problem of formation needs to learn a foreign language through intensive communication with native speakers, work with authentic literature of different genres, listening original texts, recorded by native speakers.

Internet resources can also provide the necessary information for the project about museums and exhibits around the world, current events in different parts of the world and people's reaction to these events, the environmental situation in different parts of the world, about national holidays, statistical data on a variety of issues, etc.

During independent work, the design technology creates conditions for the development of each student participating in the project. It also produces the following intellectual skills:

  • planning and thorough analysis;
  • selecting, planning forms and methods of operation;
  • organizing their independent work;
  • profitability analysis and correction of further action;
  • control and self-control;
  • maintaining reflection results of independent work.

Internet resources are indispensable tool in teaching different kinds of speech activity. Particularly important global network will play in his independent work, encouraging them to research and create activity.

The purpose of learning a foreign language is the communicative activities of students, that is, practical knowledge of a foreign language. The task of the teacher is to intensify the activities of each student to create a situation for their creativity in the learning process. The use of new information technologies not only revitalizes and diversifies the educational process, but also a great opportunity for expanding educational framework, undoubtedly has a great motivational potential and promotes the principles of individualization of learning. Project activity allows students to act as authors, creators, increases creativity, enhances not only the general outlook, but also enhances the language skills. Modernization of education, bringing it into

line with the new historical conditions requires a consistent and dramatic change it at all levels and in all elements. The most important task is the implementation of education reform in teaching new technologies for intelligent, creative and moral development of the individual. Specific form of creativity, according to modern scientists a way of human developments are, projects and project-based learning.

Method projects is the subject of many studies in pedagogy. Exploring the project, N.Yu. Pahomova method in his work "The method of the training project in an educational institution" considers training project both in terms of teachers, and from the perspective of the learner. Training project from the perspective of the student an activity aimed at solving interesting problems, formulated by the students themselves in the form of goals and objectives as a result of this activity found a way to solve problems is practical, is of great practical value and most importantly, interesting and significant for the discoverers themselves. "Training project from the perspective of the teacher is an integrative didactic means of development, training and education that allows you to generate and develop specific skills and design skills. Thus, the project activity should solve the problem, which is formulated by the students themselves. There are educational topic and theme of the project. They do not necessarily have to match. Theme of the project should be formulated so that it could see the student hidden problem. For example, the topic under study in English language teaching college students may be "the media". Theme of the project can be summarized as follows: "Pros and Cons of Television", "The Influence of Television on the younger generation mostly negative ", etc. The problem may become personally meaningful if it is formulated by the trainees. Sometimes, in order to respond to leading questions, students may not possess sufficient information. The teacher should give students an opportunity to become familiar with it, giving the text to be read. Thus, the first challenge faced by teachers, is to organize the selfdetermination of students studying the problems, that is the first phase of the project activity.

Another difficulty is the definition of purpose. Most often, goals are not clearly articulated. You can use the "Tree of the purposes" and SMART method for setting specific, realistic and achievable goal.

Important role in the design activity takes hypotheses, whose task is to nominate more ideas. Author of "Lateral thinking" Edward de Bono warns that you can not criticize ideas. After criticizing some of them that seem to us at first sight meaningless unsuccessful or inappropriate, we risk losing in the face of students and pupils idea of generators. After hypothesis is intended method of solving the problem. For its extension, you must have as many ideas that should be analyzed and subjected to selection only after the "brainstorming" and not during it.

Project Planning is held of two challenges. The first is the inability of students to plan activities. As a rule, students accept the following common mistakes when analyzing project plans: lack of logic to achieve the objectives prescribed weak links between activities, goals and objectives of the project, the lack of activities and implementation schedule of the project, the definition of the required resources "by eye", lack of allocation of resources to time and work, not using objective performance criteria point plan, the lack of analysis of the possible risks of the project. The teacher should teach students, students compare the goals and objectives, a timetable for the implementation of measures to achieve the goal, identify resources, define the runtime of a plan item, set the current, intermediate and final control of the project. In order to form a plan of basic skills, you can use regular lessons. As the lesson in a foreign language, you can write a plan to offer text retelling, the plan works. Moreover, at this stage, the teacher can deal with the fact that students often do not know how to work in a team. First, it is necessary to properly form micro groups. For this reason, it is advisable to organize groups according to psychological compatibility, as well in small groups should be students with different levels of proficiency, boys and girls. Secondly, you need to teach them to work in cooperation. There are various methods, such as method of jigsaw (saw), developed by Professor Elliot Aronson. Application of this method to the conventional classroom promotes the ability to work in cooperation.

Directly during the project the teacher is very often faced with the absence or insufficient development of information skills of the students. After all, they must be able not only to find the necessary material from several sources, but also be able to analyze it and make a choice. Teacher must develop this skill in the classroom. Moreover, at this stage it is difficult to trace many teachers as we are working on the project, as this activity is independent. For this reason it is necessary to organize not only the outcome but also the current and intermediate control. However, you should avoid micromanagement. After all, the function of the teacher at all stages consulting and coordinating, and do not charge.

During the presentation, when students placing products of its activity, the teacher should refrain from evaluation. Here he is only an observer. Evaluation of the project carried out later. Many teachers forget this step and complete the project presentation. However, for the formation of skills of independent work, it is important to teach the student to analyze their activities. Therefore, not only analyzes the project itself, but also the activities of students. To help students organization must evaluate the process and results of the project activities on the following issues:

  • What have we done? (Question helps students remember the course of the entire project from start to finish)
  • How did we do? (Students analyze problems, their solutions, difficulties, failures, interesting finds and spontaneous ideas)
  • Why do we do it? (Question encourages students to evaluate the objectives of the project, the use and significance of the individual tasks and the project as a whole)
  • What skills needed for this? (The question helps to assess the skills they have acquired as a result of the project. Students understand that the need for the project is not only good language skills, not smaller role as organizational skills, ability to work in a team, ability to answer for their work)
  • What roles do we take ourselves to the project? (During this discussion, students noted that the implementation of this project required them to use a variety of roles: painter, decorator, guide, etc.)
  • What is the experience we have acquired individually and in a group? (Students evaluate the competence and the uncertainty of individual students to share their thoughts and emotions, appreciate the help and support groups. Many make a discovery: "I did not assume, as I know many in the language". Students make sure that the project activates each hidden reserves, which also contributes to success) What alternatives might be? (Students discuss the process of: what can be done faster, better, and what they do not have any knowledge that the next time they do otherwise)

Such parameters for self-reflection give the opportunity to analyze not only the final, but also the intermediate results, to realize the selection objectives, methods of compliance goal, the optimal pace of work and implement the work plan.

Thus, teachers using project-based learning, may encounter difficulties at all stages of project activities. However, all these difficulties can be overcome, if it is not replaced by the subjectsubject relations of subjectobject, if the teacher is gradually moving from information to the supervisory function consulting and coordinating project, these activities organized by teacher can organically be integrated into the educational process, and is not something random, episodic phenomenon. After all, the ability to shape the project activity can be the ordinary lessons. In this regard, there are three types of lessons. The first kind Project lesson, includes or consists entirely of work on the project. The second type a lesson that is placed triune didactic purpose is not only relative to the development of a substantive content, but also with respect to the formation and development of generic skills relating to the design skills. This may be a portion to conduct practical sessions with the inclusion of partially independent activity of students. These classes are aimed at both the formation of project activities, and to consolidate the learned subject of theoretical and practical knowledge. The third kind a lesson which in addition to the development of subject content is converted subject to general educational skills and universality. These lessons allow to form and element, wise project activities on the one hand, and to strengthen the cognitive activity of students on the subject on the other.

To achieve the objectives of training in educational activities, one must adhere to the principles and guidelines of common didactical rules. The same principles exist in project activities: the principle of solving problems step by step guidelines, feedback, productivity, the principle focus on the zone of proximal development, the principle of joint activities.

When organizing project activities teacher shall rely on them, if he wishes to achieve. Ability to use the method of projects an indicator of highly qualified teacher, his progressive teaching methods and student development. This is an indicator of high creativity, which helps the teacher, based on the positive aspects of traditional education, the use of modern technology. Indeed, the combination of tradition and innovation as a manifestation of one of the laws of dialectics the law of unity and struggle of opposites contributes to the development of pedagogical science and practice.



Year: 2014
City: Almaty
Category: Philology