Project work creates connections between the foreign language and the learner’s own world. It encourages the use of a wide range of communicative skills, enables learners to exploit other fields of knowledge, and provides opportunities for them to write about the things that are important in their own lives.So, this article is devoted on teaching English through the project work.
Project work allows students to consolidate the language that they have learnt and encourages them to acquire new vocabulary and expressions. In addition, it gives learners integrated skills practice. Throughout project work students have extensive practice of the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Using projects with classes provides excellent opportunities for cross- curricular work. The topics should be carefully chosen and have to be presented in a lively and up-to-date manner. It is important to present a new project in an enthusiastic way and encourage the class activity in a discussion about the key topic. The more students are engaged in to a project, the more likely that the project will be a success. (2)
We know that the worldwide interest in getting of competent knowledge of the English language is growing.
Language is the most recognized means of communication. The life and the development of any human society are based on communication through language. The vision of the world of a nation is conveyed by its language, which reflects the moral code, relations between people. So language is the main tool in acquiring other peoples’ lives, traditions. Language use is creative. The learners use language to express what they think and what they want to say. To communicate better in a foreign language they should have the ability to use language appropriate to a context. Communicative language learning is not one method. It is an approach, an understanding of what language is and how we can learn a foreign language. This understanding leads us to teach in ways that makes language learning most successful. The communicative approach helps the learners to achieve the main issues in learning; they are expected to interact with other people. (1)
Another peculiarity in successful teaching of a communicative speech is an activity where the students are put in the centre of the action, where they use the language and practice communicative speech. It is the project work; its purpose is to encourage the learners to work things out for themselves. It is an extended language activity, focusing on the topics, themes. The project work is a means of communication and enjoyment. The learners can experiment with the language as something real. It is a highly adaptable methodology; it is useful as a means of generating positive motivation, because it is very personal. The students tell about their own lives, their own research into topics that interest them. This work helps them to understand that they can use English to talk about their own world; it improves their ability to think.
The teacher tries to encourage learners to think of their own ideas, to produce something new of their own. Before setting up a project it is essential to explain the final outcome, this will help them to understand what they are doing and why. The teacher explains the students that at the end of the project they will write or design a small leaflet on the topic, a wall display, a poster...
There are some stages in presenting a project:
– Initial discussion of the idea.
– Decide a form of the project.
– Practicing language skills.
– Collecting information.
– Displaying the result of the research.
The project work “Countries, I’d like to visit” was done by the students of the Intermediate Level. The students gathered information about different countries, prepared video slides about the country they would like to visit, prepared role plays, songs, costumes. Their reports were informative and creative, because information was taken from different sources: Encyclopedia, Internet, magazines. Then all groups worked on the “Question Quiz” “Countries and Cities”. (4)
The song “It’s a Small World” was performed by the whole class. So by this kind of activity we may say that project work is a kind of investigation, active participation, which is held instead of passive listening and memorizing. The role of a teacher becomes that of a facilitator, provider of a feedback.
The students of the Upper Intermediate Level prepared the project “Space? What is it?”
The class was divided into two groups. They described their imaginary journeys to different planets, named the planets, wrote about the adventures happened during their trips. (3)
The second group presented their report about the moon. They made a video film about the moon, the role play about the adventures of the girl who “was caught by the alien”. Others described their trips to the planet of dreams, showed slides of these planets. The models of the spaceships by which they could travel to other planets were done by them.
Project work is also used to increase motivation and retention, to help students develop a positive image, to develop critical thinking and problem — solving, it develops fluency in the use of language features that they have learned.
- Snow, C. and Wong-Filmore, L. (in press). What teachers need to know about language. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.
- Soto, L. (1997). Language, culture, and power. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Van Lier, L. (1996). Interaction in the language classroom: Awareness, autonomy, and authenticity. New York: Longman.
- Anderson, J. (1990). Cognitive psychology and its implications. New York: W. H. Freeman.