In teaching a foreign language the learners are not expected to know not only the language, but also the culture of the nation which language he or she is learning. In order to gain this aim, we suggest that teachers should carry out the extra – curricular works. Teachers are expected to build the relationship between culture and language and to explore effective ways to bring a cross – cultural element into the classroom: pupils are to be aware of the following: a way of life; a system of beliefs; a shared history or set of experiences. A culture may be synonymous with a religion, though followers of Christianity or Judaism or Islam. They may also come from different cultures. Language itself is defined by culture. We cannot be competent in the language if we do not understand the culture that has shaped and informed it. We cannot learn a foreign language if we do not have an awareness of that culture. Learners should be aware of the culture of a nation, and then they are expected to master the language [1, 439-477].
Extra – curricular work in foreign languages becomes more and more popular. This work is carried out both in town and village schools. Various books and articles on the subject recently published are a proof of the popularity of this work among foreign language teachers and its importance in attaining the aims and objectives set by the syllabus. However there are many schools where teachers either do not carry out extra – curricular work of this kind is not obligatory; it is just additional, therefore they may do it only if time permits. These teachers do not realize that their success in foreign language teaching depends to a great extent on what interest they can evoke in their pupils.
Cooperative learning groups are typically made up of students or pupils with heterogeneous backgrounds and abilities. By working together to succeed in groups, they learn to appreciate differences in skills, aptitudes, learning styles, personalities, goals, and interest. Cooperative learning also helps learners to reach higher academic achievement levels.
The best way to avoid interpersonal problems, whether in pairs or small groups, is to structure the cooperative learning activities so that the content is challenging and the pace is appropriate. Avoid monotony by planning a balance of whole – class, pair, small group, and individual activities.
When you feel comfortable with your students, you are ready to experiment. This confidence may surface the first day, or it may take a few months. Variables include your own style, the school culture and the attitudes in your classroom [2, 933-958].
In caring out extra – curricular work various forms should be used to that the majority of the class is able to take part in it. The following forms of extra – curricular work are used at schools: individual, group and mass work.
Individual working in teams develop a greater understanding of the variety of approaches that can be used to accomplish any given task. This understanding of diversity is an advantage that has social significance beyond the classroom.
Group work includes: 1. ‘hobby’ groups that work systematically; they are: play and game sections(schools theatre), chorus sections, conversation section, reading and translation hobby groups, drama section, literature and art sections, football, basketball sections. 2. Groups for temporary activities, namely to make up an album, to make a display –stand or a bookstand with English books and booklets, to illustrate a story read, to organize a school library, etc.
Mass work includes: the organization and holding TOEFL section in the foreign language; talks in that language, pleasure parties, conference, Olympiads and excursions to films in a foreign language with following discussion: dramatization of the stories; holding of guessing games; issuing wall – newspapers; making up school display – stands, making posters, etc. When the entire class is actively engaged in mass work, everyone is communicating. And mass work is easy to initiate. Without a great deal of organization, you can simply ask two learners to help each other with an exercise or assignment. As they discuss their answers, students working as partners have immediate opportunities to give and receive feedback. For those who are uncomfortable speaking in front of a group or the entire class, mass work offers the lowest stress of all – each student is facing an audience of one. One of the most entertaining types – of mass work that wins more and more popularity among pupils is club work. The foreign language club gives an opportunity to have natural situations for communication, in the foreign language. The work of the club may contribute to international friendship among young people, as one of the main activities of the members of the club is establishing contacts with foreign friends, mainly through correspondence. Sometimes guests from foreign countries may be invited to view performances of the club, in which case direct association with foreigners is established. Club work is varied in form and content. Pupils will resent pair work if they are forced to work with the same partner all the time, especially if a personality clash exists. Be conscious of the good friends who are entertaining themselves with a little mischief. Partners who aren’t participating need to see that you are holding them accountable through your grading system. And dominant overachievers can be helpful at times but they can also intimidate lower achievers [3, 20-24].
Extra –curricular work is voluntary. However, for those who wish to take part in this work it becomes obligatory. Since through extra – curricular work the teacher can raise the level of the pupils’ command of the language in general, it is bad practice to draw only the best, bright pupils into the work, as some of the methodologists and teachers recommend. No marks are given to the participants for non – class activities, although the teacher keeps a careful record of the work done by each of them. The results of extra – curricular work done can be evaluated when the school holds contests, assemblies, reviews of wall – newspapers, amateur art reviews, pleasure parties, etc., in the foreign language.
Since extra –curricular work is voluntary and based upon pupils’ activity, initiative and creativeness. Pupils should render help to the teacher to carry out this work.
The teacher recommends various kinds of non – class activities to his pupils, selects the material and elaborates methods and techniques as to how this or that work should be carried out. Teachers choose participant in accordance with their aptitude and keep a record of the work done. Extra –curricular work may be closely connected with the work of the school.
It is quite obvious the teacher may success in promoting greater interest for studying the language provided his works skillfully in class, explaining new material in a clear and comprehensive way, using various methods and devices to make his pupils active; and interested in the work done, applying audio – visual aids, preparing exercises which give the pupils satisfaction of a job well done, making them feel their own progress in the target language after energy lesson.
All the educationists and educators have realized the importance of extracurricular activities in academic life. These activities keep students refreshed both physically and mentally.
Extracurricular activities work as stress buster. To be fully involved in the studies can make students feel fatigue. Academic curriculum seems to be very vast these days, so it becomes really necessary to give some refreshing treatments to students. Such activities keep students happy and being happy itself means keeping depressions and stress at bay. It increase concentration power of the students enhances their academic performance.
While learning in schools or colleges most of the time of the students passes while sitting. But the age of students requires more physical activities. Absence of adequate physical activities can lead to a lot of health disorders. Obesity is one of the worst outcomes of it. Involving in such activities improves digestion which ensures good functioning of almost all the body parts by supplying proper nutrients to all the body parts.
Students can learn time management with help of these activities. Adjusting study and extracurricular activities can make students wiser in managing their time. They also learn multitasking through it. The team spirit in the students also enhances with these activities. Most extracurricular activities involve teamwork. Thus the students learn how to work in a team.
These activities can help students to find out their interests. When they get opportunity to choose from a number of extracurricular activities, they come to assess which activity are they most interested and comfortable are. Teachers and parents can also help students in finding out their interests and skills. Such skills can also make them make some good money in later life. For example if a student selects music as extracurricular, he can choose to teach music on part time basis along with his regular employment in future [4, 332–346].
Moreover the students can develop some very useful skills like communication skills, leadership skills, bargaining skills and so forth. These skills help students throughout their lives in leading a successful life. One more thing that students learn from extracurricular activities is to socialize well among people. While performing such activities the students interact with a lot of people which makes them more efficient in socializing.
1. J. George, “Creativity in Organizations,” in Academy of Management Annals, vol. 1, J. Walsh and A. Brief, Eds. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.
2. C. Shalley, J. Zhou, and G. R. Oldham, “The Effects of Personal and Contextual Characteristics on Creativity: Where Should We Go from Here?” Journal of Management, vol. 36, no. 6, 2004.
3. H. Fenci and K. Scheel, “Engaging Students: An Examination of the Effects of Teaching Strategies on Self Efficacy and Course Climate in a Nonmajors Physics Course,” Journal of College Science Teaching, vol. 35, no. 1, 2005.
4. Sorge, C., Newsom, H., & Hagerty, J. (2000, August). Fun is not enough: Attitudes of Hispanic middle school students toward science and scientists. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 11(3).