TEFL Methodology: Project Work



A PROJECT is a planned undertaking which has a goal, whose achieving means finishing it.


Projects may be individual or group works.


Why are project works motivating?


  • Ss take personal responsibility
  • Ss are actively involved
  • Ss have a sense of achievement
  • project works are good for mixed-ability classes - every S may participate






Relevance of project works:


  • project work meets the needs of Ss
  • project work provides integration of target language with other skills and knowledge
  • project work provides natural / semi-natural context of language development





Educational values of project work:


  • Ss develop key competences:

-          solving problems

-          how to learn and organize one’s (group) work

-          cooperation and collaboration (in group projects)

  • project works offer a way to the development of whole person
  • project works offer a way to cross-curricular studies




Project objectives:


  • linguistic (while doing a project Ss simultaneously acquire some language)
  • how to use a dictionary
  • connected with the content





Some basic hints on starting project work in class:


  • involve Ss
  • start small
  • give Ss freedom and responsibility
  • start with group projects
  • help Ss get the access to necessary information







Possible downsides / obstacles


  • projects take time
  • projects need extra costs
  • L1 appears





(Don’t worry about them, they’re necessary evil and you’ll find ways to overcome some of them!)



Planning a Project


1. Define the thematic area (connect it with the fields of interests), for example:

  • personalised project (lifestyles, hobbies, family, homes, school)
  • the world around us (nature, culture, the media)
  • fantasy and imagination





2.  Decide on the final task (= what are Ss supposed to do?):


  • tangible end product, for example:

- story

- letter

- poem

- descriptive writing

- play

- interview

- brochure

- booklet

- newspaper

- poster

- news programme

- chart

- model

- picture

- map

- photograph

- audio recording

- video recording


  • non-tangible end product, for example:


-  role-play

 - simulation


3. Define the project objectives (= what are Ss supposed to learn through it?):


  • language (vocabulary, skills, grammar, functions)
  • other skills, for example:




-     communication

-          cooperation

-          learning to learn

-          finding and processing information

-          solving problems

-          self-development


  • other content (content-related knowledge /skills)



 4. Plan the content (= what do Ss need for doing the Project?):


  • information to collect
  • language to be learnt and practised
  • skills to learn and practise





5. Plan the process (= how are Ss to do it? when are Ss to do particular parts / stages of the Project?)


  • time
  • place
  • groups
  • division of work
  • stages of work
  • ways to collect and store information
  • materials
  • ways to record the process
  • feedback on the process
  • ways to get support













6. Plan evaluation


  • what exactly is evaluated



-     product

-          content

-          language

-          process

-          cooperation

-          contributions

-          some / all of the above



  • who evaluates




-  students

-  teacher and students


  • when the Project is evaluated



-     the end of the Project

-          stages of the Project


  • how the Project is evaluated, e.g.:



-     points

-          questionnaires

-          marks

-          journal

-          applause

-          once again, you’ll need to specify the objectives (whether they are achieved)





Bartram, M. and Walton, R. 1991. Correction. Mistake Management. Language Teaching Publications: 1991.

Brumfit, C. 1994. Communicative Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Byrne, D. 1990. Teaching Oral Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Byrne, D. 1990b. Teaching Writing  Skills. Harlow: Longman.

Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching.  Harlow:  Longman.

Ur, P. 1996. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


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Główna Specjalistyczne Metodyka TEFL Methodology TEFL Methodology: Project Work


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