TEFL Methodology: Project Work

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

 

 

teacher

-  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)

 

 

 

Bibliography

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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