Project-based learning method - Студенческий научный форум

XI Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2019

Project-based learning method

Махмутова А.М. 1, Гауриева Г.М. 1
1Евразийский Национальный Университет
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Common benefits of project-based method in learning English

Recently project-based learning has become one of the most interesting and debatable methods in learning foreign language. Firstly, let us determine what project-based learning is. According to Thomas, project-based learning is a model that organizes learning around projects [1, 120]. This easy, but peculiarly sophisticated method allows students to express themselves and understand new material the way they prefer. Use of this method in the English language class helps to enhance vocabulary in a foreign language and also fosters the use of different grammatical structures through the discussion and making pupils think in a foreign language.

Today project method is one of the effective methods of practical-oriented technology that allows rationally combining theoretical knowledge and their practical application to address specific problems of environmental reality. "All I get to know, I know what is it to me, why it is necessary and where and how can I apply these knowledge" - that's main thesis of modern understanding of the method of projects that attracts many educational systems seeking to find a reasonable balance between the academic value and pragmatic skills [2, 121].

Project method is a very fruitful way to learn English because along with verbal means of expression, students widely use other tools: not only multimedia presentations, but also drawings, collages, pictures, plans, maps, charts, questionnaire tables, graphs and diagrams. Thus, the development of communication skills is strongly supported by a variety of means that transmit different information.

One benefit that can be obviously noticed by two citations above is that project-based method helps to develop improvisation skills. As we know, ability to improvise in the foreign language comes up only after reaching the certain proficiency level (might be intermediate or higher). Many learners never reach the level in which they are able to express their thoughts clearly without thinking in their mother tongue. Even if they do, they still have interfering effect that serves as a pitfall on their way of being proficient. This method excludes these disadvantages and makes students think in English.

2. Skills that are necessary for students and a teacher to use project-based method

What characteristics should students develop to use this method? First of all, students should have certain independent work skills to organize their activities. It includes an ability to read and process a text, collect necessary information, interview. Nevertheless, it is important to work with reference material, use a computer, plan activities, make decisions, lead a discussion, be able to reasonably defend the position, conduct a search for the necessary information, research, format, evaluate and report the results of the work.

The task of the teacher is to facilitate the activity of each student; to create cases where they can develop their creativity in the learning process. The use of new information technologies not only enlightens and diversifies the learning process, but also opens up great opportunities for expanding the educational framework, develops motivational potential and contributes to the principles of individualization of education. Project activity allows students to play the role of authors, creators, and increases creativity. Thus, teacher’s role is highly regarded while using this way of learning, because teacher is the one who engage the students and intensifies their interest.

3. Features of project-based method

The project methodology uses all the best ideas developed by the traditional and modern methods of teaching English [3, 115]. These primarily include:

- Diversity as a necessary feature of any good learning, contributes to the maintenance of interest in learning - this is a variety of topics, types of texts (dialogues, monologues, letters, board games, descriptions, instructions, etc.), the variety of forms of educational activity (individual, group work, team work), and the big variety of exercise types.

- Problem-oriented work; students use the language to perform tasks that are characterized by unexpected results and new ways to achieve them. Problems make people think and the student learns how to use the language in real life. There is a wide range of communicative tasks and problem-oriented work. This approach takes place in teaching grammar in cases where the students use it for speech and when they comprehend it as a system.

- Study with pleasure. Undoubtedly, it is important that the student learns with pleasure. A teenager learns productively and learns a lot if he learns freely, without intimidation. Entertainment is one of the features of the project method. Often tasks can be made out in the form of jokes, puzzles, riddles, etc., have musical accompaniment, sound effects, and illustrations.

4. Stages of project work

Before starting the project work, teacher needs to formulate a topic, working on which students will learn some new knowledge and gain experience. It is desirable to differentiate the themes of projects by degree of difficulty, by level of abstraction, by degree of creativity [4, 23]. Teacher needs to give the student the right to choose a topic, degree of difficulty. Let us provide some examples of project-based method and divide it into stages.

Organization

Teacher’s actions: The teacher invites students to create the book “Sights of London”, divides the group into mini-groups of 2-3 people to create book pages. Offers students to explore the sights of London (Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster, London Bridge, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square) and select one to study in detail, search for information and develop it.

Students’ actions: They get acquainted with the content of the task (project), dividefor pair work, and independently decide which point they would like to describe.

2. Creative search

Teacher’s actions: Supervises the progress of students' work on the project, directs their activities, and indirectly supervises.

Students’ actions: Collect information on selected attractions, study literature, books and online publications, view photos, select information.

3. Preparing for presenting the project

Teacher’s actions: Gives tips on doing the presentation.

Students’ actions: Prepare and draw up materials (photos, texts) for the presentation and further use on the page in the book.

4. Presenting the project in PowerPoint (or any other application).

Teacher’s actions: Listens, asks questions, and assesses the work of students, the quality of presentations.

Students’ actions: Presenting the project.

5. Designing the book.

Teacher’s actions: Evaluates the activity of students in the work on the book and the content of the material.

Students’ actions: Designing the book.

Undoubtedly, this is not the only way to organize the project work. Since this method is based on the creativity of students and the teacher, stages of creating it are unlimited. The only obligatory function of the teacher here, surely, is introducing students to the concept of the project, motivating, and helping in setting goals.

5. Conclusion

Analyzing all the information above, we can conclude that project method is one of the very important contributions to learning language nowadays. No one argues that project work will help to solve all the problems in training, but it is an effective remedy for boredom. It contributes to the development of students’ awareness of themselves as a member of the group, the expansion of language knowledge. The project is also a real opportunity to use the knowledge gained in other lessons by means of a foreign language.

References

Thomas, J. W. & Mergendoller, J. R. (2000). Managing project-based learning: Principles from the field. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. P. 110-120.

Reshetka V. Professional Education in Russia and abroad. 2 (10) 2013. P. 115-121.

Vega V. Project-Based Learning Research. December 3, 2012. P. 114-115.

Helm, J. H., Katz, L. (2001). Young investigators: The project approach in the early years. New York: Teachers College Press. P. 23-25.

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