Use of the Topical Project Work “My Body” for Developing All Language Skills in Form 4

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Tamāra Abdirazakova

Graduation Paper

Adviser: the English language teacher Nataļja Dogureviča

Liepāja Academy of Pedagogy

Adult Education Centre

Foreign Language Department

Liepâja 2004

Annotation

The Graduation Paper is devoted to using the topical project work “My Body” for developing all language skills in junior classes.

The aim of the research was to stimulate the interest in studying the language and to improve the skills and knowledge of pupils with the help of the topical project work “My Body”. To achieve the aim the author studied methodological literature on using project works for developing different skills. Then the project work was practically implemented in junior classes. Finally the results of the case study were analyzed.

A case study was applied as a research method to investigate the sample consisting of 23 students at Jēkabpils Secondary School № 2 aged 10-12 in grade 4.

The research revealed the importance and usefulness of using the topical project work “My Body” at the English lessons. It also showed that the project work is an effective method of developing all language skills of young learners. With the help of the research the author realised that more students had arisen their interest in learning English and improved their practical skills in communication through English. This study proves also that the project work elevates the effectiveness of learning English. During the project work atmosphere in the class was very positive friendly. The learners’ attitude to doing all types of tasks was positive and involved children to the learning process.

It can be concluded that much has been achieved on the way towards studying the project’s method but the work on this issue should be continued.

The materials applied can be used in grades 5 –6.

Anotâcija

Kvalifikācijas darbā tiek piedāvāta 4.d klases skolēnu iepazīšanās ar projektu “My Body” angļu valodas stundās.

Darba tēma: Lasīšanas rakstīšanas klausīšanās un runāšanas iemaņu attīstība izmantojot projektu nedēļas tēmu “My Body” 4.klasē.

Autors: Tamāra Abdirazakova.

Zinātniskā vadītāja: angļu valodas skolotāja Nataļja Dogureviča.

Darba struktūra: ievads teorētiskā daļa eksperimentālā daļa secinājumi literatūras saraksts pielikumi.

Pētījuma mērķis: apzināties projektu metodes īstenošanas principus to ietekmi uz iemaņu attīstību angļu valodas stundās.

Pētījuma uzdevumi:

Pedagoģiskās un psiholoģiskās literatūras iepazīšana un analīze.

Izstrādāt un aprobēt projekta tēmu “My Body” 4.d klasē.

Apkopot un analizēt iegūtos datus.

Pētījuma hipotēze: skolēnu iemaņu attīstība norisinās veiksmīgāk ja skolotājs savā darbā izmanto projekta tēmu “My Body” atbilstoši bērnu interesēm un vecumposmiem.

Projekti kā metode attīsta un pilnveido skolēnu prasmes. Projekta darbu angļu valodas stundās ievieš lai stundas kļūtu interesantākas daudzveidīgākas un ciešāk saistītas ar reālo dzīvi ar skolēnu aktuālām problēmām.

First of al it is possible to say that the children are given basic knowledge in the elementary school. Listening reading writing and speaking in a foreign language is a difficult art and it has to be learned starting in junior classes.

The theme of Graduation Paper is Use of the Topical Project Work “My Body” for Developing all Language Skills in Form 4.

The aim of paper is to stimulate the interest in studying the English language and to improve the skills and knowledge of pupils with the help of project work “My Body”.

The hypothesis of the paper is that the effective use of the project work successfully develops all language skills of young learners.

Figure 1 shows the result of the questionnaire. So refer to the Gardner’s table of the intelligences it is possible to conclude that the most part of the learners had linguistic visual and socialiser intelligences.

The next teacher’s step was to complete a set of activities and tasks for the theme “My Body” according to the students types of intelligence.

Having studied the advantages and disadvantages of the project work and work in big classes it was decided to organise the class into pairs and groups.

Table 2 reflects the summary of the activities used for developing four language skills. This material was designed for young children.

Finally I want to show two activities:

Project work was begun with the song ”Head and Shoulders”. Children sang and touched the body parts mentioned in the song.

The game “Parts of the Body’.

Inroduction

Education is very important in our life. An educated person is one who knows a lot about many things. He always tries to learn find out discover more about the world around him. He gets knowledge from books magazines TV educational programs. The pupils can get deeper knowledge in different optional courses in different subjects and school offers these opportunities.

The result of the educative process is the capacity of further education. Nowadays students of secondary school have opportunities to continue their education by entering gymnasiums lyceums colleges universities. Children are given basic knowledge in the elementary school. But the road to learn is not easy. There is no royal road to learning. To be successful in studies one must work hard.

The role of foreign languages is also increasing today. To know foreign languages is absolutely necessary for every educated person for being a good specialist. English is widely spoken in the world. It is the language of progressive science and technology trade and cultural relations commerce and business. It is also the major language of diplomacy. Listening reading speaking and writing in a foreign language is a difficult art and it has to be learned starting in junior classes.

The aim of the paper is to stimulate the interest in studying the language and to improve the skills and knowledge of pupils with the help of project work “My Body”.

The objectives of the work are:

to study the methodological and psychological literature on using project works;

2. to study the topical project work “My Body” in form 4;

3. to analyze the results of the topical project work in form 4.

The hypothesis of the paper is that the effective use of the project work successfully develops all language skills of young learners.

The research methods used are:

review and analysis of methodological and psychological literature;

questionnaires in order to study project work in form 4;

statistical analyses of development of all language skills;

observation and evaluation of project lessons.

Chapter 1 views the aspects of intellectual development of young learners. Chapter 2 describes importance of using pair work and group work at project lessons. Chapter 3 shows how to use project work for developing all language skills. Chapter 4 analyses the results of the questionnaire and implementation of the project work “My Body” in form 4.

1. Aspects of Intellectual Development in Middle Childhood

Changes in mental abilities – such as learning memory reasoning thinking and language – are aspects of intellectual development. The concrete operational period is the period of middle childhood. It extends from about age 6 to about age 11 or 12.

Today the large majority of child psychologists identify themselves with one of three general theoretical views – the cognitive-developmental approach the environmental/learning approach or the ethnological approach.

The cognitive-developmental approach encompasses a number of related theories and kinds of research. This approach is most closely associated with the work of Piaget (1952). Sometime between 5 and 7 years of age according to Piaget children enter the stage of concrete operations when they can think logically about the here and now. They generally remain in this sage until about age 11. But development at these ages is still highly significant. Intellectual growth is substantial as the once ago centric child becomes more logical. And the accumulation of day-by-day changes results in a starting difference between 6-year-olds and 12-year-olds.

According to Piaget’s theory human development can be described in terms of functions and structures. The most fundamental aspect of Piaget’s theory and often the most difficult to comprehend is his belief that intelligence is not something that a child has but something that a child does. Piaget’s child understands the world only by acting on it making intelligence a process rather than a static store of information.

For Piaget development refers to this continual reorganization of the child’s knowledge into new and more complex structures. Piaget was a stage theorist. In his view all children move through the same stages of cognitive development in the same order.

The most influential contemporary theory of the effects of social experience on cognitive development is that of Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky ( 1962). Vygotsky’s theory includes a number of related emphases.

Perhaps the most general emphasis is on the culture as a determinant of individual development. Humans are the only species that have created cultures and every human child in the context of a culture. The culture makes two sorts of contributions to the child’s intellectual development. First children acquire much of the content of their thinking from it. Second children acquire much of the means of their thinking – or what Vygotskians call the tools of intellectual adaptation – from it. In short the surrounding culture teaches children both what to think and how to think.

Environmental/learning theories begin with the assumption that much of children’s typical behaviour is acquired through conditioning and learning principles.

Learning theory in contrast holds that children’s toy preferences do not necessarily grow out of what they know about their gender but often result from what has happened when they played with certain toys. B. F. Skinner (1953) accepted the role of Pavlov’s conditioning of reflexes but he added to learning theory a second type of behaviour and correspondingly a second type of learning. According to his model all behaviour falls into one of two categories – respondent behaviours and operant behaviours.

Behaviour analyses also views human development as passing through stages termed the foundational stage (infancy) the bases stage (childhood and adolescence) and the societal stage (adulthood and old age).

Scientists say that the environment influences behaviour in four ways:

The environment puts constraints on behaviour; it limits what we can do.

The environment elicits behaviour; it tells us how to act.

The environment moulds the self.

Environments affect the self-image.

To conclude language is developed quickly in middle childhood children can understand and interpret communications better and they are better able to make themselves understood.

Cognitive/development theory contends that children first develop an understanding that they are male or female consistently with their gender as when a girl comes to prefer playing with dolls to playing with trucks. The cognitive-development approach to human development is based on the belief that cognitive abilities are fundamental and that they guide children’s behaviour.

The most influential current theory of how social experience affects cognitive development is that of Vygotsky. Vygotsky’s theory stresses the child’s gradual internalization of culturally provided forms of knowledge and tools of adaptation primarily through verbal interchanges with parents.

Project Work as One of the Most Effective Teaching Forms in Modern School

Teachers can hardly work at the child’s level unless they know what that level is. It is important to match topics to the level reserving complex issues for more advanced classes. Teachers should not expect beginners to tackle a national newspaper in English; they would not offer very advanced students a simplified dialogue. The traditional lessons do not give a chance for cognitive and creative development. Teachers of beginners will necessary use activities whose organisation is less complex then those for more advanced learners. Teachers find it quite effective to develop all language skills for beginner students.

Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture defines the word project as a piece of work that needs skill effort and careful planning especially over a period of time [8 1378].

Project work captures three principal elements of communicative approach. They are:

a concern for motivation;

a concern for relevance;

a concern for the general educational development of the learner [18 26].

Project learning has not been redacted on the teaching methods it is more educational philosophy which aims are to show the way and to introduce with some possible activities achieving to a more democratic society points Legutke [9 1982]. The child is naturally active especially along social lines. Teachers just should choose the appropriate teaching method.

We think that project method is one of the most effective teaching forms. The originators of a project work have arrived at decisions about types of activities role of teachers and learners the kinds of the material which will be helpful and some model of syllabus organisation.

Project can consist of intensive activities which take place over a short period of time or extended studies which may take up one or two hours a week for several weeks [7 7].

Project work gives the students an opportunity to bring their knowledge feelings experience ideas and intelligence of their world into the school and out of it – to the area where the project work take place. Projects can include a wide range of the topics and use knowledge and experience gained from the other subjects in the curriculum.

In big classes it is difficult for the teacher to make contact with the students at the back and it is difficult for the students to ask for and receive individual attention. It may seem impossible to organise dynamic and creative teaching and learning sessions. In large classes pair-work and group-work play an important part since they maximise student participation.

When teachers know how their students feel about pair-work and group-work it is easier to decide what method should be applied and what kind of the activities to perform.

MI theory stands for “Multiple intelligences” a concept introduced by the Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner. In his book Frames of Mind he suggested that as humans we do not possess a single intelligence but a range of intelligences (Gardner 1983). He listed seven of these.

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