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PROJECT METHODOLOGY AS OPTIMAL MEANS OF DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

Автор Доклада: 
Solomchak N.
Награда: 
PROJECT METHODOLOGY AS OPTIMAL MEANS OF DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

УДК 81.432

PROJECT METHODOLOGY AS OPTIMAL MEANS OF DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

Natalia Solomchak, teacher

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas

The article deals with the analysis of the project work methodology as an integrated pedagogical and language activity that successfully combines simulations, role-plays and various forms of discussion. The research focuses on the project work methodology functioning in professional-oriented studying process at the technical university.

Key words: ESP, project work, innovative techniques, teaching technologies, learning styles, communicative competence, skills,  professionally-oriented communication, syllabus, modules.

As we entered a new millennium, the ability and the need to understand and communicate with each other have become increasingly important.  To meet these communication needs, more and more individuals have highly specific academic and professional reasons for seeking to improve their language skills.

Most ESP courses are merely a sort of blind to motivate students to learn English while apparently nearing themselves to a desired goal [1]. To teach ESP means totake risks and teach creatively, and make use of some innovative techniques. That’s why the teaching staff of the English Language Department of the technical university closely cooperates with the professors who are experts in oil and gas industries. Great attention should be paid to motivation and student purpose. Some authors say that the learning itself is motivating and rewarding [2,3].

A typical ESP textbook “English for Oil and Gas Engineers” has been developed by the teachers of the English Language Department of the technical university of oil and gas. The textbook is recommended for those students who have already reached an intermediate level in their general English communication skills. The textbook is designed to require 120 hours of classroom time and about 60-70 hours of the student’s autonomous work outside of class. The textbook is communication based with little focus on the mechanics of language learning.

The present study focuses on the problem specific for ESP teachers at technical universities. The problem is how to build the bridge that would help to eliminate the psychological gap between teaching oral communicative skills for everyday life that greatly inspires our students’ interest and teaching skills in technical reading, and professionally-oriented communication in the field that is usually considered by our students majoring in petroleum engineering to be a dull and uninspired job.

To solve this problem and to teach professional speaking, writing, reading and listening within an integrated skills approach we have introduced project work into our syllabus. Why have we chosen project work methodology among many innovative teaching technologies and approaches? Project work is appropriate to all levels of knowledge and provides the complete solution of the problem of authenticity of task for students. Project work solves the problem of learner autonomy. It is students-centered activity. Project work provides high level of motivation. Project work is a cooperative rather than a competitive activity. Unlike traditional approaches to foreign language teaching, this activity allows both teacher and student to concentrate on the communicative use of language and content rather than form.

The academic year has been divided into three modules. During Module 1 the students work as a simulation class using the assumed imaginary identities of native speakers whose professions are usually not related to the oil and gas industry. Module 2 is devoted to reading classes with the emphasis on authentic reading materials which require the students not only to understand information but to interpret and evaluate it as well. Various role-plays and dramatic activities are widely used. Module 3 offers the students the opportunity to work independently in small groups on the development of one of the projects proposed to them. The topics are related to the student future profession.

Project work can not only promote the growth of positive motivation, but also offer the following advantages to the students: it allows the students to proceed at their own rate; it allows the students to choose their own learning mode; it allows the students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to recycle through remedial modules, repetition or a change in learning mode.

Project work is not the easiest method to implement. It requires a lot of preparatory work on the teacher’s part and multiple stages of development to succeed. But its pay-offs are beneficial for students and teachers alike.

The advantages of using project work methodology in teaching and learning English have been experimentally proved.

 

References:

  • 1. Master P. In Defense of ESP. – Responses to English for Specific Purposes. – San Jose State University, 1998. – 241p.
  • 2. Numan D. The Learner-Centered Curriculum. – Cambridge University Press, 1988. – 196p.
  • 3. Robinson P.C. ESP Today: A Practitioner’s Guide. – Prentice Hall, 1988. - 143p.
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The analysis

Scientific research is ascertaining the nature. Findings are adequate. Report deserves the attention of scientists and practitioners.
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