How to Improve Communicative Skills through Project Based Activities at Domingo Savio 9th Grade Students? Dayana Cobo Lina F. Carvajal Linsay S. Doncel Adriana P. Oliveros University of Amazonia English program Florencia-Caquetá 2011
How to Improve Communicative Skills through Project Based Activities at Domingo Savio 9th Grade Students? This project is presented to the teacher: Maritza Housset DayanaCobo Lina F. Carvajal Linsay S. Doncel Adriana P. Oliveros University of Amazonia English program Florencia-Caquetá 2011
Index1. Justification2. Research Question3. Objectives 3.1 general objectives 3.2 specific objectives4. Theoretical framework 4.1 Content –Based Instruction 4.1.1 Learners Role 4.1.2 Teachers Role 4.2 The Language-Cultural Connection 4.3 Task Based5. Methodology 5.1 Participants and Course Description 5.2 Place and Time 5.3 Strategies6. Results7. Conclusions8. Anexos9. References
INTRODUCTIONA foreign language is the most successfully acquired when learners are engagedin its meaningful use. Language learning and content of subject matter could bebrought together within the content based instruction(CBI). The integration oflanguage and content involves the corporation of content material into languageclasses. CBI is sometimes referred to as ´language across the curriculum´, andhas become increasingly popular as a means of developing linguistic ability.Content can provide a motivational and cognitive basis for language learning sinceit is interesting and of some value to the learner (Brewster, 1999). CBI combinesintegrated teaching of all language skills and subject matter, which makes it canappealing approach to English for specific purpose (ESP) courses, as at higherlevels language can be perfected through subject contents.This project was conducted in order to explore various forms of CBI and integratingthe relevant content into the ESP classroom within a slightly different approachwith 10 grade at Domingo savior. They were between 14 and 15 years old. CBI canbe implemented by teaching English through subject content. Employing learners„knowledge of subject, using task-based learning and holistic approach to languageinstruction through up –date authentic materials and involving learners in themeaningful usage of language allows learners to develop their linguistic ability inthe target language. Learners´ responses and self- assessment of successful/unsuccessful experiences in CBI activities are being presented and discussed.
1. JUSTIFICATIONThrough this project we as an English Students tried to put into practice a new wayto teach with the intention to acquire a new technique that is based not only onteaching grammar in the same way, using a book, a pen and teaching the rules onthe board; this is using information around us with content, giving to student aninput and in this way teach them the grammar and make them to used their fourskills in order to have an output.
2. RESEARCH QUESTION2.1 Main QuestionThe main question for this project was the following:How to improve communicative skills through project based activities at DomingoSavio 9th grade students?
3. OBJECTIVES 3.1 General ObjectiveIn this project thegeneral objective was:To encourage students to know more about United States culture using English in acommunicative way developing the four skills. 3.2 Specific Objectives To look student´s attitudes forward this project. To analyze the use of skills by students in the activities. To give students adequate materials and tools to improve their knowledge about United States. To realize if the content based, task based and project based activities taught by the teachers are appropriate for the students. To use key structure which allow students describe typical food, dance and cloth. To practice commands and orders that let students respond in order to dance.
4. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKThis project was framed inside definitions of Content-based instruction, task-basedand project-based. 4.1 Content –Based InstructionAccording to Brinton, Snow and Welsh (1989) is the integration of content learningwith language teaching aims. More specifically, it refers to the concurrent study oflanguage and subject matter, with the form and sequence of language presentationdictated by content material. Such an approach contrasts sharply with manypractices in which language skill are taught virtually in isolation form substantivecontent.When language becomes the medium to convey informational content of interestand relevance to the learner, then learner are pointed toward matters of intrinsicconcern. Language takes on its appropriate role as a vehicle for accomplish a setof content goals. A recent surge of research and material on CBI has given us newopportunities and challenges. Content based classrooms may yield an increase inintrinsic motivational and empowerment, since students are focused on subject thatis important to their lives. Students are pointed beyond transient extrinsic factors,like grades and test, to their own competence and autonomy as intelligentindividuals capable of actually doing something with their new knowledge.
Challenge range from a demand for a whole new genre of textbooks and othermaterials to the training of language teachers to teach the concepts and skills ofvarious disciplines, professions and occupations, and/or to teach in teams acrossdisciplines.According to Freeman (2000) content based instruction using content from otherdisciplines in language courses is not a new idea for years, specialized languagecourses have include content relevant to a particular profession or academicdiscipline. The especial contribution of content based instruction is that it integratedthe learning of language with the learning of some other content, of often academicsubject matter. It has been observed that academic subject provided naturalcontent for language instruction such observation motivated the language acrossthe curriculum movement for native English speakers in England which waslaunched in the 1970s to integrated the teaching of reading and writing into allother subject areas. Of course when student study academic subjects in a non-native language they will need a great deal of an assistance in understandingsubject matter texts; therefore, there must be clear language objectives as well ascontent learning objectives. Because the language objectives are directed by thetext content based instruction night fully fits in with the other methods.Principles: The subject matter content is used for language teaching purpose. Teaching should build on student‟s previous experience.
Jack C. Richards and William A. Renandya state that: Content Based instructionhas been used in variety of language learning context, thought is popularity andwider applicability have increased dramatically since the early 1990s numerous spractical features of CBI make and appealing approach to language instruction : To stimulate student to think and through the use of the target language. It employs authentic reading materials which require students not only understand information but to interpret and evaluate it as well. It provides forums in which student can respond orally to reading and lecture materials. Students learn a variety of language skills which prepare them for the range of academic tasks they will encounter.According to Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers CBI has a role in othercurriculum design, language curriculum skills should also be taught in the contentsubjects and not left exclusively for the English teacher to deal with.” Everyteacher, an English teacher like other cross-disciplinary proposals”IMERSION EDUCATION – The foreign language is the vehicle for contentinstruction it is not the subject of instruction.APPROACH – Learning and teaching are realized as central priority.
4.1.1 Learners RoleGOAL- Learners to become autonomous so that they come to “understand theirown learning process and take charge of their own learning from the very start” CBI is “learning by doing “ Active role in several dimensions. 4.1.2 Teachers Role Teachers must be knowledgeable in the subject matter and able to elicit that knowledge from their students. Teacher have to keep context and comprehensibility when they planning and presentation. They are responsible for selecting and adapting authentic materials for use in class. They become needs analysts.4.2 The Language-Cultural ConnectionLanguage and culture are intricately intertwined. Any time you successfully learn alanguage, you will also learn something of the culture of the speakers of thatlanguage.
This principle focuses on the complex interconnections of language and culture.“Whenever you teach a language, you also teach a complex system of culturalcostumes, values, and ways of thinking feeling and acting”.Classroom applications include the following:1. Discuss cross-cultural differences with your students, emphasizing that noculture is better than another, but that cross-cultural understanding is an importantfacet of learning a language.2. Include among your techniques certain activities and materials that illustrate theconnection between language and culture.3. Teach your students the cultural connections, specially the sociolinguisticaspects.4. Screen your techniques for material that may be culturally offensive.5. Make explicit to your students what you may take for granted in your ownculture.4.3 Task BasedAccording to Jack C. Richards and Theodore S. Rodgers Task –Based LanguageTeaching (TBLT) refers to an approach based on the use of tasks as the core unitof planning an instruction in language teaching. Some of its proponents present itas a logical development of Communicative Language Teaching since it draws on
several principles that forms part of the communicative language teachingmovement from the 1980s. Activities that involve real communication are essential for language learning. Activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning. Language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process.Nunan (1989) offers this definition:The communicative task is a piece of classroom work which involves learners incomprehending, manipulating, producing, or interact in the target language whiletheir attention is principally focused on meaning rather than form. The task shouldalso have a sense of completeness, being able to stand alone as a communicativeact in its own right.Task-based training identified several key areas of concern: 1. Analysis of real world task-use situations 2. The translations of these into teaching ,tasks descriptions 3. The detailed design of instructional tasks 4. The sequencing of instructional tasks in classroom training/teaching
METHODOLOGY4.2 Participants and Project DescriptionThis project was developed with9thgrade students at Domingo Savio high school inFlorencia. There were 19 students; they are about 14 and 15 years old, 6 men and13 women.This project was developed during some hours in the morning and it was necessaryto meet students in the afternoon in order to organize the activities.Expo American culture was a project where students prepared some activities inorder to show some important aspects of this country.In order to students use the target language in a different classroom environment,they performed history, typical food, clothes and dancing of united states whereEnglish was practiced and used as the principal way to communicate.4.3 Place and TimeExpo American culture was worked at Domingo Savio High school a privateinstitution in Florencia, this institution is located at Torasso neighborhood, and thisschool has a high English level because it has English emphasis. It lasted a weeksince November, 15th until November, 18th taking 4 hours per day.
4.4 StrategiesTeachers showed students general information about United States culture troughslides, photocopies, videos, pictures and readings in order reinforce their previousknowledge with the intention to make other activities based on the information given.
5. RESULTSAt theend of expo American culture project, students performed different activities inthe following way:One of the students was conducting whole program, 3 studentsstarted presentinggeneral information about United States, in this activity they talked about principalpresidents, important days, important places and currency and money then, another6 students organized a fashion show where, modeled somesuits from different statesHawaiian, hip hop,country clothes and the most used clothes by American womenalso, 5 studentsmade a cooking program where showed how to make hamburgerfinally, 6 students performed a country dance showing principal movement from thisdance.In those activities students learnt a lot vocabulary related from each activity becausethey were meaningful and attractive for them in the way that most of information waseasy to understand and comprehensible.
6. CONCLUSIONSThe integration of language and content teaching is perceived by the EuropeanCommission as “an excellent way of making progress in a foreign language”. CBIeffectively increases learner‟s English language proficiency and teaches them theskills necessary for the success in various professions. With CBI, learners graduallyacquire greater control of the English language, enabling them to participate morefully in an increasingly complex academic and social environment.
7. ANEXOSDuring this project someevidences were taken, such as videos, pictures, lessonsplans, and slides.
8. REFERENCESBrinton, D. (2003). Content-based instruction. In D. Nunan (Ed.), practicalEnglish language teaching (pp. 199-224). New York: McGraw Hill.Brinton, D. M., Snow, M. A., &Wesche, M. B. (1989). Content-based secondlanguage instruction. New York: Newbury House.Grabe, W., &Stoller, F. L. (1997). Content-based instruction: ResearchFoundations. In M. A. Snow, & D. M. Brinton(Eds.), The content-basedclassroom: Perspective on integrating language and content (pp. 5-21).NY: Longman.Snow, W.A.(2001). Content-based and immersion models for Second andforeign language teaching. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as aSecond or Foreign Language (3rded.) (pp. 303-318). Boston, MA:Heinle&Heinle.