Environmental/learning theories begin with the assumption that much of childrens typical behaviour is acquired through conditioning and learning principles.
Learning theory, in contrast, holds that childrens 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 Pavlovs 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 childrens behaviour.
The most influential current theory of how social experience affects cognitive development is that of Vygotsky. Vygotskys theory stresses the childs 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 childs 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. (Appendix 1)
All people have all of these intelligences, he said, but in each person one (or more) of them is more pronounced. If teachers accept that different intelligences predominate in different people, it suggests that the same learning task may not be appropriate for all of students.
Pair Work at Project Lessons
Organizing pupils into pairs is an important job for the teacher at the project lesson. In pair work students can practise the language together, study a text, research the language or take part in information-gap activities. They can write dialogues, predict the content of reading texts, or compare on what they have listened to or seen.
The most important advantages and disadvantages of using pair work at project lessons saw S. Haines (1995).
So, the positive sides are:
It dramatically increases the amount of speaking time any one student gets in the class.
It allows students to work and interact independently without the necessary guidance of the teacher, thus promoting learner independence.
It allows teachers time to work with one or two pairs while the other students continue working.
It recognises the old maxim that two heads are better than one, and in promoting cooperation helps the classroom to become a more relaxed and friendly place. If teachers get students to make decisions in pairs, they will be allowed to share responsibility rather than having to bear the whole weight themselves.
It is relatively quick and easy to organise.
There are disadvantages of pair-work:
Pair-work is frequently very noisy and some teachers and students dislike this. Teachers in particular worry that they will lose control of their class.
Students in pairs can often veer away from the point of an exercise, talking about something else completely, often in their first language.
2.2 Group Work at Project Lessons
It is also possible to put students in large groups too, since this will allow them to do a range of tasks for which pair-work is not sufficient or appropriate. Thus, students can write a group story or role-play a situation which involves five or six people. They can prepare a presentation or discuss an issue and come to a group decision. Students can watch, write or perform a video sequence; teachers can give individual students in a group different lines of a poem which the group has to reassemble.
In general it is possible to say that small groups of around five students provoke greater involvement and participation than large groups. They are small enough for real interpersonal interaction, yet not so small that members are over-reliant upon each individual. Because five is an odd number, it means that a majority view can usually prevail. However, there are occasions when large groups are necessary. The activity may demand it, or we may want to divide the class into teams for some game or preparation phase.
Advantages and disadvantages of using group-work at project lessons are nicely described by J. Reid (1987), and T. Woodward (1995) in their works. The main advantages are:
Unlike pair-work, because there are more than two people in the group, personal relationships are usually less problematic; there is also a greater chance of different opinions and varied contribution than pair-work, and yet is more private than work in front of the whole class.
It promotes learner autonomy by allowing students to make their own decisions in the group without being told what to do by the teacher.
Like pair work, it dramatically increases the amount for individual students.
There are definite disadvantages, too:
It is likely to be noisy. Some teachers feel that they lose control, and the whole-class feeling which has been painstakingly built up may dissipate when the class is split into smaller entities. Groups can take longer to organise than pairs.
In conclusion it should be mentioned that project work is topic-based which involves research/questionnaires project encourage cooperation and sharing, it may be very creative artwork.
While project work it is possible to use such forms of class organization as pair and group work. It helps for developing all language skills at the project lessons.
3 Using Project Work for Developing All Language Skills
Generally teaching aims in foreign languages methodologists