Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, July 22, 2005


by AJ
Im increasingly drawn to a projectbased approach for teaching advanced language students. These students have the basics of the language. They don't need teacher-intensive methods like TPR at this point.

In fact, they dont need teachers at all. At the upper-intermediate and above levels, the teachers task is to push the student towards complete autonomy.

Projects are an excellent way to do this. By focusing on projects... students are encouraged to seek out comprehensible input on their own. They read about their subject, talk to others about it, discuss it, and then compile all this info to create a presentation or tangible product.

If most of these activities are done in the target language- all requirements for language acquisition are met. Because they choose their projects, students automatically delve into topics that are interesting to them (rather than the teacher). Through research, they find, read, and listen to authentic materials related to their project. Perhaps they read articles. Or watch documentaries. Or read books (or audiobooks). They are not focused on the target language.... but by doing these activities they are acquiring language nevertheless.

They are doing so in a much more effective (according to a mountain of research) and much more enjoyable manner.

Sure beats the hell out of memorizing grammar rules and plodding through textbooks!!