PROJECT FRAMES FOR 21ST CENTURY SKILLS
The article presents the best practice experience in facilitating the 21st century skills through the project-based method applied in the frame of the English language program in a technical university. Nowadays, the English language program should focus on fostering the most important cross-disciplinary skills, such as research, critical thinking, public speaking, team work and so on. This can be accomplished as a complex task for a three-credit program. One of the ways is seen in splitting the burden among three successive courses: Academic English, Business English and Professional English. Each program is one of the constituting parts of a teaching-learning process in the project frame.
This article describes jigsaws of approaches pieced together to nurture students’ English oral and written communication together with cross-disciplinary skills by means of the project approach used by each of three successive programs. The idea is that each of them should follow up an advantage of felicitously acquired skills of the pre-requisite program. For example, the Academic English program is oriented to students with the Intermediate language level, and in the frame of the project work the following skills are built: research, self-discipline, planning, processing information, and personal expression. The next is the Business English program, intended to students with the Upper-Intermediate language proficiency; it relies on the previously developed research skills and is aimed at enhancing them and introducing such skills as teamwork, collaboration and cooperation, creativity, innovation, public speaking, presenting and cognitive activities. The last in this chain is the Professional English program, which is designed to bring up the students to the Advanced level of English. Its job exploration project helps students master all the previously acquired skills, and practice professionally-related ones.
The paper presents samples of various project tasks that help students demonstrate the level of achievement. Each sample includes the parameters and assessment criteria explanation of its choice and feasibility, followed by analyses and practical recommendations.