Developing Communication Skills by Implementing Online Projects

The learning of a foreign language can’t be done in 45 minutes, having in front, a textbook and a teacher, and interacting only with the classmates. One of my pupils’ problems is to communicate efficiently in English when leaving the classroom. Working on that problem, I realized that the communicative competence can be improved much more when there is real communication with peers from other countries. So, I focused on developing communication skills by implementing online projects at the upper education level.

My purpose was to reveal the benefits of using online projects during the English language lessons and to identify the best ways of integrating them effectively in the teaching-learning process, to develop pupils’ communication skills. The main objectives were:

  • to motivate the students’ participation in online projects
  • to engage the pupils in activities leading to communication online
  • to use online peer communication for the development of communicative competence.

The pupils, involved in online communication as part of online projects, develop their communication skills and their motivation to learn English increases. They are trained in real-life situations and understand the importance of learning English.The ability to communicate in a foreign language will help the student in the long run and we should put the focus on the learner and the lesson should be task-based, content-based and interactive.

Nowadays, pupils learn with much more interest if they do not think about activities they do as a learning process but as an interaction for their benefit. Language teaching is based on a view of language as communication. That is, language is seen as a social tool that speakers use to make meaning. That is why my task as a teacher, is to create a secure environment for my pupils and provide opportunities for safe communication which will have a teaching goal as well.

For this purpose, in 2018 I joined eTwinning – an online community for teachers and students. Giving the pupils the opportunity to communicate in a language they are studying at school with English speakers of their age, getting to know other cultures and increasing motivation to learn a foreign language are some of the greatest benefits of eTwinning. Using this platform, I discovered new ways to work on my pupils’ communication.

Online communication brings a lot of advantages, even if there may be misunderstandings which are not spotted and corrected immediately, as is often easier with face-to-face communication, it is a good way to develop communication skills and to integrate the world into the classroom.

Using eTwinning space and partnership with teachers from Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania, I could initiate one of my latest projects based on curriculum and I could do a lot of work related to the project during the lessons, involving my pupils in communication activities. The project Travel Influencer was taken with a group of pupils in the 11th form. According to the national curriculum, we have such domains as Personal, School, Cultural, Social, and Informational which had topics that were reflected in this project. We presented ourselves, our schools, towns, and countries during the lessons containing the Personal and School domains (The youth of the 21st century, Lifestyles, School Partnerships, Generations and interests) by creating posts, presentations and videos. We also used the lessons dedicated to Intercultural experiences, while speaking about places of interest and holidays to celebrate and Mass-media to explain the Internet safety rules, how correctly to choose information and how to advertise some things.

We followed a multidisciplinary approach as well as collaboration with Personal Development, Geography, and Computer Science teachers for our project while speaking about countries, touristic attractions or creating products. Key competencies, such as speaking in a foreign language, but also, digital competence while creating digital products and communicating in the online space, were practiced and developed during the project. The pupils developed listening skills when meeting online, they developed reading when they read others’ posts and work created by themselves and in collaboration with peers, speaking was developed during online sessions and class activities when they presented their discoveries. So, the project had a great impact on our students and integrated a lot of skill development processes. Besides developing their communicative skills, the project taught them to be more active, take an attitude and be promoters of their culture.

As a conclusion, I would like to say that rapid changes in technology have affected the teaching-learning process deeply. It is known that nowadays the traditional formats are not always successful and efficient, being outdated and unsustainable. Modern technologies facilitate the learner-centred approach in the didactic process for the benefits of our students.  In my opinion, the effective use of online interaction in the classroom can give students the chance to learn for pleasure. The future belongs to the Global Citizen and the involvement in the online educational projects is a step toward this.


prof. Natalia Rața

IP Liceul Teoretic Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu, Drochia (Drochia) , Republica Moldova
Profil iTeach:

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