Резюме В статье рассматриваются возможности библиотек высших учебных заведений в информационной деятельности
с внедрением новых информационных технологий и получения пользователями достаточно широкого спектра
информационных, образовательных и аналитических услуг. Инновационная деятельность библиотеки - один из
ключевых моментов успешного развития интерактивной среды обучения в современном вузе, поскольку библиотеки
в настоящее время организуют оперативный доступ к информации и способствуют самостоятельному получению и
усвоению новых знаний. Результатом инновационной деятельности является качественное улучшение информаци-
онных продуктов и услуг, предоставляемых пользователям – студентам и ученым вуза.
Ключевые слова: инновация, электронные ресурсы, электронная библиотека, информационная технология,
электронное обучение, электронный каталог
Summary The possibilities of libraries of higher educational institutions in information activities with introduction of new
information technologies and receiving information, educational and analytical services by users of rather wide range are
considered in article. Innovative activities of library - one of the key moments of successful development of the interactive
environment in training of modern higher education institution as libraries will organize quick access to information now and
promote independent receiving and assimilation of new knowledge. High-quality improvement of information products and
the services provided to users — to students and scientists of higher education institution is result of innovative activity.
Keywords: innovation, electronic resources, electronic library, information technology, electronic training, electronic
PROJECT-BASED LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR TREATING LEXICAL INTERFERENCE MISTAKES: RUSSIAN-ENGLISH FALSE FRIENDS A.Argynbayev– PhD student at Foreign Languages Department, Suleyman Demirel University, Z.K. Akhmetzhanova – Doctor of Philology Sciences, Professor, Suleyman Demirel University This paper makes an attempt to give a definition to Project-Based Learning approach and false friends, also known as
Абай атындағы ҚазҰПУ-нің Хабаршысы, «Педагогика ғылымдары» сериясы, №1(45), 2015 г. 44
interlingual homonyms. The authors discuss the types of PBL activities, their limitations and advantages over other methods.
Moreover, researchers suggest how PBL activities might be applied when teaching lexical-semantic interference to EFL
learners. The authors also suggest a number of motivating activities that might be of interest to language students.
Keywords: project-based learning, lexical interference, false friends, cognates
First mentioned by William Kilpatrick in 1920-s, project-based learning (PBL) is a comprehensive approach
developed from constructivist theory which is designed to engage students in the investigation of real life
problems . In other words, the main objective of PBL is having students use the target language in authentic
situations and acquire knowledge through the process of solving practical problems or tasks that require the
integration of knowledge from various domains. Similarly, Hedge defines PBL as “an extended task, which
usually integrates language skills work through a number of activities” [2: 276]. Moreover, it is essential that the
language learners use authentic materials and the learning process is student-centred. The teacher in this approach
is merely a coordinator, advisor and facilitator as opposed to the traditional grammar-translation method where the
teacher is an authoritative figure and the only source of information.
In project-based learning tasks students work in a team to solve authentic challenging problems set by the
teacher. At the end, the learners have to come up with a product achieved through information search, intellectual
work, and cooperation. To illustrate, for writing the teacher can assign tasks such as reports, questionnaires, and
descriptions; for speaking and listening skills development students can conduct interviews or have discussions
with experts, prominent or famous people; reading skill might be improved through searching for information in
libraries, browsing the Internet or working in archives.
According to Lawrence in Moss, due to the nature of collaborative work in PBL, even low-level learners have
an opportunity to contribute to the project; thus, making personal progress and gaining necessary life skills for the
future . However, because project-based learning centers on collaborative work, creating a friendly atmosphere
within the group is vital. Another difficulty that may occur among the peers in the group is an indifferent attitude
or laziness of some individuals, who avoid taking responsibility.
Another important point that should be born in mind is that the learners need to present the finished product,
i.e. their work in class in front of their peers where they can get feedback from their teacher and peers. As far as
the assessment is concerned, it is quite formative rather than summative . It can be done by teachers, peers or
oneself. While evaluating, teachers can take into consideration the quality of the outcome of the research and the
way the target language is used during the project. Alternatively, students can reflect on their project and write a
report how the project worked. To make peer-evaluation and self-evaluation easier teachers can arrange a small-
group discussion and provide guiding questions such as “What did your classmates do very well in the project?
Was there anything that needed improvement? What? Why?” .
Concerning the characteristics of project work, Stoller [5:4] defines six points below:
Project work should focus on real world subject, rather than specific language features or targets. In
addition, it should be interesting for the learners.
The teacher is only a facilitator and a guide; thus, the project work is student centred.
Students can work in groups or pairs, if they wish to do so, but the nature of this work is cooperative rather
than competitive. As a result, students need to share ideas, materials and resources throughout the project in order
to achieve good results.
Students will acquire and develop different real-life skills due to the authentic nature of the project work.
More importantly, they will learn how to process different types of information and how to select the most
At the end of the project students have to present their product to class in a form of an oral presentation, a
poster session, a report, a bulletin board display, etc.
Stimulation, motivation and challenge are one of the milestones of the project work which enable students
to work autonomously and improve their language skills due to gaining confidence and self-esteem through the
real-life tasks and setting.
Project-based activities have been variously classified according to their functions and properties. For example,
Haines  classifies them into four categories according to the way of reporting gathered information and the
procedures of data collection: information and research projects, survey projects, production projects, and
performance and organizational projects.
Legutke and Thomas  classified projects, taking into consideration the resource base, such as encounter
projects, text projects, and class correspondence projects. In encounter projects the learners need to interview,
survey, discuss, contact only native speakers of English. For text projects, students have to use written texts in
English. In class correspondence projects, the learners have to contact representatives of others cultures through e-
Вестник КазНПУ им. Абая, серия«Педагогические науки», №1(45), 2015 г. 45
mails, video-messages or pictures in order to find peculiarities of a foreign culture. At the end of the project work
the students need to demonstrate their findings to their class.
Another classification that deserves attention was made by North , who categorized PBL activities into four
types: community projects, case studies, practical projects, and library projects. When completing community projects, students prepare questions for surveys and questionnaires, conduct interviews and collect data from the
local community. For finding solutions to a certain problem students can carry out acase study. For practical projects students have to complete some sort of practical work such as doing an experiment, building a model,
and so on. Library projects are carried out through collecting data from written texts and the main source of
information here is the library.
Numerous benefits of PBL have been mentioned in academic literature. One of the benefits of PBL is the
development of students’ language skills. The learners improve their speaking and listening skills through
meaningful interactions when collecting data, conducting interviews and surveys. Moreover, students improve
their reading and writing skills when searching for information in libraries and writing reports. According to
Stoller , this development is due to the nature of authentic tasks that makes students use these skills in an
integrated way and recycle vocabulary and grammar forms.
Another advantage of using PBL activities is that students are immersed into authentic environment and
experience; thus, they have to use authentic language and are exposed to it in the natural setting while being
engaged in the project. As a result, students acquire life skills that are necessary in their future academic and
everyday lives . With this in mind, the purpose of this paper is to suggest several PBL activities, that can be
applied in teaching vocabulary, especially Russian-English false friends, which are belied to cause difficulty for
even advanced-level learners and hamper communication.
False friends  or deceptive cognates, as defined by Lado , are the words in two languages that have
similar phonetic and/or orthographic form but different meanings. Akulenko, however, rebutted Lado’s coining
and stated that the term false cognates is not quite appropriate,as cognates in linguistics are traditionally referred
to the words of the common origin in related languages, while false friends are identified and studied regardless of
their etymology . For example, the word pair magazine – магазин is not only false friends, where магазин in
Russian means ashop not a periodical as in English, but also true cognates as they have the same origin from
Arabic makhazin (store, depot, store-house). A good example of false cognates and false friends at the same time
could be a word pair ghost – гость, where both words come from different origin and have different semantics.
The English word ghost originates from Old English gast (soul, spirit, life, breath; good or bad spirit, angel,
demon), while Russian гость takes its origin from Latin hostis (alien, hostile).
In this line, when practicing PBL approach, teachers can successfully use etymology search activity with
upper-level EFL learners. The teacher writes several false friends pairs on the board and assigns the task, to web-
search the origin of the words and their modern meanings. Students are firstly encouraged to Google for good
quality online etymology dictionaries that they can consult or visit public libraries. Alternatively, teachers can
recommend some so that the results are reliable and valid and the task does not seem too challenging. As an
example, teacher can demonstrate the etymology of one false friend pair in order to ignite the interest among the
learners. For example, the false friend pair “meeting – митинг” in Table 1 below, can be explained through
illustration of their origin and old meanings. By doing so teachers can lead students to understanding of how
semantics changes over the centuries or how words are borrowed from other languages. An important
recommendation that should be mentioned for this activity is that false friends should be selected carefully, so that
students find intriguingly interesting facts about borrowing and semantic shift in words.
The advantage of this project is that it teaches students how to work autonomously, conduct research, and
Table 1. False friends etymology activity
meeting (n.) "action of coming together," Old English gemeting, verbal noun from meet (v.). Meaning "gathering of people for
discussion, etc." is from 1510s. In 17c., it was applied generally to worship assemblies of nonconformists, but this now is
retained mostly by Quakers.
demonstration (n.) late 14c., "proof that something is true," from Old French demonstration or directly from Latin demonstrationem (nominative demonstratio), noun of action from past participle stem of demonstrare "to point out, indicate, demonstrate,"
figuratively, "to prove, establish," from de- "entirely" (see de-) + monstrare "to point out, show," from monstrum"divine
omen, wonder" (see monster). Meaning "public show of feeling," usually with a mass meeting and a procession, is from
Абай атындағы ҚазҰПУ-нің Хабаршысы, «Педагогика ғылымдары» сериясы, №1(45), 2015 г. 46
Another PBL activity that can be used with upper-level students is conducting a survey, questionnaire or interview. Students are assigned to work in pairs or groups, write the definition of false friends and make up a
number of questions about the topic. As an example, the teacher can suggest a few questions such as:
Have you ever used Russian-English false friends in your speech that cause misunderstanding? Can you
name these words?
Has anyone you know ever used Russian-English false friends in their speech? Which words did they use?
Did false friends, that you used, cause awkward, funny or uneasy situations?
After illustrating a few sample questions, the teacher encourages the learners to interview their peers from
other schools or classes, language school, EFL teachers, native speakers of English, and even their friends and
On the following week students have to demonstrate their project by giving to their peers a report of the
completed work. The advantage of the project is that it encourages shy students to work with strangers, i.e. other
people from their class, the way the real world is, when one has to talk to strangers in the street when asking
questions. Another benefit of the project is that it shows how the research should be conducted, its steps, its
difficulties and the pleasure of obtaining the results. These research skills are very important when students go to
pursue their education in college and graduate school.
Writing a song/poem/story/fairytale is a type of activity that creative students might like. The learners are
given a set of false friends that they have to use when producing the writing task. On the following lesson students
demonstrate their work to their peers by displaying them on the classroom walls or read them aloud. Peers have to
walk around the classroom, read the stories / songs / poems / fairy tales and choose the best three by voting. As an
alternative, students can choose any false friends they like when completing the writing task. A make this project
more challenging and amusing, students can write a story or fairytale by using false friends incorrectly. Students
have to read the stories or fairytales of their classmates, identify mistakes and correct them.
By having students write a story / fairy tale teachers can improve their learners’ writing skills, boost their
imagination, develop critical writing skills and prepare them for the future life in college when students have to
think critically when they write.
Web-searching for pictures of false friends might be also employed by the instructors when teaching
interlingual homonyms. The learners are given a number of false friends, consult dictionaries and find their
meanings. Next the students have to Google for the pictures and write captions on them. The example is given in
Picture 1 below.
Picture 1. Web-searching for pictures of false friends
As we see here, students can write the correct English version on the picture and cross out the Russian-English
false friend so that it is clear which version should be used in speech. Alternatively, students can take their own
pictures and write captions on them.
Recording a video lesson is another but more complicated PBL activity which can be utilized by language
teachers. First of all, the teacher has to demonstrate a sample video lesson recorded by BBC or any other language
teaching service. Students watch carefully and make an attempt to understand how the video lesson works and
how it must be filmed. After watching a 3-minute sequence, students ask detailed questions that the teacher needs
to answer in order to enhance students’ work. At the next lesson students demonstrate their videos in class and the
teacher checks if the students did their work properly.
Alternatively, shy students can record a podcast instead of the video lesson. The advantage of recording a
podcast is that students don’t have to find the appropriate setting and props. Another advantage of podcast over
the video lesson is the privacy aspect in some cultures according to which girls cannot be filmed without the
permission of their parents or relatives.
The advantage of these projects is that they teach students how to work in a team, how to co-operate, negotiate,
compromise, and find the best way to work together in order to achieve the result. In addition, students can learn
how to use technology when recording a video or a podcast, as well as how to give a positive image to the camera,
Вестник КазНПУ им. Абая, серия«Педагогические науки», №1(45), 2015 г. 47
how to speak clearly and fluently enough in front of cameras so that the audience does not feel bored. Students
can gain self-confidence and self-esteem by shooting their own film and getting positive feedback from their peers
and the teacher.
Another PBL activity that might boost interest among students is compiling a mini-dictionary of false friends. To complete this project, students might need more time than finishing the other activities mentioned
above. First, students need to web-search for false friends, conduct interviews and online questionnaires in order
to find the most common Russian-English false friends. Next step is to consult dictionaries and find the meanings
of interlingual homonyms. If students find it necessary, they can also classify false friends according to their
types, such as total/partial, graphic/phonetic, idiomatic/non-idiomatic, loan words/pseudo false friends.
Alternatively, students can compile an electronic reference bookof false friends where they can add pictures of
false friends with captions, podcasts, video lessons and definitions. The strong point of compiling a dictionary or
an electronic reference book is that students learn how to sort data, find necessary and useful material for
publication, make decisions, work in a team, and learn how to work with technology. These skills might be very
useful in they grow up and get an official job.
The last project that we can recommend is to have students construct exercises on Russian-English false friends. The type of questions might be of “True/False”, “multiple choice”, “fill in the gaps”, and “correct the
mistakes” type. By doing so teachers can reinforce students’ productive skills and vocabulary retention rate, as
students usually remember better when they are involved in the process of creating rather than simply doing the
ready exercises. Students, however, might find it difficult to construct appropriate, valid and reliable tests, if they
are unaware of reliability and validity concepts. For this reason, it might be more appropriate to assign this project
to university students at philology faculty, who have already taken methodology and language testing and
evaluation courses. Alternatively, the instructor can teach validity and reliability notions to students and
demonstrate good quality exercises and tests which are valid and reliable.
In this paper we gave definition to Project-Based Learning approach and ways of how it can be used when
teaching vocabulary and especially lexical-semantic interference, namely Russian-English false friends. We
believe that the projects described in our work can be successfully used by EFL teachers, boost interest among
their learners and improve vocabulary retention rate. Our further work will be experimental study of the
effectiveness of the projects in this paper.
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