Raising cognitive capacity of pupils by means of extracurricular activities
By Alfiya Uralovna Jafarova
I’d like to start with a quotation of Sukhomlinsky that “All our plans turn into dust if a pupil doesn’t aspire to study”.
Extracurricular activities are a useful part of education that will provide positive gains for students. These activities will motivate students to accomplish their curricular goals. Extracurricular activities will help students to gain confidence and enable students to display their skills and abilities with ease in a classroom practice. These activities will provide students a language learning environment, and encourage students to improve their level of English.
Extracurricular activities are student experiences and activities that are not included in the educational curriculum. These activities are a significant part of education. It has been proved that extracurricular activities are as necessary as regular classes for development of skills (Tenhouse, 2003; Eccles, 2003). Furthermore, extracurricular activities are good opportunities for students to achieve their curricular goals. Students discover and develop their skills through these activities for achievement. Though research to explore the relationship between extracurricular activities and student achievement has been continuing, their benefits for higher educational attainment have been put forward. Extracurricular activities are performed at all levels of schools in many different ways such as sports, clubs, debate, music, art, school newspaper.
Extracurricular activities will lead to higher educational success and they will help students to get better grades in the examinations (Marsh, 1992).
Students through these activities get higher scores in tests (Gerber, 1996).Extracurricular activities will raise aspirations of students and create a positive bond between students and school. When students are positively connected to their schools, they will have confidence for a better perception of knowledge that will lead to efficiency in learning. Extracurricular activities will help students build good relationships among peers; therefore, when students participate in these activities, their classroom engagement increases. Extracurricular activities will provide students practice environments, and these practice opportunities will enable students to gain confidence. Students will stand a better chance of displaying their skills and abilities in a confident classroom practice.
Extracurricular activities affect students’ positive attitudes towards learning and school. Those students who perform well in activities will develop self-esteem because of their accomplishments. Self-esteem will be a key role in promoting their achievement at school; moreover, extracurricular activities will establish an environment for students to use the knowledge they have learnt at school. Students will have an opportunity to practice the knowledge in real-life settings. Really, the work of teaching and learning are a time-consuming process and educational interaction between teachers and students. The aim of the educational interaction deals with three aspects, as called cognitive, affective and psychomotor. To succeed these both objectives requires maximum work of a teacher in transmitting of the material, techniques and methods, classroom management, and so on. Moreover; teachers
’ being expected to be more creative to support learning activities in the classroom is essential and demands some extracurricular activities after lessons.
Extracurricular activities as above mentioned are "activities conducted outside of school hours". Extracurricular activities are to be done in school or out of school depending on the demands and convenience of extracurricular activities. To be more precise to learn English language, extracurricular activities, such as extracurricular English language debate, journalism club or drama club activities are often carried out in or outside the school to be more fluent in pronunciation and successful in life in general. Shortly, to brief description above, the extracurricular activity supports students' learning activities. Students who dealt with extracurricular activities to be successful in their learning environment shows that; the majority of students who often take part in student council, English debate, language labs, and so, also actively participate in learning activities in the classroom.
The effect of extracurricular activities on English learning
Extracurricular activities create a learning environment for second language learners. Meetings, interviews, presentations, and publication of school newspapers are useful activities in which students can take part in. Students through involving them can promote their communication skills. Similarly, the Direct Method aims to develop students’ communicative competence. Such extracurricular activities as writing letters to students from other countries, holding debates and discussions in English where students need to use English at all times help students improve their English proficiency. The primary goal of the Direct Method is to get students involved in the target language. Extracurricular activities that are conducted in English will enable students to be exposed to the target language which will lead them to achievement in language learning. Similarly, the goal of Communicative Language Teaching is to enhance communication skills of students. Students through games and role plays endeavor to reach a communicative competence. Extracurricular activities that are carried out in English are useful in that students will create an environment where they can share their ideas and opinions. These activities will encourage students to develop their communication skills. In Task-based learning the students are asked to complete a task. Task in foreign language learning process is an activity that necessarily involves language (Richards, Platt, and Weber, 1985). Students try to create an outcome in task-based learning, and the role of the teacher is to regulate this process. Students via experimenting with the target language can advance their level of English, in particular, their communication ability. Extracurricular activities can teach students how to perform a task. To complete their tasks students need to discuss, and share ideas with each other. As a result these activities will highly contribute to language proficiency of students.
Extracurricular activities are useful in that they help students create positive attitudes to develop skills. Students become productive when they are involved in extracurricular activities. As long as students are encouraged to learn, they will stand a better chance of achievement. Extracurricular activities can help students to have a good command of English at the same time. These activities support the characteristics of approaches we apply in foreign language learning process. Those students who are involved in extracurricular activities will create a platform for promotion of language development.