A professionally-oriented foreign language in higher educational institutions

The article is devoted to the actual problem of searching for optimal methods professional-oriented teaching of foreign languages, which involves the formation of communicative skills, reading and writing skills, also listening and understanding, professional orientation, which is the main specific feature of teaching language, within a limited time period, due to the program and the amount of hours devoted to a foreign language in non-linguistic universities,. Creation of such a training methodology that would be as close as possible to real communication of specialists and ensure the formulation of all the competencies necessary for this, the integration of the disciplines studied, their professional orientation and the inclusion of specialists in the context of future professional activity.

Science and practice have been turned towards the person and his abilities over the past decade. And a lot has been done to this end in order to find the most rational, effective ways of realizing his abilities in public practice in general and in the work process in particular.

The most active concept of professionalization was used to explain the changes when a person mastered a profession on a personal individual level. In the public consciousness this concept is understood as the process of mastering the profession, becoming a professional. Nowadays, in modern society the knowledge of a foreign language becomes a necessary part of a person's personal professional life. Generally all this causes the need for a larger number of citizens who are actually proficient in one or more foreign languages and, in connection with this, receive real chances to take on more socially and materially prestigious positions in society. Hence it is clear that the social order of a society concerning the foreign language in connection with the existence of a real entry to a different culture and its representatives is expressed not only in the practical knowledge of the language, but also in the ability to use this language in real communication.

Global changes in the social, economic and political spheres of sovereign Kazakhstan determined the social order for the training of specialists who know a foreign language as a means of professional communication and have become an effective stimulating force for searching the optimal methods of teaching the foreign language.

The policy in the field of language is one of the most important aspects of economic and social modernization in Kazakhstani society. This is evidenced by the government's adoption of a unique project such as the triune of languages.

Moreover, the Concept for the development of the multilingual education was elaborated with the direct participation of the basic universities on the introduction of multilingualism by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2012. There was given the analysis for the conditions and possibilities of the modern education system for realizing the idea of the triune language and defined priority directions for the development of multilingual education. First of all this implies, a revision of the content of modern language education in general, and when implementing innovations, it is required to develop a package of documents that determine the strategy and tactics of studying languages in the educational system of the Republic of Kazakhstan. [1].

In recent years, the question of the use of innovative technologies has been increasingly raised in teaching foreign languages. This is not only new technical means, but also new forms and methods of teaching, a new approach to the learning process. The main goal of teaching foreign languages is the formation and development of a communicative culture of students, teaching the practical mastery of a foreign language.

Professional orientation, which is the main specific feature of teaching language at a university, is understood as a general direction of the student's training process for future professional activity in the chosen specialty. Meanwhile, any activity is impossible without interaction with other people. In the process of information exchange, joint discussion and solution of various tasks is a necessary condition for its success. The communication here serves the satisfaction of the needs of production: the higher its level, the more important the exchange of information. Modern competitive conditions for economic development on a global scale set the task for the higher education to train highly qualified specialists with not only basic knowledge and practical skills, but also those professionals who have creative and predictive thinking; know how to develop new, perspective technologies. The whole content of education in non-linguistic universities must be subordinated to the solution of this key task to achieve such educational objectives. This means the integration of the studied disciplines, their professional orientation and the inclusion of specialists in the context of future professional activity. The knowledge of the foreign language makes it possible to obtain new information and exchange information in the sphere of one's professional activity, gaining the opportunity to communicate with foreign partners, familiarizing with world experience and achievements in the field of their professional activities. In this regard, the problem of searching for optimal methods for professional-oriented teaching of foreign languages in non-linguistic universities became urgent. The professional-oriented training involves the formation of communicative skills, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, within a limited time period, due to the program and the amount of hours devoted to the foreign language in non-linguistic universities.

A positive movement in this direction is the reorientation to the formation of professional foreign- language communication skills in contextual and in context-centered learning, which is an organic component of the professional education.

On the legitimacy of using the concept of "professional communication" in the modeling of the communicative spheres of professional communication (in the form of a dialogue) and in the formation of professional communication skills (in the form of a monologue), as well as the need to define professional communication as a linguistic guideline category which were studied in scientists' researches [2].

Professional communication is a complex form of interaction of subjects that has an oral and written manifestation and is carried out through various types of speech activity in the process of professional interaction and is associated with the exchange of information, as well as with the solution of common tasks that best match the needs and the interests of the future specialist. [3]

Professional communication presupposes the creation of a training methodology that would be as close as possible to the real communication of specialists and ensure the formulation of all the competencies necessary for it. Along with natural communicative situations, there are currently conditions for creating learning situations in which it is necessary to understand professionally directed speech in a foreign language, for example: protection of diploma work in a foreign language, the preparation of students for study abroad and training in foreign educational institutions. To prepare specialists for participation in such situations it is already necessary to begin on the foreign language lessons at educational institutions

The training of professional communication, which is a speech on the topic of the speciality, requires consideration of the characteristics of oral professional speech. The most important conditions for the generation and stimulation of speech in modern methods include the presence of the motive of the utterance, situational and personal orientation, which together give the speech a communicative character.

The process of teaching professional oral communication is aimed at solving the main methodological task - to teach students to simultaneously realize two types of speech activity - "professional speaking" and "professional listening". We consider it appropriate to use the term "professional listening" along with the generally accepted terms "professional communication", "professional speech", "professional reading". Professional listening is a process of perception, recognition and understanding of professionally directed speech in the process of professional communication. (i.e., this is a listening in a speciality, which differs in the content of the message code transmission). The term "professional listening" was introduced for the first time in 2001. [4]

It is known that in a non-linguistic university more attention in teaching the foreign-language communication is given to reading in a speciality, which is extremely important. However, the practice shows that in different situations of professional oral communication, the exchange of information, knowledge and work experience is impossible without the ability to understand sounding professional texts and professionally directed speech.

Mastering foreign-language communication in the process of solving professional problems, contributes to a stable cognitive and professional interest and creates a motive for communicative activities that are foreign-speaking. This is not about mastering abstract language structures that can never be realized, but about modeling the situation of communication, which can serve as the basis for the formation of the necessary skills of professional foreign-language communication, speaking and listening. In the absence of a language environment, textual activity is the basis for teaching a foreign language; while specialists emphasize the need for two skills for textual activities - interpretative skills and writing skills.

By the definition of TM Dridze, this is a kind of personal activity "involving verbal and non-verbal intellectual-mental operations performed for the organization of meanings in the course of communication" (Dridze TM, 1984).[5].

For successful learning of listening and understanding of professionally-oriented authentic texts, it is necessary to know the nature of the mechanisms available to the person in the process of thinking, perception and understanding.

Understanding someone else's speech is not possible without the internal reproduction of it (inner speech). The mechanism of internal speech is "the central link that accepting and producing speech information of the system". One of the important mechanisms in understanding is the mechanism of probabilistic prediction, by which we mean the ability of a person to use the information available in his past experience to predict the probability of occurrence of certain events in the forthcoming situation.

Understanding the text is defined as a holistic communicative formation, characterized by structural- semantic, functional, compositional and stylistic unity and a set of text categories such as: informative, linear, integrative, emotive, etc. The researchers believe that in the context of communication, both the producer and the recipient create each of their "text projections", while understanding that the text can be treated as the interaction of two dyads "producer-text" and "textrecipient", or as a system of interaction of 5 components (A.A. Zalevskaya) [6]. Recognizing the correctness and fairness of these requirements and relying on the structural components of the text activity, we consider it possible to add to this scheme the sixth element as well - the "production of the text" as a result of the process of understanding the text. (Scheme 1)

Scheme 1.




the text body


recipient →

text projections

The text production

Proceeding from the fundamental research of the Tver school of psycholinguists (A.A. Zalevskaya, N.V. Rafikova, etc.) under the projection of the text we mean the mental formation (the concept of the text, the meaning of the text as integrity), the product of the process of semantic perception of the text by the recipient, the approaching the author's version of the text's projection in one way or another. [7].

Our attempt at modeling was undertaken in connection with the consideration of the question of understanding the sounding economic text by ear, where the pre-text complex of cognitive cues on the formation of the projection of the sounding text in the specialty of students (a short conversation on the topic of the proposed sounding text, a title, a set of keywords etc.).

When developing our model of understanding the sounding text by profession, we relied on the spiral model of text understanding by A.A. Zalevskaya and on the definition of the model. In the Large Encyclopedic Dictionary of Linguistics (1998), the model is defined as "a real or mental device created artificially by the linguist, reproducing, simulating by behavior (usually in a simplified form) the behavior of some other "real "device (original) for linguistic purposes." [8]

On the basis of the model of understanding the sounding text presented by us, as well as taking into account the spiral model of understanding the text of A.A. Zalevskaya, and the model of speech control known as top-down processing, where the recipient uses past experience and information that is implicitly expressed in the message as the basis for interpreting the text, we have developed a model for teaching the understanding of professionally-oriented authentic text.

The model consists of three stages:

  1. Lead-in - introductory work, followed by preparatory exercises (pre-listening activities);
  2. Listening - listening, accompanied by while-listening activities, i.e. performing exercises.
  3. Text-related work - work on the content of the text, followed by post-listening activities, i.e. final exercises (results).

An exceptionally important factor determining the success of the listening and understanding of the foreign language text on the speciality is the nature of the cues in the process of working with the sounding text. The term "clue" is widely used in psycholinguistic and methodical literature, but it has no clear definition. They often talk about semantic (cognitive) clues as points of understanding and define them as "something", serving as a " mnemonic orientation in memory " (Zinchenko 1964); "The support of a wider content, replacing it with itself" (Smirnov, 1966); "An influence that increases the probability of obtaining the required response" (Talyzina, 1969), as well as the clue for obtaining output knowledge in predicting the unfolding of the text in the process of understanding it (A.A. Zalevskaya, N.V. Rafikova, 1999). [9]

Our experience of using cognitive supports gives the reasons to state that they, in the end, form prognostic skills leading to the creation of projections of the text for understanding and producing the text. The theoretical and practical studies of the formation of prognostic skills lead us to the conclusion that the textual activity is characterized by the presence of not two categories of skills, but three: prognostic skills, interpreting skills and skills of producing the text. Thus, the formation of these three categories of skills can be viewed as a single continuum in textual learning activities, since prognostic skills are the basis for the formation of interpretative skills and skills of producing the text.

In order to test the hypothesis about the positive influence of pre-text complexes of cognitive clues on the formation of professionally significant prognostic skills, as well as the model of teaching listening and understanding of foreign texts on economic speciality, experimental training was organized, during which it was also necessary to obtain answers to the following questions:

  • - How effective is the system of prognostic exercises developed in the course of this study for teaching the understanding of economic audio texts?
  • - How do communication tasks affect the projection of the text and the understanding of economic audio texts?
  • - Check the nature of the influence of various verbal and non-verbal clues on the formation of professionally significant prognostic skills in interpreting the text by ear and producing their own text on the speciality.
  • - Check the nature of the influence of the text projections on the depth of understanding and the producing of its own text on the economic speciality,

The experimental confirmation was carried out in the form of a training experiment, taking into account all the requirements for it.

Experimental training confirmed the effectiveness of purposeful, systematic and comprehensive work on the formation of skills and perceptions of economic texts by ear, and the "three-part form" of communicative tasks specifically designed to develop professional and communicative skills, accelerated the process of forming skills to interpret and produce the text in the process of professional communication. [10].

Experts don't always have the opportunity to attend international conferences, symposiums and negotiations, i.e. in direct bilateral communication, when it is possible to ask the speaker again, to ask him a question in order to find out a particular provision of the report. In this case, you can use audio or video recording of the reports made at these events, e. there will be mediated one-way communication. In our work, in the learning process we used the situations reflecting professionally significant spheres of communication such as the participation of economists in international conferences, symposiums, business negotiations, obtaining the necessary information on their speciality through the media (television, radio), and by telephone also the participation in conference calls at an enterprise where is required the understanding by ear of monologic texts of reports, messages made in a foreign language. As for modern science, it is important that our specialists, first, in the course of the development of world science and technology do not spend their energy and resources on the creation of what already exists in other countries and, secondly, they use in the development of our economy all valuable and advanced in the world science and technology with the least expenditure. And to be aware of the latest developments in the world of science and technology, specialists must be able to read and understand the articles in the original language.

In consequence, the professional-oriented teaching is the training based on the needs of students in the study of a foreign language, dictated by the characteristics of the future profession. It involves the combination of mastering a professionally - oriented foreign language with the development of personal trainees, knowledge of the culture of the country of the studied language and the acquisition of special skills based on professional and linguistic knowledge.



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  3. N.K. Stamgalieva. Methodology of context-centered teaching of a foreign language in a non-linguistic university (oil specialties of a technical college, English) // Diss. for the degree of Candidate of Sciences Almaty, 1999.
  4. G.R. Mukusheva. Learning to listen and understand / Methodological model of training students of economic specialties: Monograph., Candidate of Pedagogics,// Karaganda, 2016. - 130 p.
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  10. G.R. Mukusheva. Teaching Listening Comprehension to Students of Economic Specialities. // Сб. научн. статей. Междунар. Конф. КАУ., -Алматы., - 2001.
Year: 2017
City: Karaganda
Category: Economy