The authorshave analyzed the concept of «continuing professional education» by means of definitions and theories developed by native and foreign scientists, and characterized the principles for functioning of continuing education system, the general tendencies and specific approaches for teaching foreign languages in the system of continuous foreign language education. The postulates of educational strategy «Life-long learning» have been introduced in correlation to the concepts of polylingual education. The principles and problems of continuing education determined by external factors of society, technology and economy progress, by geopolitical conditions, socio-cultural traditions and different tendencies to influencing education development are presented as the prerequisites of problem at issue. There is provided overviewing the researches referred to the problems of foreign language professional training in the context of continuous learning; in the article there are considered various approaches for studying the system of continuing professional education regarding to the practice of continuous and successive foreign language education, and characterized the methodical aspects of functioning of continuous foreign language education system. There are consistently specified the problems of developing the strategy of continuing professional education and conditions for realizing the idea of continuing polylingual education on the basis of continuity principles of the content, educational process and organizational support. The authors prove theoretical prerequisites for implementation of pedagogical model of continuing polylingual education with continuity as an attribute characteristic for complete and consistent educational process.
The early 21st century put education to the task of safety ensuring in social and economic sphere as well as a state's strengthening based on high-quality change of human resources and creation of professional society. Nowadays there is updated the researching of strategic ways for developing the educational systems adequate to demand for vocational school services in the conditions of labor market for ensuring education level and qualification of vocational schools' graduates.
The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «About education» determines education as the continuous process of upbringing and learning to realize the moral, intellectual, cultural, physical development and formation of professional competence . The education system including professional education and training is broadly defined as the most important component of social life.
Primarily, we keep in mind the applied definitions. Continuing education and training is part of lifelong learning and may encompass any kind of education (general, specialized or vocational, formal or non-formal, etc.). It is crucial for the employability of individuals .
Continuing professional education (CPE) is thought to be the planned and systematic attempt to introduce, review, or alter the competencies and thereby the professional performance of professionals. CyrilHoule refers to CPE in observing that «whether it designates the improvement of professional competence or any other goal, (it) implies some form of learning that advances from a previously established level of accomplishment to extend and amplify knowledge, sensitiveness or skill» [3; 77].
Continuing vocational education and training (CVET) is meant to be the education or training after initial education or entry into working life aimed at helping individuals to improve or update their knowledge and/or skills, acquire new skills for a career move or retraining, or continue their personal and professional development. Continuing vocational training implies a process or activity targeting the acquisition of new competences or the development of existing ones. The process is planned in advance and organized or supported with the special goal of learning and financed at least partly by the enterprises for their employees having a working contract or unpaid family workers and casual workers .
Professional education currently accomplishes a threefold function in all the European Union countries as well as in Kazakhstan to be the member country of the main processes in the field of professional education and training (The Bologna and Turin processes). The function consists of: first, providing various sectors of economy with the qualified personnel resources; secondly, guarantees of adequate qualifications or required level of competences to individuals; thirdly, ensuring subsequent integration into labor market for the target groups with the risk to be found oneself outside (schools' graduates, women, ethnic minorities or physically disabled people).
The strong points of modern European professional education and training system are likely to be adopted by the native system as the following statements:
- – coordination of education stages, orderly transition from one stage to another, continuity of the content of education both within the whole educational process and in separate subjects;
- – adaptation of the content of training the skilled workers and specialists in proper directions to unified European educational standards and qualifications for expanding the labor market space, facilitating the process of employment and organization of practical training since the employers realize where and what positions the owner of this or that diploma can be demanded at in labor market;
- – free and conscious choice of profession/specialty and the direction of specialization of the vocational schools while choosing the length and level of apprenticeship. Pupils depending on the abilities, vocations and motivations can leave professional education establishment at any stage, but by all means receive the document certifying the educational and professional progress;
- – opportunity for continuing education and retraining in the chosen profession / specialty in the course of professional career;
- – practice-oriented professional education, large number of hours for practical training, variety of the types of practice, close connection with theoretical training;
- – problem-based learning in subjects (disciplines) or in complex of subjects: any subject (discipline) solves the practical problems connected with specific problems of the branch.
Continuing education is stipulated by the progress in science and technology and broad application of innovative technologies. For the state and society the continuing education seems to be the leading sphere of social policy in providing favorable conditions for person's general and professional development, the mechanism of reproduction of professional and cultural potential, the condition for development of social production. Continuing professional education is provided, first of all, through formation of multilevel education structure within one higher education institution to let the students project the diverse trajectories of professional development for themselves through the integration of various education levels and primary, secondary, higher professional, postgraduate and extended educational programs.
Implementation of the models of continuing professional education in higher education institutions provides planning an individual educational trajectory for further professional, career and personal development, e. «a steady employability, including the extremely important and actual ability for continuous development and professionalism of self-organizing» [5; 42]. Continuing education is no longer just one of the aspects of education and professional development; it becomes the fundamental principle of educational system and personal participation throughout all the continuous process of person's educational activity. At the present stage of economic crisis everyone has to have equal opportunities to adapt for requirements of social and economic changes and actively participate in developing future society by means of continuing education system. Therefore the notion «continuing education» is inseparably linked with the notion of «continuing professional education», the latter is considered in modern pedagogical science and practice to be the complete system providing acquisition, development and updating of professional knowledge, skills throughoutall human life due to internal requirements under concordance and coordination of activity of all the types of establishments on the basis of the chosen trajectory for individual development .
The problem of continuing education in the Republic of Kazakhstan has turned to subject being examined by both the native researchers and the scientists of Russia. K.A. Duyssenbayev, S.Z. Kokanbayev, M.T. Mussakulov having studied the special aspects of national education model development in the republic, dwelled on the questions of history of the general secondary education development in the system of continuing education [7-10]. A.M. Gazaliyev, Yu.N. Pak, L.Ya. Gurevich, K.A. Zhakenova, V.A. Smirnova, R.A. Nurtazina, E.A. Polushkina, G.A. Krasnova while investigating the issue of reforming the higher school of Kazakhstan and modernization of technical and vocational education defined development characteristics of the higher education in the context of Bologna Process [11-15].
The principle of continuous and successive foreign language education is one of the basic ones in the culture forming system of foreign language education in the Republic of Kazakhstan modeled in the form of level teaching of foreign language. According to the Concept of foreign language education this principle meets modern needs of the personality and society and assumes the general conceptual approaches for implementation of the harmonized content and technologies at every level of foreign language education .
While characterizing methodological aspects and guides for functioning of the system of continuous foreign language education I.K. Voytovich defines them as the following points:
- – education continuity since early age and complete postgraduate education in all its variety;
- – realization of the principle «lifelong learning» to provide means for adults returning to any education and learning at any time;
- – free choice of education trajectory consisting in the choice of programs and procedure of study;
- – academic mobility is considered to be as an opportunity for transition between educational programs of continuing education within a level;
- – potential parallel implementation of different learning levels of educational professional programs;
- – modular principle of curricula and programs development both to facilitate coordination and to increase number of levels within a program; and to approve transitions within completely coordinated levels of a program as well as between various levels of different educational programs;
- – continuity of educational programs providing an opportunity to organize continuous foreign language learning [17; 57].
Whereas, Pligin A.A. refers to the main features of foreign languages learning approaches set as the system of continuous foreign language education:
- education is meant to be based on personal and specific individual characteristics for the purpose of further development;
- available individual experience, including experience of native language acquisition and mastering, is important to bear in mind. Any native and foreign language acquisition is known to involve practice using all the aspects of individual experience of the person, and foreign languages teaching is important to be realized constantly drawing an analogy with the native language;
- psychological mechanisms of cognition are set to be the cornerstone of modeling the educational technology (especially individual and universal cognitive strategies);
- appropriatelearning is meant to be variable one (primarily by the form and using different ways of thinking and perception, cognitive attitude);
- linguistic environment is required to be developed in modern conditions of «the world without bor- ders»;
- heuristic ways of learning are urgent to be applied actively;
- applying of situation models;
- while arranging various types of speech activity the priority should be given to real colloquial practice constantly to create life situations for acquisition of specific personal experience. Reading and writing is preferable to be taught through the speaking perspective;
- group learning has a considerable advantage over individual one due to support the organizing of multidimensional communication and transitions from «pupil» position to «teacher» position;
- taking more opportunity of positive feedback .
As for continuous polylingual education, these statements are detailed by describing the changes undergone by the system of professional education in general. In the context of complex social and economic changes there is made a point of requirement for continuous improvement of professional knowledge and abilities. Thus, it gave an impetus to developing the new educational strategy of «Live Long Learning»(LLL) in the leading world countries. The philosophy of education and educational policy providing arrangement of conditions for involving in both the formal and informal education and training all the human life and covering various opportunities for meeting the personal educational demand . The group of Iranian researchers state that «the term of LLL means that education is varying, according to the individuals' needs and is accessible all over their lives. LLL is continuing education, including designs and strategies of organization, key tool of speeding up to adapt to modern technologies. It is an ongoing education and learning, in formal, non-formal and informal forms, from cradle to grave, making knowledge to improve quality of life. LLL is providing or using all types of learning opportunities over individuals' lives to encourage the continuous development and enhancement of the knowledge and skills that are occupationally required and also for personal satisfying» .
The central idea of continuing education is meant to be the development of person as an individual, coordinator of activity and communication throughout the whole life. This idea realized by society becomes a systemically important factor for continuing education as well as polylingual one.
The problem of foreign language professional education in particular from the perspective of multilingualism has been considered recently in the context of the following aspects:
- – the process of researching the principles and regularities of the continuous professionally oriented foreign language teaching to forming foreign language professional communicative competence of specialist as the object of professional lingual didactics ;
- – language needs of the undergraduates doing mechanical engineering within long-life learning education and the program developed to satisfy these needs. The specific course objectives regarding to the types of speech activity can be defined by means of needs analysis presented as a guiding line in the whole process of English for Specific Purposes course;
- – the diversification of continuous professional training in a foreign language in engineering education provides for differentiating the academic and educational programs based on the identified typical foreign language communication needs of engineers. Diversification of foreign language training in the engineering education is regarded to be one of the main development directions. Professional foreign language communicative needs of engineers are objectively diversified considerably depending on the type of professional activities. To meet the diverse foreign language communicative needs of an engineer is to require forming the professional foreign language communicative competency varying both in level and content during foreign language learning;
- – need of English language training programs in continuing education is reported to be stipulated by implementation of strategies on the provision of lifelong learning, developing communication skills in international language and promoting internationalization of higher education. Possession of a set of work skills and competencies for lifelong employability comprising of the competence in reading, writing and computing; effective listening and oral communication skills; adaptability through creative thinking and problem solving; personal management; interpersonal skills; the ability to work in teams or groups; basic technology skills; and leadership effectiveness is meant to be the primary point;
- – mproving the quality of linguistic knowledge/experience of vocational education and training (VET) students for enhancing the multilingual competence and increasing employability prospects, by means of developing language skills, teaching different European languages based on quality, common principles and standards, and, thus, aided by multilingualism literacy and diversification, providing mobility in transnational cooperation;
- – bilingual teaching environment of technical and humanitarian specialties of colleges is supposed to be the best method to ensure the comprehension skills. English is known to be lingua franca due to assisting the universal communication. Bilingual teaching is designed to equip learners and improve the education system and policy in helping trainees to be equipped with complete knowledge and skills through good English in order to serve the industries and join the workforce [22-25].
Under the conditions of economic and cultural integration in the world community the aspects mentioned above correlate with polylingual education since the development of professional and personal competences for operating in the international sphere involves language (polylingual) proficiency apart from everything else. Any country that determines «to access the global community must ensure that its citizens possess satisfactory proficiency in English language. Good English language proficiency contributes to effective communication, and it is among essential employability skills needed in the 21st century» . As to A.D. Manea, «… advancement of skill-level, self-education, self-development and a full employment of individual skills will be in the foreground». Individuals are expected to have such skills as learning aknowledge-based life, analytical thinking, synthesizing, solving problems, and involving in an effective communication. The concept of lifelong learning clearly invokes an evolution over time, both in respect of the learner's experience and of the context for learning. Such evolution is sure to be conceived in traditional environments for e-learning, but is typically constrained to follow prescribed paths. In such environments, learner is exposed to new concepts, experiences and contexts in a systematic fashion, and the exposition is managed in such a way as to keep track of the learner's performance .
Therefore, the outstanding problem is related to:
- professional education lags behind national economy requirements and tendencies of the world economic development;
- unbalanced education does not promote complete personality development both in content and procedure aspects between the levels of formal education system (in particular, between school and higher education institution);
- level of language training (and specifically, polylanguage) seems to be a serious barrier for professional, academic, and therefore, social mobility of Kazakhstan's citizens.
There are good reasons to generate the state strategy of continuing education development based on the efficient life-long learning system positively proved in the majority of industrially developed countries for resolving the problems. The realization of idea of continuous polylingual education seems to be potentially planned throughout the strategy. Considering our research is not to imply developing the strategy we intend to offer the pedagogical model of continuous polylingual education, and specifically in the «school – higher education institution» system.
Formerly we have defined polylingual education bringing into correlation with language education as an integral part . But in the context of continuity the correlation is projected from different perspective. The continuity in this point of view is not a component of language (or another) education, it appears to be the attribute characteristic for educational process or educational system since continuing education represents a difficult conglomerate of ideas, objectives, principles, conditions, directions, and the most significantly, the subjects: personality, society, state, economy.
Within this framework the pedagogical science offers a solid base of theoretical formulation sand the statements of the theory of continuing professional education are advantageous for our research problem. Indeed, the «school – higher education institution» system consistently implies an access to professional education.
The structure of the system theory of professional education by academician A.M. Novikov can act as theoretical prerequisites of developing the pedagogical model of continuous polylingual education. According to the theory the continuing education appears to be one of the four directions of professional education development:
- humanization of professional education (personality orientation);
- democratization of professional education (society and state orientation);
- advancing professional education (production orientation);
- continuing professional education (professional education system orientation).
The basic principles of the fourth targeted direction are determined as the following ones:
- – the principle of continuity of the education content aimed to providing a content continuity of educational programs;
- – the principle of continuity of educational process to providing continuity and succession of forms, methods and means of educational process and acting as the characteristic of involving the personality in educational process at all the development stages. The principle characterizes continuity of educational activity upon transition from one type to a new one and from one vital stage of a person to another;
- – principle of organizational support for continuity of education.
There are supposed implementation conditions for the first principle:
- – basic education as a foundation for continuing education;
- – flexibility of educational programs implying the modular construction, parallel learning in different educational institutions, in different professions, specialties of different levels, available personnel development and advancing additional qualifications of graduates;
- – multiple-level system continuity of educational programs providing «exit» from one educational program «to be joined» to «entrance» to the subsequent one, therefore there is required comprehensive standardization of educational programs;
- – complementation (mutual complementation) of basic and postgraduate education is meant to create the institute of probation period for young specialists (internship), to develop on-the-job-training systems, the establishments of extended professional education, informal professional education and adult self-education.
There are implied realization conditions of the principle of educational process continuity:
- – continuity and succession of the forms of educational process organization;
- – continuity and succession of the methods of educational process organization;
- – continuity and succession of the means of educational process organization.
The realization conditions for the principle of organizational support of education continuity are meant to be: integration of educational systems; flexibility of organizing the forms of professional education (training) and information technological support for it, etc. .
Integration of the principles indicated above in the context of continuous polylingual education appears in complex of principles structuring the education content. It is referred to the principles described in the theory of education content by V.S. Lednev, meaning:
- – principle of double inclusion of basic components into the system;
- – functional completeness, minimization and optimization of education components;
- – principle of continuity of education stages;
- – differentiation and integration of education components .
Owing to the community these principles in structuring the content of polylingual education are represented as a standard invariant. We note especially the principle of double occurrence of knowledge as the process of several languages acquisition to be effective if the same languages act as the object of knowledge as well as the means of acquirement, i.e. language learning is realized through the language of training .
Generally speaking, the principles of structuring the education content proved by V.S. Lednev's concept, taken together and referred to polylingual education, represent methodologically significant invariant of tools for selecting the content, and in addition to basic complex of the principles of selecting the content of language education gradually «acquire» a peripheral cover of specific methods and means for developing the content of polylingual education. The statements are perfectly related to continuous polylingual education .
K.M. Hanbabayev's scientific research results, referred to defining the principles and objectives of continuing education, seem to be advantageous and represented as theoretical prerequisites of the examined phenomenon. Thus, according to opinion of the scientist, the principle of humanity, the principle of democracy, the principle of mobility, the principle of advance, the principle of openness, the principle of continuity, etc. are considered to be the cornerstone of the functioning of continuing education. The principle of humanity proclaims education being turned towards to the person, a person's free choice of forms, terms, types of education, self-education; democracy principle implies education availability at any age according to interests, opportunities and requirements; the principle of mobility consists in variety of means, methods, organizational forms of continuing education system and their flexibility and readiness for fast reorganization according to the changing manufacturing requirements, public and human needs; the principle of advance requires faster and more flexible development, reorganization of educational institutions and establishments of continuing education system in relation to needs of public practice including efficient renovating their activity .
In consequence of these principles any elements of the system of continuing education are interrelated and interacted with each other to objectively promote integrity and unity of the system. Integrity of educational system proves that there are no more or less important elements in its structure. All of them make the contribution to solving the general problems of learning and education. The proposed system of the principles of continuing education is likely not to be explicit.
Thus, a sufficient insight into the principles stated above and their difficult interrelation supports us to define continuing education as the complete process of growth of educational, professional and general potential of the personality as long as life endures and the system of continuing education as the set of educational programs providing unity, continuity and interrelation of all the elements of educational system.
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