This article discusses some modem methods of teaching foreign languages in a non-language university which is quite relevant in modem methods of teaching foreign languages, gives an overview and describes the essence of the most recognized of them. The proposed methods relate to methods of active learning and represent a communication-oriented direction of the methodology of teaching foreign languages. The use of these methods allows students to see not only an external source of information and a foreign language means of communication in a foreign language but also to use it to express their own thoughts and understanding of other people. In addition, information and communication technologies which form the basis of certain modem methods contribute to the realization of the interactivity principle and joint the participants’ creativity in the educational process.
The hallmark of the new millennium is integration. It manifests itself in all spheres of human existence: economic, political, scientific, technical, cultural, educational. Information and communication technologies are developing rapidly. At the same time the requirements for training specialists who can quickly and correctly navigate the increasing volume of information are also increasing. Foreign language plays a major role in the intellectual and social and cultural development of human beings. At present, its importance is increasing many times due to the wide development of international contacts, the tendency to internationalize international life, the realization that education is becoming one of the decisive components in the value orientations of the young generation. Teaching a foreign language as a means of intercultural communication, the formation of a person who takes into account the values of native and foreign-speaking cultures and is ready for inter-ethnic communication is a social order of society .
In today’s world, when students directly interact with the language being studied, learning it through direct use and not only by teacher-led textbook and in artificially engineered situations new approaches to language teaching are needed. The range of innovative technologies for teaching foreign languages is quite wide. In recent years, a number of new modern methods have been developed by foreign scientists . The most important direction of research of foreign educators was and remains communication-oriented training of foreign languages. The main thing for him is learning through educational communication activities close to real ones. The subject of such training is not only language and its expressive capabilities but also behavior of the speaker in conditions of speech communication . This article presents a brief overview and the essence of the most recognized methods of active training successfully applied by the lecturers of the Goethe Institute and the Center for International Studies in the Republic of Belarus. The A-B-C method (alphabet method) is used to accumulate lexicon, to find the new ideas, to fix and repeat important concepts on concrete subjects.
Preparation of work cards divided into two columns, in each horizontal line there is one letter of the alphabet;
- Within 10 minutes, students select lexical units according to a specific topic to each letter;
Participants exchange cards in pairs, together supplement lists and agree on ten essential concepts;
Couples exchange cards, together supplement lists and again agree on ten essential concepts;
- The result of work is displayed on the poster.
The Aquarium methodology is a method that is suitable for exchanging and discussing the results of the groups’ work. And this exchange takes place synchronously and all participants can make their additions and/or objections.
For its implementation:
- select the leader;
- record the results of work of groups in general terms;
- students occupy seats on chairs placed in two circles;
- two representatives from each group occupy seats in the inner circle;
- two additional chairs are placed here- one for the host and one free;
- other participants take seats in the external circle;
- the topic of discussion is announced;
- representatives of groups will present the results of the work of their groups;
- members of the external circle will make their additions or objections immediately following the previous speaker, with the participant of the external circle taking a free place in the internal circle .
Brainstorming, or sudden idea, fruitful thought is a method that is used to introduce a new theme, a repetition of the material passed. It allows students to creatively develop their own ideas and spontaneously express them. This method let all students to be involved in work, helps to structure their thoughts and ideas. The master and secretary are selected to implement this method. The questions and the title of the topic are written on the board. Thoughts (storming) are written in arbitrary order on large cards. Valuation criteria are defined for structuring. Then the ideas are ordered, their order is justified and cards are placed accordingly.
Marktplatz (German) or market area. The essence of this method is as follows:
- the teacher in advance procures cards on which lexical units and their value are presented;
- each student pulls out the card and chooses a communication partner on the so- called market square to give him a word on the card and hear from it the value of the lexical items;
- students exchange cards, choose new partners and start all over again. If students have problems defining lexical units, they have the option to read it on the back of the card. The method allows you to exchange information, learn new vocabulary, learn to explain concepts, express your opinion .
Mindmapping is a method of putting thoughts on a map. This method trains both the left and right hemisphere of the brain, stimulates memory, increases attention concentration. It involves working together the entire team under the guidance of a teacher. Its main points:
- in the center of a large sheet of paper the theme and presentation of the problem is recorded;
- spheres are defined which divide the theme into main aspects. They are depicted graphically in the form of tree trunks;
- subsets- «branch timbers» diverge from trunks;
- further division is carried out on thin lines- «branches».
Results of a research
The most visible work is carried out with the help of pictures and paints. Pro-und Kontramethode (him.) is a method «for and against». This method allows covering various aspects of the topic, to present the available knowledge on the content of the topic, to listen to the arguments of communication partners, to find arguments confirming or refuting a certain opinion . For this purpose, two groups are formed: «for» and «against». For example, the teacher offers the statement: «Advertising benefits everyone»! One group has to find arguments for and the other against the statement. Both groups choose secretaries who log statements.
The exchange of statements in groups takes place as follows:
- a member of the «Yes» group makes his argument;
- a member of the «against» group accepts this argument to refute it with further arguments;
- the next member of the «yes» group accepts the new argument and also refutes it, etc. After the first round, the groups change roles. The «for» group changes its functions with the «against» group and backward. For example: The 1st member of the group «for»: advertising is useful to everyone as it sells more products. The 1st member of the group «against»: more products are sold thanks to advertising but advertisement makes products more expensive. Kopfstand (German) or stand on the head is a method that looks at challenges and problems on various sides undermining sustainable stereotypes that promote creative thinking. To implement this method ideas are proposed that interpret the problem in a perverse way . The teacher invites students to find ideas that will definitely not help solve the problem. Each such idea is refuted by the reverse idea, i.e. the statement is placed from the head to the feet. For example: I was invited to an interview. Reversed question: What do I have to do to avoid getting an appointment? Reversed idea: Turn on your mobile phone and if it rings answer. Reverse idea: Do not take your mobile phone with you or necessarily disable it.
Milling or a crowd pushing is a method that gives participants the opportunity of casual dating. It is suitable for introduction into the topic allows creating associative chains on the topic, to express own opinion . The method requires the communication partner to be able to listen, does not allow any questions and comments from him. For this purpose it is necessary to explain the essence of the method and to include music. Students differ in audience. Music is abruptly interrupted and a task is given. For example, continue with the sentence: “If I think of the word Europe, it comes to my mind...” Speaking time is a minute and a half. Then a signal is given and the second participant says. Students exchange views in pairs. The most important thoughts are written on cards. Recently, the number of training hours allocated in non-language universities to foreign language has decreased markedly. In this regard, the role of managed independent work of students is significantly increased. Among the methods of managed self-operation the project method should be highlighted. This method allows to organically integrate the knowledge of students from different fields in solving one problem, allows to apply the acquired knowledge in practice, generating new ideas . The method of projects encourages active thought activity of students, provides an opportunity to solve the problems, to reflect on possible ways to solve these problems. The project can be used both at the stage of development of skills and self-work and at the stage of development and improvement of these skills . Work on the project includes the following stages:
- selection and justification of the topic;
- collection of information for further study and comparison;
- selection of reference materials for creation of thematic albums, videos;
- individual or joint collective creativity;
- resentation of the project (contest, business meeting, round table, exhibition, promotion, conference);
- analysis of the work done, summing up of results;
- control: self-evaluation, mutual evaluation and marking (the following nominations can be determined during project evaluation.
the boldest project, the brightest, etc.;
practical implementation of the favorite elements of the project. The availability of high technologies and increased access to information allows to properly using the opportunities, to orient to effective and fascinating work on self-realization, to show ways for self-improvement. Distance learning can be a fairly effective means of organizing resources. This educational environment in its arsenal has a set of tools that allow to present theoretical material, systematize the study of the subject by time, offer students tests and tasks for testing and fixing the material and automatically check them, collect information on educational successes and achievements, organize discussions .
Distance education offers the following possibilities of organizing the educational process:
- placement of theoretical material containing not only text information but also graphic video and audio materials;
- development of the course working program describing the objectives and the training schedule;
- organization of a procedure for assessing the quality of knowledge and progress in student education through testing and completion of developed tasks;
- establishing communication with students through synchronous and asynchronous means of communication;
- increasing students’ motivation to learn and use the environment by creating student pages and presentations;
- development of the individual structure of the evaluation journal (academic performance rating);
- obtaining statistical data that allow to assess the effectiveness of the course.
The new social order of society is to teach foreign language as a means of Intercultural communication, to form a person ready for inter-ethnic communication, put the teaching of the speaking skills system at the forefront. However, assuming that all necessary speaking skills of the trainee have already been formed (he can correctly build a statement) this is not enough for communication. It is necessary to learn, first, to use speech skills to express their thoughts, feelings, experiences and, second, to clearly vary the choice and combination of speech operations. It is the methods described above that serve to solve these problems during the training process.
Experience shows that the use of methods of active learning in the practice of teaching a foreign language in a non-language university allows:
- reorienting students psychologically and practically from an understanding of a foreign language only as an external source of information and a foreign-language means of communication to learning and using it to express one’s own thoughts and understand others;
- o teach students to see in a foreign language a means of obtaining, expanding and deepening systemic knowledge of a specialty and a means of independently improving their professional qualifications;
- to show the reality of the realization of the professional use possibilities of language in the field of a specific specialty;
- to realize before students the potential of a foreign language as possibilities of expansion of their language, lingual and country specific and social and cultural competence.
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