Some features of reading and speaking skills development of students in technical university at the process of teaching foreign languages
Жаксыбаева А. М., Магауина Г. М., Тугамбекова М. Т. Some features of reading and speaking skills development of students in technical university at the process of teaching foreign languages // Молодой ученый. 2016. №13. С. 786-790.
The article covers some ways of solution to develop skills of reading and speaking in connection with training students to read technical literature in foreign languages. The stages of working on reading in teaching foreign languages are considered.
Keywords: professional activity, communicative competence,technical university, interconnected teaching reading and speaking
The system of training specialists in Technical Universitiesmust comply with folding public relations, form students' ability to adapt changing economic and renewing professional and informational processes, independently and creatively solve professional and communicative problems.
Competitiveness of the modern expert is defined not only by his high qualification in the professional sphere, but also by readiness to solve professional problems in the conditions of foreign-language communication. In this regard, the State educational standard of higher education requires taking into account professional specifics at learning foreign language, its aiming at realization of problems of future professional activity of graduates. Availability of linguistic knowledge allows the graduate of the high school to be aware of everything new that is published in his professional area, it equips him with the achievements of world science, and promotes their use in the practice. Thus, the discipline of «Foreign Language», being integrative in its objectives and cross-disciplinary in terms of subject content, aimed to promote the educational horizons of students, socialization of the identity of future experts, preparing them for to live in the conditions of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural world.
The role of foreign languages as means of the international communication will only increase, becoming the main means of communication. The leading spheres of communication in professional activity of graduates of technical universities are: a conversation with the use of special technical terms; office-work and business correspondence; drawing up and the translation of technical documentation with the description of functioning and maintenance of various devices; conversation with use of business vocabulary and conversation on general topics; compilation faxes and telexes; participation in seminars, conferences and presentations .
The problem facing the technical universities is that the amount of time allotted for «Foreign Language» is negligible, and the challenges facing students in modern conditions, become more and more complicated and formulated as mastering all types of speech activity on the basis of professional lexicon, and also mastering skills of business communication. It demands special approach to the process of training and to its concrete area, namely, the methods of teaching a foreign language, or «foreign language as the language of professional communication» in a technical university, where students acquire the knowledge and skills of their future professional activities, having competence-based motivation in the learning process.
Effectiveness of the educational process at the set number of hours devoted to training depends on several components, including: motivation to learn, learning materials, the construction of the educational process or methods of teaching, learning tools, etc. The complexity of the problem of improving training is that for best results, it is necessary that all the factors affecting the efficiency of the educational process were picked up proceeding from the analysis of their influence on learning outcomes and, consequently, they would all be effective.
As a rule, in technical universities the emphasis is placed on reading further to realize professional needs of experts. But according to the requirement of time the idea of the interconnected training and to other types of speech activity was widely adopted. The reality requires from experts the ability to speak in a foreign language within their specialty.
From practice of teaching it becomes clear that students feel more need to speak, than just read and translate texts, and speak not only on topics related to their profession. On how the teacher will take into account these requirements will depend on the motivation of the students and their interest to the subject.
Therefore, teaching speaking is a powerful incentive of the positive attitude towards learning foreign languages. On this basis, when working on the text more attention should be given not to the analysis of a language form, but also to understanding the text.
For teaching speaking in a foreign language both the communicative, and informative tasks are used, which is stimulate speech and cogitative activity of students. Most successfully both of these tasks are synthesized in a problem situation. This requires the solution of some important issues. It is the selection of training materials, the definition of relationship of reading and speaking within a cycle of classes and development of a set of exercises for implementation of such training.
Teaching reading and speaking on the basis of problem-based approach has several stages. The first stage is the entry into subject. Here the main text is orally entered by means of setting a common problem, fixing of its highlights, activation of language and speech material, creation of needs in reading texts according to specialty. The second stage is a disclosure of subject (semantic) content of the topic, the analysis of the text. These stages are aimed to identification of thought. The third stage is the control of understanding and the discussion the reads in oral form. After that are formed the new cognitive tasks which decision require additional information. This stage is aimed to provide ways of identification of thought. At the fourth stage is shown reading a series of texts with different level of problematicity. This stage is aimed to detail the subject of the utterance. The fifth stage is the final discussion of the problem statement. This stage is aimed to create the conditions of realization of speech action in certain situations of communication.
When solving communicative problems in the process of speaking, we can emphasize the three main types of problem situations:
1) the intention of utterance is unknown to the speaker, i.e. he actually doesn't know about what to speak;
2) the speaker has difficulty in choosing linguistic means of expression, paraphrasing of already formed plan and in his further partition and refinement;
3) the speaker is unknown about adequacy of conditions of communication of those language structures which he extracts from memory or receives from partner of communication.
Problem situations of the first type are considered to be the most difficult, because this kind of problem requires the most participation of thinking activity and more perfect knowledge of the language and speech material. To the situations of the second type is inherent lesser degree of problematicity, as in this case the semantic relations are known to the speaker and his thought is aimed to master the linguistic means of expression arisen intention of utterance. Situations of the third type are characterized by an even greater decrease of problematicity, since the main difficulty is in deciding the correspondence of the conditions of linguistic means with verbal communication, which requires work of mainly reproductive types of memory.
The principle of problematicity finds the direct implementation in the system of exercises. The problem exercises stimulate at the same time, both emergence of thought, and the use of adequate means of its formation and formulation, promoting development of speech act.
The system of exercises can be divided into two groups:
1. oral-speech problem exercises
This group includes the exercises for joining the discussion topic, intended to improve lexical and grammatical skills; the exercises of speech character for discussion of problem, which are carried out for the purpose of development of abilities of speaking and the exercises for the final discussion with focus on the situation of professional communication, involving the improvement of professional skills of oral speech.
2. text problem exercises
This group of exercises is to identify the objective content of special texts for the formation of reading skills and the exercises on specification and extension of subject contents for the purpose of improvement the abilities of reading texts by specialty .
For the purpose of reading was absorbing and at the same time developing speech habits in order to help students to understand the text and to activate the new linguistic phenomena, it is necessary to carry out preliminary work on the text: both before reading, and after it.
The problem of development of speaking skills in technical university remains still not completely solved methodical problem. Unfortunately, not fully is used the possibility of improvement speaking skills on the basis of texts for reading. Inasmuch as quite often the organization of educational activity in the process of teaching foreign languages is reduced only to reading and retelling.
As a matter of fact expressing his attitude to the text student can use materials of text, but it shouldn't be retelling because the text is familiar to people around him. Expressing his attitude to the read, each time student has to carry out a new speaking activity, and therefore, he will need different speech units.
Thus, the combination of new and acquired earlier speech material will be carried out. Exactly thanks to a combination there is an improvement of skills of possession of speaking material.
Reading as a component of a subject “foreign language” can provide a stronger formation of all skills of different types of speaking activity that is, to serve as a means for listening, writing and speaking activities.
Based on methods of teaching foreign languages, M. A. Nuzhdina gives the following definition to the process of interconnected teaching reading and speaking: "... the simultaneous formation of skills of reading and speaking, that means the use of each of these types of speaking activity both as purposes, and as learning tools, provides a positive mutual influence of these two types of speaking activities on development of each of them» .
In a technical university the main goal of teaching foreign languages is the formation of students' communicative competence, which is shown in ability and readiness of students to carry out communication by means of foreign languages on an intercultural level. The problem of communicating in the process of teaching foreign languages reflected in the works of such researchers and methodologists as: N. A. Selivanova, M. A. Lytaeva and others. They formulated reading functions.
For example, Professor N. A. Selivanova identifies the following functions of reading :
- Educational function of reading — cultural edifying, which provides the retention, transfer and development of general educational culture of teenager by means of the literary and art component, assuming access to other national culture and thus to the culture of the world. It gives the chance to overcome the national culture in education of students and to make a significant contribution to increase the level of their humanitarian education.
- Developing function of reading — the formation of independent aesthetic attitude to the world, critical and creative thinking, and humanistic valuable orientations in the course of acquaintance with the best literary works of foreign literature.
- Teaching function of reading consists in formation of abilities so-called «intellectual and communicative reading», correlation of the content of work with the personal experience and the ability to convincingly present their understanding of the issues raised in the artwork.
There are various points of view concerning what types of work on the text need to be included to educational process and what are most effective in teaching reading. Selected types of work depend on the objectives which are set before the lesson.
E. V. Bespalchikova believes that in the process of teaching reading do not suppose direct work on the linguistic means anymore and do not contain language and pre-speaking activities. Analytical conversation is based on two levels: on the level of value and on the level of meaning.
There are three stages of work on any text are usually emphasized in more traditional methods: pre-reading stage (stage of anticipation), reading stage, post-reading stage. It is obvious that post-reading stage will be present in the case when the text is considered not so much as means of formation of abilities to read, as for development of productive skills in oral or written speech, in other words, the ability to speak and write in a foreign language .
M. A. Lytayeva suggests considering a technique of management of process of improving speaking skills on the basis of the texts for reading. This technique represents the scheme (model) in which five stages of administrative cycle are emphasized and, which in the most general view structure the students’ activities for oral speech utterances on the basis of texts. It takes into account the main factors that characterize this process: communicative task, aimed to reading, communicative task aimed to speaking, and determined character of working at the text.
This model gives a clear idea about the stages of working at the text while interconnected teaching reading and speaking, and helps to form the skills of oral speech utterances on the basis of texts more effectively and purposefully. By means of the texts and tasks the management of teaching process is exercised. Therefore the following requirements for the tasks of each stage of the management cycle are identified .
Tasks of pre-reading stage form teaching-communicative situation, preceding the reading of text. These tasks are aimed to realization the following objectives: to predict the content of the text, to update knowledge, life experience of students, to realize the communicative tasks, to remove the difficulties of the text. The predicted contents can be carried out by titles, illustrations or on the basis of an exposition to the text. The central link of pre-reading stage is the statement of communicative problem of reading. Finally, the last link of pre-reading stage is the tasks for removing the difficulties of the text. It may be language difficulties connected with lexical and syntactic-stylistic features of texts and extra linguistic difficulties connected with the realities of a culture.
The second stage of the management cycle is directly connected with the process of reading the text. In this case, students understand the text very deeply and use that strategy of reading which corresponds to communicative tasks aiming to read. Depending on this, students read the text once or come back to it repeatedly, achieve the understanding only the basic facts of the text, considering support in its content and own experience, selectively using the dictionary, or analyze the text more widely and deeply, achieving its full understanding.
The third stage carries out a task of check of understanding read. The most important at this stage is that the choice of control objects of understanding the particular text was caused by a communicative task and the reading strategy determined by it. In this case, the control will carry out its functions, namely teaching-developing, stimulating-motivating, corrective, and to promote reflection in full extent, acting as an effective means of management of educational activity of students. Forms of control can be divided into two groups: non-verbal and verbal.
Priority and typology of tasks aimed to information processing of the text constitute the fourth stage of the management cycle and have to consider, first, the principle of following from simple to complex, secondly, to correspond to the communicative tasks aiming to read and to make contribution to the solution of communicative tasks aiming to speak. Thus the accounting of the principle from simple to complex is obligatory. It means that the searching actions are carried out, namely the action of finding and writing out the information, and then follow the answers to the questions, posing own questions to the text, the brief transmission of the content of the text, and etc.
Finally, the fifth and last stage of the management cycle is related to formulation and solution of communicative task at the process of speaking. Here is carried out the speech production of one or several oral speech expressions on the basis of the text, or in connection with it.
The content and volume of stages depends on the purpose for what it is supposed the use the texts, speech production of what kind of oral speech expression is planned on the basis. Degree and depth of penetration into the contents and meaning of the original text, ways of control of understanding, the quantity and typology of exercises for processing text depends on this.
From all the above it should be noted that for the achievement of developing and educational purposes of training, it is important to create the conditions for the comprehensive development of each student. This implies, on the one hand, the possible differentiation and individualization of tasks depending on the level of proficiency and cognitive interests of the students, on the other hand, increase of independence and activity of the student, development of his conscious attitude to the process of teaching.
Thus, no matter what approach we may adhere, the sequence of work on the text will be approximately following:
‒ pre-speech exercises (vocabulary work),
‒ control of the concept of content (reading stage),
‒ control of concept of important details of the text (analysis and evaluation, post-reading stage),
‒ analysis of literary and stylistic features of the text.
In modern methods, there are many techniques used by teachers to develop skills of students of reading and speaking in the process of teaching foreign languages:
‒ Inferring (it is a process of creating meaning from text. It combines prior knowledge with what is read. When readers infer, they create meaning that is not stated explicitly in the text. When readers infer, they draw conclusions, make predictions, create interpretations, make connections and think critically about the text. Inferring allows the reader to extend their comprehension beyond literal understanding).
‒ Dealing with unfamiliar words (the activity in which students have to underline the unfamiliar words, try to understand them, to rephrase. This is a good activity for early in a lesson to help students recognize and become familiar with their new vocabulary).
‒ Read and respond (this is the main part of the activity. The learners are first encouraged to read through the text quickly. They then read it more carefully).
‒ Completing (addition a piece of text using information from the text. Learners read a text and use the information to complete a list, table, chart, or picture).
‒ Information transfer (this activity involves getting students to put spoken or written texts into another form, such as a chart, grid, picture, table or diagram — or vice-versa. Make sure that the students cannot just copy chunks without understanding them by requiring a different organization to the text. These tasks encourage deep processing of information. The interpretation of text, diagram or tables is a skill that is very useful both in academic and everyday life.)
‒ Matching (learners match information in a text with other reading texts or pictures).
‒ Multiple choices (it is a form of assessment in which respondents are asked to select the best possible answer (or answers) out of the choices from a list).
‒ Outlining (an outline is a great way to organize your thoughts and research if you are preparing a speech, an essay, a novel, or even a study guide).
‒ Predicting (it involves thinking ahead while reading and anticipating information and events in the text. After making predictions, students can read through the text and refine, revise, and verify their predictions)
‒ Previewing (Previewing enables readers to get a sense of what the text is about and how it is organized before reading it closely. This simple strategy includes seeing what you can learn from the head notes or other introductory material)
‒ Re-ordering (learners read a text in muddled order and number the sentences or paragraphs in the correct order; or they physically reorder sentences on separate strips of paper).
‒ Story Pyramid (after students read a short story or chapter of a novel, they can use the Story Pyramid to reflect on key ideas and details) .
Using in practice the above mentioned activities helps to achieve effective results in the field of teaching reading and speaking. Using the textual problem tasks promotes not only to develop creative thinking at the process of foreign languages, but also increases motivation not only promotes the development of creative thinking on English lessons, but also increases the motivation to study, accustoms students to the attentive and thoughtful relation to reading.
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