The article describes modern methods of teaching foreign languages. The article contains a material about the advantages and prospects of using the described technologies in the process of teaching foreign languages, which can be considered as alternative means of assessing the level of student achievement in their learning activities and personal growth.
In order to learn to speak English, you need a certain system, or, as it is more often called, the method of teaching English, which would allow you to fully accomplish the tasks, namely: to acquire the skills of reading, understanding speech by ear, speaking and writing in the language you are learning.
20–30 years ago, the basis for training laid the classical technique. 90 % of the time was devoted to the theory of a foreign language. During the lessons, students studied new vocabulary, syntactic constructions, discussed rules, and also read and translated texts, did written assignments and sometimes listened to audio recordings. The development of conversational skills took only 10 % of the time from the class. As a result, the person understood the texts in English and knew the grammatical rules, but could not speak. That is why it was decided to change the approach to learning. So, in place of the fundamental «classics» + came the following methods:
Communicative technique — its main principle is to use the lexical units and grammatical constructions studied in the lessons, both oral and written. All classes that are developed in accordance with the principles of this modern methodology of teaching English, if possible, are conducted in a foreign language, or with a minimum inclusion of native speech. Moreover, the teacher only directs students, asks them questions and creates a communicative situation, while 70 % of the time from the whole class is spoken by the students. It is noteworthy that this method is the basis for teaching a foreign language at school. And, nevertheless, some of the techniques of the classical school are still used today. So, for example, teachers to this day share their knowledge of the theory of English with their students; ask written exercises to improve grammar and vocabulary.
The project methodology — teaching English to children, however, as well as adults, has long been used in schools and universities in America, and lately has become more and more firmly embedded in the educational activities of our students. Its meaning consists in using the studied material in practice and is optimal for application at the end of the whole module, when it becomes possible to assess the degree of mastering the educational material. So, for example, junior schoolchildren are happy to present their projects on the themes «My house», «My pet», «My favorite toys», while high school students are already engaged in serious developments, for example, in the field of environmental protection.
Training methodology — unlike the methods of teaching English, described above, at the school for which favorable conditions are created, the training approach is based on independent study, with the amendment that the students are given already developed structured material and clearly explained by the teacher. As in any training, the student receives a portion of theory, remembers the rules and uses them in practice. Very often this technique is used in online training, including on the educational resource Lim-english.com. Its main advantages are the availability of a carefully thought-out program, the supply of information necessary to improve the level of English proficiency in the most accessible form and the ability to independently plan a training schedule.
The intensive methodology has become especially popular among those who want to learn how to speak English in the shortest possible time. To achieve this seemingly unrealistic goal allows a high level of stereotyped language — English is 25 % consists of a cliché. Due to the study of a large number of stable expressions, their memorization and working out, a person can learn to explain himself in a foreign language and understand the interlocutor for the remaining time.
The so-called active methods of teaching the English language are singled out as a separate group; examples of the most widely used methods are given below.
Round table — the teacher formulates the problem and offers the students the task: to assess the significance of the problem, to show all the pros and cons, to determine the possible outcome, etc. Students should state based on the presented issue, to argue their position and eventually come to a common solution.
Brainstorming technique is also aimed at discussing and solving a problem. However, according to this method of teaching English, the audience is divided into two groups — «idea generators», which actually offer ideas and «experts» who, after the «assault», assess the position of each «generator».
Business game — the teacher prepares a game for the studied topic and explains the rules to students. As a rule, the proposed tasks mimic the tasks and situations of real communication, for example, search and placement, the conclusion of a contract, travel, etc. Its main advantages are the lack of a coercion mechanism for classes and great interest in the child's side. The teacher conducts with the children a wide variety of games for the studied vocabulary and grammatical constructions, during which the children quickly memorize them and learn how to use them in speech. The means of achieving objective and subject results, as well as personal results of the students are educational technologies. The system of the teacher's work to ensure the learning outcomes of a foreign language must necessarily include the implementation of the following technologies: the technology of communicative learning, the technology of understanding the communicative meaning of the text, gaming technologies, technology of learning in cooperation, project technologies, etc.
One of the promising technologies for teaching a foreign language and monitoring the quality of education in recent years, the language portfolio has become prominent. Interpret model of the multi-purpose language portfolio as a tool to increase the subjectivity of the teacher and student in the educational activity, the self-evaluation of the student's achievements in the process of mastering a foreign language and the level of command of the language being studied, and also as a tool for demonstrating the educational product. Some foreign researchers and educators, including Christina Coomb, Susan Perego, Owen Boyle and others, also view the Portfolio as one of the alternative forms of assessing the activities of learners, their progress in teaching. In modern domestic pedagogy, some scientists, for example, V. B. Uspensky, A. P. Chernyavskaya consider Portfolio a method of instruction designed to systematize the accumulated experience, knowledge, and clearly define the direction of its development. A number of Russian scientists consider the «Portfolio of the student» to be completely new technologies, only making their way to life. This is the opinion of E. S. Polat, M. Y. Bukharkin, M. V. Moiseyev, A. E. Petrov and others who consider the «Portfolio of the student» primarily a means of learning self-esteem.
We believe that the «Student Portfolio» can act as a component of the technology of organizing independent learning activity and professional-personal self-development of students in foreign language classes, representing a method of teaching and the form of organizing independent student learning activities, undoubtedly being a means of forming the necessary skills of reflection of one's own activity; self-observation, reflection, a tool for self-evaluation of his own cognitive, creative work. In our opinion, as a means of introducing and expanding personal-oriented and individualized education in higher education, it seems possible to develop a Portfolio formation — the student's «Portfolio» (or a package of educational products of a student: Learning Educational Activities Packet = LEAP).
«Student Portfolio» is a set of documents, independent works of the student, which reflects his efforts, progress and achievements in one or several areas. When studying a foreign language at a university, it is advisable to start the formation of the «Portfolio» of educational products from the beginning of the first semester and continue until the exam. An approximate list of the methodological products of students included in the «Portfolio» and developed by the author:
– The scoring sheet — separately or entered into the diary of studying a foreign language;
– Results of diagnostic tests and their analysis;
– Results of control works and their analysis;
– Abstracts (individual reading);
– Description of the preparation and participation in the University Olympics;
– Description of the preparation and participation in a scientific student conference;
– Participation in the essay competition;
– Materials of individual project activities;
– Materials of participation in collective and group projects;
– Diary of studying foreign languages;
– Schedule of attendance;
– Self-reflection of educational activity for semesters;
– Self-evaluation of work.
It was noted that students are very interested in the practice of drawing up their training «Portfolios», they work with enthusiasm. They create a holistic picture of objective progress in a certain area. Whichever method of teaching English you did not choose, remember that in studying a foreign language, motivation, and the key to successful learning is the regularity and systematic nature of your studies.
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