Today the importance of the communicative competence of a specialist is increasing in connection with the need for inter-ethnic contacts and partnership in the scientific and industrial spheres. The wide use of English in the field of professional communication creates the need for training specialists who have special vocabulary in English and are able to work with professionally oriented texts and documentation and maintain oral communication in a foreign language (Baeva, 2012). Therefore, along with the formation of professional competence in the main activity profile, the development and improvement of the secondary language personality of the future specialist is an integral part of higher professional education, which is reflected in the «Competently oriented curriculum of the basic educational program of higher professional education».
In foreign linguistics, the concept of «professionally oriented English» (English for Specific Purposes — ESP) means such language training, which is a means to achieve certain professional goals. Thus, the study of a foreign language ceases to be an end in itself. This is not traditional teaching of a common foreign language, but teaching those aspects of a foreign language that are important for the successful performance of professional activities, for example, psychological counseling or training, writing a scientific article or an application for a grant, speaking at a conference, that is what the student needs to fulfill a certain social role. Moreover, the «specialty» of the goal of teaching a foreign language will depend on the area of the trainee's professional interests (Hutchinson, 1987).
L. Alekseeva points out that the distinctive feature of professionally oriented English language in comparison with the general language is the specificity of vocabulary and the communicative needs peculiar to this specialty (Alekseeva, 2007), which should be taken into account when drafting the training program. Thus, the content of the training program should be tailored to the specifics of speech activity in the context of professional communication and aimed at developing professionally important skills.
In this our research, it is necessary to justify the goals and objectives of teaching foreign language to the ESP students in terms of the competence approach, to analyze possible methods for assessing the formation of foreign-language, professionally oriented communicative competence.
By the language of the specialty, we mean the whole aggregate of linguistic means used in professional interaction with the aim of achieving mutual understanding, and to achieve academic and scientific goals when teaching in an educational institution in a foreign language.
The leading sign of the language of the specialty is today the terminology of the vocabulary with the presence in it of the foundations of a general scientific dictionary. As the variables, the syntactic structure of the special texts, due to the function of extra — linguistic factors: sequence, logic, explicitness, and brevity.
Priority of the competence approach means a reorientation from the process to the result of education in the activity dimension, shifting the emphasis from accumulating normatively defined knowledge, skills and abilities to forming and developing in students the ability to apply the language experience in specific situations; the educational process is organized taking into account the demand for the knowledge of the graduate of the university in the society, solving the problem of matching his abilities to the real needs of a rapidly changing market, and provides the formed potential for rapid, painless adaptation in both the future profession and the social structure. The perspective of the competence approach is that it provides for the graduate's high readiness for successful activities in various fields, including in the sphere of foreign languages (Hymes, 1971).
In accordance with the Council of Europe's document («Common European competence in foreign language skills»..., 2003), as regards the teaching of foreign languages, the main components of communicative competence are:
– Linguistic, including lexical, phonological, syntactic knowledge and skills, as well as knowledge of the language system;
– sociolinguistic, involving the use of language in certain socio-cultural settings and influencing the process of communication between representatives of different cultures;
– pragmatic, involving the functional use of language facilities (linguistic functions, speech acts), possession of the means of logical communication, as well as the ability to identify the genre of text, subtext (irony, parody) (CEFR, 2003).
In turn, A. N. Shchukin defines the communicative competence of as «the ability of the means of the language being studied to carry out speech activity in accordance with the aims and situation of communication within a particular field of activity. It is based on a complex of skills that allow us to participate in speech communication in its productive and receptive forms "(Schukin, 2006, pp. 139–140). The author also identifies a number of competences that form the basis of communicative competence: linguistic, speech (sociolinguistic), sociocultural, social, strategic (compensatory), discursive, subject and professional (Shchukin, 2006). G. A. Baeva suggests a different interpretation of this concept: «Competence — the ability to implement in practice (actualize) the acquired knowledge and experience in a certain field of professional activity» (Baeva, 2012, p. 74). Khutorskoy distinguishes the general educational competencies as follows:
– key, functioning in the content field, common to all subjects;
– general subject, implemented in the content field, common for a set of subjects related to a certain area of knowledge;
– subject, formed and functioning within the framework of one subject (Khutorskaya, 2007).
Thus, in the modern method of teaching foreign languages, foreign communicative competence is regarded as the unity of several components. The foreign language communicative competence includes the following competence components: linguistic, sociolinguistic, sociocultural, discursive, strategic and subject (Pavlovskaya, 2008; Alekseeva, 2007).
Foreign communicative competence and professional competence in the conditions of teaching a specialty are inseparably connected. Given that, firstly, the components of communicative competence are not equivalent in their significance, and secondly, their definitions do not fully take into account modern achievements in the methodology of teaching foreign languages and related sciences, we consider it expedient to clarify the structure of communicative competence. From our point of view, it is reasonable to include such competencies in the composition of communicative competence: speech, linguistic, cultural, linguistic and educational-strategic, as well as foreign communicative competence. The main characteristics of foreign communicative competence are dynamism, implicitness, complexity, cultural connectivity and relativity. The purpose of the formation of foreign communicative competence: to teach interaction in the field of professional communication in a foreign language in accordance with the norms and cultural traditions of this language and to achieve mutual understanding both in direct and indirect contacts. In a generalized form, competence includes knowledge, skills, abilities, experience of activity, ability to work independently. In the process of formation of foreign communicative competence, the sequence of providing knowledge to the trainees, the formation of skills and the development of skills can be different. Therefore, students can acquire knowledge simultaneously with mastering speech skills and skills. The goal of the formation of foreign communicative competence is not the accumulation of the volume of knowledge, skills and abilities, but the ability to use their foreign communicative competence in foreign-directed professionally directed activities. A. Winter defines speech competence as the possession of ways of forming and formulating thoughts through the language, which makes possible not only the realization of communicative intent, but also the understanding of the thoughts of other people, the expression of one's own judgment and the achievement of mutual understanding (Winter, 1991). Speech competence includes a number of competencies: in listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating. In general, speech competence determines the ability of trainees:
– to understand from the hearing the content of authentic texts;
– carry out oral communication (in monologic and dialogical forms);
– read authentic texts of different genres and species with different levels of understanding of content, considering them as a source of diverse information and as a means of mastering it;
– communicate in writing in accordance with the tasks assigned;
– realize the functions of a mediator (intermediary) of cultures in the process of intercultural communication;
– use the experience gained in the study of the native language, treating it as a means of conscious mastery of a foreign language. It is known that in the modern teaching of a foreign language the emphasis is not on language as a system, but on speech. Obviously, speaking is always situational. The situation is determined by the place and time, the purpose of communication and readiness for it, the features of the communication partners, the specific features of the culture of the people of the language being studied, etc. An analysis of the structure of communicative competence makes it possible to conclude that a foreign language plays an important role in the training of a specialist. The ability to carry out professionally oriented foreign-language communication is a professionally significant factor, professional growth and career of a specialist. Along with other disciplines of a foreign language, he participates in the formation of professionally important qualities of a specialist. These qualities may have common and specific features, and it is important to take into account, both in teaching professionally oriented foreign-language communication, and in testing the level of formation of foreign communicative competence.
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