Nowadays, linguodidactic questions of foreign language teaching are becoming increasingly important. Globalization, mutual integration and the growth of international contacts of countries make it necessary not only for professional linguists, but also for professionals of all specialties and training profiles. Nowadays, methodological searches are aimed at developing methods that allow not only to form high-quality language knowledge and skills, but also to do so as soon as possible.
On the other hand, it is mostly said either about the methodology of teaching a foreign language in general, that is, the most common issues are raised, or it is about the methodology of teaching English as the main means of intercultural communication in the 21st century. Not enough attention is paid to the problems of teaching other languages, as a result of which the teacher-practitioner has to limit himself to the most general aspects or project the methods of teaching English into other languages, which reduces the effectiveness of teaching them.
Meanwhile, it is wrong to think that only English is an international language. There are several international languages. These are the languages that serve not only as a means of communication for the respective nation, but also are state-owned in several countries, are taught worldwide as foreign languages and are used as lingua franca, that is, as a permanent means of communication for representatives of two different nations, especially if they are not speak each other's languages. These languages are English, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Many of them are working languages of various international organizations, including the UN and UNESCO.
It should be noted that the methodology of teaching foreign languages is in itself a very young scientific discipline. This applied field of knowledge received scientific status less than a century ago. It appeared at the intersection of pedagogy (didactics), linguistics and psychology, and for a long time the question was resolved for what particular fundamental science the technique serves as an applied discipline. It is not surprising that nowadays it speaks mainly about teaching English, since it is known from the history of teaching foreign languages that this process has always “served” the needs of society. Today, under the method of teaching languages understand basically the actual practice. In practice, it rarely happens that people learn foreign languages without learning English. Even if the student chooses another language as the first foreign student, English will be the second foreign language, since practical knowledge of any foreign language implies the person’s entering into intercultural communication, and this process rarely does without English today.
Spanish as well as English is international, another thing is that in our country, until recently, teaching was not very common. That is why the knowledge of Spanish today, if not exotic, then at least a rarity. On the other hand, nowadays, students increasingly express a desire to study Spanish as a second foreign language, perhaps to choose something more original than the usual English, German and French. Spanish is often wanted to learn “for oneself,” since for many it seems to be one of the most beautiful. Spanish and Latin American culture really has a certain charm and color in the eyes of our compatriots. The most frequently used images for textbook covers, audio and video courses, advertisements for language schools are corrida, Gothic Spanish architecture, a couple dancing Spanish or Latin American dance, as well as flamenco images. Many popular musical compositions sung in Spanish are very popular in Russia. This, of course, can and should be used in the selection of additional material for training.
In this article we consider the methodological features of teaching and learning English and Spanish languages, due to their linguistic features. These languages belong to the same language family (Indo-European), but belong to different groups within it (German and Romance, respectively), therefore, they have a number of common features and distinctive characteristics. In addition, among European languages, these languages are most common in the world and have international status. Since the teaching of any language is teaching such aspects as phonetics, vocabulary and grammar, we will consider this pedagogical process in this particular coordinate system.
Reading rules and phonetics. When learning any foreign language, reading skill is basic, and its formation is paramount. Indeed, when a person sees a word in an unfamiliar language, the first unconsciously emerging question is how to read it. From the point of view of teaching reading, the difference between teaching the languages in question is huge. Spanish is characterized by the phonetic principle of writing words. This means that with the exception of some letters and letter combinations, it always reads how to spell. In principle, anyone familiar with the Latin alphabet is ready to read Spanish almost without mistakes, even without learning. Features of reading some letters and their combinations are few. The rules of stress are very simple, and if the stress is put in a word not according to the rule, then it should be depicted graphically (teléfono, Moscú, café). Of course, there are difficulties and peculiarities in the intonation and articulation of some sounds, but in general it can be said that after the first few lessons the student knows how to read almost any word. When learning from scratch, this gives a tremendous advantage at the start and has a positive effect on the motivation to further learn the language. At the same time, it is fairly easy for the teacher to build the course, since the introductory-phonetic course ends quickly, and it is necessary to return to reading questions only as a repetition.
It should be noted, however, that the study of English begins mainly in childhood. Therefore, the rules of reading in English are rarely explained in general, since children, due to their age, are not able to perceive them as a system. As a result, the reading of English words is studied mainly on numerous examples without any systematization. This sometimes leads to an incorrect memorization of the pronunciation of a word. That is why the phonetic educational program in English is necessary even at a sufficiently high level of language learning. Perhaps the traditional spelling of words is the most difficult thing in the English language. There are practitioners who advise students to memorize the spelling of each word separately. It is very difficult, but this approach is motivated by the fact that learning all the rules, and then all the exceptions from them is even more difficult.
Vocabulary. Despite belonging to different linguistic groups, English and Spanish are relatively close in lexical composition. The first is characterized by a very large percentage of Latin roots, and the second is developed from Latin itself. The main differences in the vocabulary are the very principles of word formation.
In addition, each system has its advantages in terms of both learning vocabulary and teaching it. One of the main ways of word formation, which is characterized by modern English, is the composition. The words formed by him are usually easily remembered and do not present difficulties with somatizations, since in most cases the meaning of a word is guessed by the meaning of its components. Indeed, knowing that “bed” means “bed”, and “room” — the room, the student can understand that “bedroom” is a bedroom, even if this word is used for the first time. This method of word-formation makes a very wide passive vocabulary of students, including words that a person cannot use in speech, but at the same time understands their meaning when faced with them.
Grammar. The main difference between the grammatical material from the lexical is that it is exhausted and can be set out for a certain time. In addition, the grammatical material is much better amenable to analysis and systematization. If the basic rules of grammar in a language are simple, then they will not “slow down” the lexical material, since for reasoning on more complex topics in a non-native language, people generally need more and more complex grammatical structures.
In teaching English, conjugation of verbs never trains (except for the verb to be), since almost all forms are the same in every tense. That is why a mistake is so common when a student forgets about the ending — s in the third person singular verb in the present tense. Due to the lack of a special training conjugation, clear associative links cannot immediately form in mastering a language (works — works, makes — makes, swims — floats).
Methodical implies the choice of a teacher of methods, teaching materials, specific exercises and tasks, as well as activities aimed at developing the most difficult moments for students and parties of the language being studied. On the one hand, methods of teaching languages are universal, but one or another method may be more or less effective depending on the specific language in which the training is conducted. For example, today there is a lot of talk about communicative learning of languages without a theoretical analysis of grammar based on the assimilation of ready-made structures due to abundant language practice. It is obvious that using this method it is easier to teach a language with easy grammar. If, for example, there is a difficult pronunciation in a language, more verbal practice is needed, since the pronunciation cannot be read and we translate the texts.
From the analysis given in the article, it is clear that the process of learning a foreign language is primarily a process of learning a specific language, and not just a non-native language. Such aspects of language as phonetics, vocabulary and grammar significantly influence both the course and the organization of this process, simplifying or, conversely, complicating the formation of certain speech skills in students.
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