In the cognitive theory of learning, the student is considered not as a passive recipient of information, but as a creature of thought, an active processor of information. In this case, the teaching is carried out through the thinking process of correlating new events or objects with already existing cognitive concepts or propositions, in which meaning is not an implicit reaction, but a clearly expressed and precisely differentiated conscious experience that occurs when potentially significant signs, Symbols, concepts, or propositions are related to the cognitive structure of a given person and are included in it involuntarily and independently. It is the ability to correlate, from the point of view of the cognitive theory of the doctrine that explains a number of phenomena: mastering new knowledge, retaining in memory, psychological organization of knowledge as a hierarchical structure, and finally forgetting. Meaningful learning is the process of correlating and attaching a new material to the corresponding well-established objects in the cognitive structure. Entering the cognitive field, the new material interacts with the more incorporated conceptual system and corresponds with the appropriate category.
The fact that the material can be correlated with stable elements in the cognitive structure, testifies to its meaningfulness. A meaningfully learned material, referred to a certain category of knowledge, in contrast to memorized by heart, has a much greater potential for preservation in long-term memory. Associated with cognitive theory:
− Problem-solving tasks, which may be to some extent related to the direction of training trainees;
− Tasks aimed at students' understanding and development of reading strategies in them, which they could consciously apply while working with texts in the language being studied.
According to the cognitive view of the nature of the doctrine, it will occur only when students see the point in what they are to learn. However, as is known, the student is a creature not only thinking, but also emotional.
The picture of learning a foreign language presented by cognitive theory complements the affective view. The desire to search for the most rational models of the construction of the educational process often leads us to a false belief that students must always act logically and rationally. However, in reality, students may have likes and dislikes, fears, weaknesses and prejudices. In addition, any teaching, and learning the language in particular, is an emotional experience, and the mood that the learning process causes the learners ultimately determines the success or failure of the teaching.
According to the cognitive theory, students learn when they actively think about what they are learning, which, however, presupposes the existence of an affective factor of motivation. Before they can think about something, they must want to do it. Their emotional reaction to learning experience, attitudes towards learning predetermine the initiation of the process of cognition.
Motivation is one of the most important elements in improving the process of learning a foreign language in higher education . An inner impulse, feeling, or strong desire pushes the individual to a special action. All people have needs or motivations that are innate; however, the environment determines their intensity.
Motivation for learning a foreign language can be of two types: instrumental and integration.
Instrumental motivation is the motivation to learn a language as a means to achieve instrumental goals, for example: learn to read literature in the language of your specialty, prepare for passing the language or language exam, be promoted, etc.
Integration motivation is manifested in the case when a new language learner has a desire to integrate into the culture of its speakers, to identify with them and become part of their community. Studies of the dichotomy (W. Lambert, Y. Lukmani, B. B. Kachru) showed that both of its types contribute to the success of learning a foreign language and do not necessarily exclude each other. A new dimension to the dichotomy introduces such a factor as a source of motivation. Depending on whether it comes from the student himself or from other people, they distinguish between its internal and external varieties.
So, the affective factors are not opposed to cognitive, but make the picture of the educational process more holistic. They play a prominent role in language learning, manifesting themselves
− in the selection of materials and tasks that encourage students to work in the target language;
− in finding ways to handle errors that would not create anxiety;
− in the development of self-esteem, self-confidence and high self-esteem in the classroom;
− in the striving of the teacher to create favorable conditions and thereby facilitate the learning of the language by the students;
− in the growth of their autonomy;
− in the manifestation of insight when referring to the theory of learning styles and so for.
Accounting for affective factors, of course, does not solve all the problems of learning a foreign language by students. However, teachers of a foreign language who do not consider themselves obliged to take into account phenomena of an affective nature lose some of the most important components of successful teaching management.
Accounting for cognitive and affective factors made it possible to substantiate the principles of teaching a foreign language in higher education:
− the developmental nature of learning;
− activity, or activity nature of the teachings;
− autonomy; balance of linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge;
− transfer of communication strategies from the native language;
− the desire to overcome language and cultural barriers;
− positive emotionality;
− the balance of the conscious learning of a foreign language and the unconscious mastering of it;
− internal consistency .
The implementation of these principles contributes to:
− receptions associated with the restoration of gaps and forecasting;
− variability of techniques (ensuring their diversity);
− enjoyment of the educational process (self-satisfaction);
− methodical synergism (“crossing” of elements of various methods, which gives a greater effect than the total effect of all these elements used separately);
− the integration of communicative skills (types of speech activity); logical; preparing students for learning (preparing their memory and thinking for learning);
− cognitive and emotional involvement; the creative nature of the tasks (their orientation on the search for new, original, atypical, satisfaction of current and formation of new needs and interests of students related to the language being studied); atmosphere of cooperation and social partnership; skilful teacher planning.
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