The article will discuss the modern innovative ways of teaching English to university students.
Key words : song, story without ending, exposition, role-play, lyrics.
В статье обсуждаются современные инновационные способы обучения английскому языку студентов вузов.
In today’s fast developing and technological world the last few decades proved that the traditional teaching which was used for a great deal of years turned to be ineffective and obsolete. Moreover, learning and teaching are continuous and arduous processes that involve a lot of energy both for students and teachers. Thus, using innovations in the process of education can be the most effective key to find the solution to these problems.
Taking into consideration, teaching is a complicated process and it requires a teacher to be not only knowledgeable and qualified but also creative and inventive to achieve desired result and to make traditional boring lessons original and effective. It is widely known that schools and primary teachers of languages tend to begin teaching from the beginning stage, in a usual accepted way which is accustomed by all typical teachers. However, when it comes to university students not always it works. The traditional methods of teaching language cannot meet the requirements of the learners of higher educational institutions. They easily lose interest and become bored with the lessons taught in typical way and consequently these students are likely to show poorer results.
Several interesting methods are being introduced and used by teachers for recent years as innovative. They help students to acquire knowledge even without noticing and requiring special effort. The article will suggest some of the new innovative methods to teach English to the university students.
Using stories is not new for language teachers. Any type of story in any difficulty can be implemented during teaching basis. Using stories in a right way helps to boost students’ vocabulary, enriches their imaginations, improves their communication skills, develops creativity in them, and lastly by this the most unsociable and introverted students get inspired to get along with their peers. A simple short story or a fairytale can be used in the following ways:
- Story without ending. Stories without endings give a chance to express one’s thoughts freely without hesitation. There is not any boundary put to prevent students’ imagination from wandering. With the help of them students can develop the ability to imagine, to create, to make something up on their own and think differently. They will not be afraid to make mistakes as they already know there isn’t a certain limit of ideas. They learn how to analyze and respect other’s points.
- Exposition. Stories, besides improving communication skills, might test students’ competence in writing and listening. If a story is read out to students and asked to write what they hear they try to memorize it while listening catching the words and phrases and at the same time they analyze it guessing the meaning of them on their mind. The next challenge will be to compose an adequate text from the heard one. In this stage their main purpose is to produce the text meeting all the requirements of story-writing, paying attention to the grammar, vocabulary, structure, and spelling.
- Role-play. Acting out the stories or fairy tales may seem foolish or for some students embarrassing activity at first yet when they become involved to the process, they understand what benefits it can bring. Firstly, it might be the first aid to those teachers who always find working with introvert students difficult. Moreover, with the help of role-playing students can be involved in the interaction with other students, work on acting proficiency, try themselves as actors and learn to improvise.
- Story composing. Can be used as pre- or while-activity and for a group or an individual student. Teacher only gives the first statement and students should continue by adding a sentence or two. They can only read the previous student’s sentence and have no right to look at others’ writings. Students find this activity very entertaining when teacher reads out loud the ready version of story. This activity helps students to openly express their ideas and to think creatively. Teacher can add some changes according to the level of students like, giving a word to each student to add into their sentence but they should not go out of topic.
- Stories which carry metaphorical meaning can be another interesting and engaging task which develops students’ critical thinking. This activity can be used as homework or group activity at class. Students are asked to read and understand the story. Then they start analyzing it literarily. Firstly, they are asked to give short description of story. Then each character is analyzed physically and characteristically. Lastly, the interesting part where you are free to express your opinion is to find moral of the story. There is no exact answer that’s why students are free to think and develops creativity and teaches to think critically.
In this respect, implementing this approach during teaching helps teachers to hold the lessons interactive and lively. An obstacle in acquiring new language most language learners face is to understand the accent, pronunciation. Using songs, music and lyrics can have huge impact on enhancing listening skills.
– Songs can be used at the beginning or before starting the lesson to keep students in good spirit.
– Songs can be chosen according to the topic of the lesson and used as consolidating activity. It works best mostly in vocabulary or grammar teaching when you give gapped text of any song. For example, if you have taught adjectives, you can use the song lyrics “Everything I want” by Lenka or you have grammar and you have revised past simple, the song “Who” by Pink is an interesting match.
– Songs can be used as while-activity. Teacher can play a song in high volume when students are busy with the activity which they should finish as soon as possible. It can seem bothering at first, yet it teaches students to be attentive and diligent.
– Songs are universal topic which can make students want to speak. If they are asked to bring information about their favorite singer and his song, even the most reserved students start to speak up with enthusiasm.
– From the lyrics of the song teachers can create verity of activities. The one which I used in my classes as warm-up activity was my students’ favorite. I bring the lyrics of the song without mentioning the singer and the name of the song. Groups of students consisting 3–4 in each should compose music to the song and present to the whole group. The activity is a real fun and entertaining. At the end together you can listen and compare with the original version and vote for the best one. This activity helps to create joyful atmosphere in classroom and energizes students.
– Fast-paced songs work well to teach fluency, but it is not easy to get used to sing such songs. Divide each line into phrases which can be pronounced in one breath. After each one makes some pause and little by little increase your pace. Time by time your fluency in singing gets better. Here is an example of the song by “Hurts”-“Don’t let go”
On a bridge \ across the Severn \ on a Saturday night,
Susie \ meets the man of \ her dreams
– Songs are excellent way to teach pronunciation as they are truly authentic materials. We can find all phonetic units like intonation, stress, assimilation etc. in them. Teaching language becomes failure if it is monotonous and boring. It should be colorful and joyous. Using song, stories, fairy tales and games makes the banal lessons effective and absorbing. Student interests will increase, and they become more active. Consequently, the quality of lessons will go up.
- Talak-Kiryk, Amy, «Using Games in A Foreign Language Classroom” (2010). MA TESOL Collection. Paper 484.
- Mr. G. Anburaj, G. Christopher, Ms. Ni Ming “Innovative Methods of Teaching English Language” IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) Volume 19, Issue 8, Ver. IV (Aug. 2014), PP 62–65