We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them
It is common knowledge that higher education and research are a moving force for innovations and country development. Universities are to prepare professionals, engineers, managers and scientists with a high enough level of knowledge in modern technology, particularly students whose major is among the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, botany, archaeology, astronomy, etc,), social sciences (psychology, sociology, history, law, politics, etc.) and foreign languages. To achieve this goal universities use various innovative teaching methods, approaches and means, one of which is the problem-solving approach.
The problem-solving approach is supposed to give rise to doubt or uncertainty; it is a form of inquiry learning. It includes a task, question or inquiry that is to be investigated applying the existing knowledge to a new or unfamiliar situation . Social-leaning, cognitive-exploratory, peer learning make approach possible. Problem-solving approach creates a learning environment that fosters the development of the learner’s foreign language skills and abilities 
Choosing tasks, a teacher should bear in mind that they should correspond to the learners’:
- intellectual abilities;
- individual peculiarities and age interests;
- knowledge of the subject.
Moreover, a task should be a meaningful, open-ended problem, promoting ideas and knowledge sharing, and should further insight into the subject being taught. The teacher should monitor the learning process and give advice as necessary. He should serve as a behavior driver and model, thinking aloud with students .
Researches highlight the following benefits of this approach, it:
- stimulates interest in cognitive activity;
- fosters persistence for goal achievement;
- develops concentration;
- exercises capacity for work;
- contributes to creative skills development;
- teaches abilities to formulate the problem;
- provides opportunities for foreign language communication and teaches learners to overcome the language problems independently;
- helps overcome problems arising in the process of communication;
- develops mutual assistance, tolerance, collaboration, etc.;
- builds intrinsic interest in the subject matter [1, 2, 3, 4].
Despite multitudinous advantages, the approach has its disadvantages, they are:
- a lot of time for preparation;
- time demands to find the solution to the problem;
- certain language knowledge (this approach is inappropriate for beginners or learners with minimal oral and reading skills);
- hardships with monitoring and assessment.
Thus at the current stage of education system reforms, a lot of attention is paid to the development of a strong, creative personality, the ability to solve problems independently and find creative solutions. Problem–solving approach contributes to these tasks’ solutions, provokes thinking and reasoning, trains to solve unconventional tasks and exchange information, develops communication and encourages learners to seek solutions to the problem. Problem–solving approach presupposes tasks connected with real life and reproduction of situations similar to the ones that the learners experience in studying.
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2. Микитченко С. П. Организация проблемных задач в процессе обучения иностранному языку (на материале говорения): Дис. … канд.пед.наук. Нижневартовск, 2004. 173 с.
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4. Doghonadze N., Gorgiladze G. Problem solving in teaching foreign languages to students of pedagogical departments // IBSU Scientific Journal 2008, № 2 (1), Pp. 101–114.
5. English language teaching method problem solving. http://www-putra-sasak.blogspot.ru/2013/02/english-language-teaching-method.html (accessed April 23, 2015).
6. Hussein H. Using the problem solving approach to teach writing to EFL learners // The English teacher. 2012. Vol. XLI(2). Pp. 144–159.
7. Stepien W., Gallagher S. Problem based learning for traditional and interdisciplinary classrooms // Journal for the education of the gifted. 1993. № 16 (4), Pp. 338–357.