Contextual Approach In Developing Communicative Competence In Foreign Language Lessons At University

Abstract

The problem of the contextual approach in the formation of communicative competence by means of foreign language lessons at the technical university informed this research. The purpose of our research is to define the contextual approach feasibility and advantages during the development of communicative competence by means of foreign language lessons at technical university. The appeal of the educational process to the contextual learning system becomes relevant. It assumes the change of ideas about the development of communication skills, skills in higher school education. New educational standards provide a link between fundamental and practical training, between general education and specialized disciplines updating the content and methods, forms and means of education from the position of the complex integrated training process. Practically all academic teachers believe that the formation and development of a professionally-trained graduate of a higher educational institution is impossible without context-based education which forms the graduate’s professional skills using interdisciplinary integration. The contextual approach is important for the communicative culture formation to educate students of technical universities. The submission of educational material occurs in the process of generalization, metaphorization of educational knowledge, the search for mechanisms of their application in practical activities. The ideas of vocational training and self-development of the personality are updated. This idea is especially relevant to foreign language because it is one of main foundations of future competitive specialist communicative competence.

Keywords: Contextual approachforeign languagecommunicative skills

Introduction

Today, the context-based approach is used to educate students in order to increase the level of educational and professional competence according to the Federal state standard. The context-based approach is important for the formation of a communicative culture. The meaningfulness of training material occurs in the process of generalization, metaphorization of educational knowledge, mechanisms of their application in practice. It actualizes the ideas of vocational training and self-development of personality in the process of acquiring professional experience. Now only the knowledge, skills is not enough for implementation of the professional activities. It is necessary to unite knowledge of different educational disciplines. It creates new knowledge due to the nature of a competency-based approach. Competency approach reflects the organization of activities based on knowledge, skills, and abilities in a specific socio-cultural environment. Much attention is also paid to the context approach in formation of a semantic field.

Contextual learning means forms of educational activities organization which dynamically reflect the general cultural, spiritual, social and educational content of the life, the transformation of the educational and cognitive activity into a socio-practical activity. One of the initiators of the contextual training concept Verbitsky (2010) says that the language of sciences forms educational activity dynamically simulations of the subject and social contents to professional work by means of all system of traditional and new pedagogical technologies.

Problem Statement

Today many social changes happen in the world and it demands innovative approaches to the semantic component construction of the training process. It should be based on interrelation and integration of university knowledge and subject matters according to innovative teaching and learning technologies and cultural orientation of educational activity. The most important role of cross-disciplinary integration in education of specialists has become particularly noticeable and understandable as a result of modern integration processes in science and technology. Recently, there are new fundamental achievements in science and technology as a result of interdisciplinary scientific synthesis, combining knowledge and practice from a variety of fields and fields of science.

We consist that the future specialist of any field of activity should be able to comprehensively use the knowledge of different disciplines for their professional activities. First of all, modern educational systems of higher education require the development of interdisciplinary natural science connections extremely popular due to the high innovative impact of research and development in certain areas. Cross-disciplinary communication is a concrete expression of the integration processes in future high-tech industry specialists training. These processes take place in science and public life of society. The communications perform a very important task to increase the practical and scientific-theoretical training of future professional students with generalized nature of cognitive activity. Such generality gives the chance to use knowledge and skills in specifically concrete situations in practice during the studying and consideration of private questions in educational and practical activities.

The relevance of this study is an increasing interest in communication processes and its contextual model ability. In practice, it is necessary to use an integrated contextual approach and to introduce the main provisions of the modernized curriculum in order to develop communicative and speech competence. Currently, there is a tendency to shift the centre of activity-oriented pedagogy gravity in the higher education system. Personal-oriented pedagogy is more perspective. It means a level of equal cooperation and deeply personal communication of teacher and student. Higher education leaves the initial stage of a simple transfer of teacher knowledge. The contextual training has already begun at universities. It is supported by theoretical developments in the field of pedagogical science. The use of innovative educational technologies solves a difficult task of formation and developing of a mobile, self-actualizing, communicative specialist who makes the correct decisions on the basis of data from various sources (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). First of all, we need a more integrated and unified model of training tasks and competencies. Context and culture become important factors. These factors can improve the applicability of knowledge, skills and personal qualities in contextual areas. Acquired competencies allows to apply in all areas of knowledge. It is important for students in future real life. The clear division disappears in disciplines, and everyone is obliged to select abilities according to the experience (Lowenstein, 1994). Every person defines his professional plan according to a high level of professional self-awareness (Isakova, 2018). One of the main education tasks is certain qualities training and getting concrete skills of the competitive personality (Edelwich & Brodsky, 1980). Higher technical education has a concrete goal of the students professional training. It is also concretized in different competence. One of them is communicative competence. The key concept of communicative competence is direct communication of people in different forms and types, conditional communication of a person with the natural world, objects of material culture. The important characteristic of training activity is creativity at universities. Moreover, the training result depends on a variety of circumstances, one of which is the ability of the teacher to understand the psychology of his student (Volchkov, 2019).

Research Questions

The appeal of educational process to contextual training assumes a change of ideas about the development of communication skills and about high school education in general. The coexistence assumes systemic learning using professional context. It becomes especially relevant according to the concept of future education. Use of contextual approach solves a difficult problem. It’s the formation and development of a mobile, self-fulfilling personality who is able to navigate in modern society and makes the right decisions based on data from various sources and own experience, knowledge and skills. It especially concerns such discipline as a foreign language because this discipline develops of communicative competence bases in future highly qualified specialist specialists training.

Therefore, the stated purpose of the following research assumes the solution of the following tasks:

  • review and analysis of literature on a research subject;

  • theoretical justification of contextual approach at a learning of foreign language in order to form communicative skills of mastering a foreign language;

  • preparation of an experimental base for comparative analysis of traditional teaching of a foreign language and training using context-based learning;

  • definition of the advantages and disadvantages of ways to use the contextual approach in the educational process.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the following article is to determine the feasibility and advantages of the contextual approach in the formation of communicative competence by means of foreign language lessons at a technical university. The appeal of the educational process to the contextual learning system becomes relevant. It assumes a change of ideas about the development of communication skills, skills in higher school education. New educational standards provide a link between fundamental and practical training, between general education and specialized disciplines updating the content and methods, forms and means of education from the position of the complex integrated training process. Student work realization, relations between a teacher and a pupil, content and structure of teaching material, optimizing of the foreign-language education process organization technology are the most pressing problems of modern education (Valeeva, Aitov, & Bulatbayeva, 2016). Practically, all academic teachers believe that the formation and development of a professionally-trained graduate of a higher educational institution is impossible without context-based education which forms the graduate’s professional skills using interdisciplinary integration. The contextual approach is important for the communicative competence formation to educate students of technical universities. Communicative competence develops self-confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness, personal and social activity by modelling of communicative situations and developing training. There are some principles and approaches to humanization of teaching foreign languages, as well as some humanistic educational technologies of teaching foreign languages (Shakirova & Valeeva, 2016). According to the contextual education technology, the teacher needs to achieve professiona modeling and social humanitarian content of activity in the educational process. The submission of educational material occurs in the process of generalization, metaphorization of educational knowledge, the search of mechanisms of their application in practical activities. The ideas of vocational training and self-development of the personality are updated (Isakova, 2017). It concerns a foreign language discipline very much because it develops communicative competence of future highly qualified industrial specialists.

Some researchers note that contextual learning has not yet been properly used in the training of specialists in secondary vocational education institutions (Yakovleva, 2012). The reason is a higher level of educational process on the condition of a high educational potential of students. It makes possible to distinguish between the general set of imaginary ideas and the internal one completing by the author's position.

Research Methods

We use such methods as the analysis, synthesis, comparison, pedagogical forecasting, pedagogical design during our research, The context approach essence is that images of research objects are created at the level of interpretations. The subjectivity of the studied object is expressed through the subjects of another. Figurative, emotional-sensory experience allows one single object to be enriched with generalizations, metaphors which are formed in the process of contextual learning. The use of the teaching context allows us to transfer experience and knowledge from a known context to the unknown and it promotes its transformation and improvement to comprehend the new facts in professional activity and private life combined with the disclosure of random processes. The uncertainty is one of the key characteristics of contemporary reality and contextual training promotes the most effective socialization of the individual, successful professional adaptation and personal self-actualization. The experimental base of the research was Tyumen industrial university and Tyumen secondary schools.

Levels of contextualization are expressed through the culture of teaching, the ability of teaching material presentation in terms of a holistic perception of facts and phenomena which occur in the professional environment according to the evaluation of global processes in nature, human society, and the person. The context can occur in the coincidence of the educational material with the interests and internal mood of the student's personality.

The curricular context consists of some courses. The course can be described as follows:

  • learning spaces: university seminar;

  • content: theory and practice;

  • e-learning platform, school classroom;

  • participants: students (e.g. learners as moderators or as student teachers), university professor, tutor, outside experts;

  • materials: video recordings, reader, textbook, learning modules;

  • methods: lectures, discussions, video-recorded classroom observations, reading tasks, learner diaries, mini-practices, e-interviews.

Students were organized (grouped) in the course according to their specialization.

It is necessary to systematically apply the context at the solution of pedagogical tasks. It is an indicator of transition to a new level of the educational process realization. At the same time, contextuality reveals the necessity of subject-related connections; it promptly prompts a specialist to a new understanding of reality by structuring the educational material, the emotional-sensory and cultural background which should be present in studying. The context is connected in an emotionally sensual sphere of the person when he feels that is clearly not written, not spoken, but understood and accepted as a profound perception of what the teacher suggests.

It is possible to realize the synergetic approach to teaching and educational process at a high degree of content development. Synergetic principles are embodied in the self-determination and responsible choice in communicative situations, in the ability of the personality to solve professional problems, to see the relationship of the phenomena of reality, to apply the knowledge gained.

The system of management and engineering differs from many types of activities by the fact that the person expects satisfaction of own needs during the working (Figure 1 ).

Figure 1: Results of needs during the working
Results of needs during the working
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Therefore, the modern needs of the professional environment of the service sector reveal the need for the formation of communicative culture of workers. Shevtsova (2003) characterizes the communicative culture as a condition and prerequisite for the effectiveness of professional activity and a goal of professional self-improvement.

The meaningfulness of the educational material is a complicated and contradictory process due to generalizations. There are many elements which reflect the conceptual apparatus and its application of specific activities. Therefore, such concepts as a symbol, meaning, metaphor, and image are defining in educational practice. They are capable to inform essential aspects of processes and phenomena in the training courses. Students must recognize the meanings of objective cultural values, professional situations, own activities in the training process.

The context of life can be a “mechanism of sensing” (Tsujii, 2000). Therefore, the management of the sense of personality is possible at the realization of the contextual approach. It’s using strengthens the persuasiveness of the teacher’s thoughts and promotes the training quality of specialists (Figure 2 ).

Figure 2: Results of the contextual approach
Results of the contextual approach
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The communicative culture has characteristic features embodied in contextual approaches, such as the orientation to the identification of needs, professional and linguistic responsibility fluent spoken and written language; the ability use language, knowledge of professional ethics in professionally relevant situations. The whole range of general competencies provides the cultural level of a specialist. Communicative culture, spiritual needs, and social activity will promote professional self-expression of the professional personality.

It is necessary to construct an educational process with an emphasis on the formation of a motivational sphere, establishing a connection between the purpose of educational activities and the internal guidelines of the future professional. It is useful for the emergence in the structure of personality specialist and the promotion of a certain style of behavior. This transformation is possible for the inclusion of semantic dominant elements which determine the value-semantic context of cultural experience by a person.

The theoretical value of the contextual model:

  • reflects the organization of the educational space which includes the context;

  • defines the types of activities which are characterized each stage of contextual approach

  • differs systematic and compositional sequence of the stages of the communicative culture development; it allows to carry out activities for the formation of communicative culture;

  • determines the level of mastery of students by the communicative culture at each stage of studying professional disciplines;

  • consists of contexts which complicate the content of the material at each stage;

  • promotes the formation and accumulation of communicative experience of student activity in the professional environment.

Students’ training requires the purposeful formation of humanitarian and culturological components according to the modern educational paradigm because the presence of high culture is external quality and the most important essential feature of the professional. Formation and development of the communicative competence of a specialist is a system. It has its own structure, and it enters a higher order system in professional life, in the diversity of socio-cultural phenomena, in the interactions and clashes of interests and goals of various communicants, such as enterprises and factories.

The purposeful, substantiated, substantiated activity of a person and his individual worldview is formed in the professional life of the workers in the sphere of business relations and engineering. It consists of reflection and analysis of the current state of the communicative culture of students, the formation of value communicative components, and design of the content and procedural components of the communicative formation.

Findings

In the modern context of economic growth, it is necessary to reach a new level of institutional development – network institutions of decision-making. For our region, it means the usage of new concepts “trans-region context, atmosphere, environment”, intangible factors of cross-border culture, traditions, values in the given region. What was considered on default everywhere the same and what could be ignored in the era of new economics, becomes the source of highly qualified advantage? Social, political, economic changes require context approaches to the semantic designing component of the training process.. It should be based on the interrelation and integration of school subjects considering the effective using of innovative teaching and training technologies according to the culture-logical orientation of educational activity (Table 1 ).

Table 1 -
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It is necessary to systematically apply the context at the solution of pedagogical tasks. It is an indicator of transition to a new level of the educational process realization (Belyakova, 2009).

The analysis of quality results of students’ English practical mastering shows that some circumstances prevent and significantly reduce the effectiveness of the tasks assigned to the discipline “Foreign Language” at the educational organization process of technical universities. It includes the shortage of time for foreign language learning and specifically professionally-oriented topics, general overload of the curriculum and the use of didactic methods and tools which are not always adequate to the specific learning conditions and goals of the didactic professional communication skills developing, the inadequacy of the communicative information support of foreign texts to the new content and functional orientation of the professional activities and communication of future engineers, the underestimation of psychology and pedagogical mechanisms of knowledge and skills by teachers.

Conclusion

The essence of the contextual approach is that images of research objects are created at the level of interpretations. Thus, the subjectivity of the studied object is expressed through subjects of another. The concept of context education contains principles of culture-logical professional orientation. Contextual education ensures individual involvement in common cultural and professional values in order to realize own skills from a narrow scope of teaching situations to a wide scope of human culture in the future profession. Many years of foreign language teaching observation gives an indisputable conclusion, such as::1) students should learn during all university training period; 2) it is necessary to make a tandem of foreign language teachers and teachers of graduating departments; 3) foreign language teachers should use contextual approach at industrial universities. In the context of the snowballing growth of information throughout the world, the knowledge of the language may be the only effective means for ensuring the fixation, storage, processing and access to large amounts of information (Grabe, 1988). The communication refers to the action of one or more people sending and receiving messages. The messages can be deformed by noise, take place in a context, imply certain effects and provide feedback opportunities. Man is fundamentally communicational, and communication is the essential process by which each person is in the relationship with the world. Communication is raised from the simple tool of knowledge to the totality of context because everybody communicates. The contextual approach applied in the formation of communication of students is important. Conceptuality at all stages of education is realized by communicating the subjects of education and applying educational discourse. So, it is possible to train specialists with communicative competent demanded in the future labor market. We would like to recommend to systematically apply conceptuality which is an indicator of a new level transition of educational process and solution of pedagogical problems. At the same time, the contextuality reveals the need for conditionality subject communications. It proactively pushes the specialist to a new understanding of reality due to the structuring of educational material, the emotional-sensual and cultural background which should be present at the lesson.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

23.01.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.01.39

Online ISSN

2357-1330