The Role Of Project Technology In Teaching Russian As A Foreign Language

Abstract

The relevance of this research is caused by the need of introduction in educational process of the higher school of innovative pedagogical technologies as most important forms of modern education. The aim of our research is to reveal the didactic features of the project technology (a method of projects) as an effective method of teaching Russian as a foreign language and its inclusion in all the main aspects of the course within the framework of the communicative, personality-oriented and competence-based approaches. This article is directed to identification of scientific and methodical potential of a method of projects, that is disclosure of various ways and opportunities of its use for increase in a certain level of communicative competence of specific conditions of training in foreign audience. The main method in a research was the method of observation and synthesis of the pedagogical experience which allowed determining the key characteristics of the project technology. For example, we are taking into account the individual cognitive and creative abilities of students, activation of the acquired knowledge, increasing motivation for learning, interdisciplinary connections. Formation of the communicative, professional and common cultural competences contributing to the development of the language personality of the student. During the research, the didactic potential of the projects’ method was determined, his features are revealed, and various ways and possibilities of his realization in practice in training in Russian as foreign language are revealed on the main and advanced grade levels.

Keywords: Russian as a foreign languageinnovative methodstechnologiesproject technology

Introduction

The modern stage of development of higher education is characterized by the large-scale introduction of innovative pedagogical technologies aimed primarily at improving the quality of the learning process. To our mind this is connected with increase in requirements to training of highly qualified specialists in the universities capable to professional activity not only in the territory of Russia, but also abroad. Search and application of new approaches in training not only the Russian students, but also foreign pupils, becomes more and more important and necessary now. In teaching Russian as a foreign language is also important to use the latest educational technologies and techniques to make the learning process not only developing, but also more effective and informative. It becomes especially important within realization of the communicative, personally focused and competence-based approaches in training in Russian as foreign.

Problem Statement

On the one hand, perspective use of those pedagogical technologies and techniques has practical focus. They are focused on the improving level of communicative competence. It’s necessary for intercultural communication in order to form skills, interact in a team, find the necessary information and create a unique product for a limited period of time. On the other hand – they are aimed at self-education and development of language, creative potential of the foreign pupil, proceeding from his individual requirements.

In our opinion, one of such innovative pedagogical technologies is the design technology reflecting modern orientation in the higher education – orientation to research, search model of training.

Research Questions

The research sets to identify scientific and methodical potential of a method of projects that is disclosure of various ways and opportunities of its use for increase in a certain level of communicative competence of specific conditions of training in foreign audience.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of our research is to reveal the didactic features of the project technology as an effective method of teaching Russian as a foreign language and its inclusion in all the main aspects of the course within the framework of communicative, personality-oriented and competence-based approaches.

Research Methods

During the research the following methods and techniques of a research were used: the analysis of scientific, scientific and methodical and educational literature on the studied subject, scientific observation and synthesis of pedagogical experience, testing, questioning, sociological poll, skilled training, and a pedagogical research.

Findings

At the present stage, the method of projects, which arose on the basis of the ideas of free education of the individual, gradually becomes an integrated, independent and integral part of the educational process. One of the important tasks of this pedagogical technology – is to stimulate students ' interest in cognitive activity by solving problems aimed at the development not only critical thinking (‘reflex’, in the terminology of Dewey, 2000) but also analytical thinking. Critical thinking involves the search for certain facts, events, situations for analysis and subsequent formulation of reasoned conclusions, the ability to give an objective reasonable assessment or interpretation. The analytical thinking is aimed at the ability to distinguish in the object under study significant details that are invisible at a superficial glance. Having found its hidden cause-and-effect connections to show practical intelligence (application of the gained knowledge); to reason logically, to investigate facts, events, and situations by means of transformation on more private components. The prerequisites the situation on the principle of causality tracking step-by-step.

As the modern innovative pedagogical technology which is actively applied in educational activity, a method of projects is investigated rather in detail. In pedagogical and methodical literature classifications of projects are widely presented (Polat, 2007, 2010; Koryakovtseva, 2000; Rappoport, 1991; Pakhomova, 2000; Sergeyev, 2005). In the research we relied on classification Polat (2005) because it most fully reflects all main features of design activity.

At first, the organization of work on the project can be different in the number of participants: individual, paired, small and large groups. Secondly, this is the dominating type of activity: research (for example, "Active use of Anglicism’s in Russian", "Features of the modern youth speech on the Internet", etc.) search engines (for example, "the Meaning of my name"), creative (essay on a given topic), game/role-playing (for example, playing dialogues, situations), practice-oriented (for example, "Christmas Celebration in Russia and France", information (for example, "Features of the use Emoji in Russian and Chinese writing", "Famous Russian writers", etc.), creative (e.g., creating info graphics on a given grammatical/ lexical subject), publishing (e.g., newspaper, writing small articles for the school newspaper about the peculiarities of celebrating the New year in China) and other projects. Third, there are in a substantive area: within the same subject area (monotremata) or two, three subjects (inter-subject). Fourth, there is the duration of the project: within one class, month, semester, one year, etc.

For the organization of more effective work on the project it is necessary to adhere to the following stages: design (planning), information search (material), designing, the final product and the presentation that will allow to execute any project most successfully.

Using the method of project helps not only to reveal the creative and cognitive potential of foreign students, but also to increase motivation in the study of the Russian language, which is especially important at the stage of training in bachelor's or master's degree, as in this period there is a slight decrease in interest in the Russian language as a whole. As a rule, in senior courses Russian language is given two hours a week, which is very little for a more in-depth study. Therefore, using the method of projects as independent for the student and the work controlled from the teacher, becomes the integral and important part of educational process at the main and advanced grade levels as combines in itself two major educational functions – training and controlling. As a rule, work on the project is always search of new information its analysis and structuring. The necessary control on the teacher’s part allows us to assess the acquired in the process of working on the project knowledge of language and speech means, as well as the level of formation of communicative competence of foreign students.

By means of project technology it becomes possible to introduce a research component in the educational process, which involves active independent work of the student. In this case, the role of the teacher is somewhat shifted towards the coordinating process. In this case, the teacher working on the method of projects must have a certain set of competencies – to have organizational skills, to be creatively developed, unconventional thinking and creative person.

Pupils participate in the most various projects depending on level of proficiency in Russian and the chosen specialty foreign. At the initial stage of training, information projects should be introduced, involving the implementation of easier problem tasks and allowing them to be further integrated into more complex research projects.

The work on an information project involves the collection, description or analysis of information about a known phenomenon. As a rule, such project has already at the planning stage a result indicated by the teacher, to achieve which it is necessary to adhere a clear structure of implementation: purpose, relevance, sources of information, analysis, generalization, comparison with facts, conclusions. The final form of the project is presented in the form of a presentation in the Russian language class, which assesses the result of all work, that is, the degree of formation of communicative and other competencies. Examples of the information projects which are actively applied in foreign audience at the main grade level are such projects as "Hometown sights", "Features of the ethnic cuisine", "Business etiquette in the different countries of the world", "Names, surnames, middle names in different languages of the world", "Linguistic geography. How many languages in the world?’.

Another example that illustrates the use of project technology in the process of learning activities at an advanced stage is participation in a student scientific conference. This is primarily a research project that can be carried out individually or jointly with foreign or Russian students.

This project is distinguished by its own range of didactic features, aimed at obtaining in the first place a certain research result subjected to theoretical or experimental verification. The main goal is the formation and development of research skills. The research project should be clearly structured and much or many relevant to the scientific work, which presents the relevance, purpose and an objective, formulated a hypothesis, and describes the research methods and sources of information, results, discussion questions and conclusion. We give examples of research projects: "Comparative analysis of Russian and Arabic phonetic systems", "Chinese words in the Russian language", "Terminology of my future specialty", "German borrowings in the Russian language", "Nickname is as a special kind of modern anthroponomy", "Artificial languages", "Features of the business Russian language" "image of the teacher in the world literature", etc.

During the preparation and implementation of the project, students are offered the opportunity to choose the topic, material. Next to design the content of the future report (article) and presentation. The role of the teacher is only to help in the face of current difficulties. The participation in the conference allows foreign students to speak to a large number of attendees, which contributes to the development of a certain level of communicative competence. Such performances develop speech-making activities, contribute to the ability to communicate with the audience, form the skills of intercultural communication.

It should be noted that the method of projects has long history of development and application in world student teaching. Having originated in the XVI century in Italy within the walls of architectural and construction schools as a way of individualization and activation of independent creative activity of students, the method of projects subsequently spread widely in Europe and North America, starting to be used in other educational fields (Wilkinson, 1977; Knoll, 1992). However theoretical justification and practical application of this method was for the first time developed in the 20th of the 20th century works of the American scientists Dewey (2000) and Kilpatrick (1925, 1927). The main idea consisted in application in the course of training of the expedient activity which is combined with a private interest of the pupil in this or that subject of the knowledge. Scientists note that "it is extremely important to show students personal interest in the acquired knowledge that can be useful to them in life. The problem was taken from real life familiar and significant for the pupil for which solution he needs to put the gained knowledge, new knowledge should be gained it is for purpose necessary" (Kilpatrick, 1925, p. 43).

The ideas of the project’s method attracted domestic teachers. At the beginning of the XX century this method was widely used in the teaching of many General subjects. At the present stage the project’s method is being actively developed by academic teachers (Polat, 2010; Moskovkin, 2002, 2017; Shamonina, 2014).

The term "method of projects" was first used in 1908-1910 in the accounting documents of the Massachusetts school administration, after which it was officially approved by the American educational institutions. Having appeared in the framework of the idea of free education of the personality, the term has changed over time. These changes are related to its definition and language design.

Currently, several interpretations of the term ‘project method’ are known in the scientific and reference literature on pedagogy. Some researchers understand as technology of training (Polat, 2005), others a training method (Schukin, 2003; Azimov, 2009) or a way of the organization of independent activity of the pupil, etc. "It is a set of methods, allowing to realize in their certain sequence this method in practice" (Polat, 2005, p. 78). Strelchuk (2013) notes that this is the set of certain techniques that develops the skills and abilities of self-planned work in a foreign language; it is based on a personal activity approach to learning. We add that the techniques used in the framework of the project technology are aimed at the development of cognitive and creative abilities of students, to acquire new knowledge in the process of implementing the project by solving problems that require the integration of knowledge from various fields of science, technology, technology, creative sphere, etc.

The issue of determining the essence of the project method is debatable. The analysis of scientific and methodical literature shows that the method of projects is considered either as an independent method or as an independent pedagogical technology focused on the inclusion of a number of other creative methods.

In our opinion, at the present stage, the method of projects as a didactic concept should be considered not as an independent method (narrow understanding), but as an innovative pedagogical technology, which includes many other methods (broad understanding).

Conclusion

In conclusion, we note that the project activity doesn’t replace the traditional classroom activities, but in our opinion it is necessary. In our opinion, this is an addition to the main educational course in Russian as a foreign language at the main and advanced stages of training. Because, it allows to continue his training at a more in-depth level in a foreign audience, despite the small number of classroom hours, and thus maintain interest in the Russian language as a whole.

The use of project technology in the practice of teaching Russian as a foreign language creates a unique platform for personal growth and self-development. It allows increasing the level of communicative qualities of speech, focuses on the development of cognitive and creative potential of foreign students. It helps to increase motivation in teaching Russian as a foreign language forms professional and common cultural competence within realization of the communicative, personally focused and competence-based approaches.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

23.01.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.01.6

Online ISSN

2357-1330