Modern Trends Of Foreign Language Education

Abstract

Global integration processes, constantly expanding international relations in many sectors of production and economy make foreign languages personally significant direction of education. Awareness of the need for students to know and master at least one foreign language, its invaluable role in the labor market contributes to the motivation to study it. Not only teaching foreign languages, but foreign language education is a priority direction of modernization of education in the country. Foreign language education is a controlled process of assimilation of systematized knowledge and skills that allow speech activity in a foreign language, taking into account the socio-cultural context of the country of the studied language. Taking into account modern trends in the organization and development of foreign language education will allow achieving high personal and meta-subject results of education by means of the studied foreign language. At the same time, a highly professional knowledge of at least one foreign language will become an achievable goal of a person of any age category, since the modern world is a multilingual and multicultural world, a world of open borders for intercultural and interethnic communication of representatives of different cultures.

Keywords: Trendlanguageeducationculture

Introduction

In the context of the development of a digital multicultural society, the role of languages is increasing. This is reasoned by the expansion of international economic, trade and industrial relations, the mobility of the population, the organization of cooperation between higher education institutions and cultural institutions. Accordingly, the need for specialists with knowledge of a foreign language is increasing.

Problem Statement

In the modern world educational space, the main goal is the formation of intercultural competence and the creation of conditions for the development of multilingualism, which will make it possible to ensure effective communication in the languages of international communication. Global integration processes, constantly expanding international relations in many sectors of production and economy make foreign languages personally significant direction of education. Awareness of the need for students to know and master at least one foreign language, recognition of its invaluable role in the labor market contributes to the motivation to study it. Thus, teaching foreign languages is a priority direction of modernization of education in the country taking into account modern trends of language education (Burlakova, 2006).

Broad intercultural contacts, both direct and mediated by various modern information and communication technologies, determine the emergence of some modern trends in language education, affect the language policy of States. That is why the consideration of the issue of modern trends in language education is particularly relevant in modern reality. (Galskova & Gez, 2006, p. 53)

Research Questions

The questions necessary for consideration by the author's team in the process of research work are connected with the analysis of modern problems of teaching foreign languages, increasing motivation to study not only foreign languages, but also socio-cultural aspects of the country of the studied language in order to form communicative competence in the intercultural context.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to solve the problem of optimizing the process foreign language education.

Research Methods

Research methods are the content analysis of scientific-methodical literature on the problem of organization of foreign language education, the classification of functions and types of pedagogical activity; included observation of teachers; interviewed; organization of discussion platforms and round tables with professors of Moscow and Moscow region. The analysis of the various analysis of different approaches and methods to the organization of foreign language education and synthesis of the most suitable according to scientists and practitioners in order to optimize foreign language education studies taking into account the realities of modern life in our country and abroad.

Findings

In national methodical science the term "language education" is often used. According to Kozyrev  (2012) language education should be understood as a process and result of cognitive activity aimed at mastering language and speech, self-development and formation of personality. The concept of language education includes the following components:

  • The possession of a set of knowledge about the language as a necessary condition for full and effective speech activity.

  • The ability to perceive texts and build their own speech works in oral and written form.

  • The ability to operate with the acquired and processed texts of different styles and genres.

  • The possession of norms of speech culture and speech etiquette as a necessary component of professional culture.

  • The ability to adapt to the changing conditions of the language environment, on the one hand, and actively influence this environment-on the other (Kozyrev, 2012).

However, we cannot ignore speaking about foreign languages and the term "foreign language education", which was introduced into scientific circulation in the late 90-ies of XX century Passov. Passov (2000) considers a foreign language not as an "educational subject", but as an "educational discipline", believing that in foreign language education four aspects are organically combined: cognitive (knowledge of foreign culture and language as its component), developmental (development of various abilities and speech-making mechanisms), educational (education of moral qualities of the person) and educational (mastering the skills to speak, read, write, listen in a foreign language) (Passov, 2000).

The analysis of pedagogical literature shows that the concept of "foreign language education" has become generally accepted in the professional community of foreign language teachers and is considered in the following aspects: 1) as a holistic pedagogical process; 2) as a value; 3) as an activity; 4) as a result (Vetchinova, 2009).

In other words, language education is a broader concept than foreign language education, because it includes not only the possession of a foreign language, but also the native language at a highly professional level.

Foreign language education is a controlled process of assimilation of systematized knowledge and skills that allow speech activity in the studied foreign language.

Today, in the conditions of intercultural interaction, the concept of “lifelong learning” has been developed in the educational process, that is, a constant, continuous, independent search for new relevant knowledge, which is motivated by both professional and personal reasons. "Lifelong learning” is not limited only by age limits, so foreign language education is in demand among people of all age categories. Students of different ages and with different target settings "force" developers of educational services to use innovative technologies in teaching foreign languages.

General characteristics of the current state of foreign language education

Foreign language education at the present stage is a multidimensional phenomenon. Gershunsky (1998), Galskova and Gez (2006) propose to consider foreign language education as a value, process, result and system.

Foreign language education acts as a tool for successful professional activity of a young specialist in a multicultural and multilingual community of people. Foreign language education is also an important means of forming the consciousness of the individual, its ability to be socially mobile and to function freely in the open information space.

According to Galskova and Gez (2006) foreign language education as a process is aimed at introducing students to a new means of communication for them, at their knowledge of someone else's cultural code and understanding of their own culture through the prism of the culture of the country of the studied language, instilling in students a willingness to dialogue and tolerance towards other languages and cultures. According to the anthropocentric principle, students become subjects of educational activities and subjects of intercultural communication at the same time, which suggests that this principle becomes the main component of the system of foreign language education. Modern foreign language education as a process involves the development of the student's personality as a whole, his intellectual and emotional-volitional abilities and personal qualities, which are primarily manifested in the language. All the above mentioned aspects lead to the conclusion that the modern specificity of foreign language education is aimed at the increase of the status of a student in the educational process and in real communication, motivation to learn languages and cultures, awareness of their own personal responsibility for the results of this process.

The result of mastering a foreign language is the formation of students' communicative competence, which is defined as the ability to understand and generate foreign language statements in a variety of communication situations, taking into account the socio-cultural context of the country of the studied language.

The development of foreign language education in the modern world is characterized by several trends, including:

The linguistic situation of modern Russia is determined by the socio-demographic composition, which is characterized by polyethnicity. In a multiethnic society, the main task is to create a fair language policy and one of the main directions of the existing language policy of our state is to teach at least one foreign language (Zhangazy, 2008).

The system of foreign language education, being an important component of the whole system of school education and defines two main trends:

  • The democratization, which is expressed in the unity of the Federal, regional and school components of the content of foreign language education and the variability of education in a foreign language, expressed in the freedom of choice of means and ways to achieve the goal of foreign language education;

  • The humanization, which involves the rejection of the authoritarian system of teaching a foreign language, centering the educational process on the personality of the student, his life experience and interests (Dzyubenko, 2011).

The main function of foreign language education is a personal-forming function, that is, systematic training and education aimed at mastering:

  • non-native language as a means of intercultural communication;

  • a non-native language as a tool for successfully navigating the modern multicultural and multilingual world;

  • value orientations and norms of verbal and nonverbal behavior, due to the specifics of socio-cultural, political and socio-economic stages of development of the native country, the country of the studied language and world civilization (Savenko, 2014).

The need for knowledge of a foreign language is not to be underestimated, because the life of modern man, does not speak a foreign language, is destitute, as most means of modern intercultural communication is aimed at people who know a foreign language. A young person, faced with English on the Internet, in the process of communication in social networks, faces a situation of lack of choice, underestimating the increasing impact of information technology on everyday life and professional sphere, where knowledge of foreign languages, in particular English, is a necessary component of the trajectory of personal and professional growth. It is from this point of view that the study of foreign languages should be practice-oriented.

As we have already noted above, knowledge of a foreign language today is an indicator of success and education of a person, so we can observe more intensive teaching in most non-linguistic educational institutions in Russia. Students of all areas of training, who speak English at a highly professional level, while building their own professional career in the future

“will be able to attract foreign capital to their companies, enlist the support of investors and conduct more active activities with their foreign partners. Such international cooperation allows bringing Russian business to a qualitatively new level, increasing the overall credibility of Russia in the international market, which will lead to an improvement in the economic situation” (Zhangazy, 2008, para. 8).

The next trend of foreign language education is the desire of many people to learn not only English as a foreign language, but at least one or two foreign languages. Such popular combinations are English, Spanish, French, German and Chinese. This situation can be explained by the expansion of international and intercultural contacts and the possibility of interpersonal communication with native speakers of the studied languages via the Internet in real time or by exchanging comments and messages on social networks. Often, we see that a good command of a foreign language allows getting a grant to study abroad or work in the country of the studied language.

One of the main trends of foreign language education is the presence of a huge number of ways to learn foreign languages. We are witnessing the emergence of many courses that offer group and individual language training, classes with native speakers, methods of immersion in the language environment, the use of NLP in the process of teaching foreign languages. It is also possible to use many computer programs as a tutorial. Due to the development of multimedia technologies, there are many electronic Tutors of a new type. Simulation of live communication, speech recognition techniques, and interactive exercises are the main features of computer training courses. Ter-Minasova (2008) writes:

Unprecedented demand demanded unprecedented supply. Suddenly, foreign language teachers found themselves in the center of public attention: legions of impatient specialists in various fields of science, culture, business, technology and all other areas of human activity demanded immediate training in foreign languages as a tool of production. They are not interested in either the theory or the history of language-foreign languages, primarily English, are required by them exclusively functionally, for use in different spheres of society as a means of real communication with people from other countries. (p. 37)

The existing methods of teaching foreign languages are designed to meet the need for the development of a foreign language in the conditions of not only elite, but also mass education. But progress and fundamental changes in the methods of teaching and learning foreign languages are associated with innovations in the field of personality and group psychology. The psychological factor in the study of foreign languages today is put forward to the leading position. When teaching foreign languages, a certain balance should be found between traditional and innovative trends. The latter include the so-called holistic approach, based on the holistic work of the brain (Gubanova, 2013). Taking into account the leading channels of perception of information in the process of learning foreign languages, left and right hemisphere aspects of language acquisition, the formation of psychological competence of students in the field of foreign languages related to the fear of error and fear of communication-this is not a complete list of issues relevant for teaching and learning foreign languages.

Teaching a foreign language has become purely applied. The functions of a teacher-mentor or dictator in the educational process have changed to a teacher-observer, mediator and facilitator. The influence of the teacher's personality on the audience, which becomes more intimate, does not decrease, but, on the contrary, increases. Authenticity of communication, balanced demands and claims, mutual benefit, respect for the freedom of students-this is a set of rules for building constructive relationships in the "teacher-student" system. The teacher today is free in the choice of means and methods of training, the organization of occupations.

The most relevant in our opinion is the linguo-sociocultural method, as one of the most serious and comprehensive ways of learning a foreign language, which involves an appeal to the socio-cultural environment of the country of the studied language. The linguo-sociocultural method contains two aspects of communication – linguistic and intercultural. Such a term as bicultural component began to denote a person who is easily oriented in the national characteristics, history, culture, and customs of the country of the studied language. The linguo-sociocultural method combines language structures (phonetics, grammar, vocabulary), speech activity (listening, speaking, reading, writing) with non-linguistic socio-cultural factors.

The most popular and popular in educational institutions of our country is the communicative method, which ranks first among other methods of teaching and learning foreign languages. The basics of this method were developed by the joint efforts of teachers, psychologists, linguists of the world's leading universities. The communicative method is aimed at simultaneous development of basic language skills in the field of oral and written speech, reading and listening in the process of live communication. The communicative method involves the destruction of the psychological barrier between the teacher and the student. The use of numerous game elements in teaching, the use of various forms of classes, participation in discussions on topics of interest to students allows a teacher to make lessons creative and exciting, take into account the individual characteristics of students and even organize training in an inclusive education.

Especially popular today are intensive methods of teaching a foreign language, which allows studying a high degree of stereotyping and the use of clichés by 25 %. Remembering a certain set of "stable expressions", it is possible to explain and understand an interlocutor. The intensive method is aimed at the formation of "expressive speech behavior", giving unlimited opportunities for communication. It is possible to teach to use a foreign language creatively only in the course of active interaction of students in the studied language. Therefore, the ways of learning, aimed primarily at the assimilation of the language system, should be replaced by new, interactive forms of learning that unite the subjects of the educational process and give the learning process a truly active character.

Thus, we can say that the development of methods of teaching foreign languages at the present stage is characterized by creation of conditions for the use of both personal-oriented, activity-based, socio-cultural and communicative approaches to learning, the reform of the content, forms and methods of training and measuring the level of students' achievements in accordance with European recommendations, the creation of interactive educational-methodical complexes, which would allow ensuring the effectiveness of learning all kinds of speech activity at the same time.

Each of the above methods has its own rational grain. Therefore, the point is not in the absolutization of this or that approach, but in the right combination at a particular moment of the educational process. As for the scientific methodology, from its point of view, no approach can be rejected or ignored in favor of another, taken for the truth (Gubanova, 2013).

It should also be noted that each state develops its own language policy. However, one of the main tasks of the language policy of each state is the preservation, first of all, of its own state language and languages of small peoples, the translation of its own culture to the world level.

Conclusion

The modern world is a multilingual and multicultural world, a world of open borders for intercultural and interethnic communication of representatives of different cultures and speakers of different languages. Direct contacts within the framework of business and tourist trips, communication through social networks provide a wide range of opportunities for cultural interaction. Modern mass media are a guide to the multicultural world, which causes a keen interest and motivates a huge number of people of all age groups to learn foreign languages and cultures. That is why modern language policy provides all the opportunities to meet this need. However, it must be reiterated that globalization poses a danger to the preservation of national languages and cultures of small nationalities. The Erasure of borders, large-scale intercultural exchange of cultural values and traditions can destroy the uniqueness of other languages and peoples, which, of course, are considered as negative factors in terms of modern state language policy. It is the preservation of the cultural identity of small nationalities that has brought about changes in the field of modern language policy at the world level.

Knowledge and proficiency in major foreign languages is practice-oriented and in demand at the personal and economic levels. However, the Bologna process emphasizes the need and orientation of foreign language learners not only on the co-study of the language and culture of the people speaking the language, but also on the ability to translate the national characteristics of their own culture by means of the studied language. Thus, the main trend of modern foreign language education is the preservation of its own civilizational foundations and cultural identity.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

31.10.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.10.05.384

Online ISSN

2357-1330