Integrative Strategies Of Linguistic And Methodological Aspects Harmonization In Bachelor’s Teacher Training
The authors consider an integrative approach to training a foreign language teacher as a qualitative basis for a would-be specialist success. Language university graduate’s readiness for professional activity is determined by their knowledge of a foreign language and ability to transfer this knowledge to school children as well ability to handle methodological terminology (in Russian and in a foreign language), taking part in conversations and discussions with colleagues or making reports in Russia or abroad. Currently, the integrative approach, its content, principles, and methods are actively promoted by scholars. This article attempts to present strategies for harmonious combination of linguistic subjects content in French and foreign language training methodology. Speech practice, practical grammar, practical phonetics, lexical and grammatical workshop, as well as theoretical grammar and theoretical phonetics make up the language component in integrative learning. Each university course of study in these subjects corresponds to certain goals and objectives that create basis for teaching foreign language communication. All this gets students ready for foreign language training methodology course, planned from the 3rd year. Thus, linguistic and methodological components harmoniously complement and enrich each other. In the 1st and 2nd years of study, students are introduced to methodological thesaurus and important aspects that form teaching activity basis. Students also try creating their own exercises and creative tasks. The methodology course theoretically precisely defines FLT methods, ways and techniques, effectiveness of which students check during practical classes and teaching practice.
Keywords: Bachelor's traininglinguistic / methodological trainingharmonization
Competency building or outcome-based approach, which is firmly established in education field in general, and in higher education in particular, indicates the main goal of comprehensive training of future professionals. A language school graduate should possess such qualities as "tolerance, empathy, sociocultural observation and sociocultural tact, ambiguity tolerance, awareness, independence, purposefulness" (Tareva, 2018, p. 79). These qualities also form basis of a would-be foreign language teacher who is able and ready for a conscious methodological approach to teaching, based on creative independence stand and understanding of goals and tasks they will face at their work. Inextricable harmonious relationship between a high level of foreign language proficiency and methodological training determines FLT graduates’ success.
Clearly formulated request of modern society in general and each educational organization in particular sets a specific task for higher education methodological community: to prepare an FL teacher that meets the required criteria. This problem statement focuses our attention on social values of undergraduate’s personality, fixes individualization of their educational route as basis of harmonious personal and professional development. A distinctive feature of recent years has been a significant increase in first-year students who do not demonstrate a sufficient level of French language proficiency or learn French "from scratch". This state of affairs required a serious revision and adaptation of steering documents to achieve the final outcome – training a qualified French teacher who meets all requirements of modern society. Mobilization of existing approaches, cooperation of various forms, means and formats of training, accumulation of intersubject connections, in combination with "interpenetrability of methods and techniques, continuity of all stages, levels of education and stages of training" (Alikina, 2017, p. 273) become the starting point for solving this task.
This study aims to address the following issues:
defining strategies for subject-language integration in professional training of a French school teacher,
identification of possible shared areas in disciplines that provide professional proficiency in foreign language communication and methodological skills,
development of conditions for integrative interpenetration of language subjects and FLT methodology implementation.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research is to make an attempt to present a strategic model of would-be French teachers professional training, which harmoniously combines linguistic and methodological components. This model includes practical and theoretical subjects of French language teaching and the course of FLT methodology.
The study of problems related to subject-language integration introduction in undergraduate students’ teaching activity in the framework of French language teaching syllabus is based on theoretical methods application: analysis of psychological and pedagogical literature in University students linguistic and methodological competences formation, deductive method of psycho-educational theory application to substantiate didactic technology characteristics, modeling teaching techniques and systematic analysis of their characteristics in learning process in order to initiate further improvement; as well as empirical methods: experimental learning during 2015 – 2020 training.
Let's turn to the description and analysis of integrative strategies implementation in the framework of training program "FLT (French)" at Moscow City University, Foreign Languages Institute at each of the educational stages in the context of major subjects.
All the above aspects are mastered by students through the prism of their future profession, with maximum emphasis on getting general methodological and linguodidactic knowledge and skills. Let's take a closer look at how they are integrated into real educational process.
According to the updated curriculum, the first month of undergraduate study is given to introductory (language) practice, which, in essence, is an intensive immersion in a foreign language, where half of the allocated classroom hours are distributed for practical phonetics. At this stage, students are introduced to important aspects from a professional point of view, which are basis of pedagogical activities associated with active oral speech practice. Among them are the following:
1. Voice hygiene as a complex series of measures aimed at maintaining high efficiency of the vocal apparatus. Voice conservation, rational and competent use of speech organs resources, preservation and strengthening of their physiological qualities in conditions of constant work.
2. Breath setting as a basic component of speech technique, which allows to preserve vocal cords health and distribute load as evenly as possible during speech production.
3. Diction practice as the main tool for high-quality speech reproduction. Training of voice endurance, sound power, flight, melody and euphony, and determining a comfortable pitch are considered as professionally important skills.
It should be noted that normative French language phonetic structure is based on a clear, energetic and tense utterance of sounds and speech flow unity, which allows to consider an exercises system that includes a series of tasks for chest resonance development, respiratory and articulatory gymnastics, training by tongue twisters, counting, rhyming and songs as a universal tool for development of both professional speech qualities and mastering pronouncing side of the French language.
Each lesson in Practical phonetics begins with a specially designed set of articulation exercises, which are based on all vowel sounds qualitative characteristics: anterior and posterior, degree of openness / closeness, roundness / non-roundness and orality / nasality. The complex implementation is accompanied by recommendations, comments and methodological guidelines that are explanatory in nature and are aimed at forming mental-mediated relationships. Such connections allow students to learn for themselves and at the same time get the necessary knowledge about what organs of the speech apparatus are involved in the production process, what physical parameters a sound has, what order of actions must be followed to achieve a clean and energetic sound.
Direct work on sounds production is carried out in a certain sequence. Students receive reasoned explanations according to which principle it is necessary to set sounds pronunciation, in which oppositions they need to work out, what training exercises to perform. Teaching practical phonetics is carried out by combining a number of French methods, including a series of textbooks by the following authors:
– Abry D., Chalaron M-L. "Phonétique 350", "Phonétique 500 niveau A1/A2", "Phonétique 500 niveau B1/B2", Hachette publishing house;
– Charliac L., Motron A.-C. "Phonétique progressive du français (niveau débutant)," Phonétique progressive du français (niveau avancé)", publisher " Clé international";
– Kanneman-Pougatch M., Pédoya-Guimbretière E. "Plaisir du son", Hatier/Didier publishing house;
–Kamoun Ch., Ripaud D. Phonétique essentielle du français (A1/A2), Phonétique essentielle du français (B1/B2), Didier publishing house.
Despite the impressive list of French publications, an integral support in the learning process is done by Russian methods by Rapanovich (2014) "Phonetics of the French language" and Olevskaya (2013) «Cours pratique de la phonétique française».
This state of affairs is due to the need for a more in-depth and thorough study of phenomena than they are presented in French publications that are not focused on professional language acquisition. All of the above textbooks offer their own methodological vision of material presentation, reflected in the cycle of exercises repeated in each of the textbook chapters.
The teacher explains to students the logic of a chapter's structure and its division into sections. For example: Identité, Couleurs sonores, Sensibilisation et discrimination, Mots-outils – mots utiles, Intonation et articulation, Entrainement articulatoire, Jeux poétique – jeux phonétique. In parallel, new phonetic terms and methodological guidelines for performing exercises are being memorized. For example: Ecoutez, Entourez les mots que vous avez entendu, Cochez la phrase entendue, Répétez, Reprenez la réponse, Insistez en reprenant l'adjectif et en détachant les syllabes, Gardez le même timbre, Faites passez le "n" dans la syllabe suivante, Imitez l'intonation de la phrase entendue, etc.
An important skill for a future teacher is phonetic transcription mastering, which transmits a "sound picture" by means of special signs. Correct pronunciation of letter expressions and the alphabet, as well as their corresponding sound units, a clear distinction between phonemes and graphics are the basic points when working on foreign-language pronunciation.
Fixing and automating production of studied phonemes is carried out by memorizing proverbs and sayings, dialogues and poetic works that create associative connections among students: a sound is an authentic product. This aspect of learning is of great importance, since "culture has always been an essential component of teaching a foreign language as a conductor of culture, as its recorder and means of transmission from one generation to another" (Tareva, 2019, p. 83). Particular attention is paid to poems selection, which is done not only on the phonemic principle, but also in accordance with the artistic value, popularity and love of French readers. According to Guimbretiere, "Poème donne le pouvoir de jouer avec les sonorités est une ressource pédagogique inestimable" (Guimbretière, 2013, p. 83). All these works expand socio-cultural horizons and form creative "hoard" of would-be French language teachers.
The main textbook during the introductory practice is the one by L. L. Potushansky, N. I. Kolesnikova, G. M. Kotova "The Beginner's course of the French language", where 7 lessons of the introductory course provide initial information about lexical and grammatical structure of the French language. After practice, students start working with J. Girardet, J. Pêcheur "ÉCHO", each of the levels corresponds to a study year.
The main topics at this stage are:
1. Nouns and Adjectives gender and number. Nouns denoting objects of everyday life and close environment (family members, friends, acquaintances, etc.). Use of the article and cases of its omission. Demonstrative and possessive forms are a necessary component of this section.
2. Verb system. Conjugation of Verbs. Present, past and future tense of indicative mood, peculiarities of their use to represent events. Imperative mood for prompting the interlocutor to act. Auxiliary verbs avoir and être in people and objects description or representation. Irregular verbs of the 3rd group, often used in colloquial speech.
3. Pronoun. Independent and personal pronouns that replace nouns to avoid repetition, as a necessary feature of real communication.
4. Building an affirmative and interrogative sentence in affirmative and negative forms. Ways to formulate a question depending on speech style. Making up a dialogue on everyday life topics.
All designated sections and terms are presented to students in French: nom, adjectif, verbe, verbe auxiliaire, indicatif, impératif, pronom, pronom personnel conjoint, pronom personnel tonique, phrase interrogative, forme affirmative, forme négative. The introduction of terms is necessary at the initial stage of training because, on the one hand, "the term performs the heuristic function of opening new knowledge. On the other hand, the term serves as a semantic support for extracting and interpreting information in the process of intercultural professional communication" (Makeeva, 2016, p. 354).
While mastering lexical material, students' attention is focused on lexical semantics as an important link in development of new language material and role of visibility at the initial stage of learning the French language. The student is shown various ways of instructions by means of showing objects. By a problem statement it is determined what the choice of a particular way of representing a language unit may depend on.
Drilling exercises can be demonstrated not only by textbook examples, but also by systematically conducting at the beginning of the lesson a "warm up" for the following purposes: Verb forms repetition (singular and plural, present tense) (j'écoute – nous écouterons, tu grandis – vous grandissez, il a – ils ont, etc.), different tenses (je parle – je parlerai, tu finis – tu finiras, il est – sera, etc.), formation of related Noun-Verb form (écouter – une écoute, attendre – une attente, répondre-une réponse, etc.). This approach contributes not only to lexical and grammatical skills development, but also shapes students' idea of possible work techniques in class.
Conducting language games such as "snowball", "charades" and others in the classroom also contributes to students' methodological knowledge development. At this stage, would-be teachers are introduced to websites that help them master the French language and expand their own methodological horizons in the field of authentic educational materials: https://www.francaisfacile.com, https://www.francaisauthentique.com, https://apprendre.tv5monde.com etc.
The series of training exercises are based on systematic development of positive and negative emotions entire spectrum "de la tristesse au charme en passant par l'ironie" (Detey et al., 2017, p. 233), motivational and interrogative constructions, completed and unfinished phrases that convey various semantic nuances, the purpose of which is "to teach student to use phonetic expressive means meaningfully as professional tools" (Tverdokhlebova, 2019, p. 135). «
One of course aspects is phonetic styles study, which are also considered through the prism of future profession, supported by viewing and analyzing various types of audio and video materials, memorizing phonostilistically marked authentic works. As the French researcher Jérémi Sauvage notes:
The final stage in practical phonetics course is students’ project work on the topic "Phonetic portrait of a French language teacher", which allows students to outline all necessary parameters of speech behavior, consolidate their vision of teacher’s sound image, identify and highlight individual tasks for professional development in speech behavior context. This strategy of teaching Practical phonetics allows to solve the problem that is acute in foreign universities when preparing teachers of French as a foreign language: "Le principal problème, qui a perduré pendant des années, est que si les formations de formateurs ne proposent pas de formation en phonétique du français, l'enseignant ne peut que se former seul" (Sauvage, 2019).
Emphasizing the methodological principle content that determines the dominant role of an exercise in FLT, students are invited to determine exercises types used in the textbooks, and conduct a comparative analysis of exercises systems. The books include ones by Alexandrovskaya, Loseva, and Chitakhova (2007) "Le français.ru A2" and the foreign ones by J. Girardet, J. Pécheur « Echo A2. Méthode de français", which are used at this stage of training in order to determine sequence in skills formation in the French language acquisition.
The videocourse, as part of the French language practical course, focuses students on Internet video materials use in mastering a foreign language. In particular, video offers the following techniques: questions, interview, dialogue, presentation, tour, description, comment, retelling, piecing out a description, report (Berdichevsky et al., 2019). In this subject, students are shown various types of work with Internet resources and are invited to prepare their own lessons fragments in accordance with tasks that they put forward.
In this regard, we emphasize further formation of phonetic thesaurus, as the core basis not only for linguistic, but also for methodological training of would-be teachers, based on the fact that
A certain innovation in the course of theoretical phonetics is reference point change of scientific works discussed at seminars from purely linguistic problems to linguodidactic ones, in which phonetic phenomena are considered through the prism of their inclusion in speech and mechanisms search for mastering them, meaning that "
The methodology course focuses most of the classroom hours on practical classes, which makes it possible to study the theory in close interaction with real educational material. A foreign languages specialist needs to understand grammatical phenomena essence, to know all nuances of their use in speech. At the same time, it is important to be aware of communicative orientation of FL mastering, which determines communicative situation role. Consideration of "communicative situation" concept in the classroom is reflected in development of lesson fragments by students, based on contextuality principle. This principle is the main one in speech activity skills formation, and in teaching of French grammar at the present stage (Dudushkina, 2019).
The FL methodology syllabus provides basis for construction of teaching foreign languages process in various foreign scientific schools. Discussion of advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to mastering a foreign language is the subject of round table talks and discussion clubs organized by students themselves during practical classes. Future specialists should be familiar with this information to ensure their successful professional communication.
Participation in "I am a professional" Olympiad (held annually at MCU Foreign Languages Institute), tasks of which reveal the level of proficiency in French and methodological training, underlines inseparability of these competencies, which form teacher's profession basis.
Students improve their professional skills during teaching practice in fall and spring, which is a total of six weeks, based on the fact that
The exams in speech practice and FLT methodology are aimed at determining student's proficiency level in professional competencies both in the French language and teaching methods. At the exam in speech practice, students present a prepared fragment of French language lesson, grounding methods, forms and techniques used for conducting educational activities in the proposed segment of the educational process. The second task is a conversation on one of school life problems, namely, teacher’s authority – how to acquire it; importance of student's understanding of a task given by the teacher; pros and cons of computer technology.
The final state certification exam at the end of Bachelor's degree study is also based on the integration of professional and methodological competencies and level of foreign language communication skills, which graduates must demonstrate by solving "a series of problem-solving tasks during the course of:
a) presentation of a model foreign language lesson;
b) making a reasoned didactic decision about selection and application of authentic foreign language document (multi-modal poly-code texts) for teaching schoolchildren a foreign (French) language;
с) solving a mini-case of work-related problems with participation in professional communication with a foreign colleague" (Mikhailova & Tareva, 2019, p. 28).
The relevance of solving professional linguodidactics problems at this stage of education development is undeniable. Teaching a foreign language for special purposes, in other words, training a specialist with knowledge of a foreign language, is one of the main guidelines of higher education, where subject-language integration issues become spotlight of scholarly attention. Universities that train foreign language teachers do not remain uninvolved. The need to develop strategies that allow in practice to harmoniously combine training in specialized subjects is obvious. The ability of language teachers to include terminology and tasks that provide methodological training of students should be presented in all subjects aimed at learning a foreign language. Thus, by the moment a set of methodological courses begins, students will have acquired certain knowledge of interaction with educational material in a professional direction. It is important for educational supervisors to work with material in a foreign language both in lectures and in practical classes, forming methodology knowledge based on specific examples. A certain sequence of actions, jointly determined by teachers of subject and language areas, will effectively solve the problem of training a modern foreign language teacher.
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20 November 2020
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Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, bilingualism, multilingualism
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Dudushkina, S. V., & Golovchanskaya, I. I. (2020). Integrative Strategies Of Linguistic And Methodological Aspects Harmonization In Bachelor’s Teacher Training. In Е. Tareva, & T. N. Bokova (Eds.), Dialogue of Cultures - Culture of Dialogue: from Conflicting to Understanding, vol 95. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 249-259). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.03.27