This paper studies the linguo-creative thinking development within the framework of cultures dialogue in the postmodern era. In the context of globalization and global risks that threaten social development, including its educational perspective, the influence of time (the postmodern era) on education and the educational space should be studied and taken into account by pedagogical science. Theoretical findings and educational practice cannot fail to consider the results of modern philosophical and methodological research, especially in terms of understanding the time and conditions of pedagogical activity. Analyzing the methodological aspect of foreign language speech-thinking activity, the authors try to answer the question of how foreign language and culture promote linguo-creative world-view. The following idea is illustrated in the work: a word is a universal scheme for fixing and storing information when it is "linked" to the image-representation. Thus, it can be effectively used as a tool of thinking. A word acting via its meaning is the main fixator of a person's social and personal experience. The work has an interdisciplinary character and is written at the intersection of pedagogy and linguo-didactics.
Keywords: Linguo-creative thinkingpostmodernismdialogue of cultures
The postmodern era in which we now live, coupled with the era of post-industrial society development, sets its demands to education. They include not only providing high quality teaching, but also the rejection of universal theories and knowledge paradigms; transition to multiple and continuous updating of the content; each teacher’s ability to develop their own approaches, not to provide "ready" knowledge, but to reflect in dialogue with the student, creating the content of education directly in the communication, to rely not on the plan and a summary of the lesson but on the learner’s personal experience.
The ideas of postmodernism are based on a radical reform of the old education system based on the understanding that there is no single method or style of teaching/management for all students and teachers. Postmodernism supporters emphasize the uniqueness of each student who needs special forms of education and individual curricula, as well as of each employee of the educational institution who brings their own talents and skills to their work. Moreover, the basis for an individual country and the whole humanity development is proclaimed to be the Person him/herself, his/her moral position, multi-faceted nature-corresponding activity, the culture, education, professional competence.
The questions raised in the paper are related to: a) the influence of postmodernism ideas on education; b) the formation of linguo-creative thinking by means of a foreign language and culture; c) the substantiation of the linguo-didactic aspect of speech activity; d) as well as a comprehensive study of the student's personality development, which is in the proportion of at least two linguistic cultures.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this paper is to show the prospect of developing linguo-creative thinking in the context of the dialogue of culture, to identify and describe the typical features of cognitive processes that make up the intellectual background of a person’s speech activity in a foreign language education.
The study was carried out at the junction of several scientific fields using a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, taking into account the interconnectedness and interdependence between such areas of social science as cultural studies, psychology, philosophy and pedagogy, which allows us to approach a holistic perception of the many-sided subject of the study. The basic research methods used are analysis, synthesis, generalization and modeling.
Most researchers believe that postmodernism, on the one hand, reflects the spirit of the new era; on the other hand, it adequately comprehends the new era, gives a new vision of modernity. Slattery (2013) writes about curriculum development in the Postmodern Era. Jacobs and Kritsonis (2006) describe national strategies for implementing postmodern in US education. Kincheloe and Steinberg (1999) dedicate their research to tentative description of post-formal thinking (Kincheloe & Steinberg 1999). Dmitriev (2020) studies theory of school education content in the USA. The basis of postmodernism in education is the task to help the students to get rid of the pressure, to unlock their potential and abilities and, ultimately, to self-actualize, and to help the teacher realize that his/her activity could either release the student from oppression and self-suppression or aggravate them (Ivanova & Bokova, 2017).
Cultural baggage distorts reality and imposes an extremely limited set of perspectives on a person. Postmodernists perceive any form of open imposition as an environment of violence. For example, one of the most prominent postmodernists, Derrida (2007), writes that violence is a necessary environment for education as a part of culture, since any education presupposes the identification of the non-identical, that is, the collision of two unequal positions – the teacher and the student.
Such differences can be leveled only in the process of language communication, thus, reality is an open pan-textual environment. Moreover, the language environment is not only the environment of words that denote something; it is mostly the environment of meanings that prescribe rules of behavior to active interaction participants – the student and the teacher. In this way, language mixing and integration contributes to a poly-variant dialogue between the student and the teacher. At the same time, there is a special problem for education – the representation and interpretation of information linking teacher and student communication (Bokova & Malakhova, 2019).
It is important to note that, from a didactic point of view, only the conditions of poly-variance make it possible to "train" thinking at the junction of different language zones − different disciplines. By mastering the content of subjects, the student learns to think discursively, see the context of learning and simultaneously acquire learning skills. In other words, education becomes a structure of identification of a person in the society, an indicator of their skills, which are socially significant because they are the result of a personal free choice.
When teaching a foreign language in the context of the dialogue of cultures it is of strategic importance to take into account cognitive processes that are designed to form a linguistic worldview, to fix lexical units and their main elements in semantic memory structures, to form concepts using the lexical units, as quanta of structured knowledge. This is shown by the intercultural communication practice and performance in another cultural and language space (Tareva, 2019).
Each language form, each word expresses its own world perception, a specific way of thinking and presentation. The word as a common "matrix" to fix and accumulate information being "associated" with the image-representation, conveys its "semantics" to confirm the effective use of this image as a means of thinking. It is the word that acts as the main fixer of a person’s social and individual experience through its meaning and the second component of its “semantics” - “sense”.
Psychologists and cognitive linguists dwell on the issue of students’ cognitive development from various angles. For instance, Schonert-Reichl et al. (2015) write speak about enhancing cognitive and social-emotional development by means of a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children. In the paper «Learning about learning» the authors raise the question that every teacher needs to tackle to boost the processes of cognitive and emotional growth (Pomerance et al., 2016). Yaremenko and Suleymanova (2019) study the role of the cognitive aspect in the technology of teaching technical university undergraduates a foreign language.
Mental flexibility in the context of cross-cultural communication, in its turn, develops the skills and abilities to practice a foreign language effectively in a definite situation of multicultural communication (Tareva, 2017). Mental flexibility is developed in the practice of multicultural communication and functions in a different cultural and language space.
The resulting aspects are its indicators: a) enthusiasm to distinguish phenomena that are not acquainted to the individual from his/her earlier practice; b) rejection to try to "jam" the new skill into the inflexible context of one’s own concepts; c) admission that another culture agents can perceive the world from other sites; d) ability to cope with stereotypes (E. Chaika).
The perception of a foreign word is promoted by searching for its significant features, approving them, inspecting them, and transmitting key categories on this basis. This is accomplished through the following instruments: a) grouping and integrating features; b) planned admission to them; c) their features’ matching or mismatching. The authors analyzed the theoretic fundamentals of cognitive psychology and cognitive linguistics, which exposed some patterns of cognitive activity in teaching foreign languages.
Galskova (2004) suggests that the development of an individual student who finds himself in the co-space of minimum two cultures, is built on one’s particular worldview and contains the awareness and reflection of one’s own ethics and public relations. Specifically, this fact permits recognition of not only the communicative and socio-cultural but also cognitive development of the student being taught foreign languages in the intercultural paradigm.
In the process of teaching students a foreign language, it is essential to develop their skills of working with a text (preset or compiled one) while he or she communicate with a document, book, or with an opponent.
When performing each type of speech activity, the same set of operations is required to move from the author's intent to the text (speaking, writing) or from the text to the author's intent (reading, listening).
A foreign language gives students the chance to feel the beauty of the language, to practice the pleasure of being able to convey their knowledge through it, to communication with the representative of different language culture and other views, to think over one’s language actions and be responsible for them.
At the same time, the text work features are determined by a specific type of speech activity, goals, tasks, and conditions for its flow. This means that in order to carry out a foreign language speech activity, it is necessary to possess general (for all types or for separate groups) and special (for each individual type or for each separate group), intellectual / speech-thinking skills. The features of each type of foreign language speech activity, as well as the goals and objectives of teaching a foreign language and difficulties in mastering it, allowed us to identify and specify the most important speech-thinking skills that students need to master and determine their (students') readiness to use a foreign language as a means of communication.
The following functional components compose intellectual activity in a foreign language: communicative, constructive, design, gnostic, organizational, personality developing. Those can also appear guidelines for the development of school students’ content areas. It is especially important for a specialized school to determine what the content should be, so those components assist in achieving the necessary levels of general education competencies. They contribute to the formation of a system of knowledge at the level of representations and concepts. Cognitive learning activities in a foreign language are based on the above-mentioned speech-thinking skills and considered to be components of the training content.
Students’ personal functions are actualized within the personal development component of educational and cognitive activity of schoolchildren at foreign language lessons:
1.Motivating, involving the adoption and justification of a new system of values.
2.Reflection of their behavior in terms of ideas about the norms of activity and behavior provided by native and foreign cultures.
3.Moral choice, acceptance of new values based on formed ideas.
4.Responsibility for decision-making and their actions in relations with foreign-language partners.
5.Orientations in cross-cultural communication situations, building a personal model of activity, determining one’s place in it.
There are new formations of individual axiological and cognitive potentials development within the framework of the cultural approach to teaching foreign languages: 1) an actively conscious attitude to the future life and dialogue of cultures ("The image of future professional and intercultural activities")2) a positive attitude to oneself ("the image of Self") and another; 3)value relations to one's own and foreign-language cultures;
Below the authors present a brief description of the exercises aimed at forming students' intellectual skills while mastering a foreign language and foreign culture. We assume they will be particularly relevant for modeling intercultural communication.
Exercises aimed at the formation of design skills. These involve a combination of speech-thinking actions with the emphasis on the correlation of elements associated with certain relationships. Exercises aimed at the formation of gnostic skills. These contribute to the development of mechanisms of recognition, comprehension, semantic guess, meaning anticipation. They also develop awareness of conceptual categories, the mechanism of logical understanding, and their language form.
Exercises on anticipation (forecasting) contribute to the formation of a general-speech psychological mechanism of probabilistic forecasting by means of a foreign language (I. A. Zimnyaya). Anticipation, as the ability to guess about new things based on what is already known, is an important component of complex integrative reading and listening skills. Anticipation exercises can be used to develop expressive oral skills. Students are encouraged to anticipate cause-and-effect relationships, to predict possible plot development, and to assume events that could precede something described in the text. Thus, these tasks provide intensive speech practice and development of speech-thinking skills. Students boost their speech activity not only by putting forward their own hypotheses, but also in the process of comparing, discussing and evaluating them.
Exercises for reconstruction are an example of exercises aiming at the formation of constructive skills– a teaching method, according to which students perform reconstructing educational and speech actions towards individual incomplete statements or an intentionally deformed text.
Methods of information and simulation modeling of cross-cultural communication situations are part of the arsenal of the communicative method and educational activities on search. They implement the so-called simulated or imitative communication in the educational process. Another option is the method of dramatization. Dramatization techniques are implemented in role-playing/business games, imaginary situations, and scenarios. Dramatization techniques are characterized by creating conditions as close as possible to the conditions of real communication. Those could be assigning roles, modeling the communication situation, setting a task that causes intellectual difficulty or a state of emotional tension.
We described the exercises for the formation of speech / intellectual skills and strategies of general subject competence. They create optimal conditions that ensure the creative nature of thinking and creativity of the student within the framework of a cultural approach to teaching foreign languages. Obviously, a modern foreign language lesson can be named a dialogue of cultures. The foreign culture reflects everything that happens in the process of learning a foreign language, and there is a national consciousness-based worldview behind each word.
Modern education is a complex multi-functional system, the development and understanding of which is largely possible due to postmodernism as a worldview, spiritual, intellectual and mental phenomenon on a global scale. The influence of postmodernism on all key areas of human activity in general, and on education and pedagogical activity in particular, has been so strong and diverse that any study of this phenomenon requires minding its features. The presented interdisciplinarity is due to integrative processes in cognitive linguistics, pedagogy, and linguo-didactics. The problem of studying cognitive processes occurring through language, among which the main ones are the process of conceptualization and categorization, contributes to the further development of scientific knowledge and the establishment of interdisciplinary scientific links between these sciences.
The research was supported by RFBR (“Postmodernism theme as the dominant of the development of education systems in the USA and Russia”, project No. 19-013-00815).
- Bokova, T. N., & Malakhova, V. G. (2019). Postmodernism as the dominant of education development in the information society. The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences, 69, 173-180. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.02.21
- Derrida, J. (2007). Writing and difference (D. Y. Kralechkin, Trans.). Akadem. Project.
- Dmitriev, G. D. (2020). Modernism, postmodernism and the theory of school education content in the USA. Moscow: Scientific digital library PORTALUS.RU. https://portalus.ru/modules/shkola/print.php? subaction=showfull&id=1194960196&archive=1195938639&start_from=&ucat=&
- Galskova, N. D. (2004). Intercultural learning: the problem of goals and content of teaching foreign languages. Foreign language at school, 1.
- Ivanova, S. V., & Bokova, T. N. (2017). Postmodern Ideas’ Influence on Education (Illustrated by The USA Experience). The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences, 28, 339−355). https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.41
- Jacobs, K., & Kritsonis, W. (2006). National Strategies for Implementing Postmodern Thinking for Improving Secondary Education in Public Education in the United States of America. National Forum of Educational Administration and supervision Journal, 23(4), 1-10.
- Kincheloe, J. L., & Steinberg, S. R. (1999). A tentative description of post-formal thinking: The critical confrontation with cognitive theory. The post-formal reader: Cognition and education. Falmer Press.
- Pomerance, L., Greenberg, J., & Walsh, K. (2016). Learning about learning: What every teacher needs to know. http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Learning_About_Learning_Report
- Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social-emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51, 52-66. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038454
- Slattery, P. (2013). Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era: Teaching and Learning in an Age of Accountability. Routledge.
- Tareva, E. G. (2017). System of cultural approaches to teaching a foreign language. Language and culture, 40, 302-320.
- Tareva, E. G. (2019). Culture within the framework of linguo-didactic conceptology. Bulletin of Moscow City Pedagogical University. Series: Philosophical Sciences, 2/1(1), 123-127.
- Yaremenko, V. I., & Suleymanova, O. A. (2019). The role of the cognitive aspect in the technology of teaching a foreign language to technical university undergraduates. In T.V. Romanov (Ed.), Integrative processes in cognitive linguistics: proceedings of the International Congress on cognitive linguistics. Nizhny Novgorod: DECOM Publishing House.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
20 November 2020
Print ISBN (optional)
Sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, bilingualism, multilingualism
Cite this article as:
Bokova, T. N., & Milovannova, L. A. (2020). Linguo-Creative Thinking In The Context Of Dialogue Of Cultures In The Postmodern Era. 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. 47-53). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.03.6